Andrew W. Taylor, PhD
Associate Dean of Research
Boston University School of Medicine

PhD, Ohio State University
MS, Ohio State University

A large part of our research effort has been to characterize the immunosuppressive and immunoregulating factors within immune privilege tissues. Through immunochemical and biological analysis of aqueous humor, the fluid filling the anterior chamber of the eye, we have identified several potent immunoregulating and immunosuppressing neuropeptides that 1) suppress the activation of effector Th1 cells, 2) suppress the activation and the inflammatory activity of macrophages, and 3) mediate the induction of antigen-specific regulatory T cells.

Our research has found constitutively present neuropeptides in the immune privileged eye, alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (a-MSH), vasoactive intestinal peptide, calcitonin gene related peptide, and somatostatin. Collectively, the neuropeptides in aqueous humor suppress activation of delayed type hypersensitivity of adaptive immunity, and endotoxin activation of macrophages in innate immunity. Individually, the neuropeptides target different cells and stages in the induction of an immune response. Also we have preliminary data suggesting a role for the ocular neuropeptides in the regulation of macrophage functionality in the immune privileged eye.

We are finding that within the ocular microenvironment the activation of macrophages to pathogens does not promote inflammation, but promotes suppressor functionality in the macrophages. These macrophages respond to pathogens without mediating inflammation, or activating T cells. Moreover, the macrophages produce anti-inflammatory cytokines, suppress and possibly induce apoptosis in activated T cells, and produce enzymes associated with wound repair. We have preliminary evidence that this is mediated by neurotransmitters of the sympathetic nervous system, norepinephrine and neuropeptide Y along with a-MSH and somatostatin.

As we continue to examine the mechanisms of ocular immune privilege we further promote the importance of the interactions between the nervous and the immune systems and how we can use these interactions to beneficially manipulate immunity.

Boston University School of Medicine

2015 Association for Research In Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO): Gold Fellow, an honor to recognize individual members accomplishments, and leadership
2014-2018 NIH: DPVS Study Section Member
2011-2011 Association for Research In Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO): Elected position for 3 years on the Annual Program Committee for the ARVO annual meeting representin
2010-2015 Association for Research In Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO): Silver Fellow, an honor established to recognize current ARVO members for their individual accomplis

Manipulation of Immunity to Treat Uveitis
03/01/2016 - 02/29/2020 (PI)
NIH/National Eye Institute

Projects for the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund
07/01/2014 - 06/30/2019 (PI of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Stephen P. Christiansen, MD
Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, Inc.

Initial Mechanism of Action for The Therapeutic Application of Melanocortin Receptor Agonists to Suppress EAU
06/01/2018 - 05/31/2019 (PI)
Palatin Technologies, Inc.

Initial Mechanism Of Action For The Therapeutic Application Of A Melanocortin Receptor Agonists To Attenuate Retinal Damage in Diabetic Retinopathy
06/01/2017 - 12/31/2018 (PI)
Palatin Technologies, Inc.

Initial Mechanism Of Action For The Therapeutic Application Of A Melanocortin Receptor Agonists To Supress EAU
02/10/2014 - 06/30/2016 (PI)
Palatin Technologies, Inc.

Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2019 Manipulation of Immunity to Treat Uveitis 5R01EY025961-04 6
2018 Manipulation of Immunity to Treat Uveitis 5R01EY025961-03 6
2017 Manipulation of Immunity to Treat Uveitis 5R01EY025961-02 6
2016 Manipulation of Immunity to Treat Uveitis 1R01EY025961-01A1 6
2011 Neuroimmunomodulation within the eye 5R01EY010752-15 43
2010 Neuroimmunomodulation within the eye 7R01EY010752-14 43
2010 Neuroimmunomodulation within the eye 3R01EY010752-14S1 43
2009 Neuroimmunomodulation within the eye 5R01EY010752-13 43
2008 Neuroimmunomodulation within the eye 5R01EY010752-12 43
2008 Neuroimmunomodulation within the eye 3R01EY010752-12S1 43
Showing 10 of 26 results. Show All Results
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. Spana C, Taylor AW, Yee DG, Makhlina M, Yang W, Dodd J. Probing the Role of Melanocortin Type 1 Receptor Agonists in Diverse Immunological Diseases. Front Pharmacol. 2018; 9:1535. PMID: 30692924.
  2. Benque IJ, Xia P, Shannon R, Ng TF, Taylor AW. The Neuropeptides of Ocular Immune Privilege, a-MSH and NPY, Suppress Phagosome Maturation in Macrophages. Immunohorizons. 2018 Nov; 2(10):314-323.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30613828.
  3. Taylor AW, Ng TF. Negative regulators that mediate ocular immune privilege. J Leukoc Biol. 2018 Feb 12.View Related Profiles. PMID: 29431864.
  4. Wang E, Choe Y, Ng TF, Taylor AW. Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells Suppress Phagolysosome Activation in Macrophages. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017 Feb 01; 58(2):1266-1273.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28241314; DOI: 10.1167/iovs.16-21082;.
  5. Taylor AW. Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology. Immunosuppressive and Anti-inflammatory Molecules That Maintain Immune Privilege of the Eye. 2017. View Publication
  6. Lee DJ, Preble J, Lee S, Foster CS, Taylor AW. MC5r and A2Ar Deficiencies During Experimental Autoimmune Uveitis Identifies Distinct T cell Polarization Programs and a Biphasic Regulatory Response. Sci Rep. 2016 11 25; 6:37790. PMID: 27886238; DOI: 10.1038/srep37790;.
  7. Taylor AW. Ocular Immune Privilege and Transplantation. Front Immunol. 2016; 7:37. PMID: 26904026; DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00037;.
  8. Clemson CM, Yost J, Taylor AW. The Role of Alpha-MSH as a Modulator of Ocular Immunobiology Exemplifies Mechanistic Differences between Melanocortins and Steroids. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2017 Apr; 25(2):179-189. PMID: 26807874; DOI: 10.3109/09273948.2015.1092560;.
  9. Lee DJ, Taylor AW. Recovery from experimental autoimmune uveitis promotes induction of antiuveitic inducible Tregs. J Leukoc Biol. 2015 Jun; 97(6):1101-9. PMID: 25877928; DOI: 10.1189/jlb.3A1014-466RR;.
  10. Taylor AW, Dixit S, Yu J. Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cell Line Suppression of Phagolysosome Activation. Int J Ophthalmol Eye Sci. 2015 Jan 29; Suppl 2(1):1-6. PMID: 25905107.
Showing 10 of 94 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 94 publications over 30 distinct years, with a maximum of 8 publications in 2000


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