We are interested in mechanisms of how immune system imbalance leads to human disease. Our group focuses on the role of specific immune cell subsets in this process, in particular on the interplay of anti-inflammatory CD4+ regulatory T cells and pro-inflammatory CD4+ effector T cells. Here, our major interest lies in the understanding of the processes that lead to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) or are related to metabolic- and cardiovascular diseases and cancer. To study these processes, we use a translational approach, combining the analysis of human samples and the use of experimental model systems by various immunological and molecular biology state-of-the-art techniques.
Currently we focus on the following topics:
- Environmental factors influencing the immune cell balance and disease (nutrition, microbiota) (for overview: Manzel et al., Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2014, Binger et al., Pflugers Arch. 2015, Jörg et al., Cell Mol Life Sci. 2016)
- Plasticity of T cell subsets in health and disease (for overview: Kleinewietfeld et al., Semin Immunol. 2013 Nov & Immunol Rev. 2014)
Area of expertise
- Mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis (EAE)
- T-cell differentiation
- Gut Microbiota
- Environmental risk factors for autoimmunity
- Müller DN, et al. Sodium in the microenvironment regulates immune responses and tissue homeostasis.
Nat Rev Immunol. 19(4):243-254. 2019.
- Wilck N et al. Salt-responsive gut commensal modulates TH17 axis and disease.
Nature. 551(7682):585-589. 2017.
- Farh K. et al. Genetic and epigenetic fine mapping of causal autoimmune disease variants
Nature, 518, 337-43, 2015.
- Kleinewietfeld M et al. Regulatory T cells in autoimmune neuroinflammation
Immunologocial Reviews, 259, 231-44, 2014.
- Kleinewietfeld M et al. Sodium chloride drives autoimmune disease by the induction of pathogenic TH17 cells
Nature, 496, 518-22, 2013.