Maria Rescigno

Contact Information

  • Address
    Via Rita Levi Montalcini 4 Pieve Emanuele (Mi)
  • Telephone
  • E-mail

The lab major field of interest is mucosal immunology and in particular the interaction between host and the microbiota at mucosal sites. This interaction is fundamental to maintain immune homeostasis. When there is a dysregulation either in microbiota composition or in its handling by the immune system, disorders can arise not only in the gut where most of the microbes reside but also at distant sites. We study both homeostatic and pathologic conditions.

We have two major areas of interest:

mucosal immunology and cancer immunotherapy. A common link is the microbiota. On one side we are trying to identify what controls the handling of the microbiota both physically (the intestinal and vascular barriers) and cellularly through the immune system. On the other side, we are trying to use bacteria to activate the immune system against cancer or to prevent cancer development.

Regarding mucosal immunology, we have shown that dendritic cells actively participate to bacterial uptake in the gut, and that the local microenvironment dictates immune homeostasis. Indeed, epithelial cells release factors that control the activity of immune cells in the gut and this is required to preserve immune homeostasis. We also discovered the existence of a gut vascular barrier that resembles the blood brain barrier and that restrains bacteria from entering the blood stream and disseminate systemically. This barrier can be disrupted during several disorders in the gut-liver axis. Regarding cancer immunotherapy, we have shown that bacteria can drive the establishment of gap junctions between tumor cells and immune cells for an efficient priming of anti-tumor immunity. We have also developed tumor-specific bacteria that act as intelligent missiles to kill only tumor cells.

    Selected Publications

  • Maria Rescigno Publications

    Selected Publications: 20-25 publications listed in details with all the contributing authors, title of the papers, journal, dates. Spadoni L, Fornasa G, Rescigno M. Organ-specific protection mediated by cooperation between ...

Group Members