Ass.Prof. MMag. Dr. rer. nat. Alice Assinger
Institute of Physiology
Centre of Physiology and Pharmacology
Schwarzspanierstrasse 17, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 40160 31405
know-how and research interests:
We are interested in elucidating the physiological and pathophysiological immunomodulatory roles of platelets. Platelets are circulating anucleate blood cells that have a critical function in haemostasis by facilitating the cessation of bleeding. In recent years it became increasingly apparent that platelets are not only important in haemostasis and thrombosis, but they can also fine-tune immune responses. Upon activation platelets release the content of their granules, which contain a plethora of downstream effector molecules that can modulate leukocyte and endothelial cell functions. These include cytokines and chemokines, coagulation factors and fibrinolytic agents, as well as angiogenesis regulating proteins.
Aside from the secretion of factors, platelets can also directly interact with cells of the immune system or the endothelium. Platelet interaction with circulating leukocytes or progenitor cells produces co-aggregates that further support cell activation, adhesion and transmigration. Circulating platelet-leukocyte aggregates also represent hallmarks of acute myocardial infarction and other inflammatory disorders, as well as sepsis. They are important mediators in host defence, but can also accelerate inflammatory processes. We are interested in elucidating the role of platelet-leukocyte interactions in various inflammatory diseases and determining the underlying signalling pathways triggering these interactions. Moreover, we aim to evaluate the effect of different platelet therapies in this context.
research topic (general title):
The role of platelets in inflammation, malignancy and infection
techniques and infrastructure of the research group:
Flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, molecular and cellular biology techniques, immunological and functional assays, transgenic mice models.
5 selected publications:
(1) Badrnya S, Schrottmaier WC, Kral JB, Yaiw KC, Volf I, Schabbauer G, Soderberg-Naucler C, Assinger A. Platelets mediate oxidized low-density lipoprotein-induced monocyte extravasation and foam cell formation. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2014;34:571-80.
(2) Assinger A, Kral J, Yaiw KC, Schrottmaier W, Kurzejamska E, Wang Y, Mohammad AA, Religa P, Rahbar A, Schabbauer G, Butler LM, Soderberg-Naucler C. Human Cytomegalovirus-Platelet Interaction Triggers Toll-Like Receptor 2-Dependent Proinflammatory and Proangiogenic Responses. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2014.
(3) Badrnya S, Baumgartner R, Assinger A. Smoking alters circulating plasma microvesicle pattern and microRNA signatures. Thromb Haemost 2014;112.
(4) Badrnya S, Butler LM, Soderberg-Naucler C, Volf I, Assinger A. Platelets directly enhance neutrophil transmigration in response to oxidised low-density lipoprotein. Thromb Haemost 2012;108:719-29.
(5) Assinger A, Laky M, Schabbauer G, Hirschl AM, Buchberger E, Binder BR, Volf I. Efficient phagocytosis of periodontopathogens by neutrophils requires plasma factors, platelets and TLR2. J Thromb Haemost 2011;9:799-809.