Trained immunity and sterile inflammatory diseases

Institute of Innate Immunity, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany


Research topic

Over the last two centuries, a large shift from deaths caused from microbial infections to deaths caused by non-communicable diseases has occurred. Today, in Western societies over 80% of deaths are caused by diseases associated with aging and diseases influenced by changes in lifestyle and the consumption of ultra-processed Western-type diets, such as type II diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Chronic inflammation is a shared denominator in most of these common non-communicable diseases.

We are interested in deciphering whether trained immunity can be induced by sterile inflammation and how trained immunity mechanisms can contribute to disease pathogenesis in sterile inflammatory diseases.

These mechanisms could be part of the increased susceptibility of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases towards cardiovascular complication or vice versa.

Group leaders

  • Prof. Eicke Latz
  • Dr. Anette Christ

Group members


Selected Publications:

  • Anette Christ, Patrick Günther, Mario A.R. Lauterbach, Peter Duewell, Debjani Biswas, Karin Pelka, Claus J. Scholz, Marije Oosting, Kristian Haendler, Kevin Baßler, Kathrin Klee, Jonas Schulte-Schrepping, Thomas Ulas, Simone J.C.F.M. Moorlag, Vinod Kumar, Min Hi Park, Leo A.B. Joosten, Laszlo A. Groh, Niels P. Riksen, Terje Espevik, Andreas Schlitzer, Yang Li, Michael L. Fitzgerald, Mihai G. Netea, Joachim L. Schultze and Eicke Latz Western diet triggers NLRP3-dependent innate immune reprograming. Cell. 2018, Jan 11
  • Christ A, Bekkering S, Latz E*, Riksen NP*. Long-term activation of the innate immune system in atherosclerosis. Sem Immunol. 2016;28(4):384-93. Netea MG, Joosten LA, Latz E, Mills KH, Natoli G,
  • Stunnenberg HG, O'Neill LA, Xavier RJ. Trained immunity: A program of innate immune memory in health and disease. Science. 2016 Apr 22;352(6284)
  • Duewell P, Kono H, Rayner KJ, Sirois CM, Vladimer G, Bauernfeind FG, Abela GS, Franchi L, Nuñez G, Schnurr M, Espevik T, Lien E, Fitzgerald KA, Rock KL, Moore KJ, Wright SD, Hornung V, Latz E. NLRP3 inflammasomes are required for atherogenesis and activated by cholesterol crystals. Nature. 2010 Apr 29;464(7293):1357-61.


Financial support

  • ERC Consolidator grant InflammAct
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • Excellence Cluster ImmunoSensation
  • Helmholtz Society
  • University of Bonn