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updated by
Christopher Spry
2 May 2014

University of London, St. George's Hospital Medical School

The Chair of Cardiovascular Immunology

Held by: Prof. Christopher J.F. Spry MA DPhil FRCP FRCPath FESC


Research Fellows:

Staff Started Ended Funds
Dr. Ming-Shi Li 28 January 1989 - BHF.
Dr. Li Sun 14 September 1989 - BHF.
Dr. Grant Robinson 1 April 1991 1 April 1993 MRC.
Dr. Takahiro Satoh 26 September 1991 17 December 1993 Sandoz
Dr. Alessandra Knowles 26 October 1992 30 October 1993 Erasmus

During 1993 we continued to work

(a) on the main eosinophil granule proteins that are involved in the cardiac and endothelial damage that causes endomyocardial fibrosis and

(b) on the cause(s) of the hypereosinophilia that is the principal cause of this restrictive cardiomyopathy in temperate climates. Most of these patients have the idiopathic hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES). At the end of last year we cloned, sequenced and expressed the principal eosinophil granules. This year we have defined two promoter regions that are involved in the expression of eosinophil major basic protein (MBP). One region is active throughout development and the other is largely active during the phase of eosinophil proliferation in the marrow. We have defined a subgroup of patients with HES who have a marked increase in the expression of interleukin-5 mRNA in their bone marrow and blood lymphocytes. Some of these patients also have chromosome abnormalities suggesting that they have a generalized defect in regulation of bone marrow cell proliferation. These patients have a more aggressive form of the disease and some have developed a leukaemia. We hope to define the alterations that occur during this process as this is likely to provide the best way to prevent both the progression of their blood disease and the heart damage that is present in many of these patients. We have completed our project with colleagues in Trieste and in London to define the regulation of eosinophil secretion and to assess the role of eosinophils in patients with HIV infections in the UK and Uganda. We have continued our collaborative project with colleagues in Glaxo Group Research, Greenford using cDNA library libraries that were prepared from one of our patient’s normal and light density eosinophils. These will be used to study receptor-signalling events involved in eosinophil secretion. We have begun a project with Pfizer Ltd. to study the properties of eosinophils in patients with marked eosinophilia. We continue to work to improve and develop software to store and access clinical and laboratory data. This year we set up networking facilities in the Medical School and linked our network to the Internet directly and through the Academic Network JANET. This now provides international access to our computing resources and databases and direct access to computing resources here and abroad. Our clinical work is based on studies on patients with hypereosinophilia and heart disease who are referred in view of our unique experience and research facilities.

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