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Inter- and intracellular communication is necessary for the appropriate function 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 also lead to immunological disorders, for example immunodeficiency, autoimmune disease or allergy. Further, alterations of immune function also affect the ability of the immune system to detect and to eliminate malignant transformed cells.
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 physiologic and pathophysiologic immune reactions. Further, these investigations will also provide opportunities to develop new substances that can then be used to manipulate the immune system.
The Collaborative Research Center 854 (CRC 854) aims at elucidating 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 will develop and apply new techniques for molecular and intravital microscopy to facilitate the analysis of cellular communication processes during physiologic and pathophysiologic immune reactions.