Publication in Science - Dr. Benjamin Steinberg

Feb 20, 2019

Science: Choline Acetyltransferase - expressng T cells are required to control chronic viral infection

Ben Steinberg

Dr. Steinberg's work was recently publised on Science and was highlighed in a broadcast in the Globe and Mail on February 12, 2019. 

Dr. Steinberg studies the physiology of perfusion, immune function and other factors that impact perioperative health. His studies have demonstrated that in chronic viral infection, certain T cells secrete acetylcholine (Ach), which dilate blood vessels within infected tissues. The local vasodilation produced by Ach enhances the migration of lymphocytes into the infected tissue and thereby facilitates clearance of the chronic viral infection. This work follows my earlier discovery that a population of circulating T cells secretes ACh to modulate systemic blood pressure. In the current study, my discovery was that interleukin-21 (IL-21), which is essential for effective anti-viral responses, stimulates the up-regulation of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the enzyme responsible for ACh production, in T cells.

This outstanding discovery was undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Tak W. Mak, who works at the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, and with Dr. Kevin J. Tracey who works at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Northwell Health. 

Read more about the publication here