Characterizing Innate Immune Dysregulation in Tonsils of Individuals with Down Syndrome

Verneris, Michael R


Children with Down Syndrome (DS) frequently undergo tonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnea. Tonsils are considered secondary lymphoid tissues (SLTs), similar to lymph nodes. Our laboratory has studied the development of natural killer (NK) cells and innate immune lymphoid cells (ILCs), which occurs in the tonsils and other SLTs, but, to date, no systematic study of NK cells or ILC development (and function in the SLTs) has been performed in DS. Based on our preliminary data, we observe significant higher bacterial load in tonsils, abnormalities in both the NK and ILC3 populations, and have identified a novel NKB cell population. Collectively, these studies have considerable implications for understanding the pathology associated with DS and for developing rational treatments to prevent some of the complications that occur in people with DS.