Research Topics

How the circadian cycle influences immunity

We study circadian rhythms in the immune response using an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of immunology, circadian biology, vascular biology and neuroscience. The recruitment of leukocytes to tissues as well as their activation status and their localization within tissues plays a crucial role in the immune response. We could show that cellularity in lymph nodes exhibits a circadian rhythm, which strongly impacts the strength of the adaptive immune response. Furthermore, we used circadian rhythmicity as screening tool to demonstrate novel molecular patterns in adhesion molecules that determine time-of-day-dependent trafficking routes of leukocyte subsets across the whole body. We could also show that inflammatory rhythms in arteries and veins exist with inverted phases, mediated by artery-associated sympathetic nerves, which affect the timing of acute inflammatory intravascular events. This supports accumulating evidence for circadian oscillations in many components of the immune system with the potential to affect disease onset and therapies.

Specific expertise

Our group studies leukocyte migration patterns using real-time and intravital microscopy techniques in different tissues but also ex vivo analyses.

Selected Publications

de Juan, A., Ince, L. M., Pick, R., Chen, C. S., Molica, F., Zuchtriegel, G., Wang, C., Zhang, D., Druzd, D., Hessenauer, M. E. T., Pelli, G., Kolbe, I., Oster, H., Prophete, C., Hergenhan, S. M., Albrecht, U., Ripperger, J., Montanez, E., Reichel, C. A., Soehnlein, O., Kwak, B. R., Frenette, P. S. and Scheiermann, C. Artery-Associated Sympathetic Innervation Drives Rhythmic Vascular Inflammation of Arteries and Veins. Circulation. 2019 140:1100-1114

He, W., Holtkamp, S., Hergenhan, S.M., Kraus, K., de Juan, A., Weber, J., Bradfield, P., Grenier, J., Pelletier, J., Druzd, D., Chen, C., Ince, L., Bierschenk, S., Pick, R., Sperandio, M., Aurrand-Lions, M., and Scheiermann, C. Circadian expression of migratory factors establishes lineage specific signatures that guide the homing of leukocyte subsets to tissues. Immunity. 2018 49:1175-1190

Scheiermann, C., Gibbs, J., Ince, L., Loudon, A. Clocking in to immunity. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 2018 18:423-437

Druzd, D., Matveeva, O., Ince, L., Harrison, U., He, W., Schmal, C., Herzel, H., Tsang, A., Kawakami, N., Leliavski, A., Uhl, U., Yao, L., Sander, L., Chen, C., Kraus, K., de Juan, A., Hergenhan, S., Ehlers, M., Koletzko, B., Haas, R., Solbach, W., Oster, H. and Scheiermann, C. Lymphocyte circadian clocks control lymph node trafficking and adaptive immune responses. Immunity 2017 46:120-132

Scheiermann, C., Kunisaki Y., and Frenette, P. S. Circadian control of the immune system. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 2013 13:190-8

October 27, 2020
  Immune cell trafficking and maturation