Heisenberg Group for applied Matrixbiology and translational fibrosis research

Medicine 3

Head of Department:
Prof. Dr. med. univ. Georg Schett

The impact of fibroblasts in sclerodermia and rheumatoid arthritis

Head: Prof. Dr. med. Jörg Distler

Fibrotic diseases account for up to 45% of deaths in the developed world, yet there are almost no effective anti-fibrotic therapies for clinical use.

In our research group, we aim to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the aberrant tissue responses in fibrotic diseases (such as systemic sclerosis/scleroderma, chronic Graft-versus-Host-disease, pulmonary fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, renal fibrosis and hypertrophic scars) and to develop novel strategies for therapeutic intervention.

Our strategy is to identify de-regulated signaling pathways in samples of human fibrotic diseases ex vivo, to characterize their regulation and function in vitro and in vivo and to evaluate their potential for therapeutic intervention in murine models. Our evaluation included novel optical imaging strategies, which we run in close cooperation with the Max-Planck Institute of the Science of Light (Immunophysics).

Promising novel therapeutic approaches are transferred from bench-to-bedside with evaluation of the novel pharmacologic approach in clinical trials in patients with fibrotic diseases, often in cooperation with pharmaceutical industry.

Selected Publications of Prof. Dr. Jörg Distler

  • Soare A, Gyoerfi HA, Matei AE, Dees C, Rauber S, Wohlfahrt T, Chen CW, Ludolph I, Horch RE, Baeuerle T, von Hoersten S, Mihai C, Distler O, Ramming A, Schett G, Distler JHW: (2020) Dipeptidylpeptidase 4 as a Marker of Activated Fibroblasts and a Potential Target for the Treatment of Fibrosis in Systemic Sclerosis Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020;72(1): 137-149
  • Lopez-Isac E, Acosta-Herrera M, Kerick M, Assassi S, Satpathy AT, Granja J, Mumbach MR, Beretta L, Simeon CP, Carreira P, Ortego-Centeno N, Castellvi I, Bossini-Castillo L, David Carmona FD, Orozco G, Hunzelmann N, Distler JHW, Franke A, Lunardi C, Moroncini G, Gabrielli A, de Vries-Bouwstra J, Wijmenga C, Koeleman BPC, Nordin A, Padyukov L, Hoffmann-Vold AM, Lie B, Rios R, Callejas JL, Vargas-Hitos JA, Garcia-Portales R, Camps MT, Fernandez-Nebro A, Gonzalez-Escribano MF, Garcia-Hernandez FJ, Castillo MJ, Aguirre MA, Gomez-Gracia I, Fernandez-Gutierrez B, Rodriguez-Rodriguez L, Garcia de la Pena PG, Vicente E, Andreu JL, Fernandez de Castro MF, Lopez-Longo FJ, Martinez L, Fonollosa V, Guillen A, Espinosa G, Tolosa C, Pros A, Rodriguez-Carballeira M, Narvaez FJ, Rubio-Rivas M, Ortiz-Santamaria V, Madronero AB, Gonzalez-Gay MA, Diaz B, Trapiella L, Sousa A, Egurbide MV, Fanlo-Mateo P, Saez-Comet L, Diaz F, Hernandez V, Beltran E, Roman-Ivorra JA, Grau E, Alegre-Sancho JJ, Freire M, Blanco-Garcia FJ, Oreiro N, Witte T, Kreuter A, Riemekasten G, Airo P, Magro C, Voskuyl AE, Vonk MC, Hesselstrand R, Proudman S, Stevens W, Nikpour M, Zochling J, Sahhar J, Roddy J, Nash P, Tymms K, Rischmueller M, Lester S, Vyse T, Herrick AL, Worthington J, Denton CP, Allanore Y, Brown MA, Radstake TRDJ, Fonseca C, Chang HY, Mayes MD, Martin J, European Scleroderma Grp ASIG: (2019) GWAS for systemic sclerosis identifies multiple risk loci and highlights fibrotic and vasculopathy pathways Nat Commun. 2019;10():
