header image

Rosemary Hoffman, PhD

headshot

Contact

W1555 Bioscience Tower
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: (412) 648-1931

Research Associate Professor of Surgery

Education:
BS, University of Minnesota; PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Research Area(s):

Immune changes during aging/intestinal mucosal immunity

Aging is associated with inadequate responses to gastrointestinal pathogens coincident with changes in various immune populations in the intestine.  For example, as is observed in certain other lymphoid depots, there is a decrease in total cell number and in absolute numbers of plasmacytoid dendritic cells in the intraepithelial cell layer of the small intestine of aged mice.   Additionally, the changes in mRNA levels of various inflammatory mediators after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration are disparate comparing young and aged mice.  Aged mice show an increase in levels of the mediator, IL-6 and a decrease in the expression of the chemokine CCL25, compared to aged mice. In adoptive transfer experiments, significantly lower numbers of transferred pDC became localized to the intestinal mucosa of aged mice, and were further reduced with LPS administration.  Further examination of the immunological changes in the intestine associated with chronological aging will benefit the development of therapies to overcome deficits in the response to mucosal pathogens during aging.