Cross-talk between the endocrine and the immune systems

Tuesday 25 June 2024, 11:30 am
PhD candidate
C. Peng
prof. dr. R.T. Netea-Maier, prof. dr. M.G. Netea
dr. H.H.M. Jaeger

Endocrine diseases mainly arise from hormone overproduction/underproduction or malignancies in the endocrine tissues. The immune system is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of endocrine disease due to the bi-directional communications between the two systems. In this thesis, we investigated the immunological manifestations of Cushing’s disease (cortisol steroid overproduction) and progressive thyroid cancer. We showed that metabolites within the cortisol synthesis pathways had a role in maintaining T cell function in physiological conditions, and immune dysregulation was common in patients with Cushing’s disease. In parallel, we also show that in patients with thyroid cancer, the immune system, mainly the circulating monocytes, could also be influenced by the conventional anti-tumor therapies, which should be taken into account for future design of combined immunotherapies. 

Chunying Peng (1993, China) obtained her Master in Medicine (Pediatric Critical Care, Children’s Hospital of Fudan University) from Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University in 2020. In October 2020, she continued to pursue a PhD in the Department of Internal Medicine at Radboud University, with full scholarship from the China Scholarship Council. Her PhD project mainly focused on the immunological mechanisms in endocrine diseases.