Research Centers

Bobby J. Cherayil, MD

Experiments carried out by our group are directed at understanding the mechanisms that regulate intestinal innate immune responses to pathogenic and commensal bacteria.

The group is part of the Mucosal Immunology Laboratory within the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, and is also affiliated with the MGH 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).

Relevant recent publications:

  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.