Sharmila Masli, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Ophthalmology

PhD, Northeastern University
MS, Northeastern University



The major focus of research in the laboratory is the study of molecular mechanisms utilized by ocular antigen presenting cells (APCs) to regulate inflammatory ocular immune responses. Particular focus is on elucidating the role of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) in regulating ocular inflammation.

Resident ocular APCs in the posterior and anterior segment of the eye depend on TSP-1 for maintaining an anti-inflammatory phenotype. In the absence of TSP-1 these APCs acquire more immunogenic phenotype. These observations are examined further to determine their role in ocular inflammation.

Induction of regulatory T cells (Treg) subset by ocular APCs is known to be a key component of ocular immune privilege. The ability of ocular APCs to induce Treg and its correlation with their expression of TSP-1 is examined in the laboratory at the level of molecular mechanisms.

The laboratory has identified spontaneous development of autoimmune Sjögren’s syndrome and related ocular inflammation in TSP-1 deficient mice that closely resembles clinical symptoms in human Sjögren’s patients. Different projects in the laboratory address immunologic mechanisms underlying disease development in these mice.


Projects for the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund
07/01/2014 - 06/30/2018 (PI of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Stephen P. Christiansen, MD
Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, I

Determining the effect of natriuretic peptides and sGC peptide on mucin secretion by conjunctival goblet cells
07/01/2017 - 04/30/2018 (PI)
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Determining efficacy of IL-17 antagonist in resolving Sjogren's syndrome associated chronic dry eye
08/08/2016 - 12/31/2017 (PI)
Allergan Sales Inc

Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Immune Regulation of Ocular Inflammation
04/15/2013 - 08/31/2015 (PI)
NIH/National Eye Institute
5R01EY015472-11




Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Wakshull E, Quarmby V, Mahler HC, Rivers H, Jere D, Ramos M, Szczesny P, Bechtold-Peters K, Masli S, Gupta S. Advancements in Understanding Immunogenicity of Biotherapeutics in the Intraocular Space. AAPS J. 2017 Aug 09. PMID: 28795351.
  2. Contreras Ruiz L, Mir FA, Turpie B, Masli S. Thrombospondin-derived peptide attenuates Sjögren''s syndrome-associated ocular surface inflammation in mice. Clin Exp Immunol. 2017 Apr; 188(1):86-95. PMID: 28033649; DOI: 10.1111/cei.12919;.
  3. Shatos MA, Hodges RR, Morinaga M, McNay DE, Islam R, Bhattacharya S, Li D, Turpie B, Makarenkova HP, Masli S, Utheim TP, Dartt DA. Alteration in cellular turnover and progenitor cell population in lacrimal glands from thrombospondin 1-/- mice, a model of dry eye. Exp Eye Res. 2016 Dec; 153:27-41. PMID: 27697548; DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2016.09.011;.
  4. Smith RE, Reyes NJ, Khandelwal P, Schlereth SL, Lee HS, Masli S, Saban DR. Secondary allergic T cell responses are regulated by dendritic cell-derived thrombospondin-1 in the setting of allergic eye disease. J Leukoc Biol. 2016 Aug; 100(2):371-80. PMID: 26856994; PMCID: PMC4945354; DOI: 10.1189/jlb.3A0815-357RR;.
  5. Contreras-Ruiz L, Mir FA, Turpie B, Krauss AH, Masli S. Sjögren''s syndrome associated dry eye in a mouse model is ameliorated by topical application of integrin a4 antagonist GW559090. Exp Eye Res. 2016 Feb; 143:1-8. PMID: 26463157; DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2015.10.008;.
  6. Mir FA, Contreras-Ruiz L, Masli S. Thrombospondin-1-dependent immune regulation by transforming growth factor-ß2-exposed antigen-presenting cells. Immunology. 2015 Dec; 146(4):547-56. PMID: 26458493; PMCID: PMC4693892; DOI: 10.1111/imm.12517;.
  7. Masli S. Matricellular Proteins in Ocular Diseases. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Sep; 31(7):365. PMID: 26192047; DOI: 10.1089/jop.2015.29001.sjm;.
  8. Soriano-Romaní L, Contreras-Ruiz L, García-Posadas L, López-García A, Masli S, Diebold Y. Inflammatory Cytokine-Mediated Regulation of Thrombospondin-1 and CD36 in Conjunctival Cells. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Sep; 31(7):419-28. PMID: 26154920; PMCID: PMC4575527; DOI: 10.1089/jop.2015.0029;.
  9. Regenfuß B, Dreisow ML, Hos D, Masli S, Bock F, Cursiefen C. The Naïve Murine Cornea as a Model System to Identify Novel Endogenous Regulators of Lymphangiogenesis: TRAIL and rtPA. Lymphat Res Biol. 2015 Jun; 13(2):76-84. PMID: 26091403; PMCID: PMC4492666; DOI: 10.1089/lrb.2015.0004;.
  10. Terzulli M, Contreras-Ruiz L, Ruiz LC, Kugadas A, Masli S, Gadjeva M. TSP-1 Deficiency Alters Ocular Microbiota: Implications for Sjögren''s Syndrome Pathogenesis. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Sep; 31(7):413-8. PMID: 26352162; PMCID: PMC4575514; DOI: 10.1089/jop.2015.0017;.
Showing 10 of 47 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 47 publications over 19 distinct years, with a maximum of 7 publications in 2015

YearPublications
19941
19961
19971
19991
20001
20022
20041
20052
20063
20071
20084
20096
20103
20113
20132
20144
20157
20162
20172

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Research / Scholarly Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:


72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA 02118
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