Mast-cells - promoters of health and modulators of disease
Mast cells (MCs) have long been thought to be a dispensable cell type, which seemed only responsible for the annoying and sometimes even life threatening symptoms of allergic reactions. Over the last years it became evident, however, that MCs are also crucially important in optimal host defense against microbes, where they act as sentinels and effector cells of the innate immune responses. We and others have characterised the mechanisms by which MCs are activated, and identified how MC mediators contribute to the improved morbidity and mortality in bacterial infections.
Here, the Priority Programme investigates potential signals leading to an optimisation of MC numbers and/or function in murine skin. To this end, we will employ extensive in vitro and in vivo analyses to identify and characterise signals, which may ultimately lead to an improved host response against bacterial skin infections. Furthermore, we will assess the efficacy and safety of such treatment in in vivo models of bacterial skin infections as well as models of allergic and autoimmune diseases and hypothesise that the selective and local enhancement of MC function will provide a prophylactic approach to reduce the risk of bacterial infections in individuals with high risks of infections.
Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin