Activation of Macrophage Signal Transduction Pathways
My laboratory is interested in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, particularly the role of macrophages and their interaction with oxidized LDL. Recent studies have focused on activation of the PI3-kinase/PKB pathway by oxidized LDL. This was shown to activate NFkB, and modulate Bcl-2 family proteins in a manner that prevents apoptosis. In addition, there is crosstalk with sphingolipid signal transduction in that oxidized LDL prevents activation of acid sphingomyelinase, thereby reducing levels its pro-apoptotic product, ceramide.