Although IL-13 clearly plays an important role in the schistosomiasis model, it remains unclear to what extent targeting this pathway might be useful in the treatment of other fibroproliferative diseases. Therefore, we are investigating the role of Th2-type cytokines in several models of fibrosis that affect the lung, liver, and intestine to determine whether there are common as well as distinct mechanisms of fibrosis in various organ systems and/or diseases. The models that were set up in the lab over the past few years include a mouse model of chronic asthma, several chronic models of inflammatory bowel disease, and a model of obesity induced steatosis. Projects completed during the past year: Two new comprehensive reviews on fibrosis were completed in the previous year. These reviews appeared in Annual Reviews of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease and Biochim Biophys Acta. Active projects: 1. Transgenic and knockout mice are being used to explore the mechanisms of fibrosis in models of DSS and TNBS-induced colitis 2. Studies are underway to explore the role of IL-13Ra2 blockade in models of fibrosis and chronic IBD. 3. Studies are underway to better understand the role of the immune system in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

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