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Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology

Wagner Group

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Group Members

Endothelial Cell-Platelet-Leukocyte Interaction in Vascular Remodelling: Role of CD40/CD154-Mediated Co-Stimulation

(Project C6/Hecker, SFB / Transregio 23 "Vascular Differentiation and Remodeling" Dies ist ein externer Link)

 

Pegah Khamehgir-Silz, Su-Hwan Kim (Research Training Group), Sebastian Lont, Cheryl Sultan, Andreas H. Wagner

 

CD40 is a cell surface receptor belonging to the tumour necrosis factor receptor family. It is constitutively expressed by antigen-presenting cells such as monocyte/macrophages but also by non-immune cells like endothelial cells. The CD40 ligand (CD154), originally identified as a surface marker of activated T cells, is also present on activated platelets which release numerous bioactive mediators capable of modulating innate immune cells, activating endothelial cells, and influencing systemic immune responses. In endothelial cells, CD40-CD154 interaction causes a marked increase in the expression of pro-inflammatory adhesion molecules and chemokines which, in turn, promote the homing and extravasation of T cells, namely type 1 T-helper (Th1) cells, and monocyte/macrophages. In the vessel wall, Th1 cell differentiation and activity may additionally be controlled by natural T-regulatory cells (Treg) which are frequently detected in early atherosclerotic lesions. Moreover, the transmigration of both types of lymphocytes as well as that of monocytes through the endothelial cell monolayer might be facilitated by platelets present at the endothelial cell junctions.

 

The aim of this project is to examine the relative extent by which CD40-CD154 driven endothelial cell-leukocyte, endothelial cell-platelet and/or platelet-leukocyte interactions contribute to the initiation and/or maintenance of atherosclerosis. It  focuses on the interaction of Th1 cells, Treg and monocytes with both endothelial cells and platelets as well as with each other, and primarily employs reverse genetics techniques in vitro (human cultured cells) and in vivo (mouse).


CD154 induced changes in gene expression in endothelial cells and their consequences for endothelial cell-leukocyte interaction.

Protein Oxidation in Vascular Cells as Protective Mechanism against Diabetic Angiopathy

(Projekt International Research Training Group 1874/1 "Diabetic Microvascular Complications") Dies ist ein externer Link)

 

Christoph Hangel, Tanja Wiedenmann, Andreas H. Wagner, Markus Hecker

 

It is virtually certain that reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species contribute to diabetic vascular lesions. Hyperglycaemia, for example, leads to the protein carbonylation and nitration by increased oxidative and nitrosative stress, respectively. Glucose-derived dicarbonyl oxidation products such as methylglyoxal (MG) increase mitochondrial formation of superoxide anions (O2) which can react with nitrogen monoxide (NO) to form peroxynitrite (nitration) in endothelial cells, and, via hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the Fe2+-dependent Fenton reaction, hydroxyl radicals (carbonylation), respectively.


This project aims at analysing the role of oxidative protein modifications as a potential protective mechanism of vascular cells against late diabetic lesions, and diabetic macroangiopathy in particular.

Inhibition of Aortic Elastolysis by Decoy Oligodeoxynucleotides-Mediated Inhibition of Transcription of Matrix Metalloproteinases in the Fibrillin-1 Deficient Mouse mgR/mgR (Marfan model)

(supported by the B. Braun-Stiftung, Melsungen Dies ist ein externer Link)

 

Anca Remes, Andreas H. Wagner
Clinic for Cardiac Surgery, Heidelberg University Hospital: Rawa Arif, Klaus Kallenbach

 

Quite often vascular changes associated with the Marfan syndrome, such as aortic aneurysms or aortic dissections, threaten the lifes of those afflicted already in childhood. To date no causal therapy of this genetic disease of the connective tissue exists. The vascular component of the Marfan syndrome is pathophysiologically characterised by an abnormally high activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in smooth muscle cells of the aortic wall. This group of enzymes causes elastolysis in the aortic media thereby contributing to the progressing destablisation of the vascular wall.

The homozygose fibrillin-1 deficient mouse (mgR/mgR) is an accepted small animal model for the Marfan syndrome. Similar to patients with the Marfan syndrome, it shows an elevated MMP activity in the smooth muscle cells of the aortic wall in combination with an age-dependent increased fragmentation of elastic fibres. Employing the Marfan mouse model, we want to inhibit the expression of MMP, and as a consequence reduce their activity, by incubating aortic fragments with decoy oligodeoxynucleotides (dODN) ex vivo

Gene Therapy of Transplantation Vasculopathy

(supported by the Dietmar Hopp Stiftung gGmbH, St. Leon-RotDies ist ein externer Link)

 

Andreas H. Wagner
Clinic for Cardiac Surgery, Heidelberg University Hospital: Rawa Arif, Klaus Kallenbach
Initernal Medicine III, Division of Cardiology, Angiology and Pneumology, Heidelberg University Hospital: Oliver Müller

 

Project description on the website of the Dietmar Hopp Foundation (in German).


Recent Publications

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Marfan syndrome: A therapeutic challenge for long-term care. Biochem Pharmacol. 2019 Jun;164:53-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2019.03.034. Epub 2019 Mar 27.

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Characterization of the Subventricular-Thalamo-Cortical Circuit in the NP-C Mouse Brain, and New Insights Regarding Treatment. Mol Ther. 2019 May 16. pii: S1525-0016(19)30222-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2019.05.008. [Epub ahead of print]

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TRPC channels are not required for graded persistent activity in entorhinal cortex neurons. Hippocampus. 2019 Apr 19. doi: 10.1002/hipo.23094. [Epub ahead of print]

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Angioneurins-key regulators of blood-brain barrier integrity during hypoxic and ischemic brain injury. Prog Neurobiol. 2019 Apr 7. pii: S0301-0082(19)30039-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2019.03.004. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

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Chronic hypoxia changes gene expression profile of primary rat carotid body cells: consequences on the expression of NOS isoforms and ET-1 receptors. Physiol Genomics. 2019 Apr 1;51(4):109-124. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00114.2018. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

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Determination of the Maximum Velocity of Filaments in the in vitro Motility Assay. Front Physiol. 2019 Mar 27;10:289. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00289. eCollection 2019.

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Priming of microglia with IFN-γ slows neuronal gamma oscillations in situ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Feb 19. pii: 201813562. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1813562116. [Epub ahead of print]

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Reduction of Transplant Vasculopathy by Intraoperative Nucleic Acid-based Therapy in a Mouse Aortic Allograft Model. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018 Oct 23. doi: 10.1055/s-0038-1673633. [Epub ahead of print]


Institute of
Physiology and Pathophysiology

Heidelberg University

Im Neuenheimer Feld 326

69120 Heidelberg

Germany

Phone:+49 6221 54-4035
Fax:+49 6221 54-4038
E-mail:sekretariat.hecker@
physiologie.uni-heidelberg.de