It is well known that cell-free plasma DNA released after cell-death can trigger a systemic inflammatory response in patients with autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and can even predict mortality in critically ill patients. However, no data are available regarding its clinical value in patients following an out-ofhospital cardiac arrest. Therefore, our objective is to evaluate the potential clinical application of cell-free DNA in predicting the outcome of these patients.
The immune system functions as the sixth sense, detecting microorganisms and microbial toxins. For example, neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) can synthesise and express tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin-1, and these cytokines may participate in neuronal communication.
It is now evident that neuropeptides and cytokines are synthesised by immune cells as well as by the nervous tissues and serve as the molecular basis of a neuroimmune axis. Brain immunoregulatory outputs are mediated via the autonomic nervous system. Sympathetic and vagus nerve innervation of the thymus, liver, heart, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, pancreas, and kidneys represent potent pathways of CNS-derived regulation of innate immunity. The so-called “inflammatory reflex” is a physiological pathway in which the autonomous nervous system detects and localises the presence of an inflammatory stimulus. Another interesting research line is the molecular characterisation of several signalling pathways in different cell lines of dysplasia in experimental neoplasia.
Besides, we are engaged in collaborative research in the field of the neurobiology of the adaptative immune response against the human immunodeficiency virus in infected patients, and their relationship with neurocognitive dysfunction.
Applied research lines:
• Systemic inflammatory response in sepsis and in conditions of prolonged hypoxia/anoxia (cardiac arrest; acute coronary syndrome).
• Molecular mechanisms involved in the innate immune response.
Collaborative research line:
• Adaptative imnune response in human immunodeficiency virus infection.
• Multicentric group: RIETE group (Registro Español de Enfermedad Trombo-Embólica).
Lines of study framed in basic research projects:
• Study of the pathophysiological role of nicotinic Alpha7 and dup-Alpha7 receptors expressed in human macrophages, neurons and lung carcinoma cells.
• Identification of signalling pathways connecting nicotinic Alpha7 receptors and negative regulators of TLR-mediated inflammation in human macrophages.