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Core Units - Quality control across the transregional Research Group

PEGASUS recognises the importance of standardized methods for the reproducibility of the data at different sites of the Research Group. Hence, we have established decentral Core Units at the sites of the PEGASUS partners who are the experts in these procedures.

The Core Units have been installed for special techniques which are critical for the work and the quality assurance of specific techniques of the PEGASUS consortium. The research methods applied in the different subprojects of the PEGASUS consortium can be roughly divided into immunological methods and techniques in cellular and molecular biology, respectively. Those subprojects that focus on characterizing immune cells of the peripheral blood of patients or isolated cells from lymphoid organs of experimental animals, rely on thorough phenotypical analyses by flow cytometry. PEGASUS enabled the performance of multi-parametric cell analysis by flow cytometry. This allows a detailed characterization of immune cells (i.e. T and B cell subpopulations). By establishing standardized staining protocols, several subprojects such as TP1, TP2, and TP8 benefit from this core unit and the results can be compared with the work of other partners within PEGASUS.

Another technique that is frequently applied by several subprojects (e.g. TP1, TP4) is confocal microscopy and imaging in a broader sense. The imaging and microscopy core facility at the University of Giessen provides excellent opportunities to analyze immunofluorescent stainings of epithelial tissue. Subprojects TP5 and TP6new provide a variety of cell-free systems and imaging facilities. Techniques such as atomic force microscopy (AFM)- and stimulated emission depletion (STED)-microscopy are well established in Munich and these methods are shared within the consortium. Subproject TP3 has established a 3D skin/mucosa model that is available for all other subprojects focusing on the effects of Dsg-reactive autoantibodies on cell adhesion, especially on desmosomal integrity.