About CRC 854

Inter- and intracellular communication is necessary for the proper functioning of the immune system. During the defence against pathogens, cells of the innate and adaptive immune system (granulocytes, macrophages, mesangial cells, dendritic cells, T cells, B cells and epithelial cells) communicate with each other to prevent the expansion and spreading of microbes such as bacteria, viruses or fungi. Alterations of cellular communication can cause immunological disorders, such as immunodeficiencies, autoimmune diseases or allergies. Furthermore, alterations of immune cell functions also impair the ability of the immune system to detect and to eliminate malignant transformed cells.

Schwerpunkt 1         Schwerpunkt

Hence, assessing the question, how inter- and intracellular communication processes between immune cells are regulated on the molecular level is of central importance to understanding both physiological and pathophysiological immune reactions. In addition, these investigations will provide opportunities to develop new substances that can then be used to manipulate the immune system.

The central nervous system (CNS) is a non-lymphoid tissue, which is of special interest to the CRC 854. Recent findings demonstrate, that the brain and the immune system interact and influence each other's function constantly. However, the molecular and cellular communication processes mediating this exchange of information are largely unclear. The long-standing expertise of Magdeburg scientists in neuroscience and immunology offers the unique opportunity to approach this very important question in a joint effort. Several TWIN-projects, jointly headed by at least one immunologist and one neurobiologist, are an integral part of the research program of the CRC 854.

The Collaborative Research Center 854 aims to elucidate the molecular processes that regulate inter- and intracellular communication within the immune system by applying state of the art biochemical, cell and molecular biological techniques. In addition, we develop and apply new techniques for molecular and intravital microscopy to facilitate the analysis of cellular communication processes during physiologic and pathophysiologic immune reactions.