Medicine 3

Head of Department:
Prof. Dr. med. univ. Georg Schett

Checkpoints for resolution of inflammation

Inflammation is a central response strategy of the body to react to tissue stress and damage. The human body needs inflammation to survive, defending against intruding micro-organisms and mutated cells, inducing repair of damaged tissue and maintaining immune homeostasis. However, inflammation is a powerful process which can also cause severe tissue damage if it becomes chronic and escapes tight control. Thus, molecular checkpoints that control and reduce the intensity of the inflammatory response have to be postulated. Failure to appropriately stop inflammation leads to chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, asthma or inflammatory bowel diseases, which in particular involve the inner surfaces of the body. In most of these pathological conditions, the initial trigger for inflammation is long gone while auto-stimulatory loops maintain the chronic inflammatory processes

To develop a better understanding of the resolution process of inflammation and its functional failure in chronic inflammatory diseases, the German Research Council (DFG) granted the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1181 ‘Checkpoints for resolution of inflammation’ at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, which steps into this gap. The interdisciplinary consortium with 19 scientific subprojects, a central imaging project and an integrated research training group, aims to identify the molecular switches determining the resolution process. The major goals of the researchers are to identify the causes for the dysfunctional resolution process in chronic inflammatory diseases. Furthermore, CRC1181 aims to develop therapeutic strategies to introduce the termination of inflammation and restore immune and tissue homeostasis.