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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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Dear Cluster members,
? Who takes care of the child while you have to take care of tasks at your office?
The Clusters Kid's Box in your office offers practical on-site support.
It quickly turns into a "parent-child room" and is equipped with toys for babies and children up to primary school age. Of course, please talk to your team leader before bringing your child to work.
If you have any questions concerning the kids box, just have a look or if you want to book it, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The preliminary results of the election for the DFG Review Board are online.
Three members of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation were voted into the DFG Review Board.
Here are the members of the DFG Review Board 2019 from ImmunoSensation:
Achim Hörauf (FK204-06 Parasitologie & Biologie der Erreger tropischer Infektionskrankheiten)
Irmgard Förster (FK 204-05 Immunologie)
Waldemar Kolanus (FK 201-03 Zellbiologie)
Here you can find the preliminary results online.
New Insights into Disease Mechanisms
Inflammatory Processes Drive Progression of Alzheimer's and Other Brain Diseases.
Report in "Nature" Inflammation drives the progression of neurodegenerative brain diseases and plays a major role in the accumulation of tau proteins within neurons. An international research team led by Prof. Michael Heneka (DZNE), member of cluster of excellence ImmunoSensation, and the University of Bonn comes to this conclusion in the journal "Nature". The findings are based on the analyses of human brain tissue and further lab studies. In the particular case of Alzheimer's the results reveal a hitherto unknown connection between Abeta and tau pathology. Furthermore, the results indicate that inflammatory processes represent a potential target for future therapies. ies. In the particular case of Alzheimer's the results reveal a hitherto unknown connection between Abeta and tau pathology. Furthermore, the results indicate that inflammatory processes represent a potential target for future therapies.
Find here the press release.
Thanks for all the participants who attended this years Cluster Science Days. More than 300 participants, 105 poster and lots of red wine during the scientific pub quiz made the Cluster Science Days 2019 memorable.
We hope you alle enjoyed the conference and discussed about the future of immunological research.
Here you can find more pictures.
Cluster Member Prof. Nickenig and an international team of physicians published a recent study about the minimal invasive treatment of tricuspid regurgitation in the Journal 'Lancet'.
Find more information about the press release in german here.
Publication Georg Nickenig, Marcel Weber, Philipp Lurz, Ralph Stephan von Bardeleben, Marta Sitges, Paul Sorajja, et al.: Transcatheter edge-to-edge repair for reduction of tricuspid regurgitation: 6-month outcomes of the TRILUMINATE single-arm study“, The Lancet, Internet: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32600-5
Aggressive forms of breast cancer often manipulate the immune response in their favor. This manipulation is revealed in humans by the same immunological "signature" as in mice. This is shown by a study carried out by scientists from the University of Bonn and memebers of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation together with Dutch colleagues. Their method makes it possible to obtain an indication of the prognosis of the disease using patients' tumor tissue. The results are published in the journal "Cell Reports".
Publication: Sander Tuit, Camilla Salvagno, Theodore S. Kapellos, Cheei-Sing Hau, Lea Seep, Marie Oestreich, Kathrin Klee, Karin E. de Visser, Thomas Ulas und Joachim L. Schultze: Transcriptional signature derived from murine tumor-associated macrophages correlates with poor outcome in breast cancer patients. Cell Reports; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.067
A high-profile delegation of the University of Melbourne visited the University of Bonn in order to discuss a closer cooperation in research and training of early-career researchers. The Australian university is one of three strategic partnerships the University of Bonn maintains. Close links already exist especially in the areas of Food and Nutrition Sciences and Agricultural Sciences.
The Australian delegation of five was led by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Duncan Maskell. The position of Vice-Chancellor is equivalent to the position of a Rector in the German higher education system. Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation, and Prof. Dr. Klaus Sandmann, Vice Rector for University Development and Equal Opportunity provided a warm welcome to the honorable guest. Rector Prof Dr Dr hc Michael Hoch met the Vice-Chancellor the following day at the reception of the University of Melbourne at the Australian Embassy in Berlin.
The Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation and the University of Melbourne have been working together closely since 2016: Under the name ”Bonn & Melbourne Research and Graduate School‟, the two partners launched an International Research Training Group with by now over 30 jointly mentored doctorates. The exchange of doctoral students, young academics and researchers is promoted by the ”Bonn & Melbourne Academy for Excellence in ImmunoSciences/Infection‟ (BM-AXIS).
Find the press release here.