Name: Nadine Hundhausen
PI: PD Dr. Friederike Berberich-Siebelt
Institute: Institute of Pathology
Funding: DFG research unit
Project: Latently present Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection interferes with allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) in patients suffering from leukemia. Besides viral direct cytotoxicity, CMV exacerbates graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), which is an immune-mediated attack of recipient tissue by donor T cells contained in the transplant. Calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) are used as a standard treatment to prevent and treat GvHD. CNIs are not only reducing the beneficial graft-versus-leukemia effect (GvL), but also enhance the risk of CMV reactivation. Prime target - but not the only - of CN is the transcription factor family nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT). Therefore, the role of individual NFAT proteins in cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response to MCMV will be evaluated to understand if, in contrast to calcineurin inhibition, anti-MCMV immune response are still possible in the presence of NFAT-deficient T cells.