Prof. Dr. Christian Könecke
Institut für Immunologie, OE 5240
Graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD) is the most frequent severe complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). GvHD results from an aggressive immune response of donor-derived alloreactive T cells directed against host tissue and manifests mostly in liver, skin, and intestine. These disadvantageous effects caused by the use of allogeneic T cells were accepted because of their beneficial anti tumor effects, referred to as graft versus leukemia (GvL) effects. Projects in our research group are aimed at studying the immunology of GvHD as well as GvL effects after allogeneic HSCT. In particular we are studying priming, homing and effector mechanisms of T cell subpopulations (regulatory T cells, effector T cells) after allogeneic HSCT in preclinical models. Different murine models of GvHD have been established in our group. To study GvL effects non-invasively, sensitively and quantitatively, we are utilizing bioluminescent techniques by labelling tumor cells with the luciferase gene.