HOW DIFFERENT CELL TYPES OF THE BRAIN CONTRIBUTE TO CEREBRAL CYTOKINOPATHIES

Summary

The brain consists of a large number of different cell types, including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia and endothelial cells. Discover how these different cell types mediate the pathogenesis of cerebral cytokinopathies using transgenic mouse models.

Supervisor(s)

Dr Markus Hofer

Research Location

School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

The cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) can cause a variety of neuroinflammatory diseases such as neuromyelitis optica and Aicardi-Goutières syndrome or neurological manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus, respectively. They also are implicated in the development of a number of significant age-related neuropsychiatric disorders. However, an understanding of the mechanisms via which these cytokines mediate central nervous system (CNS) damage is unclear. Transgenic (TG) mouse models with CNS-restricted chronic production at pathophysiologically relevant levels of IL-6 or IFN-alpha replicate many of the key neuropathological and behavioural features of the human diseases, further highlighting the role of these cytokines as mediators of CNS injury and disease. However, the role of the different cell types in the CNS in contributing to cerebral cytokinopathies remains enigmatic and is a focus of our research.

Additional Information

HDR Inherent Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements set out in the Science Postgraduate Handbook, you may be required to satisfy a number of inherent requirements to complete this degree. Example of inherent requirement may include:

- Confidential disclosure and registration of a disability that may hinder your performance in your degree;
- Confidential disclosure of a pre-existing or current medical condition that may hinder your performance in your degree (e.g. heart disease, pace-maker, significant immune suppression, diabetes, vertigo, etc.);
- Ability to perform independently and/or with minimal supervision;
- Ability to undertake certain physical tasks (e.g. heavy lifting);
- Ability to undertake observatory, sensory and communication tasks;
- Ability to spend time at remote sites (e.g. One Tree Island, Narrabri and Camden);
- Ability to work in confined spaces or at heights;
- Ability to operate heavy machinery (e.g. farming equipment);
- Hold or acquire an Australian driver’s licence;
- Hold a current scuba diving license;
- Hold a current Working with Children Check;
- Meet initial and ongoing immunisation requirements (e.g. Q-Fever, Vaccinia virus, Hepatitis, etc.)

You must consult with your nominated supervisor regarding any identified inherent requirements before completing your application.

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Keywords

type I interferon; neuroinflammation, type I interferonopathies; neuroscience; immunology; microglia; brain; CNS; inflammation; astrocyte; neuron; endothelial cells; blood vessel; vasculature; neurodegeneration; interleukin-6; IL-6; interferon; mouse model; transgenic;

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2704

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