ZMB News

DFG Research Grant for Virkramjeet Singh Feedback loops between gut microbes and immune cells may impact outcome after stroke

[10.06.2020] The DFG recently approved funding for an exciting new research project of Dr. Vikramjeet Singh, that targets at exploring how the interaction with gut microbiota shapes the impact of neutrophils on ischemic brain injury.

As a postdoc at the Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research at the LMU Medical Center, participating in the Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), Singh and his colleagues already identified a bidirectional communication along the brain–gut microbiota–immune axis and could potentially show that the gut microbiota is a central regulator of immune homeostasis. The results were published in The Journal of Neuroscience in 2016*.

Singh, who studied Neuroscience at the University of Strasbourg, and finished his Ph.D. from Hannover Medical School, is now a principal investigator at the Institute of Experimental Immunology and Imaging, headed by ZMB member Professor Matthias Gunzer.

To understand the intestinal microflora functions in brain tissue injuries, Singh works with experimental models of stroke. Acute ischemic stroke induces a local neuroinflammatory reaction and also causes microbiota dysbiosis. The results of Singh's research support that a microbial imbalance like reduced species diversity and bacterial overgrowth of bacteroidetes, in turn, alters immune-mediated mechanisms with a significant impact on stroke outcome.

As part of the innate immune system, neutrophils make up the majority of white blood cells. They are present in the human blood in high numbers and have shown to be the first invaders to the injured brain. By further elucidating how the interplay between intestinal microbes and immune cells like neutrophils modifies brain injury-induced neuroinflammation, Singh wants to find potential therapeutic targets to protect brain function after injury.

The DFG now supports Vikramjeet Singh's research with 430.000€ for the next 36 months.

Vikramjeet Singh
Further information:
Dr. Vikramjeet Singh
Institute of Experimental Immunology and Imaging
+49 201 183 6643

* Singh V, Roth S, Llovera G, Sadler R, Garzetti D, Stecher B, Dichgans M, Liesz A.
Microbiota Dysbiosis Controls the Neuroinflammatory Response after Stroke.
J Neurosci. 2016 Jul 13;36(28):7428-40.

Editor: Carola Schubert, +49 201 183 2911,