Researh & development

Cellular and Molecular Immunology


The immune system is a network of organs, cells and proteins that protect our organisms against infections whether these invaders are bacteria, viruses or parasites. Thus, the immune system can distinguish between our healthy cells (self) and these invaders (non-self). The inability to distinguish between self and non-self can lead to tolerance, which is the lack of recognition of foreign invaders by the immune system, or to autoimmunity, which is the recognition by the immune system of our own healthy cells as foreign.

In collaboration with the immunology team at the Faculty of Sciences (University of Chile) we are  studying the immunological mechanisms that regulate the fine balance between immunity and tolerance. Our aim is to understand how the activation of dendritic cells (the main sentinels of the immune system) and regulatory T lymphocytes (the main regulator/suppressors of the immune response) can lead to protective immunity or to different pathologies such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. We hope to translate the mechanisms discovered in mouse models to improve human health. Our research covers major areas of autoimmunity and its relation to the presence of LB cells in the thymus and the relation of  autoimmunity and the gut microbiota.

  • Research Head: Mario Rosemblatt
  • Doctoral Students: Nicolás Valdivieso • Salvador Campos
  • Research Assistants: Leonardo Vargas • María Valeska Simon

  • Ana María Lennon (1992), PI at Institut Curie, France
  • Alejandra Loyola (1996). PI at the Fundación Ciencia & Vida, Santiago, Chile
  • Rodrigo Naves, (1999), PI at Universidad de Chile
  • Pablo Vargas (2003), PI at Institut Necker, France
  • Rodrigo Mora (2005), Head of Immunology Platform, Moderna, USA
  • Fabiola Osorio, (2006), PI at Universidad de Chile
  • Lilian Reyes (2007), Director School of Biochemistry USS
  • Gonzalo Ureta , (2007) PI; Merken Biotech, Chile
  • Jennifer Alfaro (2008), Head R&D Botanicals Solutions Inc. Chile
  • Carolina Moore, (2010), Research Associate, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Paulina Ruiz, (2010), Assistant Professor, Universidad de Chile
  • Jaime de Calisto, (2011), Graduate Teaching Director, Universidad Mayor
  • Andrés Ramírez, (2011), Regional specialist, Bio-Rad Laboratories
  • Paz Reyes (2011), Field Applications Specialist, Becton Dickinson, Chile
  • Nicole Halcartegaray (2012) Scientific Advisor, Fundación Daya, Chile
  • Constanza Miller, (2014), IP Consultant, ClarkeModet
  • Pablo Cifuentes (2015), Chief Scouting Officer – Phage Technologies, Chile
  • María José Morales, (2015), Patentes, Consultant, Jarry IP Lawyers

National Collaborations:
• Dr. María Rosa Bono. Faculty of Sciences Universidad de Chile
• Dr. Daniela Sauma. Faculty of Sciences Universidad de Chile
• Sarah Nuñez. Faculty of Medicine and Science – Universidad San Sebastian

International Collaboration:
• Dr. Ana María Lennon (Institut Curie – France)


Y. Hidalgo, S. Núñez, M.J. Fuenzalida, F. Flores-Santibáñez, P.J. Sáez, J. Dorner, A.M. Lennon-Dumenil, V. Martínez, E. Zorn, M. Rosemblatt, D. Sauma and M.R. Bono.“Thymic B cells promote germinal center-like structures and the expansion of follicular helper T cells in lupus-prone mice”. Frontiers Immunology, Vol. 11, Article 696, April 2020. http://doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.00696

Cristian Doñas, Jocelyn Neira, Francisco Osorio‑Barrios, Macarena Carrasco, Dominique Fernández, Carolina Prado, Alejandra Loyola, Rodrigo Pacheco, & Mario Rosemblatt, The demethylase inhibitor GSK‑J4 limits inflammatory colitis by promoting de novo synthesis of retinoic acid in dendritic cells. Sientific Reports 2021, 11:1342

Mariana V. Rosemblatt, Brian Parra-Tello, Pedro Briceño, Elizabeth Rivas-Yáñez, Suat Tucer, Juan Saavedra-Almarza, Pilar Hörmann, Brandon A. Martínez, Álvaro Lladser, Mario Rosemblatt, Caglar Cekic, María Rosa Bono and Daniela Sauma. Ecto-5′-Nucleotidase (CD73) Regulates the Survival of CD8+ T Cells. Frontiers in Developmental and Cell Biology. Vol 9: 766 2021. DOI=10.3389/fcell.2021.647058

J. Castañeda, Y. Hidalgo, D. Sauma, M. Rosemblatt, M.R. Bono, S. Nuñez. “The multifaceted roles of B cells in the thymus: from immune tolerance to autoimmunity”. Front. Immunol. November 2021 | Volume 12 | Article 766698. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.766698.

