Ongoing Research | Overview
Our laboratory studies the pathophysiology of sepsis and tumor recurrence/ metastasis, particularly in the perioperative setting. Anesthetics, particularly volatile anesthetics are often provided to patients suffering from sepsis and who present for tumor resection surgery. Although the anesthetic mechanism of volatile anesthetics remains to be determined, these promiscuous molecules are suggested to affect the function of immune cells. We previously reported that they interacted with adhesion molecule family integrins (Figure 1). We currently study their in vivo effects on sepsis and tumor recurrence/ metastasis. Our ultimate goal is to understand the impact of anesthetics and propose anesthetic regimens based on patients’ underlying diseases.
Figure 1. The interaction of volatile anesthetic isoflurane with integrin LFA-1
Sepsis remains to be a disease with high morbidities and mortalities. Although neutrophils are the first line innate immune cells to eradicate infection as host defense mechanism, activated neutrophils can cause secondary injury to various organs. We are interested in understanding the role of integrins in neutrophil-induced organ injury and the impact of anesthetics (Figure 2).
Figure 2. The potential target sites of anesthetics on neutrophils
Various ion channels and integrins are potential volatile anesthetic targets
Tumor recurrence/ metastasis
A number of retrospective studies suggest that the type of anesthetics/ anesthetic regimen for surgical tumor resection might have impacts on tumor recurrence/ metastasis or outcomes. We study the underlying mechanism of tumor recurrence/ metastasis following surgery and the role of anesthetics. Particularly we are focusing on the role of natural killer cells in this process (Figure 3).
Figure 3. The potential target sites of anesthetics on natural killer cells
Ion channels and integrins are potential volatile anesthetic targets