Research Centers


Intestinal Innate Immunity Group

Experiments carried out by the Intestinal Innate Immunity Group are directed at understanding the mechanisms that regulate intestinal innate immune responses to pathogenic and commensal bacteria.
  • 617-726-4170

The group is part of the Mucosal Immunology Laboratory within the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, and is also affiliated with the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The main interest of our group is in clarifying how host and environmental factors influence the early phases of the immune response to bacteria that reside within or infect via the gastrointestinal tract.

Bobby J. Cherayil, MD

Nanda Kumar Shanmugam, PhD

Shiri Ellenbogen, MS, ND

Estela Trebicka, BS

Current Projects Include Investigations of the Following:

  • Effects of altered iron metabolism on Toll-like receptor signal transduction pathways
  • Effects of intestinal inflammation on iron metabolism
  • Potential therapeutic applications of manipulating iron metabolism in inflammatory conditions
  • Effects of intestinal helminth infection on macrophage function (in collaboration with the group of Dr. Hai Ning Shi)

  1. Chlosta S, Fishman DS, Harrington L, Johnson EE, Knutson MD, Wessling-Resnick M, Cherayil BJ. The iron efflux protein ferroportin regulates the intracellular growth of Salmonella enterica. Infect. Immun. 2006; 74: 3065-3067.
  2. Weng M, Huntley D, Huang IF, Foye-Jackson O, Wang L, Sarkissian A, Zhou Q, Walker WA, Cherayil BJ, Shi HN. Alternatively activated macrophages in intestinal helminth infection: effects on concurrent bacterial colitis. J. Immunol. 2007; 179: 4721- 4731.
  3. Wang L, Johnson EE, Shi HN, Walker WA, Wessling-Resnick M, Cherayil BJ. Attenuated inflammatory responses in hemochromatosis reveal a role for iron in the regulation of macrophage cytokine translation. J. Immunol. 2008; 181: 2723-2731.
  4. Wang L, Harrington L, Trebicka E, Shi HN, Kagan JC, Hong CC, Lin HY, Babitt JL, Cherayil BJ. Selective modulation of TLR4-activated inflammatory responses by altered iron homeostasis. J. Clin. Invest. 2009; 119: 3322-3328.
  5. Johnson EE, Srikanth CV, Sandgren A, Harrington L, Trebicka E, Wang L, Borregaard N, Murray M, Cherayil BJ. Siderocalin inhbits the intracellular replication of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in macrophages. FEMS Immunol. Med. Microbiol. 2010; 58: 138-145.
  6. Johnson EE, Sandgren A, Cherayil BJ, Murray M, Wessling-Resnick M. The role of ferroportin in macrophage-mediated immunity. Infect. Immun. 2010; 78: 5099-5106.
  7. Cherayil BJ. Iron and immunity: immunological consequences of iron deficiency and overload. Arch. Immunol. Ther. Exp. (Warsz.) 2010; 58: 407-415.
  8. Cherayil BJ. The role of iron in the immune response to bacterial infection. Immunol. Res. 2011; 50: 1-9.
  9. Wang L, Trebicka E, Fu Y, Ellenbogen S, Hong CC, Babitt JL, Lin HY, Cherayil BJ. The bone morphogenetic protein-hepcidin axis as a therapeutic target in inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm. Bowel Dis. 2011. In press.
  10. Wang L, Trebicka E, Fu Y, Waggoner L, Akira S, Fitzgerald KA, Kagan JC, Cherayil BJ. Regulation of lipopolysaccharide-induced translation of tumor necrosis factor a by the Toll-like receptor 4 adaptor protein TRAM. J. Innate Immun. 2011. In press.
  11. Cherayil BJ, Ellenbogen S, Shanmugam NN. Iron and intestinal immunity. Curr. Opin. Gastroenterol. 2011. In press.

MGHfC Intestinal Innate Immunity Group

Room 3625, Building 114
16th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

Phone: 617-726-4170
Fax: 617-726-4172

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes