The lung is specifically designed for air exchange and as such does not tolerate inflammatory responses well. There is therefore a need to limit inflammation in this organ.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a highly inflammatory pathogen that persists in the lung for a prolonged period. We have been investigating the factors that regulate inflammation and protective responses in the lung in response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. We and others have recently showed that the cytokine IL-27 reduces the protective response in the lung but also serves to limit inflammation. We are investigating how IL-27 achieves this.