Dendritische Zellen bei Infektionen und Krebs

PD Dr. Stella E. Autenrieth
Dendritisch Zellen bei Infektionen und Krebs (F171)
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg
Tel: +49 6221 42 1290
Contact: PD Dr. Stella Autenrieth


Fig. 1

Figure 1

Host defense against microbial pathogens and cancer relies on the concerted action of both innate and antigen-specific adaptive immunity. Key features of the innate immune system include the ability to rapidly recognize pathogens or malignant cells and to signal the presence of danger to cells of the adaptive immune system. Dendritic cells (DCs) are critical for defense against infection and cancer. They are unique antigen-presenting cells that are able to recognize and respond to pathogens and inflammation by, among others, contributing to the initiation and regulation of T-cell responses. DCs consist of different subpopulations whose specific immunological functions in infections and cancer are not yet completely understood. Our group is therefore interested in elucidating the role of different DC subpopulations, their development and basic function in immune activation by bacterial infections, inflammation, and cancer to improve the basic understanding of DC function in disease but also the potential of DCs as targets for therapeutic intervention.
DCs develop from hematopoietic stem cells via DC-specific progenitors in the bone marrow (BM). Their numbers in the periphery are tightly regulated to ensure the balance between tolerance and immunity. However, in infections, as well as in cancers such as multiple myeloma (MM), the number of DCs is severely reduced, leading to an impaired immune response (Figure 1). Our research group focuses on the questions which factors impair the development of DCs in bacterial infections or in patients with MM and what are the consequences for the immune response.

Figure 2

Another focus of our group is the phenotyping of immune cells by spectral flow cytometry (AURORA from Cytek). With this method, currently about 40 proteins expressed on or in cells can be determined simultaneously, which allows e.g. the detailed characterization of all immune cells in the blood of patients during the course of clinical studies (Figure 2).

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