G. Tejón, N Valdivieso, F. Flores-Santibáñez, V. Barra-Valdebenito, V. Martínez, M. Rosemblatt, Daniela Sauma, M.R. Bono. “Phenotypic and functional alterations of peritoneal macrophages in lupus-prone mice”. Molecular Biology Reports, February 2022;

Mora J. R., Bono M. R., Manjunath N., Weninger W., Cavanagh L. L., Rosemblatt M. and Von Andrian U. H. Selective imprinting of gut-homing T cells by Peyer’s patch dendritic cells. Nature 424, 88-93 (2003) | PDF | Abstract

Wilhelm V., Miquel A., Burzio L. O., Rosemblatt M., Engel E., Valenzuela S, Parada G. and Valenzuela P. D. T. A vaccine against the salmonid pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis based on recombinant proteins. Vaccine 24 (23): 5083-5091 (2006) | PDF | Abstract

Elgueta R., Sepúlveda F. E., Vilches F., Vargas L., Mora J. R., Bono M. R. and Rosemblatt M. Imprinting of CCR9 on CD4 T cells requires IL-4 signalling on mesenteric lymph node dendritic cells. J. Immunol. 180, 6501-6507 (2008) | PDF | Abstract

Jorgensen T. N., Alfaro J., Enriquez H. L., Jiang C., Loo W. M., Atencio S., Bupp M. R., Mailloux C. M., Metzger T., Flannery S., Rozzo S. J., Kotzin B. L., Rosemblatt M., Bono M. R. and Erickson L. D. Development of murine lupus involves the combined genetic contribution of the SLAM and FcyR intervals within the Nba2 autoimmune susceptibility locus. The J. Immunol. 15, 775-786 (2010) | PDF | Abstract

Villablanca E. J., Wang S., De Calisto J., Gomes D. C. O., Kane M. A., Napoli J. L., Blaner W. S., Kagechika H., Blomhoff R., Rosemblatt M., Bono M. R., Von Andrian U. H. and Mora J. R. MyD88 and retinoic acid signaling pathways interact to modulate gastrointestinal activities of Dendritic cells. Gastroenterology 141, 176-185 (2011) | PDF | Abstract

Sauma D., Espejo P., Ramirez A., Fierro A., Rosemblatt M. and Bono M. R. Differential regulation of Notch ligands in dendritic cells upon interaction with T helper cells. Scand. J. Immunol. 74, 62-70 (2011) | PDF | Abstract

Moore C., Fuentes C., Sauma D., Morales J., Bono M. R., Rosemblatt M. and Fierro J. A. Retinoic acid generates regulatory T cells in experimental transplantation. Transplant. Proc. 43 (6): 2334-2337 (2011) | PDF | Abstract

Doñas C., Fritz M., Manríquez V., Tejón G., Bono M. R., Loyola A., Rosemblatt M. Trichostatin A promotes the differentiation and suppressive functions of regulatory T cells. Clin. Dev. Immunol 2013, 679804 (2013) | PDF

Moore C., Tejón G., Fuentes C., Hidalgo Y., Bono M. R., Maldonado P., Fernández R., Wood K., Fierro J. A., Rosemblatt M., Sauma D., Bushell A. Alloreactive regulatory T cells generated with retinoic acid prevent skin allograft rejection. Eur. J. Immunol. 45, 452-463 (2015) | PDF

Tejón G., Manríquez V., De Calisto J., Flores F., Hidalgo Y., Crisóstomo N., Fernández D., Sauma D., Bono M. R., Rosemblatt M. Vitamin A impairs the reprogramming of Treg into IL-17-producing cells during intestinal inflammation. Biomed. Res. International. 2015, 1-8 (2015) | PDF

Daniela Sauma, Natalia Crisóstomo, Camila Fuentes, María Alejandra Gleisner, Yessia Hidalgo, María José Fuenzalida, Mario Rosemblatt & María Rosa Bono. Adoptive transfer of autoimmune splenic dendritic cells
to lupus-prone mice triggers a B lymphocyte humoral response. Immunol Res. 65(4):957-968. doi: 10.1007/s12026-017-8936-9 (2017) | PDF

Felipe Flores-Santibáñez, Bárbara Cuadra, Dominique Fernández, Mariana Rosemblatt, Sarah Núñez, Pablo Cruz, Felipe Gálvez-Cancino, J.César Cárdenas, Alvaro Lladser, Mario Rosemblatt, María Rosa Bono and Daniela Sauma. In Vitro-Generated Tc17 Cells Present a Memory Phenotype and Serve As a Reservoir of Tc1 Cells In Vivo. Frontiers in Immunology. 9:209. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00209 (2018) | PDF

Yessia Hidalgo, Sarah Núñez, Maria Jose Fuenzalida, Felipe Flores-Santibáñez, Pablo J. Sáez, Jessica Dorner, Ana-Maria Lennon-Dumenil, Victor Martínez, Emmanuel Zorn, Mario Rosemblatt, Daniela Sauma and Maria Rosa Bono. Thymic B Cells Promote Germinal Center-Like Structures and the Expansion of Follicular Helper T Cells in Lupus Prone Mice. Front. Immunol. 11:696 (2020). doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.00696 | PDF

Elizabeth Rivas-Yáñez, Carlos Barrera-Avalos, Brian Parra-Tello, Pedro Briceño, Mariana V. Rosemblatt, Juan Saavedra-Almarza, Mario Rosemblatt, Claudio Acuña-Castillo, María Rosa Bono and Daniela Sauma. P2X7 receptor at the crossroads of T cell fate. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 4937; doi:10.3390/ijms21144937 | PDF

Principal investigator

Mario Rosemblatt, PhD