B2 - Induction and breaking of immune tolerance in the liver

B2_April 2014

Principal Investigators:

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Johannes Herkel
I. Department of Internal Medicine
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Martinistr. 52
20246 Hamburg
Phone: +49-40-7410-59736
Fax: +49-40-7410-58014
E-Mail: jherkel@uke.de

Prof. Dr. med. Ansgar W. Lohse
I. Department of Internal Medicine
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
Martinistr. 52
20246 Hamburg
Phone: +49-40-7410-53910
Fax: +49-40-7410-58531
E-Mail: sekretariatlohse@uke.de

Project description

The liver is actively inducing immune tolerance; however, it is also permissive for controlled liver inflammatory reactions that facilitate depletion of damaged or infected cells. The mechanisms that regulate hepatic tolerance and controlled inflammation are not well characterized.

The proper regulation of hepatic tolerance and control of liver inflammation is essential for liver maintenance; deregulation can cause chronic liver inflammation or autoimmune disease.

B2 in 60 SecondsVideoarchiv

online seit 21.11.2012

Our previous findings indicate that the generation of regulatory T cells (Tregs) by liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) is a major mechanism of hepatic tolerance. We have developed a nanoparticle-based method for the selective delivery of autoantigen peptides to LSECs that enables antigen-specific Treg induction and effective treatment of autoimmune disease.

We currently investigate into the factors and mechanisms accounting for the extraordinary efficacy of our nanoparticle-based treatment technique. Moreover, we study immune decision making in the liver to identify the essential molecular switches that mediate the transition from hepatic tolerance to inflammation; such key molecules are potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of liver diseases.

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