Head: Dr. med. Stefan Uderhardt
Peripheral tissues are not mere passive recipients of remotely controlled inflammatory responses. Our lab seeks to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms tissues employ in order to protect themselves against unwanted, damaging inflammation. A particular focus of the lab is put on tissue resident macrophages, which - together with interstitial fibroblasts - constitute the universal building blocks of stromal tissues across different organs and even species. Here, we could recently show that RTM are part of a multi-layered regulation of the initial steps of an inflammatory response to tissue damage. We now explore the cellular and molecular biology as well as the mechanistic principles of the anti-inflammatory operations of these phagocytes within the context of a living tissue, and aim to comprehend the reciprocal interactions between resident and recruited immune effector cells on multiple experimental levels. Ultimate goal of our research is to achieve top-down control of complex cellular behavior in intact stromal environment and particularly of the tissue-protective functions of stromal macrophages, in order not only to treat but in fact prevent inflammatory diseases.