RESEARCH NETWORK FOR NEW STRATEGIES IN IMMUNOTHERAPY
I4 I4 - Immunotherapy of infections using dendritic cells
Issues of future research:
Upon delivery with dendritic cells, molecularly defined antigens derived from the protozoan parasite Leishmania major, in particular the leishmanial protein LeIF, are able to mediate significant protection against leishmaniasis. This finding offers encouragement for the development of dendritic cell-based immune interventions to treat infections. The model of experimental leishmaniasis will be used to determine the parameters that are relevant to the elaboration of such an anti-infective immunotherapy. Furthermore, the immunological mechanisms underlying the protective potential of dendritic cells will be analyzed. The study will contribute to the development of novel strategies for the treatment of infections with intracellular pathogens.
The increasing knowledge of the potent immunoregulatory functions of dendritic cells has opened new perspectives for the immunotherapy of various infectious diseases. The exploration of strategies for the ex vivo manipulation of dendritic cells, enabling them to induce antimicrobial immunity, will help to define the factors that may allow the instruction of dendritic cell functions in vivo. Such an approach may be for the benefit of patients in whom conventional anti-infective therapies have failed or who suffer from yet incurable forms of infectious diseases.