B01: Enterohepatic cooperation in the postnatal establishment of immune homeostasis

With birth, the intestinal bacterial colonization starts and leads to a dense and dynamic enteric microbiota. Concomitantly, the intestinal epithelium matures and the liver undergoes functional transition from a hematopoietic organ to a central organ of metabolic regulation and immune surveillance. We have extensively studied the mechanistic adaptations that allow the newborn intestine to adjust to this situation.

In this project we will

  • extend this work to include the neonatal hepatic system.
  • characterize the mechanisms that generate a cooperative gut-liver barrier and establish homeostatic host-microbial interactions after birth.
  • Use gnotobiotic animal models, e. mice with a defined microbiota, to explore transcriptome networks and test candidate molecules in functional assays.
  • analyze the functionality of the intestinal and hepatic barrier during the postnatal period and will define its role for systemic dissemination of intestinal products and the development of immune responses.

Involved scientists

Publications within Project B01