Laboratory of Immunobiology

The research goals of the Laboratory encompass projects related to preliminary characteristics, determination of therapeutic utility and mechanism of action of new compounds of various origin such as: proteins and peptides from natural sources or obtained by means of genetic methods, as well as chemical synthetic compounds. We mastered a wide array of methods, both in vitro and in vivo (experimental animals), equivalent to investigate diseases or clinical states such as: sepsis, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colon inflammation, pleurisy and atopic skin inflammation. We have been involved, among others, in research on action on the immune system of: proline rich polypeptide (colostrinin), lactoferrin, calf thymus extract, synthetic and natural peptides and heterocyclic compounds, mainly isoxazole derivatives and azaphenothiazines. Recently, we turned attention to yolkin, a protein isolated from egg’s yolk, which could represent in birds an equivalent of colostrinin in mammals. We also plan to renew investigation on calf thymus extract to establish its molecular mode of action.

Laboratory Head

Head: prof. Michał Zimecki – professor, 0000-0002-6206-8006

Education and experience/training Born 1947, Włocławek; secondary school 1965; M. Sci. at University of Wrocław, 1970; Ph.D. school (1970-1974) at The Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy (IIET). In the years 1975/76  Fulbright’s fellowship at The Institute of Molecular Biology,  Hoffmann-la-Roche Inc, Nutley, USA. In the years 1983-1994 long and short term visits to Washington University Medical School, Saint Louis,  Harrington Cancer Center, Amarillo,  Winship Cancer Center, Emory University, Atlanta,  and in 1990-2000 short-term visits to Lille University.

Scientific degrees and positions held Ph.D degree -1974, habilitation-1987, professor-1997. In the years 1976-87 adjunct and in 1987-1997 associate professor in The Laboratory of Immunobiology, IIET; since 1997 till present the head of Laboratory of Immunobiology, IIET; the deputy of IIET director (2000-2007).


  • 1991 – present – deputy editor, Archivum Immunologiae & Therapiae Experimentalis,
  • 1998 – chairman, Wroclaw Branch of Polish Society of Immunology,
  • 2003 – 2008 – deputy chairman of the Second Local Ethics Committee, Wroclaw,
  • 2010 – golden medal of merit

Lecturer Professors:

Assistant Professors:

Scientific and Technical Staff:

Technical Staff:

  • Katarzyna Niemira (technician)

PhD Students:

  • Miriam Tomczak (postgraduate student)
Most important scientific achievements
  • The demonstration of a superior ability of peritoneal Lyb 5+ B cells (B1 cells) to present antigen to antigen-specific T cells and explanation of the mechanism of antigen presentation by these cells.
  • The demonstration of effects of lactoferrin on: maturation of T and B cells, protection in endotoxemia, suppression of inflammatory and autoimmune processes, reconstitution of the immune system after chemotherapy and normalization of the immune status
  • The demonstration of therapeutic utility and mechanism of action of a number of isoxazole derivatives
Research methods

in vitro

  • proliferation of lymphocytes to mitogens: PHA, Con A, PWM, LPS, α-CD3
  • mixed lymphocyte reactions
  • secondary, humoral immune response to SRBC
  • generation of antigen-specific cell lines
  • phagocytic test (S. aureus)
  • determination of cytokine levels by ELISA
  • degranulation test of mast cells
  • rapid and specific immunoassay for determination of human chorionic gonadotropin
  • immunoassay techniques for laboratory, clinical and home use in the determination of pregnancy, fertility, heart attack and kidney disease
  • RT-PCR; qPCR; Western blot, PAGE

