Scientists from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and the Institute of Science and Technology Australia published their recent findings about microtubules controling migrating cells in the Journal of Cell Biology. Cells need to navigate throughout the body. How they find their right way and how they adapt their body size to moving into the right direction is poorly understood. Here, scientists demonstrate that spatially distinct microtubule dynamics regulate amoeboid cell migration by locally promoting the retraction of protrusions. Prof. Eva Kiermaier is member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
You can find the publication here.
Platelets exacerbate immune response
Clotting cells are also an important regulator of inflammation, reveals study by the University of Bonn
Platelets not only play a key role in blood clotting, but can also significantly intensify inflammatory processes. This is shown by a new study carried out by scientists from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation together with colleagues from Sao Paulo (Brazil). In the medium term, the results could open up new ways to treat autoimmune diseases. They have now been published in the renowned journal Cell Reports. For a long time, the role of platelets appeared to be clear: in the event of an injury, they adhere to the wound and stick to each other to rapidly stop the bleeding. This wound closure mechanism works quickly and efficiently, but its protagonists were not considered to have any other functions. For some years now, this picture has begun to change significantly: these tiny cells, each of which is about the size of an intestinal bacterium, are also believed to perform important functions in the immune system. The current study by the universities of Bonn and Sao Paulo supports this thesis: it shows that platelets ensure that the white blood cells (the leukocytes) secrete significantly more inflammatory messengers. "It is possible that this effect contributes to the often severe course of autoimmune diseases," explains Prof. Dr. Bernardo Franklin from the Institute of Innate Immunity at the University Hospital Bonn. "These are diseases in which the immune system attacks and destroys the body's own tissue."
Publication: Verena Rolfes, Lucas Secchim Ribeiro, Ibrahim Hawwari, Lisa Böttcher, Nathalia Rosero, Salie Maasewerd, Marina Lima Silva Santos, Tomasz Próchnicki, Camila Meirelles de Souza Silva, Carlos Wagner de Souza Wanderley, Maximilian Rothe, Susanne V. Schmidt, H. James Stunden, Damien Bertheloot, Magali Noval Rivas, Cor Jesus Fontes, Luzia Helena Carvalho, Fernando de Queiroz Cunha, Eicke Latz, Moshe Arditi and Bernardo Simoes Franklin: Platelets fuel the inflammasome activation of innate immune cells; Cell Reports, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107615
Find here the english press release.
Prof. Joachim L. Schultze from the LIMES Institute Bonn resigned in his position as speaker and member of the executive board of the Cluster of Excellence.
We wish him all the best for his future tasks in the field of immunology and we are more then happy that he supports the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation as a member of the steering committe and valuable group leader.
As a succesor for the speaker position Prof. Waldemar Kolanus and as succesor for the executive board member position Prof. Elvira Mass, both from the LIMES Institute in Bonn, will replace Prof. Joachim L. Schultze.
Welcome Prof. Kolanus and Prof. Mass in your new roles in the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
Heinsberg Study results published
Bonn-based research team determine COVID-19 infection fatality rate
The district of Heinsberg in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is considered a hot spot for the novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Following a carnival celebration, the district became one of the first areas in Germany where the pathogen spread and infected large quantities of people. As part of the study, a research team led by Prof. Dr. Hendrik Streeck and Prof. Dr. Gunther Hartmann from the University of Bonn and members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation carried out a large study to precisely determine the infection fatality rate for the first time among other findings. The results of the study have been pre-published and are now presented to scientists and the public. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is to follow.
"The results can be used to further improve models on the transmission behavior of the virus. Until now, basis for such data has been relatively uncertain," says co-author Prof. Dr. Gunther Hartmann, Director of the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn and speaker of the Cluster of Excellence, ImmunoSensation. The study also provides important indicators for further research on SARS-CoV-2 such as: the infection risk dependent on age, gender and pre-existing conditions; the increased severity of illness amidst special circumstances of a massive infection incident such as in Gangelt, or on the risk of infection within families.
Publication: Infection fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a German community with a super-spreading event Hendrik Streeck, Bianca Schulte, Beate M. Ku¨mmerer, Enrico Richter, Tobias Höller, Christine Fuhrmann, Eva Bartok, Ramona Dolscheid, Moritz Berger, Lukas Wessendorf, Monika Eschbach-Bludau, Angelika Kellings, Astrid Schwaiger, Martin Coenen, Per Hoffmann, Birgit Stoffel-Wagner, Markus M. Nöthen, Anna-Maria Eis-Hu¨binger, MartinExner, Ricarda Maria Schmithausen, Matthias Schmid and Gunther Hartmann
Contact for the media:Dr. Andreas Archut University Communications University of Bonn Phone: +49 (0)228 73-7647 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until now, the immune sensor TLR8 has remained in the shadows of science. A research team led by members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation from the University of Bonn - Eva Bartok and Gunther Hartmann - has now discovered how this sensor plays an important role in defending human cells against intruders. The enzymes RNaseT2 and RNase2 cut ribonucleic acids (RNAs) of bacteria into small fragments that are as characteristic as a thumbprint. Only then can TLR8 recognize the dangerous pathogens and initiate countermeasures. The results have now been published in the renowned journal "Immunity".
