Tolerance for Translation of Regenerative Therapy

The goal of the Excellence Initiative REBIRTH (Regenerative Biology and Reconstructive Therapies) is to strengthen cutting-edge research in Germany and to improve its international competitiveness establishing an internationally visible scientific network for regenerative medicine relating to the heart, blood, lungs and liver. Within this cluster a research area is designed to identify new molecular targets for therapeutic interventions and proof-of-principle of new regenerative therapies in non-clinical models. In this context, researchers are also improving technologies required for the generation, delivery and biosafety monitoring of regenerative drugs and advanced therapeutic medicinal products (ATMPs; i.e. cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue engineering). The developed models cover lymphohaematopoietic, cardiac, pulmonary, he­patic and endocrine (diabetes mellitus) diseases. Furthermore, modes of inducing tolerance and regenerating immunity in conditions of undue tolerance (i.e. cancer) were also investigated. Therefore, one of our most important goals is the identification of compounds facilitating or inhibiting the de novo generation of Treg as well as acting on existing Treg. To this end, in vitro screenings will be performed based on DC, Tregs and effector CD4 and CD8 T cells derived from WT and transgenic animals. Immunomodulators will be exploited to address the specific needs of activities within the Tolerance Group, as well as in other external REBIRTH subprojects. Another important goal is the improvement of the humanized mouse model (HIS) in order to increase the predictive value of preclinical studies. The resulting enhanced models will be exploited in the context of other REBIRTH subprojects.