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Clinical chemistry/Laboratory medicine

New tricks in innate immunity

The innate immune system monitors tissue integrity, reacts to tissue damage caused by infection or non-infectious injury and assists in wound healing and the reestablishment of tissue homeostasis. Furthermore, the innate immune system provides education to lymphoid cells that provide the specific immunological effector and memory functions of the adaptive immune system. Innate immune cells use pre-formed non-variable surface receptors to respond through three major biological effector functions, i.e. secreting signaling molecules, secreting proteases and performing phagocytosis.

The Institute for Clinical Chemistry (IKC) has identified subgroups of innate phagocytes expressing variable immunoreceptor molecules and aims at identifying their input trigger signals. Using bulk approaches and Single Cell Genomics, we characterize the structures, investigate the in-vitro specificities and explore the biological functions of these receptors in dedicated genetically modified experimental in-vitro and in-vivo systems. We expect that our studies will help us to better understand the mechanisms by which innate cells expressing variable immunoreceptors impact on the overall dynamics of the innate immune system for retaining/restoring tissue homeostasis in health and various disease conditions.

Darstellung der Expression variabler Immunrezeptoren in innaten Immunzellen: TCRaß-Expression in CD15-positiven Leukozyten; Demonstration in Granulozyten, dass die Expression auf kleine Subgruppen innater Zellen beschränkt ist; elektronenmikroskopische Darstellung der Expression in Granulozyten. 

Key publications

Puellmann K, Kaminski WE, Vogel M et al.. A variable immunoreceptor in a subpopulation of human neutrophils. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (2006); 103 (39): 14441-14446.

Beham AW, Puellmann K, Laird R et al.. A TNF-regulated recombinatorial macrophage immune receptor implicated in granuloma formation in tuberculosis. PLoS Pathog. (2011); 7 (11): e1002375.

Fuchs T, Puellmann K, Schneider S et al.. An autoimmune double attack. Lancet. (2012); 379 (9823): 1364.

Fuchs T, Puellmann K, Emmert A et al.. The macrophage-TCRαβ is a cholesterol-responsive combinatorial immune receptor and implicated in atherosclerosis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. (2015); 456(1): 59-65.

Fuchs T, Hahn M, Riabov V et al.. A combinatorial αβ T cell receptor expressed by macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. Immunobiology. (2017); 222(1): 39-44.

Fuchs T, Hahn M, Ries L et al.. Expression of combinatorial immunoglobulins in macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. PLoS One. (2018); 13(9): e0204108.


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