Publication: Thomas Ostendorf, Thomas Zillinger, Katarzyna Andryka, Thais Marina Schlee-Guimaraes, Saskia Schmitz, Samira Marx, Kübra Bayrak, Rebecca Linke, Sarah Salgert, Julia Wegner, Tatjana Grasser, Sonja Baersachs, Leon Soltesz, Marc Hübner, Maximilian Nastaly, Christoph Coch, Matthias Kettwig, Ingo Roehl, Marco Henneke, Achim Hörauf, Winfried Barchet, Jutta Gärtner, Martin Schlee, Gunther Hartmann, Eva Bartok: Immune sensing of synthetic, bacterial and protozoan RNA by Toll-like receptor 8 requires coordinated processing by RNase T2 and RNase 2, Immunity, DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2020.03.009
Find the german press release here and the english press release here.
The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation conducts research in the current Corona virus pandemic and is in contact with the public to provide expertise.
Find here recent links to newspaper and press conferences.
Prof. Gunther Hartmann and Prof. Hendrik Streeck in a press briefing with minister Armin Laschet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnrHamW8OXQ
Article April 8th Generalanzeiger https://www.general-anzeiger-bonn.de/bonn/stadt-bonn/bonner-virologe-hendrik-streeck-zu-frueh-fuer-klare-ergebnisse_aid-49970225
Podcast with Prof. Hendrik Streeck (BR) https://www.br.de/mediathek/podcast/wissenschaft-und-technik/aktuelles-zu-corona-der-virologe-prof-hendrik-streeck-im-gespraech/1794617
Article April 9th FAZ https://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/gesundheit/coronavirus/corona-in-heinsberg-virologe-streeck-sieht-moegliche-lockerung-16718884.html
Article April 6th ZEIT Online https://www.zeit.de/wissen/gesundheit/2020-04/hendrik-streeck-covid-19-heinsberg-symptome-infektionsschutz-massnahmen-studie
Can a special diet help in certain cases of asthma? A new study at the University of Bonn at least points to this conclusion. According to the study, mice that were switched to a so-called ketogenic diet showed significantly reduced inflammation of the respiratory tract. The results are now published in the renowned journal "Immunity".
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Study by the University Hospital of Bonn shows: A diet rich in salt weakens the antibacterial immune defense
A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system. This is the conclusion of a current study under the leadership of the University Hospital Bonn conducted by the Cluster member Prof. Christian Kurts.
Mice fed a high-salt diet were found to suffer from much more severe bacterial infections. Human volunteers who consumed an additional six grams of salt per day also showed pronounced immune deficiencies. This amount corresponds to the salt content of two fast food meals. The results are published in the journal "Science Translational Medicine". Five grams a day, no more: This is the maximum amount of salt that adults should consume according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). It corresponds approximately to one level teaspoon. In reality, however, many Germans exceed this limit considerably: Figures from the Robert Koch Institute suggest that on average men consume ten, women more than eight grams a day.
Find more information here.
Publication: Katarzyna Jobin, Natascha E. Stumpf, Sebastian Schwab, Melanie Eichler, Patrick Neubert, Manfred Rauh, Marek Adamowski, Olena Babyak, Daniel Hinze, Sugirthan Sivalingam, Christina K. Weisheit, Katharina Hochheiser, Susanne Schmidt, Mirjam Meissner, Natalio Garbi, Zeinab Abdullah, Ulrich Wenzel, Michael Hölzel, Jonathan Jantsch and Christian Kurts: A high-salt diet compromises antibacterial neutrophil responses through hormonal perturbation; Science Translational Medicine; DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aay3850
Alzheimer's disease: Inflammation triggers fatal cycle
University of Bonn study proves disastrous contribution of an ancient immune mechanism
An immune reaction in the brain seems to play a major role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. In a way, it "adds fuel to the fire" and apparently causes an inflammation that, in a sense, keeps kindling itself. The study has now been published in the journal Cell Reports. Alzheimer's disease is characterized by clumps of the protein Aß (amyloid beta), which form large plaques in the brain. Aß resembles molecules on the surface of some bacteria. Over many millions of years, organisms have therefore developed defense mechanisms against such structures. These mechanisms are genetically determined and therefore belong to the so-called innate immune system. They usually result in certain scavenger cells absorbing and digesting the molecule.
