Research Area B: Effector Mechanisms and their Regulation

The massive influx of effector cells into the skin is a hallmark of the effector phase of pemphigoid diseases. In particular the activity of granulocytes significantly contributes to the eruption of skin lesions. The mechanisms directly and indirectly regulating the activity of granulocytes in the dermis will, therefore, be the major focus of Research Area B (RA-B). RA-B will decipher the molecular networks and intracellular signaling cascades regulating the activity of granulocyte populations and shaping their decisions in pemphigoid diseases. It will develop therapeutic strategies to selectively disrupt the intra- and extracellular networks driving the effector phase of pemphigoid diseases. General information, site-specific therapeutics, i.e., drugs designed to exclusively operate at a specific anatomical site, are a promising concept to limit side-effects and to achieve a better efficacy of the drug designed to accumulate in excessive amounts precisely at the targeted site. The effector phase of pemphigoid diseases is driven by immunological processes specifically initiated in the area close to the DEJ. Inhibiting pathogenic key processes, such as the activation of complement, specifically at the DEJ, might therefore be most effective in suppressing the effector phase of pemphigoid diseases.