Jens Christian Jensenius


My research was through many years focused on the adaptive immune system, specifically the nature of the antigen receptor on the thymus-derived lymphocytes. My interest shifted towards the innate immune defense: the proteins involved, their structure, their mode of operation, and the clinical implications genetically determined dysfunction of such molecules. Such molecules are often termed pattern recognition molecules (PRMs) since their targets (ligands) are conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) on microorganisms. While most PRM research is directed towards cellular pattern recognition receptors I have focused on soluble serum PRMs, which upon binding to PAMPs will activate the complement defence system thereby activate phagocytosis and inflammation

Research interests

Structure and function of the collagenous pattern recognition molecules, mannan-binding lectin and the three ficolins: H-ficolin, L-ficolin and M-ficolin. These serum proteins all circulate in complexes with MBL-associated serine proteases and two non-enzymatic differential splicing polypeptides. We study the interplay between these molecules and the resulting complement activation following the binding to PAMPs. We produce monoclonal antibodies against all the components and use these for the construction of  quantitative analyses, which are used in our basic research as well as for the analyses of selected patient populations in order to reveal the meaning of high or low levels of there proteins. The levels of these PRMs vary by 10 fold and up to 1000 fold between individuals, and we especially study patients with acquired immune deficiencies, patients with cancer, patients with autoimmune diseases, patients with specific infectious diseases and patients admitted to intensive care units. We further study the biological effects of knocking-out the proteins in mice and in zebra fish.


Immunochemical methodologies, e.g., time resolved immunofluorometric assays, TRIFMAs (our main stay quantitative analyses), ELISA, SDS-PAGE Western blotting, immunohistochemical analyses, affinity chromatography, conventional protein purification procedures (chromatography etc.) and such analyses combined with immunochemical methods, flow cytometric analyses, quantification of cell-associated proteins.

  • Production of recombinant proteins.
  • Mutation analyses.
  • Antimicrobial activity estimates in vitro and in vivo.
  • Ischemia-reperfusion studies.

Collaborators and centres

  • Bjarne Kuno Møller, Mette Christiansen, Jens Magnus Bernth Jensen, Troels Herlin, Kristian Stengaard-Pedersen, Christian Gytz Ammintzbøl – Aarhus University Hospital.
  • Leslie Foldager, Ole Mors, Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov
  • Rudi Steffensen, Regional Center for Blood Transfusion and Clinical Immunology, Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg
  • Uffe Holmskov, Ole Nielsen, University of Southern Denmark.
  • Hans Jørgen Nielsen, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen.
  • Mark B. Hansen, Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen
  • Daniela N. Maennel, University of Regensburg, Germany.
  • Roland A. Ammann, University of Bern, Switzerland.
  • Péter Gál, József Dobó, Marton Megyeri, Institute of Enzymology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • Luregn J. Schlapbach, Mater Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Anna M. Planas, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain.
  • Michael M. Frank, Medicine and Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina.
  • Kevan L. Hartshorn, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
  • Iara Jose Messias Reason, Hospital de Clínicas, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil.
  • Angelica B.W. Boldt, Immunopathology Laboratory, Department of Medical Pathology, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Brazil
  • Bárbara Padilla-Docal, Alberto J. Dorta-Contreras, Havana Medical Sciences University, Havana City, Cuba.
  • Hansotto Reiber, Neurology Hospital, Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany.
  • Gérard Chaouat, Hop Antoine Beclere, INSERM, Clamart, France
  • Gérard J. Arlaud, Institut de Biologie Structurale, Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France
  • Francesco Tedesco, Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy
  • Teizo Fujita, Misao Matsushita, Yuichi Endo, Department of Biochemistry, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan;
  • Younsuck Koh, Jin Won Huh, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Univ. of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • Steffen Thiel, Søren Egedal Degn, Frederik Dagnæs-Hansen, Anné Møller-Larsen, Uffe B. S. Sørensen, Bent Deleuran, Steen Vang Petersen – Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University.

Research group members

Group leader


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