  • Codullo V, Cova E, Pandolfi L, Breda S, Morosini M, Frangipane V, Malatesta M, Calderan L, Cagnone M, Pacini C, Cavagna L, Recalde H, Distler JHW, Giustra M, Prosperi D, Colombo M, Meloni F, Montecucco C: (2019) Imatinib-loaded gold nanoparticles inhibit proliferation of fibroblasts and macrophages from systemic sclerosis patients and ameliorate experimental bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis J Control Release. 2019;310(): 198-208
  • Wohlfahrt T, Rauber S, Uebe S, Luber M, Soare A, Ekici A, Weber S, Matei AE, Chen CW, Maier C, Karouzakis E, Kiener HP, Pachera E, Dees C, Beyer C, Daniel C, Gelse K, Kremer AE, Naschberger E, Stürzl M, Butter F, Sticherling M, Finotto S, Kreuter A, Kaplan MH, Jüngel A, Gay S, Nutt SL, Boykin DW, Poon GMK, Distler O, Schett G, Distler JHW, Ramming A: (2019) PU.1 controls fibroblast polarization and tissue fibrosis. Nature. 2019;():
  • Fasano S, Riccardi A, Messiniti V, Caramaschi P, Rosato E, Maurer B, Smith V, Siegert E, De Langhe E, Riccieri V, Airo P, Mihai C, Avouac J, Zanatta E, Walker UA, Iannone F, De la Pena Lefebvre PGD, Distler JHW, Vacca A, Distler O, Kowal-Bielecka O, Allanore Y, Valentini G: (2019) Revised European Scleroderma Trials and Research Group Activity Index is the best predictor of short-term severity accrual Ann Rheum Dis. 2019;78(12): 1681-1685
  • Liang RF, Kagwiria R, Zehender A, Dees C, Bergmann C, Ramming A, Krasowska D, Michalska-Jakubus M, Kreuter A, Kraner ME, Schett G, Distler JHW: (2019) Acyltransferase skinny hedgehog regulates TGF beta-dependent fibroblast activation in SSc Ann Rheum Dis. 2019;78(9): 1269-1273
  • Matei AE, Chen CW, Kiesewetter L, Gyoerfi AH, Li YN, Thuong Trinh-Minh TM, Xu XH, Cuong Tran Manh CT, van Kuppevelt T, Hansmann J, Jungel A, Schett G, Groeber-Becker F, Distler JHW: (2019) Vascularised human skin equivalents as a novel in vitro model of skin fibrosis and platform for testing of antifibrotic drugs Ann Rheum Dis. 2019;78(12): 1686-1692
  • Kreuter M, Bonella F, Blank N, Siegert E, Henes J, Worm M, Sunderkoetter C, Schmalzing M, Kreuter A, Guenther C, Susok L, Zeidler G, Koetter I, Mueller-Ladner U, Krieg T, Juche A, Schmeiser T, Riemekasten G, Aberer E, Gaebelein-Wissing N, Distler JHW, Sardy M, Pfeiffer C, Kuhr K, Lorenz HM, Moinzadeh P, Hunzelmann N: (2019) Long term outcomes of immunomodulatory drugs in SSc-ILD - data from the German SSc-network Eur Respir J. 2019;54():
  • Elhai M, Boubaya M, Distler O, Smith V, Matucci-Cerinic M, Alegre Sancho JJ, Truchetet ME, Braun-Moscovici Y, Iannone F, Novikov PI, Lescoat A, Siegert E, Castellví I, Airó P, Vettori S, De Langhe E, Hachulla E, Erler A, Ananieva L, Krusche M, López-Longo FJ, Distler JHW, Hunzelmann N, Hoffmann-Vold AM, Riccieri V, Hsu VM, Pozzi MR, Ancuta C, Rosato E, Mihai C, Kuwana M, Saketkoo LA, Chizzolini C, Hesselstrand R, Ullman S, Yavuz S, Rednic S, Caimmi C, Bloch-Queyrat C, Allanore Y, for EUSTAR network , Guiducci S, Walker UA, Kyburz D, Lapadula G, Maurer B, Jordan S, Dobrota R, Becvar R, Sierakowsky S, Bielecka OK, Sulli A, Cutolo M, Cuomo G, Nicoara I, Kahan A, Vlachoyiannopoulos PG, Montecucco CM, Caporali R, Stork J, Inanc M, Carreira PE, Novak S, Czirják L, Varju C, Kucharz EJ, Kotulska A, Kopec-Medrek M, Widuchowska M, Cozzi F, Rozman B, Mallia C, Coleiro B, Gabrielli A, Farge D, Wu