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PD Dr. Jan Leipe

Understanding of T cell macrophage communication in inflammatory disease

The pathogenesis of prototypic chronic immune-mediated diseases, e.g. psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, is incompletely understood. Our aim is to understand how polarized tissue macrophages drive the development of pro-inflammatory effector T cell populations (Th1, Th17 cells) in inflammatory lesions, and how such T-cells contribute to disease exacerbation. Although mechanisms that limit effector T-cell development (e.g. regulatory T-cells) are postulated to be impaired in many immune-mediated diseases, the cause hereof is still elusive. Our research integrates a broad spectrum of in vivo, ex vivo, in vitro and translational approaches to delineate the immune mechanisms behind chronic inflammatory diseases. As such we are combining both clinical and experimental expertise to solve clinically relevant patient orientated fundamental research questions.


Leikeim L, Li H, An L, Sticht C, Krämer BK, Yard B, Leipe J*, Kälsch AI*. Adenosine signalling in T-cell activation favours development of IL-17 positive cells with suppressive properties. Immunology. 2023 May;169(1):42-56.

An L, Michaeli J, Pallavi P, Breedijk A, Xu X, Dietrich N, Sigl M, Keese M, Nitschke K, Jarczyk J, Nuhn P, Krämer BK, Yard BA, Leipe J. Concurrent stimulation of monocytes with CSF1 and polarizing cytokines reveals phenotypic and functional differences with classical polarized macrophages. J Leukoc Biol. 2022 Sep;112(3):437-447.

Leipe J, Pirronello F, Schulze-Koops H, Skapenko A. Altered T cell plasticity favours Th17 cells in early arthritis. Rheumatology. 2020 Oct 1;59(10):2754-2763

Leipe J, Pirronello F, Klose A, Schulze-Koops H, Skapenko A. Increased plasticity of non-classic Th1 cells toward the Th17 phenotype. Modern Rheumatology. 2020 Sep;30(5):930-936.

Leipe J, Schramm MA, Prots I, Schulze-Koops H, Skapenko A. Increased Th17 cell frequency and poor clinical outcome in rheumatoid arthritis are associated with a genetic variant in the IL-4 receptor gene, rs1805010. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 May;66(5):1165-75.

Leipe J, Grunke M, Dechant C, Reindl C, Kerzendorf U, Schulze-Koops H, Skapenko A. Role of Th17 cells in human autoimmune arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2010;62(10):2876-85.