Our Lab

Immunopathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis

Welcome to the lab of Edgar Meinl, MD

 

AG Meinl Gruppenfoto

Group photo of our lab

 

Our Aims

  1. Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory and demyelinating disease. The pathology of this disease is characterized by persisting immune cells in the CNS, antibody production inside of the brain, demyelination with limited remyelination and axonal damage. The complex interplay between invading immune cells and brain resident cells determines the development of MS lesions. We aim to get further insight into this complex microenvironment inside of the MS lesions.
  2. Evidence is accumulating that B cells and antibodies contribute to disease development. We aim to develop assays to detect and to characterize autoantibodies of MS patients.
  3. The number of immunomodulatory treatments to modify the disease course of MS continues to increase. We aim to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind these treatments and to monitor the individual response towards an optimized therapy.

 

Our Approaches

  1. One starting point is the histopathological and molecular analysis of MS tissue lesions, which we obtained from different brain banks. We dissect defined lesions and perform an expression profiling e.g. with quantitative PCR. Functional effects are then are explored in vitro with glial and human immune cell cultures.
  2. We use myelin glycoproteins, two-dimensional Western blot, immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry to identify novel candidate targets. We apply transfected cells, ELISAs and functional assays with an in vitro myelination system to identify and characterize autoantibodies.
  3. We analyze blood samples from MS patients to monitor the individual treatment response using quantitative PCR and flow cytometry. Our cell culture systems with glial cells and immune cells are used to study mechanisms of disease modifying drugs in vitro.

 

Our Support

Our research group is supported by the newly established collaborative research centre TRR 128 “Initiating/effector versus regulatory mechanisms in multiple sclerosis”. Further support of our lab comes from the Federal Competence Network on Multiple Sclerosis  Federal Competence Network on Multiple Sclerosis (BMBF), the Hertie Foundation, SyNergy - Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology, Network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (COEN), and industrial grants. Most of the MD students have been funded by the FöFoLe program of the LMU.

 

 
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Director

Prof. Dr.

Martin Kerschensteiner

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Group Leader

Prof. Dr.

Edgar Meinl

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