A 28N - Molecular mechanisms of mast cell - endothelial cell communication in controlling the blood-brain barrier

Increasing evidence suggests a critical role of mast cells in neuroinflammatory disorders, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. A 28N aims to characterize cerebral mast cells in detail and to study their intercellular communication within the neurovascular unit by intravital 2-photon microscopy. Furthermore, the impact of mast cells on the blood-brain barrier integrity and vascular activation under acute and chronic inflammation will be studied in vivo using intravital imaging, mast cell-deficient mice and mast cell-specific TNF inactivation. In addition, specialized in vitro techniques will be applied for a detailed analysis of the molecular mechanisms of the blood-brain barrier regulation by mast cells.