Prof. Dr. Hans-Reimer Rodewald
Phone: +49 6221 424120




We study...


specific immune cell functions and the dynamics of cellular hematopoietic development.

Department for Cellular Immunology


Our group/department has:

  • Members of the Department for Cellular Immunology generated a series of mouse mutants to delineate physiological pathways of hematopoiesis, as a foundation to a better understanding of the origins of blood and immune cells and their immunological functions. The lymphoid-myeloid dichotomy in adult bone marrow was revealed in interleukin 7 receptor Cre knock-in mice (Schlenner et al. Immunity 2010). These experiments also showed that myeloid cells in the thymus do not normally arise from lymphoid progenitors, a highly contested area (discussed in Schlenner and Rodewald. Trends Immunol 2010).

  • A similar approach for studies into mast cell development and function, another area of intensive interest in the lab, was the generation of mast cell-deficient mice. While the absence of mast cells rendered mice resistant to IgE-mediated anaphylaxis, our work refuted earlier reports claiming essential roles for mast cells in models of antibody- and T cell-mediated autoimmunity (Feyerabend et al. Immunity 2011). Based on this work, we have discussed and reviewed the wider context of mast cell functions in innate and adaptive immunity and beyond (Rodewald and Feyerabend. Immunity 2012). Based on our long-standing work on thymus biology, our group has discovered a new capacity of the thymus. In Martins et al. (J Exp Med 2012), we showed that the thymus can pursue T cell production in the absence of de novo progenitor import from the bone marrow. In other words, the thymus can operate autonomously for extended periods of time 'on its own'.

2010 – 2013

  • Schlenner SM, Madan V, Busch K, Tietz A, Costa C, Läufle C, Blum C, Fehling HJ and Rodewald HR. Fate mapping reveals separate origins of T lymphocytes and myeloid lineages in the thymus. Immunity 2010; 32:426-436.

  • Schlenner SM, Rodewald HR. Early T cell development and the pitfalls of potential. Trends Immunol 2010; 31(8):303-310.

  • Feyerabend TB, Weiser A, Tietz A, Stassen M, Harris N, Kopf M, Radermacher P, Möller P, Benoist C, Mathis D, Fehling HJ, and Rodewald HR. Cre-Mediated Cell Ablation Contests Mast Cell Contribution in Models of Antibody- and T Cell-Mediated Autoimmunity. Immunity 2011; 35:832-844.

  • Martins VC, Ruggiero E, Schlenner SM, Madan V, Schmidt M, Fink PM, von Kalle C, and Rodewald HR. Thymus-autonomous T cell development in the absence of progenitor import. J. Exp. Med. 2012; 209:1409.

  • Rodewald HR and Feyerabend TB. Widespread immunological functions of mast cell: fact or fiction. Immunity 2012; 37:13.

  • ERC grant 233074: Mast-Cell-Functions

  • DFG: SFB 938 „Milieuspezifische Kontrolle immunologischer Reaktivität“