Immunopathology Laboratory


 Editor de Conteúdo

Lab Supervisor

Eliana Faquim de Lima Mauro –

Lab Researchers
Ana Maria Moura da Silva –

Eliana Faquim de Lima Mauro –
Geraldo Santana Magalhães –
Irene Fernandes –
Kátia Cristina Bárbaro Nogueira –
Maisa Splendore Della Casa –
Marisa Rangel –
Patricia Bianca Clissa –

general objective of the unit

The Immunopathology Laboratory originated from the World Health Organization's former Immunology Research and Training Center, which was fundamental for the formation of immunologists in Brazil and other countries of Latin America.  Under the supervision of Professor Ivan Mota, the group published important work in the areas of immediate hypersensitivity and experimental Chagas' disease. Since the 1980s, new research areas were implemented and currently the projects carried out by the group can be organized into the three research areas described below. Several works published in the past decade can be highlighted for their international repercussions, bringing about important results in diverse fields of knowledge such as the understanding of the active mechanism and biotechnological potential of viperid poison metalloproteinases and disintegrins, antigen identification of immune response regulation and anaphylactic antibody producing helminthes, characterization of little studied poisons like that of Scolopendra, brown spider (Loxosceles) and rays, the study of protective immunoglobulin isotopes in various pathologies, as well as methods to reduce the quantity of heterologous protein used in immunotherapy by using isotopes isolated from immunoglobulin or monoclonal antibodies. These works also resulted in the issuing of patents related to molecular markers. Parallel to the scientific and laboratorial repercussion, the group trains researchers in the most diverse areas, like Toxinology, Immunology, Molecular Pharmacology and Biochemistry. Moreover, given the relevance of the research areas developed, some collaborations with researchers in other labs at Instituto Butantan in addition to other domestic and international institutions were established with the goal of professional improvement in and exchange among the diverse fields. Given the relevance of the research carried out by the group, it has been receiving financial backing from official support agencies in Brazil and abroad through the years.

research areas

Molecular and functional characterization of toxins of animal venoms 
Explore the diversity of the venoms and toxins of serpents, spiders, scorpions, scolopendras, rays, wasps, sponges, dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria with the goal of understanding their mechanisms of action and role in envenomation and to characterize biological tools that could be used as models for the development of drugs. These projects use raw poisons, isolated native toxins and recombinant toxins obtained through expression in bacteria, yeast and mammal cells.


Study of antibodies: Improvement of the immunotherapy and the development of monoclonal and recombinant antibodies optimized for therapy and diagnosis
Characterization of the IgG isotopes involved in toxin or virus neutralization for the improvement of the production process of sera used in therapy. Development of monoclonal and recombinant murine antibodies expressed in bacteria for new diagnostic kits. Optimization of the affinity and specificity of single-chain variable fragment (scFv) human recombinant antibodies through site-directed mutagenesis stipulated by an evolving algorithm using Antibodies Evolution technology (AbEvo).


Mechanisms for immune response regulation 
This research area's objective is to contribute to the clarification of the diverse immune response regulation mechanisms of action for the substances with suppression potential, like helminth antigens and toxins from ophidian poisons. The synthesis regulation of murine anaphylactic antibodies and their structural/functional characterization as well as the participation of these molecules in allergic reactions have been the target of these studies.