C, Marjanovic Z, Faivre H, Hij D, Dhamadi R, Wollheim F, Scheja A, Wuttge DM, Andréasson K, Martinovic D, Balbir-Gurman A, Trotta F, Monaco AL, Pellerito R, Mauriziano O, Caramaschi P, Morovic-Vergles J, Black C, Denton C, Damjanov N, Henes J, Santamaria VO, Heitmann S, Krasowska Matthias D, Hasler P, Burkhardt H, Himsel A, Bajocchi G, Pereira Da Silva JA, Salvador MJ, Stamenkovic B, Stankovic A, Selmi CF, Santis M, Tikly M, Denisov LN, Müller-Ladner U, Frerix M, Tarner I, Scorza R, Puppo F, Engelhart M, Strauss G, Nielsen H, Damgaard K, Szucs G, Mendoza AZ, Puente C, Sifuentes Giraldo WA, Midtvedt Ø, Reiseter S, Garen T, Launay D, Valesini G, Ionescu RM, Groseanu L, Opris D, Cornateanu RS, Ionitescu R, Gherghe AM, Soare A, Gorga M, Bojinca M, Milicescu M, Sunderkötter C, Kuhn A, Sandorfi N, Schett G, Beyer C, Meroni P, Ingegnoli F, Mouthon L, Keyser F, Melsens K, Cantatore FP, Corrado A, Iversen L, Mühlen CAV, Bohn JM, Lonzetti LS, Eyerich K, Hein R, Knott E, Wiland P, Szmyrka-Kaczmarek M, Sokolik R, Morgiel E, Madej M, Houssiau FA, Krummel-Lorenz B, Saar P, Aringer M, Günther C, Westhovens R, Lenaerts J, Anic B, Baresic M, Mayer M, Üprus M, Otsa K, Granel B, Müller CS, Radominski SC, Azevedo VF, Jimenez S, Busquets J, Agachi S, Groppa L, Chiaburu L, Russu E, Popa S, Zenone T, Pileckyte M, Mathieu A, Vacca A, Sampaio-Barros PD, Yoshinari NH, Marangoni RG, Martin P, Fuocco L, Stebbings S, Highton J, Chapman P, O'Donnell J, Stamp L, Doube A, Solanki K, Veale D, O'Rourke M, Loyo E, Li M, Abdel Atty Mohamed WA, Amoroso A, Gigante A, Oksel F, Yargucu F, Tanaseanu CM, Popescu M, Dumitrascu A, Tiglea I, Foti R, Chirieac R, Fürst D, Villiger P, Adler S, Laar JV, Kayser C, Fathi N, Hassanien M, de la Pena Lefebvre PG, Rubio SR, Exposito MV, Chatelus E, Sibilia J, Gottenberg JE, Chifflot H, Litinsky I, Emery P, Buch M, Galdo FD, Venalis A, Butrimiene I, Venalis P, Rugiene R, Karpec D, Lasky JA, Cosentino V, Kerzberg E, Montoya F, Bianchi W, Carneiro S, Maretti GB, Bianchi DV, Limonta M, Brucato AL, Lupi E, Rosner I, Rozenbaum M, Slobodin G, Boulman N, Rimar D, Couto M, Kahl S, Chen F, McCloskey D, Malveaux H, Spertini F, Ribi C, Buss G, Martin T, Guffroy A, Poindron V, Chotchaeva F, Mukhin NA, Moiseev S, Herrick A: (2019) Outcomes of patients with systemic sclerosis treated with rituximab in contemporary practice: a prospective cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2019;78(7): 979-987
  • Kreuter M, Bonella F, Blank N, Siegert E, Henes J, Worm M, Sunderkoetter C, Schmalzing M, Kreuter A, Guenther C, Susok L, Zeidler G, Koetter I, Mueller-Ladner U, Krieg T, Juche A, Schmeiser T, Riemekasten G, Aberer E, Gaebelein-Wissing N, Distler JHW, Sardy M, Pfeiffer C, Kuhr K, Lorenz HM, Moinzadeh P, Hunzelmann N: (2019) Does anti-acid treatment influence disease progression in SSc-ILD ? data from the German SSc-network Eur Respir J. 2019;54():
 
Contact
Prof. Dr. med. Jörg Distler
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Staff:

Jörg Distler
Christina Bergmann
Alina Soare
Chih-Wei Chen
Clara Dees
Sebastian Pötter
Ariella Zehender
Ruifang Liang
Debomita Chakraborty
Lena Summa
Markus Luber
Wolfgang Espach
Xiaohan Xu
Thuong Trinh-Minh
Andrea-Hermina Györfi
Alexandru-Emil Matei
Yun Zhang
Vladyslav Fedorchenko
Ludwig Hallenberger
Benita Merlevede
Katja Dreißigacker (in maternity leave)
Regina Kleinlein