On the role of adaptive and innate immune-cell receptor signaling in NASH and subsequent liver cancer

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Mathias Heikenwälder


German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)
Department of Chronic Inflammation and Cancer(link is external)

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Project Summary


Metabolic cues affect lymphocyte activation, tumor immune control and can be tumor-promoting. As a consequence of Western diet and subsequent metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most frequent liver disease. It progresses to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with high incidence. We have generated a mouse model that recapitulates the pathophysiology of human NASH and HCC. We found that aberrantly activated lymphocytes drive NASH and HCC, and validated these observations in humans. Our project will investigate the role of BCR-/TCR- and innate immune signaling (e.g. TLRs and inflammasome) in NASH and HCC.