Ph.D., University of Southern California
The nervous and immune systems consist of complex networks of cells that monitor signals and respond in a specific manner. It has become apparent that these systems are intimately connected and more importantly that functional bidirectional communication exists between them. This concept implies that signals are involved in this process.
Cytokines are a group of polypeptides that mediate information between cells of the peripheral immune system and the CNS. This occurs in part, because they are actively transported through the blood-brain barrier, but they are also released from many cell types within the CNS. The main question I am interested in is how do cytokines coordinate interactions between the nervous system and the immune system. One approach to address this question of coordination is to analyze the regulation of cytokines when the system is perturbed, for example, in response to stress. Stress can be achieved in a variety of ways. For my studies, adult mice are placed in a novel environment; this is a well-known model for psychological stress. Subsequently, the mice are analyzed for changes in cytokine levels. Additional lines of research include examining the pathways that link stress to the onset of pathogenesis, the roles other factors play in stimulating cytokine release in both the nervous and immune systems and the regulation of cytokines and their receptors throughout development and after injury.
Recent and Seminal Publications
Petrossian, Karineh, Lisa R. Banner, and Steven B. Oppenheimer. 2007. "Lectin Binding and Effects in Culture on Human Cancer and Non-Cancer Cell Lines: Examination of Issues of Interest in Drug Design Strategies." Acta Histochemica 109: 491-500.
Banner, L.R., Patterson, P.H., Allchorne, A., Poole, S. and Woolf, C.J. (1998). Leukemia inhibitory factor is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic cytokine. Journal of Neuroscience18: 5456-5462.
Banner, L.R., Moayeri, N.N., and Patterson, P.H. 1997. Leukemia inhibitory factor is expressed in astrocytes following cortical injury. Experimental Neurology 147: 1-9.
Banner, L.R. and Patterson, P.H. 1994. Major changes in the expression of the mRNAs for CDF/LIF and its receptor following injury to adult peripheral nerves and ganglia. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91:7109-7113.
Yokomori, K., Banner, L.R., and Lai, M.M.C 1992. Coronavirus mRNA Transcription: UV light transcriptional mapping studies suggest an early requirement for a genomic-length template. J. of Virology 66: 4671-4678.
Banner, L.R. and Lai, M.M.C. 1991 Random nature of coronavirus RNA recombination in the absence of selection pressure. Virology185: 441-445.
Yokomori, K., Banner, L.R., and Lai, M.M.C. 1991. Heterogeneity of gene expression of the hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) protein of murine coronavirus. Virology 183: 647-657.
LaMonica, N., Banner, L.R., Morris, V., and Lai, M.M.C. 1991. Localization of extensive deletions in the structural genes of two neurotropic vairants of murine coronavirus JHM.Virology 182: 883-888.
Herrera, A.A., Banner, L.R., Werle, M.J. Regnier, M, Nagaya-Stevens, N. 1991 Postmetamorphic development of neuromuscular junctions and muscle fibers in the frog cutaneous pectoris. J. of Neurobiology 22: 15-28.
Banner, L.R., Keck, J.G., and Lai, M.M.C. 1990. A clustering of RNA recombination sites adjacent to a hypervariable region of the peplomer gene of murine coronavirus. Virology175: 548-555.