Otto Loewi Forschungszentrum

Research focus: Inflammation, autoimmunity and cancer

PI: Stefano Angiari

Focus: Using a multidisciplinary approach (in vitro primary T cell cultures, biochemical assays, protein and gene expression analysis and in vivo disease models), we explore the complex role of T cells in inflammation and autoimmunity. We study all aspects of T cell biology, with a particular focus on the metabolic regulation of T cell responses. In addition, our main goal is to translate our results into questions relevant to human medicine, and to investigate how T cells influence the induction, development and severity of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases in humans.

Network: We are currently cooperating with international research partners from Ireland and Italy. In parallel, we are establishing new collaborations with clinicians and researchers at the Medical University of Graz.

Projects

Regulation of T cell function by extracellular metabolites

  • During inflammatory reactions, several metabolites can accumulate in the blood or in the inflamed tissue, either due to active secretion by local tissue/tumour cells and activated leukocytes, or due to cell necrosis caused by tissue damage. T cells express multiple transporters/receptors for these metabolites. We are investigating how extracellular metabolites affect T cell function, with the overall goal of identifying surface receptors or transporters that can specifically targeted to inhibit T cell pathogenicity.
  • Duration: ongoing
  • Funded by: Med Uni Graz
  • Project partners: Julia Kargl, Otto Loewi Research Center (for Vascular Biology, Immunology and Inflammation), Division of Pharmacology

Towards a novel immunometabolic approach to treat neuroinflammation: targeting pyruvate kinase M2 in CD4+ T cells in multiple sclerosis

  • The aim of this project is to investigate the expression, cellular localisation, and post-transcriptional modifications of the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), as well as its alternative isoform PKM1, in human CD4+ T cells from healthy donors and newly-diagnosed, untreated multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Furthermore, we will analyse the impact of PKM2 functional modulation on the inflammatory activity of CD4+ T cells from healthy donors and MS patients. The main goal is to determine a potential link between PKM isoforms expression and functionality, and MS onset and progression.
  • Duration: 01.04.2022 – 30.09.2023
  • Funded by: Österreichische Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft (ÖMSG)
  • Project partners: Michael Khalil, Division of General Neurology

Division of Immunology and Pathophysiology

Ass.-Prof.
Stefano Angiari, PhD
T: +43 316 385 71172

Team

Members