Susan R. Schwab

Assistant Professor, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Molecular Pathogenesis. Department of Pathology

Ph.D., 2003 University of California, Berkeley

Keywords: Lymphocyte Trafficking, Inflammation, Sphingosine-1-phosphate



Contact Information: 

Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
540 First Avenue 2nf floor, Lab 13
New York, N.Y. 10016
Office Tel: (212) 263-0719
Lab Tel: (212) 263-3718
Fax: (212) 263-5711

Administrative Contact:

Rachel Frank
Tel: (212)263-6281

Lymphocyte Trafficking, Inflammation, Sphingosine-1-phosphate

An effective immune response requires recruitment of the right cells to the right place at the right time. Our lab studies how immune cell trafficking is regulated. Much of our recent work has focused on the signaling lipid sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). The concentration of S1P is high in blood and lymph compared to lymphoid tissues, and this gradient guides lymphocytes out of lymphoid organs, where they are initially activated, into circulation, where they can travel to the site of infection. Although S1P in lymphoid organs is low in homeostasis, S1P may increase upon inflammation, and increases in tissue S1P have been reported to enhance pro-inflammatory responses of innate and adaptive immune cells. Drugs targeting S1P signaling and S1P metabolism are in clinical trials as immune suppressants. By blocking exit from lymphoid organs, these drugs prevent activated T cells from reaching transplanted organs or organs that are subject to autoimmune attack. These drugs may also have direct anti-inflammatory effects. Despite S1P’s vital functions, little is understood about how its distribution is controlled. Our lab is developing tools to map S1P in homeostasis and disease, exploring what regulates S1P concentration in tissues, and testing how S1P shapes inflammation. Additional projects in the lab address the broader questions of how signaling molecule gradients are established and how the residence time of immune cells in tissues is regulated.

Selected Publications:

Mendoza, A., B. Breart, W.D. Ramos-Perez, L.A. Pitt, M. Gobert, M. Sunkara, J.J. Lafaille, A.J. Morris, and S.R. Schwab. The transporter Spns2 is required for secretion of lymph but not plasma sphingosine-1-phosphate. Cell Reports, In press, 2012.

Cyster, J.G. and S.R. Schwab. Sphingosine-1-phosphate and lymphocyte egress from lymphoid organs. Annual Review of Immunology, Vol. 30, 69-94, 2012. PMID: 22149932

Breart, B., W.D. Ramos-Perez, A. Mendoza, A.K. Salous, M. Gobert, Y. Huang, R.H. Adams, J.J. Lafaille, D. Escalante-Alcalde, A.J. Morris, S.R. Schwab. Lipid phosphate phosphatase 3 enables efficient thymic egress. Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol. 208, 1267-78, 2011. PMID: 21576386

Pappu, R.*, S.R. Schwab*, I. Cornelissen, J.P. Pereira, J.B. Regard, Y. Xu, E. Camerer, Y-W. Zheng, Y. Huang, J.G. Cyster, S.R. Coughlin. Promotion of lymphocyte egress into blood and lymph by distinct sources of sphingosine-1-phosphate. Science, Vol. 316, 295-8, 2007. *Equal contribution. PMID: 17363629

Schwab, S.R., J.P. Pereira, M. Matloubian, Y. Xu, Y. Huang, J.G. Cyster. Lymphocyte sequestration through S1P lyase inhibition and disruption of S1P gradients. Science, Vol. 309, 1735-39, 2005. PMID: 16151014

Click here to see all publications in PubMed