Faculty Research Labs

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.

Research Funding

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.

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

A full list of Alexander L. Dent, PhD, publication history is available on PubMed.

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)

Jandl, C., Liu, S. , Canete, P., Warren, J., Hughes, W., Vogelzang, A., Webster, A., Craig, M., Uzel, G., Dent, A. , Stepnesky, P., Keller, B., Warnatz, K., Sprent, J., King. C. “IL-21 restricts regulatory T cells through Bcl-6 mediated inhibition of responsiveness to IL-2″ Nature Comm. 8:14647 DOI: 10.1038 (2017)

Olson, M.R., Ulrich, B.J., Hummel, S.A., Khan, I., Meuris, B., Cherukuri, Y., Dent, A.L., Janga, S.C., Kaplan, M.H. “Paracrine IL-2 is required for optimal type 2 effector cytokine production”, J. Immunol. 198:4352-4359 (2017)

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)

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)

Olson, M.R., Verdan, F.F., Hufford, M.M., Dent, A.L., Kaplan, M.H. “STAT3 Impairs STAT5 Activation in the Development of IL-9-Secreting T Cells”, J. Immunol. 196:3297-304 (2016)

Wu, H., Xie, M.M., Liu, H., Dent, A.L. “STAT3 is Important for Follicular Regulatory T cell Differentiation”, PLOSone, 11(5):e0155040. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155040(2016)

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. Allergy Clin. Immunol., pii: S0091-6749(16)30289-5 (2016)

Leong, Y.A., Chen, Y,. Ong, H.S., Wu, D., Man, K., Deleage, C., Minnich, M., Meckiff, B.J., Wei, Y., Hou, Z., Zotos, D., Fenix, K.A., Atnerkar, A., Preston, S., Chipman, J.G., Beilman, G.J., Allison, C.C., Sun, L., Wang, P., Xu, J., Toe, J.G., Lu, H.K., Tao, Y., Palendira, U., Dent, A.L., Landay, A.L., Pellegrini, M., Comerford, I., McColl, S.R., Schacker, T.W., Long, H.M., Estes, J.D., Busslinger, M., Belz, G.T., Lewin, S.R., Kallies, A., Yu, D. “CXCR5+ follicular cytotoxic T cells control viral infection in B cell follicles”, Nat. Immunol.  doi: 10.1038/ni.3543 (2016)

Lab Team

Alexander L. Dent, PhD

Alexander L. Dent, PhD

Professor of Microbiology & Immunology

Additional Research Team Members

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