Mechanisms of organ specific trained innate immunity

Andreas Schlitzer
Emmy Noether Research group
Myeloid Cell Biology
Life & Medical Sciences Institute
University of Bonn

Trained innate Immunity (TRIM) can be induced by systemic exposure to microbial products or vaccination.

However, epidemiological data implicates that trained innate immunity can also be elicited via organ-specific routes such as the intradermal or subcutaneous route.

The mechanisms governing this organ resident induction of trained immunity and its systemic transduction are still unknown, but hold great potential to tailor the unspecific benefits of vaccination in an organ-specific fashion.

Myeloid cells, in particular monocytes have been implicated as crucial players during the induction of TRIM. Monocytes have been shown to be highly adapted to tissue microenvironments, shaping their functional specialisation, posing the question to which extend locally adapted monocytes shape TRIM associated immune responses in vivo.

We therefore propose that TRIM induction and response can be highly organ-specific and are adjusted by the unique imprinting of each organs myeloid cell composition.

To investigate this phenomenon and unravel the mechanistic and molecular cues of organ-specific trained immunity our group uses state of the art technologies such as advanced multicolour flow cytometry and single cell transcriptomics enabling an in depth understanding of molecular processes leading to the organ-specific induction and functions of TRIM.

In the future we aim to utilize this gained knowledge to understand and tailor organ-specific TRIM responses to improve human health and vaccination outcome.


Group members

  • Andreas Schlitzer, PhD, Group leader
  • Natalie Katzmarski, PhD, Postdoctoral research
  • Branko Cirovic, PhD, Postdoctoral research
  • Lili Zhang, Msc, PhD student
  • Mohamed Ibrahim, Msc, PhD student