Publications

Identification of functionally distinct macrophage subpopulations in Drosophila

Identification of functionally distinct macrophage subpopulations in Drosophila

We reveal the existence of functionally-distinct macrophage subtypes in Drosophila

The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape

The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape

We investigated the role of preprints in the first 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic

Preprints in motion: tracking changes between posting and journal publication

Preprints in motion: tracking changes between posting and journal publication

We investigated how preprints compare to their published versions for preprints posted in the first 4 months of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic

Simu-dependent clearance of dying cells regulates macrophage function and inflammation resolution

Simu-dependent clearance of dying cells regulates macrophage function and inflammation resolution

Macrophages encounter and clear apoptotic cells during normal development and homeostasis, including at numerous sites of pathology. Clearance of apoptotic cells has been intensively studied, but the effects of macrophage–apoptotic cell interactions on macrophage behaviour are poorly understood. Using Drosophila embryos, we have exploited the ease of manipulating cell death and apoptotic cell clearance in this model to identify that the loss of the apoptotic cell clearance receptor Six-microns-under (Simu) leads to perturbation of macrophage migration and inflammatory responses via pathological levels of apoptotic cells. Removal of apoptosis ameliorates these phenotypes, while acute induction of apoptosis phenocopies these defects and reveals that phagocytosis of apoptotic cells is not necessary for their anti-inflammatory action. Furthermore, Simu is necessary for clearance of necrotic debris and retention of macrophages at wounds. Thus, Simu is a general detector of damaged self and represents a novel molecular player regulating macrophages during resolution of inflammation.

A potential mode of action for Anakinra in patients with arthrofibrosis following total knee arthroplasty

Arthrofibrosis is a fibroproliferative disease characterised by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix components intra-articularly leading to pain and restricted range of movement. Although frequently observed following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) no therapeutic options exist. A pilot study demonstrated that intra-articular injection of Anakinra, an IL-1R antagonist, improved range of movement and pain in patients with arthrofibrosis however the mechanism of action is unknown. We hypothesise that IL-1α/β will drive an inflammatory phenotype in fibroblasts isolated from the knee, therefore identifying a potential mechanism of action for Anakinra in arthrofibrosis following TKA. Fibroblasts isolated from synovial membranes and infra-patellar fat pad of patients undergoing TKA express high levels of IL-1R1. Stimulation with IL-1α/β induced a pro-inflammatory phenotype characterised by increased secretion of GMCSF, IL-6 and IL-8. No significant difference in the inflammatory response was observed between fibroblasts isolated from synovial membrane or infra-patellar fat pad. IL-1α/β treatments induced a pro-inflammatory phenotype in fibroblasts from both synovial membrane and infra-patellar fat pad and therefore Anakinra can likely have an inhibitory effect on fibroblasts present in both tissues in vivo. It is also likely that fibroblast responses in the tissues are controlled by IL-1α/β availability and not their ability to respond to it.