In the brain, the microglia cells take over this role. In doing so, however, they trigger a devastating process that appears to be largely responsible for the development of dementia. On contact with Aß, certain molecule complexes, the inflammasomes, become active in the microglia cells. They then resemble a wheel with enzymes on the outside. These can activate immune messengers and thereby trigger an inflammation by directing additional immune cells to the site of action.
"Sometimes the microglia cells perish during this process," explains Prof. Dr. Michael Heneka, head of a research group at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and director of the Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Gerontopsychiatry at the University Hospital Bonn. "Then they release activated inflammasomes into their environment, the ASC specks." Prof. Michael Heneka is a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
Find the english press release here.
Publication: Lea L. Friker, Hannah Scheiblich, Inga V. Hochheiser, Rebecca Brinkschulte, Dietmar Riedel, Eicke Latz, Matthias Geyer and Michael T. Heneka: Amyloid Clustering around ASC Fibrils Boosts Its Toxicity in Microglia; Cell Reports; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.02.025
Prof. Dr. Michael Heneka Director of the Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Gerontopsychiatry at the University Hospital BonnGerman Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)Tel. +49-(0)228-28713091E-mail: email@example.com
DFG and BMBF award Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes 2020
This year, four scientists will receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most important award for young scientists in Germany. This was decided by a selection committee in Bonn set up by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The award ceremony, each endowed with 20,000 euros, will take place on May 5 in Berlin.
Congratulations to our cluster member Prof. Elvira Mass from the LIMES Institute for receiving this prestigious award.
Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass (33), Immunology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Elvira Mass examines the development and function of macrophages, i.e. cells of the innate immune system. With her work, she has contributed groundbreaking insights into the molecular basis of the role of tissue macrophages in organogenesis - the formation of the organs during embryonic development - which she was able to publish in a high-ranking publication. The knowledge they have gained contributes to a better understanding of certain diseases, such as osteopetrosis, which leads to an accumulation of bone substance, or neurodegenerative diseases, which are caused by mutation-bearing microglial cells. Elvira Mass received her doctorate in Bonn, then did research in London and New York, until she returned to the LIMES Institute at the University of Bonn as a junior research group leader, where she was recently appointed W2 professor.
Find the german press release here.
Christian Kurts has been elected deputy senator of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, section microbiology and immunology.
Congratulation to this success.
Our PhD Students representative Amir Hossein Kayvanjoo organized a visit to the UN on February 14th.
The visit was focused on the career and internship opportunities in the UN organization! It was great to see many PhD students were interested and more than 20 participants took part.
During the tour we were presented with the career options that one can have and also different tracks to enter into the UN. In addition we were also given a brief introduction into the structure of the UN. The visit ended with a walk in the last floor of the UN Campus tower. This was the highlight of our tour as everyone enjoyed not only the view of Bonn from the second tallest building in the city but also the participants were able to see through Cologne and the Cologne cathedral!
Hopefully more events organized by the great PhD representatives are to come.
Stroke: Macrophages migrate from the blood
Molecular switch in bone marrow stem cells helps research into inflammatory processes in the brain.
Macrophages are part of the innate immune system and essential for brain development and function. Using a novel method, scientists from Jena University Hospital, the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York (USA) succeeded in visualizing macrophages that were formed in the bone marrow. In studies on mice, this technology enabled the researchers to observe that shortly after a stroke, numerous macrophages that had migrated from the blood begin to attack dead and adjacent healthy brain tissue. The results have now been published in the journal "Nature Neuroscience". Prof. Elvira Mass - leading author of this publication - is a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
Find the press release here.
Publication: Yves Werner, Elvira Mass, Praveen Ashok Kumar, Thomas Ulas, Kristian Händler, Arik Horne, Kathrin Klee, Amelie Lupp, Dagmar Schütz, Friederike Saaber, Christoph Redecker, Joachim L. Schultze, Frederic Geissmann & Ralf Stumm: Cxcr4 distinguishes HSC-derived monocytes from microglia and reveals monocyte immune responses to experimental stroke, Nature Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1038/s41593-020-0585-y
Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass
Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)
The EU-Research Projekt ImmunoSep starts and members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation Mihai Netea and Joachim L. Schultze are part of the research consortium led by the Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Within the next 4 years more then 10 Million Euro are provided by the EU-wide Horizon2020 program and the University of Bonn will receive around 750.000 Euro.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to a bacterial, fungal or viral infection. Most frequently it affects adults over the age of 65, children younger than one year of age, people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and kidney disease as well as those with a weakened immune system. Unfortunately, sepsis is still a common occurrence with an estimated 50 million cases occurring worldwide each year. It is one of the most common causes of death for hospitalised patients in European countries with a high mortality rate of 30-40%. Even though the prescription of antibiotics and the establishment of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) have already greatly reduced the number of sepsis-related deaths, the introduction of an immunotherapy approach is intended to greatly improve the outcome of the disease for those affected.
