Immunopathogenic mechanisms in CVID – a disease model for autoimmunity and persistent inflammation. Our group has for a long time used primary immunodeficiency in the form of CVID as a model for studying the immune system. In recent years we have been focusing on the interaction between gut microbiota, gut mucosa and local (intestinal) and systemic inflammation. Magnhild Eide Macpherson has defended her PhD thesis that includes both the modulation of gut microbiota with rifaximin in CVID-patients and an exciting investigation into the anti-inflammatory effect of HDL in the same patients. This latter work is extended into a Post doc project for Silje Fjellgård Jørgensen that started up in 2019 and will include in-depth studies of epigenetic changes in gut mucosa from CVID-patients. We have started a new project focusing on granulomatous-lymphocytic interstitial lung disease (GLILD) in CVID where Mai Sasaki Aanensen Fraz has looked into differences between patients with stable and progressive disease. This project will include collaboration with several Nordic centers with our research group leading the network.
Targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome in HIV infection. The research institute has a strong track record on HIV-research and this has been continued with Hedda Hoel who in June 2021 defended her PhD-project looking at the NLRP3 inflammasome as a driving force of the systemic inflammation seen in HIV-infected patients. The NLRP3 inflammasome has been studied in cardiovascular disease by other groups at our institute, and the current project is an excellent example of how immunological insight gained from the study of one disease can be applied to new diagnoses. The project is led by Marius Trøseid who is also the main supervisor.
Functional consequences of novel genetic variations in primary immunodeficencies and immune dysregulation (FUNPID). High-throughput sequencing has revolutionized the diagnostics of primary immunodeficiencies, giving a definite genetic diagnosis in complicated clinical cases. However, novel genetic variations of uncertain significance tend to show up and in close collaboration with established partners at Oslo University Hospital and the University of Oslo we have established a research-based diagnostic pipeline for these patients. These findings give us an extraordinary opportunity to characterize both new disease entities and new immunologic mediators. We are currently looking into a family with a possible gain-of-function mutation in IL-1R8.
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