Extracellular vesicles as communicators between parasite and host immune system
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small particles released by cells. For many parasitic disease models, it is known that EVs can play a role in the interaction between parasite and host and contribute to immune responses.
In this project, we investigate EVs secreted by Entamoeba histolytica, causative agent of the disease amebiasis. EVs are analyzed with regard to their biological properties as well as their immune-stimulatory capacities. The protein and miRNA cargo of EVs released by amoeba differing in their pathogenicity is characterized using mass spectrometry and miRNA sequencing. Differences between the protein and miRNA cargo of the two clones are investigated to gain further insight into pathogenicity mechanisms of the parasite.
In order to determine to which extent EVs play a role in communication with the host immune system, EVs isolated from parasite cultures are used to stimulate monocytes and neutrophils in vitro. Both immune cell types are known to be involved in the immune pathology of amebiasis. Immune cells derived from both male and female mice are used in order to investigate putative sex differences in response to EV stimulation.
Graduate School‚ Infection Biology of Tropical Pathogens‘, Joachim Herz Foundation. Joint PhD project with research group Molecular Infection Immunology (AG Lotter).