Innate antigen-presenting cells (APCs), with dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages being their most potent representatives, are essential components of the immune system through their roles at the interface between innate immunity and adaptive T cell responses.
Yet, the mechanisms by which diverse APCs shape the vast array of responses of the adaptive immune system remain incompletely understood. Here, using comparative epigenetic profiling, genetic engineering of key transcriptional regulators, in vitro modeling of APC-T cell interaction and in vivo models, we will aim at characterizing phenotypic and functional specializations of APCs, deciphering their developmental programs, and dissecting molecular mechanisms implicated in their effects on the orientation of T cell responses. Specifically, we will exploit these lines of research in our domains of expertise, which include the regulation of cytokine expression in APCs, the study of novel APC subsets and their interaction in the lung and the dissection of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of vaccine adjuvants.
This workpackage will lead to novel insights into the control of adaptive immune responses by innate APCs in the aforementioned domains that should be generalizable to many (patho)physiological conditions.