Stephen Tilley

Steve Tilley


(1988) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

(1992) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

(1995) Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

(2000) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Academic Title:
Associate Professor of Medicine

Office Phone: (919) 843-9938
Lab Phone: (919) 843-2581
Fax: (919) 843-1116

Clinical Interests:

Pulmonary Diseases & Critical Care Medicine

Research Interests:

Our laboratory utilizes genetic and pharmacological approaches to identify mechanisms of disease pathogenesis in models of human lung disease.  The goal of our research program is to identify novel therapeutic targets so that more selective, less toxic therapies can be developed for patients afficted with  inflammatory and fibrotic diseases of the lung.  Adenosine biology has been a major area of investigation in our lab.  Adenosine is an inflammatory mediator capable of producing both pro- and anti-inflammatory effects which are relevant to the pathogenesis of several lung diseases including asthma, allergy, and acute lung injury.  Adenosine activates four distinct G-protein-coupled cell surface receptors, each with unique signal transduction pathways and differential expression on immune and parenchymal cells of the lung.  Identification of pro- vs anti-inflammatory adenosine receptors in disease models will aid in the exploitation of these pathways as pharmacological targets.     

Selected Publications:

  1. Hua X, Chason KD, Fredholm BB, Deshpande DA, Penn RB, Tilley SL. Adenosine Induces Airway Hyperresponsiveness through Activation of A3 Receptors on Mast Cells. J Allergy Clinical Immunol. 2008; 122:107-13.
  2. Hua X, Erikson CJ, Chason KD, Rosebrock CN, Deshpande DA, Penn RB, Tilley SL.
  3. Involvement of A1 adenosine receptors and neural pathways in adenosine induced
  4. bronchoconstriction in mice. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2007;293(1):L25-32.
  5. Hua, X, Kovarova M, Chason KD, Nguyen M, Koller BH,Tilley SL. Enhanced mast cell
  6. activation in mice deficient in the A2B adenosine receptor. J Exp Med. 2007;204:117-28.
  7. Tilley SL, Jaradat M, Stapleton C, Dixon D, Hua X, Erikson CJ, McCaskill JG, Chason, KD, Liao G, Jania L, Koller BH, Jetten AM. Retinoid-related orphan receptor gamma controls immunoglobulin production and Th1/Th2 cytokine balance in the adaptive immune response to allergen. J Immunol. 2007;178:3208-18.
  8. Lovgren AK, Jania LA, Hartney JM, Parsons KK, Audoly LP, Fitzgerald GA, Tilley SL, Koller BH. COX-2-derived prostacyclin protects against bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2006;347-56.
  9. Tilley SL, Wagoner VA, Salvatore CA, Jacobson MA, Koller BH. Adenosine and inosine
  10. increase cutaneous vasopermeability by activating A3 receptors on mast cells. J. Clin. Invest. 105:361-367. 2000.
  11. Salvatore CA, Tilley SL, Fletcher D, Latour AM, Fletcher DS, Koller BH, Jacobson MA.
  12. Disruption of the A3 adenosine receptor gene in mice and its effect on stimulated inflammatory cells. J. Biol. Chem. 275: 4429-4434. 2000.