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Cross-talk between platelets and immunity - implications for host homeostasis and defense

Project description

Mechanistic insight into immunothrombosis

Pathogen recognition by specific cells of the immune system such as monocytes and neutrophils also activates the coagulation system. This cooperation – known as immunothrombosis – leads to pathogen entrapment, restricting their spread to the vascular compartment and preventing injury of other organs. The scope of the EU-funded IMMUNOTHROMBOSIS project is to dissect the mechanism underlying this phenomenon and understand how it may be implicated in cardiovascular diseases. Researchers will focus on platelets and unveil their role in the homeostatic and pathogenic synergy of thrombosis and inflammation. Results will pave the way towards novel interventions against the formation of thrombi and cardiovascular disease.  


The overall aim of the IMMUNOTHROMBOSIS project is to clarify the mechanisms underlying the recently identified synergism between thrombosis and inflammation. Thrombus formation and inflammation are vital host responses that ensure homeostasis, but can also drive cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction and stroke, the major causes of death in Europe. My group and others discovered, that thrombosis and inflammation are not to be considered separate processes. They are tightly interrelated and synergize in immune defence, but also in inflammatory and thrombotic diseases in a process we termed immunothrombosis. Targeting this synergism has great potential to identify innovative and unconventional strategies to more specifically prevent undesired activation of thrombotic and inflammatory pathways. However, this requires a deeper mechanistic understanding of immunothrombosis. I recently identified two ground-breaking novel immunothrombotic principles: I discovered that platelets have the ability to migrate autonomously, which assists immune cells in fighting pathogens. Further, I revealed that immune cells play a central role in controlling the production of platelets from their megakaryocyte precursors. The physiological and pathophysiological relevance of both processes is unclear. This is the starting point and focus of the IMMUNOTHROMBOSIS project. My aim is to define how platelets use their ability to migrate to support immune cells in protection of vascular integrity (objective 1) and to identify the contribution of platelet migration to different cardiovascular diseases involving immunothrombotic tissue damage (objective 2). Finally, I will clarify how inflammatory responses feedback to the production of thrombotic effectors and dissect inflammatory mechanisms that control platelet production (objective 3). IMMUNOTHROMBOSIS will identify new options for specific prevention or treatment of thrombotic and inflammatory cardiovascular diseases.



Net EU contribution
€ 2 321 416,00
Geschwister scholl platz 1
80539 Muenchen

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Bayern Oberbayern München, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)