Our preprint with the Alvira and Cornfield labs is out! What happens to our lung immune cells when we inhale our first breath of air? Oxygen and pathogens!
We discovered that right before birth the lung immune landscape in mice is dominated by a highly specific type of macrophage (Mac I) that is proliferative and expresses tissue remodeling genes over pathogen defense genes. These cells beautifully encircle small blood vessels.
Fast forward to one day after birth, and a Pandora box has been opened! Four different kinds of macrophages with multiple subtypes within; three kinds of dendritic cells; B, T, NK, and innate lymphoid cells; basophils and mast cells, and a diverse set of neutrophils.
Three weeks into air-breathing life and lung immunity starts looking like an adult tissue, with lots of lymphocytes and a gene expression that relates to pathogen protection.
Thank you to all authors for their amazing work, and special thanks to Racquel Domingo-Gonzales (my co-first author), Xibing Che (soo many experiments!), and Michael Swift (the lymphocyte expert).