This is where ImmunoSep comes into play. While past studies have promoted a ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment approach, this multinational project focuses on the exploration of personalised immunotherapy. This takes into account that although overinflammation and immunoparalysis play a critical role in the physiological processes of sepsis, they manifest differently in individual patients. Therefore only a precision medicine-based approach for immunotherapy will be able to significantly improve the outcome of this severe clinical condition.
Find here the german press release.
Prof. Dr. Christian Kurts, Professor of Experimental Immunology at the University of Bonn, has been appointed honorary professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. With this appointment, Australia's leading university acknowledges the achievements in establishing a scientific network between Melbourne and Bonn. Prof. Kurts is a recipient of the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Prize, director of the Institute of Experimental Immunology at the University Hospital Bonn and member of the cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
"The appointment as honorary professor is a great honor for me," says Prof. Kurts. "I hope that the commitment between Bonn and Melbourne will lead to a sustainable, bilateral relationship in teaching and research beyond the already established programs". Further bilateral projects are already in preparation.
Find here the press release.
The Henry Kunkel Society (HKS) is a prestigious organization dedicated to fostering patient-based and patient-oriented scientific research, particularly in the field of immunology, as exemplified by the scientific life of Dr. Henry Kunkel at the Rockefeller University. Originally founded in 1990 and comprising of only 50 members at that time, most of whom were former trainees of Henry Kunkel, the Society has grown to include over 400 elected members, all dedicated to experimental medicine in the field of human immunology.
Cluster Spokesperson Prof. Gunther Hartmann is now an appointed member of the Henry Kunkel Society.
Artificial intelligence can detect one of the most common forms of blood cancer - acute myeloid leukemia (AML) - with high reliability. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn have now shown this in a proof-of-concept study. Their approach is based on the analysis of the gene activity of cells found in the blood. Used in practice, this approach could support conventional diagnostics and possibly accelerate the beginning of therapy. The research results have been published in the journal “iScience”.
Cluster member and speaker of the Cluster of Excellence Prof. Joachim Schultze led the study in Bonn.
Find here the press release.
Publication: Scalable prediction of acute myeloid leukemia using high-dimensional machine learning and blood transcriptomics
Stefanie Warnat-Herresthal, Konstantinos Perrakis et al., iScience (2019),
Macrophages have two faces: In healthy tissue, they perform important tasks and support their environment. However during an infection, they stop this work and hunt down the pathogens instead. Upon coming into contact with bacteria they change their metabolism drastically within minutes. This is shown by a new study under the leadership of the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal "Immunity". In the medium term, the results may lead to new vaccination strategies, but also to new approaches for combating autoimmune diseases.
The Study was lead by Cluster Member and Speaker Prof. Eicke Latz.
Find here the press release.
Publication: Mario A. Lauterbach, Jasmin E. Hanke, Magdalini Serefidou, Matthew S. J. Mangan, Carl-Christian Kolbe, Timo Hess, Maximilian Rothe, Romina Kaiser, Florian Hoss, Jan Gehlen, Gudrun Engels, Maike Kreutzenbeck, Susanne V. Schmidt, Anette Christ, Axel Imhof, Karsten Hiller & Eicke Latz: Toll-like receptor signaling rewires macrophage metabolism and promotes histone acetylation via ATP-citrate lyase; Immunity; DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.11.009
Annually the 'Highly Cited Researchers' are being announced by the 'Web of Science Group'.
At the University of Bonn 12 highly cited researcher are namend, among them are 6 members of the cluster of excellence ImmunoSensation.
According to the makers of the ranking, the people on this list of "Highly Cited Researchers" are among the most influential one percent of their subject. The measurement here is the frequency with which their scientific publications have been cited by other researchers in the past decade (period from 2008 to 2018). The ranking is published annually by the "Web of Science Group" and contains around 6,200 scientists in 21 subject categories.
Following members of ImmunoSensation are named 'Highly Cited Researcher':
Monique M. B. Breteler
Michael T. Heneka
Mihai G. Netea
Joachim L. Schultze
Find the german press release here.