in vivo

  • humoral immune response (ELISA)
  • delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH)
  • contact sensitivity to oxazolone
  • contact sensitivity to 2,4-toluene diisocyanate
  • nonspecific skin irritation (e.g. to salicylic acid)
  • allergic response to OVA (pleurisy)
  • dextran sulfate-induced colitis
  • air pouch model (carrageenan inflammation)
  • experimental psoriasis
  • experimental encephalomyelitis in Lewis rats
  • collagen-induced arthritis in DBA1 mice
  • foot pad carrageenan inflammation
  • endotoxemia
  • bacteriemia
  • skin transplants
  • immobilization stress model
  • chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants
Key equipment
  • microtitrate plate reader
  • thermocycler’s with gradients blocks
  • UV-VIS spectrophotometer
  • laminar chambers
  • CO2 incubators
  • centrifuges
  • analytical laboratory balance (with 0.1 mg accuracy)
  • gel electrophoresis systems for protein and nucleic analysis
  • electrotransfer apparatus
Most important projects (during the last 10 years)
  • NN405 101739 „The synthesis of chinobenzeno-1,4 thiazines and evaluation of their antitumor activities” prof. Krystian Pluta – the supervisor, prof. Michał Zimecki – the main investigator (2010-2012)
  • NN405 424239 „New analogs od cyclolinopeptide A –synthesis, biology and conformation” prof. Stefan Jankowski – the supervisor, prof. Michał Zimecki – the main investigator (2010-2013)
  • NN405 682840 „The synthesis and biological studies on new isoxazole derivatives of expected immunorestoring properties”, prof. Stanisław Ryng – the supervisor,  prof.  Michał Zimecki – the main investigator (2011-2014)
  • NCBiR PBS1/B7/10/2013 „A new, low toxic cyclic tetrapeptide 4B8M of immunosuppressive and antiinflammatory properties”, Peptaderm Co, the leader, prof. Zimecki – the main investigator (2012-2014)
  • NCN 2014/15/B/NZ7/00867 „Evaluation of therapeutic utility of selected azaphenothiazines and studies on their mechanism of immunosuppressive activity” prof. Zimecki (2015-2017) – the supervisor
Selected publications
  • Bożena Obmińska-Mrukowicz, Marianna Szczypka, Magdalena Lis, Aleksandra Pawlak, Agnieszka Suszko-Pawłowska, Angelika Sysak, Aleksandra Zambrowicz, Timo Burster, Maja Kocięba, Jolanta Artym, Ewa Zaczyńska, Iwona Kochanowska, Michał Zimecki. Effects of yolkin on the immune response of mice and its plausible mechanism of action. Immunol. Lett. 2020 Apr; 220: 21-31. doi: 10.1016/j.imlet.2020.01.003. Epub 2020 Jan 16.Pubmed
  • Michał Zimecki, Urszula Bąchor, Marcin Mączyński. Isoxazole derivatives as regulators of immune functions. Molecules 2018 Oct 22; 23(10): 2724. doi: 10.3390/molecules23102724. Pubmed
  • Marian L Kruzel, Michal Zimecki, Jeffrey K Actor. Lactoferrin in a context of inflammation-induced pathology. Front. Immunol. 2017 Nov 6; 8: 1438. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01438. eCollection 2017. Pubmed
  • Krystian Pluta, Małgorzata Jeleń, Beata Morak-Młodawska, Michał Zimecki, Jolanta Artym, Maja Kocięba, Ewa Zaczyńska. Azaphenothiazines – promising phenothiazine derivatives. An insight into nomenclature, synthesis, structure elucidation and biological properties. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2017 Sep 29; 138: 774-806. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2017.07.009. Epub 2017 Jul 8. Pubmed
  • Michał Zimecki, Jolanta Artym, Maja Kocięba, Katarzyna Kaleta-Kuratewicz, Piotr Kuropka, Jan Kuryszko, Marian Kruzel. Homologous lactoferrin triggers mobilization of the myelocytic lineage of bone marrow in experimental mice. Stem Cells Dev. 2013 Dec 15; 22(24): 3261-3270. doi: 10.1089/scd.2013.0242. Epub 2013 Aug 24. Pubmed
  • Jolanta Artym, Michał Zimecki, Jan Kuryszko, Marian L Kruzel. Lactoferrin accelerates reconstitution of the humoral and cellular immune response during chemotherapy-induced immunosuppression and bone marrow transplant in mice. Stem Cells Dev. 2005 Oct; 14(5): 548-55. doi: 10.1089/scd.2005.14.548. Pubmed
  • Michał Zimecki, Joel Mazurier, Genevieve Spik, Judith A Kapp. Human lactoferrin induces phenotypic and functional changes in murine splenic B cells. Immunology 1995 Sep; 86(1): 122-7. Pubmed
  • Michał Zimecki, Phyllis J Whiteley, Carl W Pierce, Judith A. Kapp. Presentation of antigen by B cells subsets. I. Lyb-5+ and Lyb-5- B cells differ in ability to stimulate antigen specific T cells. Arch Immunol Ther Exp . 1994;42(2):115-23. Pubmed
  • Michał Zimecki, Joel Mazurier, Michał Machnicki, Zbigniew Wieczorek, Jean Montreuil, Genevieve Spik. Immunostimulatory activity of lactotransferrin and maturation of CD4- CD8- murine thymocytes. Immunol Lett. 1991 Sep; 30(1): 119-123. doi: 10.1016/0165-2478(91)90099-v Pubmed
  • Lactoferrin regulates the release of tumour necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 6 in vivo. Michał Machnicki, Michał Zimecki M, Tadeusz Zagulski T. Int. J. Exp. Pathol. 1993 Oct; 74(5): 433-9. Pubmed