15118-Dent, Alexander
Faculty

Alexander L. Dent, PhD

Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

Bio

I grew up in Los Angeles CA and I did my undergraduate studies at UCLA. I did my doctoral studies in immunology at UC San Diego. I then did a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institutue at the NIH in Besthesda, MD. I joined IUSM as a tenure track faculty member in 1998.

Overall, I have an extensive background and training in molecular and cellular immunology. Throughout my career I have developed several important transgenic and knockout mouse models that have been widely used by various labs and in multiple high profile publications. 

As an independent investigator, I have long been interested in understanding the control of immune responses by the transcriptional repressor Bcl6.

Bcl6 regulates B and T cell differentiation and acts in multiple cell types as a critical repressor of inflammation. Bcl6 also is an oncogene in non-Hodgkin's B cell lymphoma.

Bcl6 specifically promotes the development of T Follicular Helper (TFH) cells, a T helper cell subset that resides in the Germinal Center and is required for the selection of B cells that produce high affinity antibody. Bcl6 is also required for the development of T Follicular Repressor (TFR) cells, which control the antibody response in collaboration with TFH cells.

We have developed a conditional knockout mouse for Bcl6, which has facilitated the analysis of both TFH cell and TFR cell function in vivo. These mouse strains have allowed us to make several new observations about both TFH and TFR cell function in immune responses. Most recently we are studying the regulation of IgE and food allergy responses by TFH and TFR cells.

 

Key Publications

1) Wu, H., Chen, Y., Liu, H., Xu, L-L, Teuscher, P., Wang, S., Lu, S., Dent, A.L. "Follicular Regulatory T cells Repress Cytokine Production by Follicular Helper T cells and Optimize IgG Responses in Mice", Eur. J. Immunol. doi: 10.1002/eji.201546094 (2016) (PMID:26887860)

          2) Hollister, K., Kusam, S., Wu, H., Clegg, N., Mondal, A., Sawant, D. and Dent, A.L. "Insights into the role of Bcl6 in follicular helper T cells using a new conditional mutant mouse model." J. Immunol. 191:3705-11 (2013) (PMC3783642)

3) Kobayashi, T., Iijima. K., Dent, A.L., Kita, H. “IL-4-Producing Follicular Helper T (Tfh) Cells Mediate IgE Antibody Response to Airborne Allergens Independently of Th2 Cells”, J. Clin. Invest., pii: S0091-6749(16)30289-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2016.04.021.(2016)(epub ahead of print)

4) Xie, M.M., Koh, B.-H., Hollister, K., Wu, H., Sun, J., Kaplan, M.H., Dent, A.L.Bcl6 Promotes Follicular Helper T-Cell Differentiation and PD-1 Expression in a Blimp1-independent Manner”, Eur. J. Immunol. doi:  10.1002/eji.201747034 (2017)

5) Xie, M.M., Amet, T., Liu, H., Yu, Q., Dent, A.L. “AMP Kinase Promotes Bcl6 Expression in both Mouse and Human T cells”, Mol. Immunol. 81:67-75 (2017)

Titles & Appointments

  • Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

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