Chronic inflammatory bile duct diseases
The research group chronic inflammatory bile duct diseases deals with the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory bile duct diseases at the level of the biliary epithelial cells (cholangiocytes), which are no longer regarded as a purely passive target of a putative autoimmune inflammatory reaction, but rather as potent effector cells themselves contributin to the progression of the chronic inflammatory disease.
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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-associated cholangitis (IAC), and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) are the major manifestations of chronic inflammatory bile duct disease and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
The close association of PSC with inflammatory bowel disease indicates a pathogenic interaction of the gut with the liver. In particular, abnormal congenital Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated immune reactions to so-called intestinal "pathogen-associated molecular patterns" (PAMPs) at the level of the biliary epithelial cells could play an important role. Such intestinal PAMPs reach the liver both via the portal vein blood and via the bile ducts themselves and can also be detected in the bile under physiological conditions, but do not trigger a pathological immune response here.
Our research group is primarily interested in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory bile duct diseases at the level of the biliary epithelial cells (cholangiocytes), which as potent effector cells can contribute to the progression of the chronic inflammatory reaction.
A focus of our translational research is the investigation of the TLR-mediated innate immune response and the tight junction-mediated barrier function of the biliary epithelium as well as the correlation of our experimental data with our clinical database within the framework of the established national and international cooperations of our working group.
German Research Foundation (DFG)