Irmgard Förster
Prof. Dr. Irmgard Förster
  • Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)
Research topics
  • adaptive immunity
  • allergy
  • inflammatory diseases
The immune system protects our body against pathogens but also responds to various non-infectious environmental influences. We are specifically interested in the function of myeloid cells as regulators of adaptive immunity in barrier organs, such as the skin or the intestinal mucosa. For this, we investigate the immunoregulatory function of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and its repressor (AhRR) in the context of infection and immunometabolism. The AhR is a ligand-activated transcription factor, which recognizes small polyaromatic chemicals, such as environmental toxins, natural food components and endogenous metabolic products. Using gene knockout models, we also investigate the function of the chemokines CCL17 and CCL22 in the development of allergic and inflammatory diseases, bacterial infections, and microglia/neuron interactions in the brain.
Selected publications

Fülle L et al. (2018) RNA Aptamers Recognizing Murine CCL17 Inhibit T Cell Chemotaxis and Reduce Contact Hypersensitivity In Vivo. Mol Ther 26:95–104.

Fülle L, Offermann N, Hansen JN, Breithausen B, Erazo AB, Schanz O, Radau L, Gondorf F, Knöpper K, Alferink J, Abdullah Z, Neumann H, Weighardt H, Henneberger C, Halle A, Förster I (2018) CCL17 exerts a neuroimmune modulatory function and is expressed in hippocampal neurons. Glia 66:2246–2261.

Brandstätter O, Schanz O, Vorac J, König J, Mori T, Maruyama T, Korkowski M, Haarmann-Stemmann T, von Smolinsky D, Schultze JL, Abel J, Esser C, Takeyama H, Weighardt H, Förster I (2016) Balancing intestinal and systemic inflammation through cell type-specific expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor. Sci Rep 6.26091.

Stutte S, Quast T, Gerbitzki N, Savinko T, Novak N, Reifenberger J, Homey B, Kolanus W, Alenius H, Förster I (2010) Requirement of CCL17 for CCR7- and CXCR4-dependent migration of cutaneous dendritic cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107:8736–8741.

Irmgard Förster
Prof. Dr. Irmgard Förster
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