Experimental Allergy and Immunology

Helmholtz University Research Group "Experimental Allergy and Immunology (EIA)"


Research Topics

Environmental factors have been shown to play a crucial role in the development of various diseases like allergies, overweight/obesity or behavior disorders. External factors such as chemicals, pathogens or stress may act as drivers of the individual’s risk to develop diseases and as triggers of underlying genetic predispositions. Recent findings indicate that in particular the prenatal and early postnatal period appear critical to environmental exposures, probably interfering with the developmental programming of the immune system or the physiological endocrine and metabolic signalling. Using transgenerational mouse models in combination with epidemiological data we want to explore the effects of early chemical exposures on disease development in later life and to characterize the underlying mechanisms. These findings may contribute to identify crucial disease risks and to develop new prevention strategies.


Selected Publications

Leppert B, Strunz S, Seiwert B, Schlittenbauer L, Schlichting R, Pfeiffer C, Röder S, Bauer M, Borte M, Stangl GI, Schöneberg T, Schulz A, Karkossa I, Rolle-Kampczyk UE, Thürmann L, von Bergen M, Escher BI, Junge KM., Reemtsma T., Lehmann I, Polte T. Maternal paraben exposure triggers childhood overweight development. Nat. Commun. 2020;11 , art. 561 Abstract Press Release
Jahreis S, Trump S, Bauer M, Bauer T, Thürmann L, Feltens R, Wang Q, Gu L, Grützmann K, Röder S, Averbeck M, Weichenhan D, Plass C, Sack U, Borte M, Dubourg V, Schüürmann G, Simon JC, von Bergen M, Hackermüller J, Eils R, Lehmann I, Polte T (2017). Maternal phthalate exposure promotes allergic airway inflammation over two generations via epigenetic modifications. J Allergy Clin Immunol doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2017.03.017 Abstract Press Release
Polte T, Petzold S, Bertrand J, Schütze N, Hinz D, Simon JC, Lehmann I, Echtermeyer F, Pap T, Averbeck M. Critical role for syndecan-4 in dendritic cell migration during development of allergic airway inflammation. Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 13;6:7554 Abstract Press Release

Schütze N, Lehmann I, Bönisch U, Simon JC, Polte T. Exposure to mycotoxins increases the allergic immune response in a murine asthma model. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 181: 1188-1199. Cover Press Release
Polte T, Hennig C, Hansen G. Allergy prevention starts before conception: Maternofetal transfer of tolerance protects from the development of asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Nov;122(5):1022-1030.e5 Abstract
Polte T, Behrendt AK, Hansen G. Direct evidence for a critical role of CD30 in the development of allergic asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Oct;118(4):942-8 Abstract
Polte T, Foell J, Werner C, Hoymann HG, Braun A, Burdach S, Mittler RS, Hansen G. CD137-mediated immunotherapy for allergic asthma. J Clin Invest. 2006 Apr;116(4):1025-36 Abstract