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This site is dedicated to scientific community working on ALS. Our aim is to optimize researchers time and efforts by providing updated, well organized information on novel findings, available resources and research support.
AriSLA - The Foundation for research on ALS - has been set up to make ALS research investments more effective and efficient, to speed up the clinical research impact e and to provide patients with better care, improved conditions and life expectancy. Its aim is to boost Italian excellencies in basic, clinical and technological research. The Foundation founders are Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione Telethon, Fondazione Vialli and Mauro and AISLA.



Mechanisms and consequences of the activation of NFAT transcription factors family in innate immune cells in response to inflammatory stimuli

The first seminar of 2014 organized by AriSLA Foundation has been held on February 24th at the AriSLA's headquarter in Viale Ortles 22/4, Milan.

The inflammatory process is a response of the innate immune system activated by the presence of harmful stimuli, such as infection or tissue damage. Inflammation is a process characterized by the accumulation of fluids, cells and molecules that pass from blood to the affected tissue with the purpose of keeping them in homeostatic conditions. The inductors and sensors that start the inflammatory process have been extensively studied, especially in the case of microorganisms induced inflammation. In these cases, the molecular patterns associated with microorganisms (PAMP) are recognized by "patterns recognizing receptors (PRR)" which are able to induce a cascade of molecular events that leads to the activation of transcription factors in the cells of the innate immunity.

Innate immunity is the most ancient form of defense against pathogens based on ancestral signal transduction pathways such as the NF- kB pathway. However, recent data suggest that an increasing number of other transcription factors appeared later in the evolutionary process, such as, in particular, the NFAT family of transcription factors, may have contributed to the development and regulation of the innate immunity functions in vertebrates. Two aspects that can be easily understood and may have required an adaptation from the oldest part of our immune system, are the reduction of the "costs" of inflammation in terms of tissue damage and the cooperation with new cells that are part of the acquired immunity. Therefore, understanding the functions of NFAT during different inflammatory processes is important to understand and unravel some of the molecular basis of such new functions. The objective of this seminar is to provide information on certain aspects of the inflammatory process triggered by stimuli such as bacterial lipopolysaccharide, defining the role of these transcription factors appeared late in the oldest line of our immune system.

The seminar will be developed through the following themes:

1) Brief notes on the receptors of innate immunity and the mechanisms of signal transduction, with particular regard to the lipopolysaccharide receptor complex, TLR4/MD2/CD14;

2) Description of the transduction pathway leading to the activation of the NFAT family in innate immunity in response to lipopolysaccharide;

3) Description of the role of the NFAT transcription factors activated downstream of the receptor complex of the lipopolysaccharide in the activation and control of the innate immunity and the inflammatory process.

The speaker:

Francesca Granucci is a biologist expert in animal models for the study of the inflammatory processes and for the induction and maintenance of T-cell tolerance in secondary lymphoid organs. She is head of the laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca.




Mechanisms and consequences of the activation of N

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