Mid term report (24 month report)

Executive summary of the Progress Report:

The activity of the COST Action BM1406 entitled “Ion Channels and Immune Response toward a global understanding of immune cell physiology and for new therapeutic approaches (IONCHANIMMUNRESPON)” during the 24 Month period was characterised by 5 meetings and workshops including the kick off meeting, and 9 STSM.

The aim of all the meetings was to merge in a single location the participants in order to spur new collaborative ideas and projects. In this term, the activity was very successful. Of particular interest, the outcome of the meeting was the beginning of collaborative exchange on topics such as strategies to modulate ion channels in immune cells, thanks to antibodies, drugs and siRNA. The Third Meeting in Lisbon, in which we focused on the WG3, clearly demonstrated that the siRNA approach is not yet available for therapies through the ion channels. Chemical drugs and therapeutic antibodies seem to be a better trail to investigate ion channel modulation. Each meeting gave the opportunity to the participants to exchange scientific expertise and to have fruitful discussions. The STSMs of young researchers inside the Action increased the knowledge of skills of each laboratory that allows the collaborations and material exchanges. In this, our objective, which is to build working relationships within European research groups, is reached in full.

The outcomes of the Action could be appreciated thank to the numbers of submitted projects on the national and European levels, the numbers of publications in which the Action has been acknowledged, the collaborative projects supported or not by the Action, the number of ITC partners involved into these projects. The important scientific advance has been reported in the paper of Prof. di Virgilio and Pablo Pelegrin concerning the role of the nlrp3/P2X7 in cancer cells. It is a major concern for this type of cancers to understand which inflammation is induced and why the immune system does not attack against the cancer cells. The Action has allowed also the study of very particular channels such as aquaporin, which has lead to the publication of three articles.

The Action has increased the individual scientific foresight and a large number of us have been invited to the other laboratories for conferences and seminars in each partners countries. We paid a large attention to the young researchers and PhD. Fellow for those STSM are priority dedicated. We have a nice success story with the creation of a start ‘up by our colleagues from Switzerland in Geneva that participate to the industrial task of Europe. Nevertheless, we observed that the relation with industries in the Action is less efficient to start collaborative projects and so we decided for the next GP to increase the number of STSM for the industrial partners. To sum up, this first period of activity allows us to establish scientific relation in a common scientific area, a to build strategies to study the role of ion channels in immune cells, and evaluate the appropriate trail to module the immune cell activity.