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.


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

Stefano Angiari, PhD
T: +43 316 385 71172