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

  • Dees C, Chakraborty D, Distler JHW: (2021) Cellular and molecular mechanisms in fibrosis. Exp Dermatol. 2021;30(1): 121-131
  • Soare A, Distler JHW: (2021) Untitled Reply Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021;73(1): 179-180
  • Stegemann A, Flis D, Ziolkowski W, Distler JHW, Steinbrink K, Böhm M: (2020) The α7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: A Promising Target for the Treatment of Fibrotic Skin Disorders. J Invest Dermatol. 2020;140(12): 2371-2379
  • Distler O, Assassi S, Cottin V, Cutolo M, Danoff SK, Denton CP, Distler JHW, Hoffmann-Vold AM, Johnson SR, Müller Ladner U, Smith V, Volkmann ER, Maher TM: (2020) Predictors of progression in systemic sclerosis patients with interstitial lung disease. Eur Respir J. 2020;55(5):
  • Worrell JC, Leslie J, Smith GR, Zaki MYW, Paish HL, Knox A, James ML, Cartwright TN, O'Reilly S, Kania G, Distler O, Distler JHW, Herrick AL, Jeziorska M, Borthwick LA, Fisher AJ, Mann J, Mann DA, Oakley F: (2020) cRel expression regulates distinct transcriptional and functional profiles driving fibroblast matrix production in systemic sclerosis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2020;59(12): 3939-3951
  • 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
  • Bütikofer L, Varisco PA, Distler O, Kowal-Bielecka O, Allanore Y, Riemekasten G, Villiger PM, Adler S, EUSTAR collaborators , Avouac J, Walker UA, Guiducci S, Riemekasten G, Airò P, Hachulla E, Valentini G, Carreira PE, Cozzi F, Gurman AB, Braun-Moscovici Y, Damjanov N, Ananieva LP, Scorza R, Jimenez S, Busquets J, Li M, Müller-Ladner U, Maurer B, Tyndall A, Lapadula G, Iannone F, Becvar R, Sierakowsky S, Bielecka OK, Cutolo M, Sulli A, Cuomo G, Vettori S, Rednic S, Nicoara I, Vlachoyiannopoulos P, Montecucco C, Caporali R, Novak S, Czirják L, Varju C, Chizzolini C, Kucharz EJ, Kotulska A, Kopec-Medrek M, Widuchowska M, Rozman B, Mallia C, Coleiro B, Gabrielli A, Farge D, Hij A, Hesselstrand R, Scheja A, Wollheim F, Martinovic D, Govoni M, Monaco AL, Hunzelmann N, Pellerito R, Bambara LM, Caramaschi P, Black C, Denton C, Henes J, Santamaria VO, Heitmann S, Krasowska D, Seidel M, Oleszowsky M, Burkhardt H, Himsel A, Salvador MJ, Stamenkovic B, Stankovic A, Tikly M, Starovoytova MN, Engelhart M, Strauss G, Nielsen H, Damgaard K, Szücs G, Mendoza AZ, de la Puente Buijdos C, Sifuentes Giraldo WA, Midtvedt Ø, Garen T, Launay D, Valesini G, Riccieri V, Ionescu RM, Opris D, Groseanu L, Wigley FM, Mihai CM, Cornateanu RS, Ionitescu R, Gherghe AM, Gorga M, Dobrota R, Bojinca M, Schett G, Distler JHW, Meroni P, Zeni S, Mouthon L, De Keyser F, Smith V, Cantatore FP, Corrado A, Ullman S, Iversen L, Pozzi MR, Eyerich K, Hein R, Knott E, Szechinski J, Wiland P, Szmyrka-Kaczmarek M, Sokolik R, Morgiel E, Krummel-Lorenz B, Saar P, Aringer M, Günther C, Anic B, Baresic M, Mayer M, Radominski SC, de Souza Müller C, Azevedo VF, Agachi S, Groppa L, Chiaburu L, Russu E, Zenone T, Stebbings S, Highton J, Stamp L, Chapman P, Baron M, O'Donnell J, Solanki K, Doube A, Veale D, O'Rourke M, Loyo E, Rosato E, Pisarri S, Tanaseanu CM, Popescu M, Dumitrascu A, Tiglea I, Chirieac R, Ancuta C, Furst DE, Kafaja S, de la Peña Lefebvre PG, Rubio SR, Exposito MV, Sibilia J, Chatelus E, Gottenberg JE, Chifflot H, Litinsky I, Venalis A, Butrimiene I, Venalis P, Rugiene R, Karpec D, Kerzberg E, Montoya F, Cosentino V, Castellvi I: (2020) ACE inhibitors in SSc patients display a risk factor for scleroderma renal crisis-a EUSTAR analysis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2020;22(1):
  • Schmidkonz C, Rauber S, Atzinger A, Agarwal R, Götz TI, Soare A, Cordes M, Prante O, Bergmann C, Kleyer A, Ritt P, Maschauer S, Hennig P, Toms J, Köhner M, Manger B, Stone JH, Haberkorn U, Baeuerle T, Distler JHW, Agaimy A, Kuwert T, Schett G, Ramming A: (2020) Disentangling inflammatory from fibrotic disease activity by fibroblast activation protein imaging. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020;79(11): 1485-1491
  • Györfi AH, Schett G, Distler JHW: (2020) Response to: 'Correspondence on 'Glucocorticoid-induced relapse of COVID-19 in a patient with sarcoidosis'' by Jeny et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2020;():
  • Moinzadeh P, Kuhr K, Siegert E, Blank N, Sunderkoetter C, Henes J, Krusche M, Schmalzing M, Worm M, Schmeiser T, Günther C, Aberer E, Susok L, Riemekasten G, Kreuter A, Zeidler G, Juche A, Hadjiski D, Müller-Ladner U, Gaebelein-Wissing N, Distler JHW, Sárdy M, Krieg T, Hunzelmann N: (2020) Scleroderma Renal Crisis: Risk Factors for an Increasingly Rare Organ Complication. J Rheumatol. 2020;47(2): 241-248
 
Contact
Prof. Dr. med. Jörg Distler
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Staff:

Jörg Distler
Christina Bergmann
Andrea-Hermina Györfi
Chih-Wei Chen
Clara Dees
Yun Zhang
Debomita Chakraborty
Xuezhi Hong
You Li
Yi-Nan Li
Minrui Liang
Xu Liyan
Markus Luber
Alexandrú Matei
Aleix Rigau
Lichong Shen
Cuong Tran Manh
Thuong Trinh-Minh
Xiaohan Xu
Ariella Zehender
Wenshuo Zhang
Xiang Zhou
Katja Dreißigacker (in Elternzeit)
Wolfgang Espach
Vladyslav Fedorchenko
Regina Kleinlein
Christoph Liebel
Lena Summa