The growth of neuronal and vascular networks is controlled by the same molecules. Now Amparo Acker-Palmer plans to study the communication between neurons and blood vessels in the brain. She hopes to use her findings to gain important insights into dementia progression, and into other mental illnesses.
Healthy cells reduce their growth when there is a lack of oxygen, or hypoxia. But hypoxia is a characteristic of malignant tumours. The team of Prof. Amparo Acker-Palmer from Goethe University Frankfurt and colleagues from the University of Giessen could show how cancer cells succeed at circumventing the genetic program of growth inhibition.
Our immune system fights pathogens, but it sometimes overshoots the mark and damages body tissue. Researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research HZI report that activation of a molecule called ICOS, on the surface of immune cells, limits the extent of lung damage during the infection.
When infected with influenza, the body becomes an easy target for bacteria. Now, a team of immunologists at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research HZI and partners has discovered how the flu virus alters the host's immune system and compromises its capacity to effectively fight off bacterial infections.
In healthy lungs, several mechanisms prevent the body's immune system to attack lung tissue. But in case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), these mechanisms cease to function properly. The research group of Prof. Dunja Bruder at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, Germany, has explored and described these processes in great detail.