T-cell – keratinocyte interactions as therapeutic targets in lichenoid and interphase dermatoses
Grantee: Georg Stary, Associate Professor, Medical University of Vienna
Amount: DKK 3,136,390
Grant category: Research grants in open competition
The aim of this project is to investigate the crosstalk between T-cells (TC) and keratinocytes (KC) and its role in two less explored inflammatory skin diseases, namely cutaneous lupus erythematosus and lichen planus. Specifically, the role of co-receptor stimulation or inhibition of T-cells will be investigated.
The researchers hypothesize that skin diseases with prominent infiltration of pathogenic CD8+ T cells (cells that attack and kill other cells – including keratinocytes in autoimmune diseases) are related to an imbalance of activating and inhibitory signals on T cells determining the extent of the T-cell–keratinocyte (TC–KC) crosstalk.
The team will investigate this using skin biopsies from patients to map TC–KC receptor-ligand interactions by single-cell and spatial transcriptomics. They will then assess the properties of candidate receptors and decipher their mechanism of action by immunofluorescent imaging.
While inhibitory T-cell co-receptors are already targeted for cancer immunotherapy, their therapeutic potential in T-cell-driven inflammatory disorders remains to be established. This study may provide the rationale to design T-cell-targeting therapies in inflammation and is particularly strong with its basis on patient material.
The LEO Foundation Award 2021 – Region EMEA
Grantee: Dr. Beate Lichtenberger, Assistant Professor, Medical University of Vienna
Amount: USD 100,000
Grant category: LEO Foundation Awards