Immune System

Targeting immune-lipid crosstalk in cardio-metabolic diseases: focus on HDL dependent regulation of chemokine-receptor signaling

Institution: Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research (IMCAR)
University clinic RWTH Aachen
Applicant: Emiel van der Vorst
Funding line:
First and Second Applications
Overview of research focus. The direct and indirect crosstalk between HDL and chemokines/chemokine-receptors

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. This is generally attributable to an underlying pathology called atherosclerosis. There is accumulating evidence that two main causative factors of atherosclerosis, being disturbances in the lipids and inflammation, are intermingled. Previously, small experiments confirmed that lipids and inflammation can influence each other. In these experiments, I focused on a specific part of the inflammatory system (chemokines) and lipids, called high-density lipoproteins (HDL). I could observe that HDL can directly bind to chemokines, but also influence them by disturbing the cell membranes. In this project, I will further investigate this novel immune-lipid crosstalk and its functional consequences in pathologies like atherosclerosis.

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