Laura Lueckemann from the University of Duisburg-Essen is Post-Doc in the SFB 1280 subproject A18. The title of her research project is “Analysing extinction and memory up-dating of learned immune responses with fingolimod”. The objective of this study is to implement a new immunomodulatory drug in our conditioning paradigm allowing us to analyze not only behavioural readout parameters (CTA) during different time points of retrieval but also neuroendocrine and in particular immunological parameters, without sacrificing the animals.
Suppression of immune functions can be elicited by behavioral conditioning. However, it is still unknown, whether the effects of learned immunosuppression are restricted to calcineurin inhibitors such as CsA. Thus, in this project Laura will investigate whether conditioning of immune functions also applies for immunomodulating drugs with distinct cell signalling pathways, used for the treatment of multiple scleroses (fingomylod/FTY).
Laura hypothesizes that extinction of learned immunopharmacological effects can be abrogated by memory-updating mechanisms, using sub- or low-therapeutic drug doses during retrieval as reminder cues concomitantly with the CS. These data will provide the basis for employing learned immunopharmacological strategies in clinical situations as supportive therapy together with standard pharmacological regimen.
The SFB 1280 has set up a budget for the realisation of the research ideas of its young scientists. With the “treasure box”, we finance convincing and independent study concepts of young scientists.