AG - Prof. Dr. Christoph Wilhelm

Prof. Christoph Wilhelm, PhD
Institut für Klinische Chemie und Klinische Pharmakologie
Universitätsklinikum Bonn
Biomedizinisches Zentrum
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

Tel: 0228-287-51721
Fax: 0228-287-51160

Lebenslauf: wilhelm.pdf



      The mucosal immune system maintains the intestinal barrier in the face of a diverse array of challenges ranging from the uptake of nutrition, commensal microbiota and chronic helminth infections to infections by bacterial or viral pathogens. An important component of this barrier defense mechanism are innate lymphoid cells (ILC), a recently discovered lymphocyte population, the functions of which are only about to be revealed. Three distinct ILC subsets have been described to reside in the gut, lung and skin. Type 1 ILC (ILC1) express the transcription factor T-bet, produce the cytokine interferon (IFN)-γ and are implicated in protecting against intracellular pathogens such as Toxoplasma gondii ILC2 express the transcription factor GATA-3 and produce the cytokines IL-5, IL-9, IL-13 and amphiregulin. ILC3 are characterized by the expression of the transcription factor Rorγt and the cytokine IL-22. Using cutting-edge in vitro and in vivo techniques we employ well-characterized infections to probe the full-spectrum of activation of these cell types with particular focus on the gastrointestinal tract. Given that ILC derived cytokines such as IL-5, IL-13 and IL-22 are associated with multiple inflammatory disorders improved knowledge of the cellular and molecular mechanisms modulating their functions could lead to novel therapeutic targets.  
Another aspect of my research is to explore the dietary control of ILC and in particular the ILC response in the context of malnutrition. Vitamin A deficiency is a severe form of malnutrition and still one of the most common nutrient deficiencies worldwide. Recently, we found that the vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid (RA) actively suppresses intestinal ILC2 development, instead promoting the accumulation of ILC3 in the intestine. Consequently, immunity to gastrointestinal bacterial infections was impaired but the control of helminth burden was elevated in the absence of vitamin A. Such dynamic regulation by dietary components away from ILC3 dominated barrier immunity to ILC2 mediated responses and repair mechanisms could be beneficial in the context of malnutrition and chronic infections with tissue dwelling parasites. 

A major current goal of my research is to understand the metabolic adaptation of ILC2, which allows their survival in nutrient deprived environments (e.g. during vitamin A deficiency). Better understanding of the metabolic regulation of ILC and ILC function in health and disease could lead to new opportunities for manipulating their function for therapeutic purposes. 



Die Vorwahl für das Institut ist +49 (0) 228 - 287 -, dann wählen Sie bitte die Nummer des gewünschten Mitarbeiters.

Name Vorname Titel Funktion Durchwahl e-Mail
Kazakov Alexander   PhD 51726
Kharabi-Masouleh Schekufe   PhD 51730
Schmitt Vanessa   BTA 51726
Karagiannis Fotis Dr. Postdoc 51720
Jayagopi Surendar Dr. Postdoc 51730  

von links nach rechts:
Alexander Kazakov, Dr. Surendar Jayagopi, Prof. Christoph Wilhelm, PhD, Schekufe Kharabi-Masouleh, Vanessa Schmitt,
Dr. Fotis Karagiannis

We are constantly looking for motivated PhD-students and Post-doc´s. You are welcome to apply any time!



Stand: 10. Januar 2018