LE STUDIUM / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship
In residence at
Dr Bernhard Ryffel
Targeting acetylcholine receptors to enhance immunity to acute viral infection
Recently studies have shown that acetylcholine (ACh), a neuro-transmitter, which regulates nerve and muscle functions, also strongly regulates the immune system. Immune cells can produce and release ACh to control local immune responses independently of the nervous system. The understanding of ACh mediated immunoregulation in disease is very limited. Here we will build on recent discoveries made by us that blocking ACh signaling can boost the ability of the immune system to control a viral infection in the lung. The infection we are studying is known as RSV and is the main cause of small children being hospitalized for breathing difficulties. Our project will show how blocking ACh can be used to develop new treatments for this and similar diseases such as influenza established in the host laboratory. This will be a major breakthrough as currently infection associated inflammation are difficult to treat.