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Triantafyllopoulou lab

Macrophage biology and innate networks in chronic inflammatory diseases

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Selected Publication

Innate Immunity in Rheumatic Diseases

Our group aims to understand innate immune biology in chronic diseases with the ultimate goal to unravel the spectrum of mechanisms leading to organ damage, and thus lay the ground for personalised medicine. Our work is driven by the concept that innate immune cells, such as macrophages, are programmed by their microenvironment. The latter is specific for each tissue, each disease and each patient. In the last years, we have focused on the mechanisms of macrophage differentiation and function in chronic granulomatous and autoimmune pathologies.

Prominent examples of granulomatous diseases are infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, but also several inflammatory diseases, with unknown infectious triggers, including sarcoidosis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and giant cell arteritis. The common hallmark of granulomatous diseases is the presence of granulomas, structures of organised inflammation that form in response to a persistent stimulus and replace healthy tissue. In granulomas, macrophage precursors acquire epithelial and polyploid programmes. We showed that the DNA Damage Response, a fundamental cellular process activated in response to genotoxic stress, is not only significant for cancer development, but also instructs macrophage programmes in chronic granulomatous diseases (Herrtwich et al. Cell 2016; reviewed in Horn et al, Curr Opin Immunol 2018). Current work aims to dissect the mechanisms of granuloma macrophage programming and the role of granulomas in disease progression. This project area is supported by an ERC Starting Grant (DDRMac, see p. XXX), as well as by the German Research Council (DFG) (CRC TRR241 A01, see page XX)).

A large number of autoimmune pathologies arise in the context of loss of tolerance against self-nucleic acids. This induces a chronic type I interferon response. We have shown that macrophages activated by type I interferons are programmed to promote epithelial cell proliferation and glomerulonephritis (Triantafyllopoulou et al. PNAS 2010). Current work, supported by the DFG Programmes CRC 1160, CRC TTR84 and SPP1937 (see page XX), aims to dissect the innate immune cell network that determines target organ susceptibility to autoimmune organ damage.

Innate immunity
Chronic inflammation
Granulomatous diseases
Autoimmune organ damage
Rheumatic diseases
Lupus nephritis

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Group leader
Dr. med. Antigoni Triantafyllopoulou

Stylianos-Iasonas Biniaris-Georgallis
Dr. med. Tom Aschman

MD students
Zhen Zeng
Manuel Knoll

Frauke Schreiber

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Prof. Vassilis Gorgoulis (Athens)

Prof. Andreas Diefenbach (Berlin)

PD Dr. Anja Kühl (Berlin)

Prof. Anja Hauser (Berlin)

Prof. Andres Lopez-Contreras (Danemark)

Dr. Mario Zaiss (Erlangen)

Prof. Reinhard Voll (Freiburg)

Prof. Wolfgang Kühn (Freiburg)

Prof. Peter Staeheli (Freiburg)

Prof. Susanne Herold (Gießen)

Prof. Tobias Huber, PD Dr. Oliver Kretz (Hamburg)

Dr. Indrajit Nanda (Würzburg)

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1: Horn V, Triantafyllopoulou A. DNA damage signaling and polyploid macrophages in chronic inflammation. Curr Opin Immunol. 2017 Dec 1;50:55-63. doi:10.1016/j.coi.2017.11.002. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 29202328.

2: Herrtwich L, Nanda I, Evangelou K, Nikolova T, Horn V, Sagar, Erny D, Stefanowski J, Rogell L, Klein C, Gharun K, Follo M, Seidl M, Kremer B, Münke N, Senges J, Fliegauf M, Aschman T, Pfeifer D, Sarrazin S, Sieweke MH, Wagner D,Dierks C, Haaf T, Ness T, Zaiss MM, Voll RE, Deshmukh SD, Prinz M, Goldmann T,Hölscher C, Hauser AE, Lopez-Contreras AJ, Grün D, Gorgoulis V, Diefenbach A,Henneke P, Triantafyllopoulou A. DNA Damage Signaling Instructs Polyploid Macrophage Fate in Granulomas. Cell. 2016 Nov 17;167(5):1264-1280.e18. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.054. Epub 2016 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 28084216.

3: Triantafyllopoulou A, Franzke CW, Seshan SV, Perino G, Kalliolias GD, Ramanujam M, van Rooijen N, Davidson A, Ivashkiv LB. Proliferative lesions and metalloproteinase activity in murine lupus nephritis mediated by type I interferons and macrophages. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 16;107(7):3012-7.doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914902107. Epub 2010 Jan 26. PubMed PMID: 20133703; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2840310.

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