Olga L. Rojas
Recent research by Dr. Rojas, published in Cell(link is external), uncovered the role of intestinal Plasma cells in inflammation during neuroinflammation. These findings revealed that a subset of microbiome-specific IgA Plasma cells is key to fighting Experimental Acute Encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). These IgA-producing plasma cells can travel from the intestines to the central nervous system where they are found to suppress brain inflammation during MS flare-ups.
Currently, Dr. Rojas is interested in understanding the role of mucosal immune cells as a key intermediate of the gut-brain axis. Central to this question is understanding how intestinal immune cells can directly (by migration) or indirectly (by cytokines, chemokines) impact pathogenic processes in the brain in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease.