Magdalini Lourda team – Innate immune system in cancer, inflammation and infection

The team studies the innate immune system in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases in children and adults.

The Magdalini Lourda team is connected to the Anna Norrby-Teglund and Mattias Svensson research groups at the Center for Infectious Medicine (CIM), Department of Medicine, Huddinge.

The team's focus

In our team, we integrate various advanced experimental approaches to investigate disease-specific subpopulations of myeloid cells, especially of granulocytes, in blood and tissues from patients and healthy individuals.

Granulocytes are the first line of defense against pathogens. They initiate repair mechanisms of the damaged tissue but can occasionally cause severe tissue damage that could lead to chronic pathologies. Despite their importance in modulating adaptive immune responses, the phenotype and function of granulocyte subpopulations in human tissues and diseases are not well understood.

Currently, the team focuses on characterizing the granulocyte subpopulations in psoriasis, Langerhans cell histiocytosis and COVID-19 and understanding how the granulocytes communicate with other cells contributing to disease pathology. Our goal is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Magdalini Lourda about her research

Team leader

Magdalini Lourda

PhD, Senior Researcher
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Magdalini Lourda completed her PhD in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) and then moved to Sweden to work as a post-doc at CIM in collaboration with the Department of Women’s and Children’s health at Karolinska Institutet.

During her post-doc, Magdalini studied the involvement of myeloid cells in the pathogenesis of granuloma diseases, such as Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) and Crohn’s disease. Her research resulted in the identification of several disease-associated deregulated molecular and cellular processes and contributed to new tools for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients with LCH. Magdalini became an Assistant Professor in 2015.

Current supervision of PhD students (Co-supervisor)

Marco Loreti

MSc. Modulation of protective immunity in human tuberculosis
H7 Department of Medicine, Huddinge

Nikolaos Tsesmetzis

Msc. Translational studies on antimetabolic therapies in paediatric oncology
K6 Department of Women's and Children's Health

Previous team members

  • Mira Akber, MSc, Research trainee/Research assistant (October 2019-February 2020). Research on the role of myeloid cells in the pathogenesis of LCH and psoriasis.
  • Avinash Padhi, PhD, Now Postdoctoral researcher, the Department of Medicine, Solna K2. Research on the role of neutrophils and keratinocytes in skin inflammation.

Supervision of PhD students who defended their thesis (Co-supervisor)

  • Egle Kvedaraite, MD. Human myeloid cells in cancer, inflammation and infection (Defence: January 2022).
  • Akhirunnesa Mily, MSc, PhD. Immunopathogenesis in pulmonary tuberculosis: Impact of immunomodulation and diabetes comorbidity (Defence: March 2021).

Open positions

We always want to get in touch with talented potential co-workers. If you are interested in doing research in our team, either as a student or post-doc, contact the Team leader:

Current projects

  1. Elucidating the immunopathogenic mechanisms behind the development of Langerhans cell histiocytosis.
  2. Granulocyte phenotype and function in acute and chronic inflammatory diseases (eg COVID-19, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease).

Main collaborators

Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska Institutet and others

  • Jan-Inge Henter, KI and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm.
  • Josefin Lysell, KI and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm.
  • Petter Höglund, MedH, KI and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm.
  • Liv Eidsmo, KI and LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center, Copenhagen.

Research Support

  • The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund
  • Dr Åke Olsson foundation for haematological research
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Fredrik O Ingrid Thurings foundation
  • Märta and Gunnar V Philipsons foundation

Selected publications

  1. Multiomics personalized network analyses highlight progressive immune disruption of central metabolism associated with COVID-19 severity.
    Ambikan AT, Yang H, Krishnan S, Svensson-Akusjärvi S, Gupta S, Lourda M, Sperk M, Arif M, Zhang C, Nordqvist H, Ponnan SM, Sönnerborg A, Treutiger CJ, O’Mahony L, Mardinoglu A, Benfeitas R, Neogi U. Cell Syst., accepted
  2. Screening for neurodegeneration in Langerhans cell histiocytosis with neurofilament light in plasma.
    Sveijer M, von Bahr Greenwood T, Jädersten M, Kvedaraite E, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Lourda M, Gavhed D, Henter JI. Br J Haematol 2022 May;(): Online ahead of print. PMID: 35582775
  3. COVID-19-specific metabolic imprint yields insights into multiorgan system perturbations.
    Cornillet M, Strunz B, Rooyackers O, Ponzetta A, Chen P, Muvva JR, Akber M, Buggert M, Chambers BJ, Dzidic M, Filipovic I, Gorin JB, Gredmark-Russ S, Hertwig L, Klingström J, Kokkinou E, Kvedaraite E, Lourda M, Mjösberg J, Maucourant C, Norrby-Teglund A, Parrot T, Perez-Potti A, Rivera-Ballesteros O, Sandberg JK, Sandberg JT, Sekine T, Svensson M, Varnaite R, , Eriksson LI, Aleman S, Strålin K, Ljunggren HG, Björkström NK. Eur J Immunol 2022 03;52(3):503-510. PMID: 34837225
  4. High-dimensional profiling reveals phenotypic heterogeneity and disease-specific alterations of granulocytes in COVID-19.
    Lourda M, Dzidic M, Hertwig L, Bergsten H, Palma Medina LM, Sinha I, Kvedaraite E, Chen P, Muvva JR, Gorin JB, Cornillet M, Emgård J, Moll K, García M, Maleki KT, Klingström J, Michaëlsson J, Flodström-Tullberg M, Brighenti S, Buggert M, Mjösberg J, Malmberg KJ, Sandberg JK, Henter JI, Folkesson E, Gredmark-Russ S, Sönnerborg A, Eriksson LI, Rooyackers O, Aleman S, Strålin K, Ljunggren HG, Björkström NK, Svensson M, Ponzetta A, Norrby-Teglund A, Chambers BJ, the Karolinska KI/K COVID-19 Study Group. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 10;118(40): PMID: 34548411
  5. Major alterations in the mononuclear phagocyte landscape associated with COVID-19 severity.
    Kvedaraite E, Hertwig L, Sinha I, Ponzetta A, Hed Myrberg I, Lourda M, Dzidic M, Akber M, Klingström J, Folkesson E, Muvva JR, Chen P, Gredmark-Russ S, Brighenti S, Norrby-Teglund A, Eriksson LI, Rooyackers O, Aleman S, Strålin K, Ljunggren HG, Ginhoux F, Björkström NK, Henter JI, Svensson M; Karolinska KI/K COVID-19 Study Group. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 02;118(6): PMID: 33479167
  6. Patients with both Langerhans cell histiocytosis and Crohn's disease highlight a common role of interleukin-23.
    Kvedaraite E, Lourda M, Han H, Tesi B, Mitchell J, Ideström M, Mouratidou N, Rassidakis G, von Bahr Greenwood T, Cohen-Aubart F, Jädersten M, Åkefeldt SO, Svensson M, Kannourakis G, Bryceson YT, Haroche J, Henter JI. Acta Paediatr 2021 04;110(4):1315-1321 PMID: 32975844
  7. High prevalence of peripheral lymphopenia in Langerhans cell histiocytosis.
    Lourda M, Widesköld S, Kvedaraite E, Gavhed D, Akber M, von Bahr Greenwood T, Svensson M, Olsson-Åkefeldt S, Henter JI. Br J Haematol 2020 10;191(1):115-119 PMID: 32639023
  8. Adsorptive depletion of blood monocytes reduces the levels of circulating interleukin-17A in Langerhans cell histiocytosis.
    Lourda M, Olsson-Åkefeldt S, Gavhed D, Axdorph Nygell U, Berlin G, Laurencikas E, von Bahr Greenwood T, Svensson M, Henter JI. Blood 2016 09;128(9):1302-5 PMID: 27365427
  9. Tissue-infiltrating neutrophils represent the main source of IL-23 in the colon of patients with IBD.
    Kvedaraite E, Lourda M, Ideström M, Chen P, Olsson-Åkefeldt S, Forkel M, Gavhed D, Lindforss U, Mjösberg J, Henter JI, Svensson M. Gut 2016 10;65(10):1632-41 PMID: 26160381
  10. Detection of IL-17A-producing peripheral blood monocytes in Langerhans cell histiocytosis patients.
    Lourda M, Olsson-Åkefeldt S, Gavhed D, Björnfot S, Clausen N, Hjalmars U, Sabel M, Tazi A, Aricò M, Delprat C, Henter JI, Svensson M. Clin Immunol 2014 Jul;153(1):112-22. PMID: 24743018

Complete publication list

For a complete publication list, visit Magdalini Lourda's KI profile 

Available as preprint

Svensson-Akusjärvi S, Krishnan S, Ambikan AT, Mikaeloff F, Ponnan S, Vesterbacka J, Lourda M, Nowak P, Sönnerborg A, Neogi U. Monocyte driven system-level inflammatory and immunometabolic dysregulation during prolonged successful HIV-1 treatment. Research Square 2022.

Content reviewer: