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Dent Lab

The research lab of Alexander L. Dent, PhD is focused on the regulation of the immune response by CD4 T helper and regulatory T cells. Specifically the Dent Lab is studying the role of T follicular helper (Tfh) and T follicular regulatory (Tfr) cells in the antibody response during allergic and autoimmune disease.

Active Research

Currently the Dent Lab is analyzing the function of Tfh and Tfr cells in the production of IgE antibody in a peanut-based food allergy model in mice. Investigators in this lab also study the transcription factor BCL6, which is an oncogene in B cell lymphoma and is also critical for Tfh and Tfr cell differentiation and the germinal center reaction. This work has implications for vaccine development and the development of a universal HIV vaccine.

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Research Funding

  • Allergy Control
    NIH R01 AI132771-01 “The control of allergic immune responses by follicular regulatory T cells”, 6/01/17 – 5/30/22. Principal Investigator.

    This study analyzes the development of follicular repressor T cells and their function in controlling IgE production during allergic immune responses.

  • HIV-1 Cure
    NIH R01 AI117835-01 “Targeting latently infected Tfh cells to achieving a functional cure of HIV-1”, 3/01/15 – 2/29/20. Co-investigator (PI Yu).

    The goal of this grant is to assess Tfh cell characteristics that lead to latent infection with HIV-1.

Recent Publications

Xie, M.M., Chen, Q., Liu, H., Yang, K., Koh, B., Wu, H., Maleki, S.J., Hurlburt, B.K., Cook-Mills, J., Kaplan, M.H., Dent, A.L. “T follicular regulatory cells and IL-10 promote food antigen-specific IgE.“ J Clin Invest. Apr 7:132249. doi: 10.1172/JCI132249. PMID: 32255767 (2020)

He, K., Hettinga, A., Kale, S., Hu, S., Xie, M., Dent, A., Ray, A., Poholek, A. "Blimp-1 is essential for allergen-induced asthma and Th2 cell development in the lung". J. Exp. Med.  doi: 10.1084/jem.20190742 PMID: 32399548 (2020)

Khiew, S.H., Jain, D., Chen, J.,  Yang, J., Ying, D., Young, J.S., Dent, A., Sciammas, R., Alegre, M.L., Chong, A. “Transplantation tolerance modifies donor-specific B cell fate to suppress de novo alloreactive B cells” J Clin Invest. doi: 10.1172/JCI132814 PMID: 32452834 (2020)

Almanan, M., Raynor, R., Ogunsulire, I., Malyshkina, A., Mukherjee, S., Hummel, S.A., Ingram, J., Saini, A., Xie, M.M., Alenghat, T., Way, S.S., Deepe Jr., G.S., Divanovic, S. Singh, H., Miraldi, E., Salomonis, N., Zajac, A., Dent, A.L., Hölscher, C., Chougnet, C., and Hildeman, D.A. “IL-10 Producing Tfh Cells Accumulate With Age And Link Inflammation With Age-Related Immune Suppression”, Sci. Adv. 2020 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abb0806. PMCID: PMC7439492 (2020)

Son, Y.M., Cheon, I.S., Goplen, N.P., Dent, A.L., Sun, J. “Inhibition of stearoyl‐CoA desaturases suppresses follicular help T‐ and germinal center B‐ cell responses”, Eur. J. Immunol. 50:1067-1077.  doi:  10.1002/eji.201948257 (2020)

Gioulbasani, M., Galaras, A., Grammanoudi, S., Moulos, P., Dent, A.L., Sigvardsson, M., Hatzis, P., Kee, B.L., Verykokakis, M. “The transcription factor BCL-6 controls early development of innate-like T cells”, Nat. Immunol.  doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-0737-y (2020)

Carpio, V.H., Aussenac, F., Puebla-Clark, L., Wilson, K.D., Villarino, A.V., Dent, A.L., Stephens, R. “T Helper Plasticity Is Orchestrated by STAT3, Bcl6, and Blimp-1 Balancing Pathology and Protection in Malaria”, iScience. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101310 (2020)

Keating, R., Johnson, J.L., Brice, D.C., Labombarde, J.G., Dent, A.L., McGargill, M.A. “Broadly Reactive Influenza Antibodies Are Not Limited by Germinal Center Competition with High-Affinity Antibodies” mBio. Nov 3;11(6):e01859-20.doi: 10.1128/mBio.01859-20 (2020).

Son, Y.M., Cheon, I.N., Wu, Y., Li, C., Wang, Z., Gao, G., Chen, Takahashi, Y., Fu, Y.-X., Dent, A.L., Kaplan, M.H., Taylor, J.J., Cui, W., Sun, J. “Tissue-resident CD4+ T helper cells assist the development of protective respiratory B and CD8+ T cell memory responses”, Sci. Immunol. Jan 8;6(55):eabb6852.doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abb6852. (2021)   

Gonzalez-Figueroa, P., Roco, J.A., Papa, I., Villacis, L.N., Sanley, M., Linterman, M., Dent, A., Canete, P.F., Vinuesa, C.G. “Follicular regulatory T cells produce neuritin to regulate B cells”, Cell. (2021)

Chen, Q., Xie, M.M., Liu, H. and Dent, A.L. “Development of Allergen-Specific IgE in a Food Allergy Model Involves Precisely Timed B Cell Stimulation and Is Also Repressed by TFH Cell-Derived Fgl2” Cell Reports, 39, 110990, (2022)

View a full list of publications on PubMed

Lab Team

15118-Dent, Alexander

Alexander L. Dent, PhD

Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

Read Bio Alexander L. Dent, PhD

Additional Research Team Members

Other research team members in the Dent Lab include Markus Xie (doctoral student) and Hong Liu (research analyst).