General area: Immunobiology of the nervous system and its tumors.
(1) Site-specific immune regulation. How classical neuro-regulatory molecules (substance P, glutamate) modulate immune activity within the brain. Focus on ctokine-mediated control of T cell traffic and MHC expression, and its modulation by local neurochemicals.
(2) Exploiting T cells to deliver therapy to microscopic brain tumor. Micro-tumor is defined as any tumor that is too small to be imaged or accessed by current methods. It includes infiltrative, invasive, disseminated or residual primary brain tumors (astrocytoma, glioma, etc.), CNS lymphoma, and micro-metastases of tumors from other sites, especially brain-metastasizing breast cancer.
Methods: Rat model. Stereotactic intracerebral injection of cytokines and lacZ-expressing tumors. Histochemistry for b-gal to reveal tumor; antibody staining for T cells, MHC; computer-assisted image analysis of tumor, T cells, T cell-tumor interactions.