Initiation of tumor immunosurveillance by mast cells

(Project leader: Tilo Biedermann, M.D.)

Abstract:

Immune reactions against melanomas occur spontaneously and this is called 'regression'. Thus, melanoma is considered a useful model disease for cancer immuno-therapy, but the consecutive steps that initiate spontaneous melanoma regression are not characterized.

Mast cells (MC) are considered potent immune modulators with both pro-inflammatory and regulatory function. We found the most prominent MC infiltrates in melanomas with spontaneous immune regression. Moreover, MC deficient KitW-sh and KitW/KitW-v mice showed accelerated melanoma growth compared to wildtype that could be reverted by MC reconstitution. In addition, activation of MC could compensate for dendritic cell (DC) activation indicating productive crosstalk between MC and DC underlying MC mediated induction of anti-tumor immunity.

Therefore, MC mediated tumor immunosurveillance will be analyzed including the characterization of consequences on T cell immunity in vitro and in vivo during melanoma growth using the appropriate knock-out models, MC knock-in experiments and mice with MC specific gene targeting (cre-flox system). This will allow us to characterize the role for MC in tumor immunosurveillance and results may define a new starting point for cancer immuno-therapy.

(Please click the following pictures to enlarge them)

MC role in initiation of anti-tumor immunity
MC role in initiation of anti-tumor immunity
Melanoma & regression
Melanoma & regression
TLR4 KO sash
TLR4 KO sash

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Project team and contact information:

Tilo Biedermann, M.D., project leader

Universitäts-Hautklinik
Liebermeisterstr. 25
72076 Tübingen

E-Mail: tilo.biedermann(at)med.uni-tuebingen.de
Tel.: 0049 (0) 7071-29-85119
Fax: 0049 (0) 7071-29-4117

 

Dr. rer. nat. Martin Köberle, Post-doc

Universitäts-Hautklinik
Liebermeisterstraße 25
72076 Tübingen

E-Mail: martin.koeberle(at)med.uni-tuebingen.de
Tel.: 0049 (0) 7071-29-86876
Fax: 0049 (0) 7071-29-4405

 

Ulrike Schmidt, assistant medical technician

Universitäts-Hautklinik
Liebermeisterstraße 25
72076 Tübingen

E-Mail: ulrike.schmidt(at)med.uni-tuebingen.de
Tel.: 0049 (0) 7071-29-84552
Fax: 0049 (0) 7071-29-4405

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