NeuriMM: Integration of neuronal signals by tumour infiltrating natural killer and myeloma cells

In NeuriMM, we hypothesise that neuronal signalling in the BM controls MM cells and that neuronal cues may regulate MM cells directly or via other actors of the BM microenvironment. We propose a complementary approach to gain insight into the interactions between BM-innervating neurons, MM cells and associated lymphocytes. By combining structural analyses, molecular characterization, and functional assays, we will determine whether neuronal circuits steer MM cells directly and indirectly via immune cells (Figure 2). The analyses of immune cells will focus on natural killer (NK) cells since these innate lymphoid cells naturally initiate the recognition of cancer cells and are known to control MM progression.
The main aims of NeuriMM are the following:
1.Establish how MM changes the innervation of the BM and what neuronal signals malignant plasma cells and MM-associated NK cells can integrate.
2.Determine functional consequences of neuronal cues on MM cells and immune cells in the tumour microenvironment.
The project has been awarded an exploratory research project grant by FCT in 2022 and a funding from the Portuguese Society of Haematology/SPH/AMGEN in 2022.

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