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The group mainly focusses on the in-situ definition of functional cell populations in inflammations within animal models and human disease. It is especially interested in the interaction of cells from the innate and the adapted immunity. Also in terms of a service, it closely collaborates with other research groups.
The research group evaluates histomorphological alterations in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract as well as in other organs like the skin, the liver or in joints. To this end, it uses established scoring schema systematically but also develops new scoring systems. Here it emphasizes the findings from animal models can translated to human disease.
The research team complements the histomorphological evaluation by the in situ-characterization of cell types involved in the inflammatory processes. It uses histochemical stains like trichrome for connective tissue or the periodic acid–Schiff reaction for glycogen and mucopolysaccharides. Immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence methods in single or multiplex stains detect defined cell populations and subpopulations of the innate and the acquired immune system e.g. macrophages, granulocytes, T and B cell. Combined with other specific stainings they allow to mark their interactions with tissue structures like endothelia, lymphatic vessels, stroma or epithelia as well as with neighboring immune cells. The localization of proteins within the cells (e.g. nucleus, cytoplasm, membrane) or the cell state ((e.g. activated, prliferating, resting) can be assessed. The group continuously extends its panel of so far about 200 different immunohistological stains or specimens from animal models or human tissues.
The research group also offers service packages on the immunopathology of experimental models as iPATH.Berlin.