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Project Area B07

Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are key players for the maintenance of tolerance against self and harmless exogenous antigens, such as the intestinal microbiota. Microbiota-specific Tregs therefore represent powerful targets for novel and specific therapies in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We have developed technologies to identify and characterize human microbiota-specific Tregs. We will screen for […]

Project Area B06

Impairment of the tight junction (TJ) is linked to enhanced luminal antigen uptake supporting inflammatory processes in IBD. We hypothesize that especially the tricellular tight junction (tTJ) is crucially involved in this and in immune cell activation. Thus, we will analyze effects and interactions between the (t)TJ and the immune cells beyond during development of […]

Project Area B05

Recent data suggests an emerging role for peptidergic neurons in the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation. Neuropeptide release is controlled by transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. Own data suggest a previously unknown role of extra-neuronal TRP channel expression in intestinal immune and epithelial cells as well, indicating a complex neuro-immune-epithelial signaling network in the gut. The […]

Project Area B04

Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) instigate plasmatic coagulation and form emergency barriers on mucosal wounds with antimicrobial, yet also strong cytotoxic properties. We now identified that NETs take part in guiding mucosal healing responses. Restituting epithelia protect themselves from NET-borne cytotoxic mediators. We will focus on these protective mechanisms used by specialized epithelial cells and envision […]

Project Area B03

The intestinal microbiota can determine functional differentiation of mucosal T helper (Th) cells, licensing them to promote or protect from intestinal inflammation. The central aim of this project is to determine the molecular crosstalk between distinct pro- and anti-inflammatory bacteria of the microbiota and the mucosal Th cells, and the role the intestinal epithelial cells […]

Project Area B02

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are major regulator of intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) homeostasis and play a dual role in intestinal inflammation. However the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain unclear. We postulate that distinct IEC signals can shape ILC effector functions, thereby differentially impacting on epithelium responses and intestinal inflammation. Central focus of this project will […]

Project Area B01

Creeping fat represents a disease characterizing finding in Crohn’s disease but its impact on intestinal inflammation and epithelial barrier function is unknown. The present project aims to define how intestinal barrier defects shape the homeostasis of mesenteric fat, how these alterations confer to an alternative intestinal barrier and how creeping fat modulates epithelial resistance as […]