By: Assoc Prof Dr Anne Cunningham, Deputy Dean PAPRSB, Institute of Health Sciences UBD
The prevalence of chronic inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), autoimmunity and cancer have increased in recent years. Herbal-based compounds such as flavonoids have been demonstrated to contribute to the modulation of these diseases although understanding their mechanism of action remain limited. Flavonoids are able to interact with cellular immune components in a distinct way and influence immune responses at a molecular level. In this seminar, we highlight recent progress in our understanding of the modulation of immune responses by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor whose activity can be regulated by diverse molecules including flavonoids. We focus on the role of AhR in integrating signals from flavonoids to modulate inflammatory responses using in vitro and experimental animal models. We also summarize the limitations of these studies. Medicinal herbs have been widely used to treat inflammatory disorders and may offer a valuable therapeutic strategy to treat aberrant inflammatory responses by modulation of the AhR pathway.
Key words: AhR, flavonoids, immune response, immunomodulatory, herbal plants
Dr Anne's Biography:
Associate Professor Dr Anne Cunningham is an immunologist and experienced British academic. She graduated with BSc(Hons) Biochemistry & Microbiology and PhD in Immunology from Leeds University. She did 5 years' post-doctoral research in the Department of Surgery at Newcastle University (focusing on transplant immunology) then moved to Sunderland Pharmacy School where she was based for 16 years (senior / principal lecturer, gaining experience in e-learning, curriculum development and national accreditation) before moving to UBD in 2012. She is currently the Deputy Dean (Undergraduate Studies & Global Affairs) in the PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, UBD.
More detail from http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5325-2581