Project 04

Disregulation of the hepatic immune balance caused by operative intestinal trauma

Study group Limmer
Department of Surgery
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25  l  53105 Bonn

Our lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms, which regulate the balance between immunity and tolerance in the liver.

The liver and therein especially the immune cells of the liver sinus, are capable of mounting immune responses, as well as inducing antigen-specific tolerance. Enteric bacteria and bacterial products reaching the liver via the portal-venous blood, are a permanent source of immunologically-active products the liver has to cope with.

In particular, here we want to investigate the influence on the liver equilibrium of inflammatory changes in the gut, as caused by surgical manipulations. Especially, we want to find out whether whole enteric bacteria, bacterial products or cytokines produced by macrophages in the gut reach the liver. In addition we would like to know which cells of the liver sinus respond to these gut-derived signals and how the overall immune response is influenced. With transgenic and knock-out mice we want to study the effect of gut manipulations on the induction of tolerance and the development of autoimmunity as two extremes of the possible facets of immune responses.

Our fields of activity