Associate Professor, Dept. of Molecular Medicine, “Sapienza” University of Rome, & Dept. of Angiocardioneurology and Translational Medicine, IRCCS Neuromed – Technology Park, Pozzilli (IS), ITALY

Wednesday 15 January 2020 |12:00 noon – ICGEB Trieste, ITALY

Novel signaling pathways at the crossroads of immune and vascular biology in hypertension

Host: S. Zacchigna

The nervous system and the immune system share the common ability to exert gatekeeper roles at the interfaces between internal and external environment. Although interaction between these two evolutionarily highly conserved systems is long recognized, the investigation into pathophysiological mechanisms regulating their reciprocal cross-talk has been the object of pathbreaking immunology and neuroscience research only in recent decades. Inthelastyears,ourgroupelucidatedhowtheautonomicnervoussystemcontrols the splenic immunity recruited by hypertensive challenges, uncovering a new molecular pathway mediating the neuroimmune interaction established by noradrenergic-mediated release in the spleen of placental growth factor (PlGF). Once activated, T cells egress from the spleen and are deployed toward tissues that are typically involved in blood pressure regulation, like the vasculature and kidney. The effects exerted by activated T cells depend on the molecular mechanisms regulating the immune-vascular interface established in the target organs of hypertension. Among the various immune and inflammatory mediators that can shape the vascular milieu, TGFβ signaling has intriguing features, being capable of exerting pure vascular modulating functions as well as immunomodulating ones