Tissue Typing Laboratory
Immunogenetics holds the typing of genetic polymorphisms most notably genes of the MHC complex that are related to the outcome of transplantation and that show associations with distinct diseases. In addition, it comprises the screening and identification of antibodies and cellular responses specific for molecules governing the histocompatibility of tissues and organs.
As to the typing several molecular techniques have been established and are constantly amended due to ever increasing allelic polymorphism and due to expanding clinical requirements. These techniques comprise typing with sequence specific oligonucleotides (SSO), sequence specific primers (SSP) and nucleotide sequencing. At the moment we are establishing protocols for the use of next generation sequencing platforms for this purpose.
For antibody screening and identification as well as for the crossmatch related to the transplantation of solid organs and haematopoietic stem cells we apply and further develop several techniques including cytotoxicity tests, bead array technologies and flow cytometry.
At the moment we are studying the influence of MICA polymorphism on disease progression and the distribution of HLA-G alleles in healthy and diseased individuals. The further characterisation of the ILT-5 and ILT-8 genes, which have turned out to be highly immunogenic in terms of antibody response during haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, is another topic of interest. The usefulness of monitoring antibody production after transplantation is investigated together with several clinical groups.
The translational application of this research is relevant in the areas of donor selection for solid organ transplantation and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, in population genetics and disease association studies as well as in pharmacogenetic applications like the prediction of Abacavir hypersensitivity.