* | Carlsbergfondet
Til bevillingsoversigt

Exploring the heterogeneity of splenic vasculature - is it more than a sieve?

Carlsberg Foundation Young Researcher Fellowships


Blood vessels are vital conducts for oxygen and nutrient delivery, immune cell trafficking, and waste removal to and from distant tissues of our bodies. Their anatomy and function differ between the tissues in which they reside. The aim of this project is to obtain better understanding and novel insight of the splenic vasculature, its function and expand and provide the answers to the intriguing questions, like: which molecular mechanisms drive spleen vasculature homeostasis.


The spleen is the body’s largest filter of the blood and the largest lymphatic organ in the body. Regardless of its important role, the spleen is, these days, considered as “the forgotten organ”. Nevertheless, its microanatomy remains intriguing from a biological point of view. For instance, the spleen's vasculature network hosts a totally open circulation system, as connections from capillaries to sinuses are not found. Moreover, the details of the molecular signature of these vascular compartments are virtually unknown.


To address these fundamental questions, we will execute a number of experiments using the multi-omics analysis and complementary set of methods of well-established molecular biology techniques, including flow cytometry and primary cell culture. This will be followed up by various microscopic techniques that will enable imagining the tissue vasculature at different developmental stages.


The spleen has an important role in the immune function and homeostasis of the body. A diseased or surgically absent spleen increases the risk of infections with encapsulated bacteria, which can lead to lethal consequences for the affected individuals. The result of this project will shed light on the spleen vasculature's function that could be further investigated by private-public entities.