Picture of Rudolf Martini and Dennis Klein. Photo: H. Blazyca

About aging nerves

The group of Rudolf Martini investigates effects of aging on the nervous system

Aging is a major risk factor for the nervous system. Inflammation is a strong driver of age-related damage. However, what is the role of macrophages, a group of white blood cells that belong to the so-called phagocytes, in the inflammatory process?

Rudolf Martini and Dennis Klein from the University Hospital of Würzburg aim to characterize pathogenic macrophages in the aging peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system represents those nerves that are not part of the central nervous system, brain and spinal cord. In their project at the Single-Cell Center Würzburg, the researchers plan to use single-cell RNA sequencing to identify molecular fingerprints specific to pathogenic nerve macrophages. In the future, these findings could be used to develop therapies that prevent age-related damage to the nervous system.

About the Single-Cell Center Würzburg

The Single-Cell Center Würzburg is a joint competence center of the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) with the Faculty of Medicine of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU), the University Hospital Würzburg (UKW), the Fraunhofer Translational Center for Regenerative Therapies (TLZ-RT), and the Max Planck Research Group at the Würzburg Institute of Systems Immunology (WüSI).

The center’s objective is to analyze and understand diseases at the level of individual cells. In the future, this will enable the earliest possible and most reliable prediction of a disease and how it can be treated in the best possible way.