Mathias Heikenwalder

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Microglia are crucially important myeloid cells in the CNS and constitute the first immunological barrier against pathogens and environmental insults. The factors controlling microglia recruitment from the blood remain elusive and the direct circulating microglia precursor has not yet been identified in vivo. Using a panel of bone marrow chimeric and(More)
Microglia are crucial for immune responses in the brain. Although their origin from the yolk sac has been recognized for some time, their precise precursors and the transcription program that is used are not known. We found that mouse microglia were derived from primitive c-kit(+) erythromyeloid precursors that were detected in the yolk sac as early as 8 d(More)
The intracerebral injection of β-amyloid-containing brain extracts can induce cerebral β-amyloidosis and associated pathologies in susceptible hosts. We found that intraperitoneal inoculation with β-amyloid-rich extracts induced β-amyloidosis in the brains of β-amyloid precursor protein transgenic mice after prolonged incubation times.
Upon the aberrant activation of oncogenes, normal cells can enter the cellular senescence program, a state of stable cell-cycle arrest, which represents an important barrier against tumour development in vivo. Senescent cells communicate with their environment by secreting various cytokines and growth factors, and it was reported that this 'secretory(More)
The lower intestine of adult mammals is densely colonized with nonpathogenic (commensal) microbes. Gut bacteria induce protective immune responses, which ensure host-microbial mutualism. The continuous presence of commensal intestinal bacteria has made it difficult to study mucosal immune dynamics. Here, we report a reversible germ-free colonization system(More)
The MAP3-kinase TGF-beta-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) critically modulates innate and adaptive immune responses and connects cytokine stimulation with activation of inflammatory signaling pathways. Here, we report that conditional ablation of TAK1 in liver parenchymal cells (hepatocytes and cholangiocytes) causes hepatocyte dysplasia and early-onset(More)
Because of species selectivity, HIV research is largely restricted to in vitro or clinical studies, both limited in their ability to rapidly assess new strategies to fight the virus. To prospectively study some aspects of HIV in vivo, immunodeficient mice, transplanted with either human peripheral blood leukocytes or human fetal tissues, have been(More)
The differentiation of follicular dendritic cells (FDC) is essential to the remarkable microanatomic plasticity of lymphoid follicles. Here we show that FDC arise from ubiquitous perivascular precursors (preFDC) expressing platelet-derived growth factor receptor β (PDGFRβ). PDGFRβ-Cre-driven reporter gene recombination resulted in FDC labeling, whereas(More)
The prion, a conformational variant of a host protein, is the infectious particle responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), a fatal neurodegenerative disease of humans and animals. The principal target of prion pathology is the brain, yet most TSEs also display prion replication at extra-cerebral locations, including secondary lymphoid(More)
Current antiviral agents can control but not eliminate hepatitis B virus (HBV), because HBV establishes a stable nuclear covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA). Interferon-α treatment can clear HBV but is limited by systemic side effects. We describe how interferon-α can induce specific degradation of the nuclear viral DNA without hepatotoxicity and(More)