The major scientific goal of this project concerns the induction, maintenance and breakdown of immune tolerance which will be approached using transgenic technology and gene targeting. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanism which are involved in self tolerance may allow one to influence the process of auto immunity in human disease. Moreover, this knowledge will be invaluable in transplantation rejection, viral diseases and tumor immunology where it is suspected that tumors may induce tolerance in the periphery. All the laboratories involved in this network are already using transgenic technology. A more recently develop technique in this field is the introduction of specific mutations into the mouse germ line by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells (gene targeting). This approach will rely on the exchange and the interbreeding of the mouse mutants generated by gene targeting and the conventional transgenic technique.
Transgenic and knock out mice for the study of induction, maintenance and breakdown of immune tolerance have been generated. In the first year the various mouse models have been produced and in the second year the mice will be analysed and used as models for human disease. Interdependence between tasks consists in making available to all the network's participants the homologous recombination technology through education and mobility and in sharing transgenic and knock out animals for further development of mouse models for autoimmune diseases.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts