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Romagnani lab

Identifying innate signals initiating and perpetuating chronic inflammation

Introduction
Members
Cooperation partners
Selected Publications

Innate Immunity

Chronic inflammatory disorders, especially rheumatic diseases, are triggered and maintained by effector mediators produced by the adaptive immune system, such as T cells and B cells. The adaptive immune system employs three major effector modules, namely type 1 (IFN-γ and TNF), type 2 (IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13) and type 3 or type 17 (IL-17, IL-22), which give rise to distinct inflammatory tissue responses. In T cells, such inflammatory programs are induced by the T cell receptor (TCR) in conjunction with distinct cytokines and/or environmental signals and can be epigenetically imprinted and memorized. While the imprinting of inflammatory signatures enables a faster and stronger response during secondary infection, it facilitates on the other hand the induction and perpetuation of chronic inflammation, a hallmark of rheumatic diseases.

Recently, it appeared evident that emerging innate cell subsets lacking the TCR and collectively known as innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), exhibit a similar heterogeneity of effector modules, which can be activated in the course of inflammation. The ILC family includes three main groups of cells: group 1 ILCs, including cytotoxic Natural Killer (NK) cells and the IFN- γ producing ILC1; ILC2 producing IL-13/IL-5, and ILC3 secreting IL-22/IL-17. The signals and innate receptors instructing the different effector programs and their execution in ILCs remain largely unknown. Such innate sensors could also enhance effector functions in T cells, thus promoting inflammation in a TCR-independent fashion. Moreover, it is still unclear whether these inflammatory programs can be also memorized and imprinted in ILCs, thus possibly sustaining chronic inflammation.

Therefore, our main research focus is devoted to study the innate modules and triggers employed by ILCs and T cells to initiate and maintain inflammation in a TCR-independent fashion and to understand whether distinct inflammatory programs can be imprinted in ILCs to promote rheumatic diseases. The identification of alternative triggering and perpetuators of inflammation will provide us with new potential targets for the treatment of chronic rheumatic diseases.

Group Leader
    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (CBF)
Med. Klinik m.S. Gastroenterologie, Infektiologie und Rheumatologie

&

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
Innate Immunity
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Gemany

Phone +49 (0)30 28460-681
Fax +49 (0)30 28460-603
romagnani@drfz.de

Keywords
Chronic inflammation
Innate lymphoid cells
Innate receptors
Epigenetic imprinting

DFG: Heisenberg-Program
Continue to Members

Group leader
Prof. Chiara Romagnani, MD, Phd

Scientists
Kerstin Juelke, Marina Babic

Ph.D. students
Christina Stehle, Quirin Hammer
Timo Rückert, Daniela Hernandez

Bachelor/Diploma/Master
Assel Sarsenbayeva
Daniela Hernandez (bis 09/2017)

Technician
Ulrike Uhlig

MD Students
Andre Haubner

Group Leader
    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (CBF)
Med. Klinik m.S. Gastroenterologie, Infektiologie und Rheumatologie

&

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
Innate Immunity
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Gemany

Phone +49 (0)30 28460-681
Fax +49 (0)30 28460-603
romagnani@drfz.de

Keywords
Chronic inflammation
Innate lymphoid cells
Innate receptors
Epigenetic imprinting

DFG: Heisenberg-Program
Continue to Cooperation partners
  • Bluethgen N, Medical Systems Biology, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany
  • Cerwenka A, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Innate Immunity , Heidelberg, Germany
  • Geginat J, Istituto Nazionale di Genetica Molecolare, “Romeo ed Enrica Invernizzi”, Milan, Italy.
  • Malmberg KJ, Béziat V, Center for Infectious Medicine, Department of Medicine Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Moretta A and L, Pende D, Pietra G, University of Genova, Italy
  • Schüler T, Institute of Molecular and Clinical Immunology, Medical Faculty, Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany
  • Schwab JM, Department of Neurology and Experimental Neurology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • Seidl R, HNO-Klinik, Unfallkrankenhaus, Berlin, Germany
  • Vivier E, Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix Marseille Université, INSERM, CNRS, Marseille, France
  • Walter J, Genetics/Epigenetics, University of Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany
  • Sawitzki B, Charité Medical University, Berlin
Group Leader
    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (CBF)
Med. Klinik m.S. Gastroenterologie, Infektiologie und Rheumatologie

&

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
Innate Immunity
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Gemany

Phone +49 (0)30 28460-681
Fax +49 (0)30 28460-603
romagnani@drfz.de

Keywords
Chronic inflammation
Innate lymphoid cells
Innate receptors
Epigenetic imprinting

DFG: Heisenberg-Program
Continue to Selected Publications

Differentiation of human innate lymphoid cells (ILCs). Juelke K, Romagnani C. Curr Opin Immunol. 2016 Feb;38:75-85. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2015.11.005. Epub 2015 Dec 17. Review.

Putting the brakes on ILC2 cells. Stehle C, Saikali P, Romagnani C. Nat Immunol. 2016 Jan;17(1):43-4. doi: 10.1038/ni.3353. No abstract available.

The ILC World Revisited. Diefenbach A, Colonna M, Romagnani C. Immunity. 2017 Mar 21;46(3):327-332. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.03.008.

Hammer Q, Romagnani C. About Training and Memory: NK-Cell Adaptation to Viral Infections. Adv Immunol. 2017;133:171-207.

Group Leader
    Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Chiara Romagnani

Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (CBF)
Med. Klinik m.S. Gastroenterologie, Infektiologie und Rheumatologie

&

Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin
Innate Immunity
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin
Gemany

Phone +49 (0)30 28460-681
Fax +49 (0)30 28460-603
romagnani@drfz.de

Keywords
Chronic inflammation
Innate lymphoid cells
Innate receptors
Epigenetic imprinting

DFG: Heisenberg-Program
Continue to Introduction