WP7 - Destruction and repair

WP coordinator: Hans Carlsten 

The main objective for work package 7 is to identify genetic risk factors and molecular target mechanisms for generalized osteoporosis and joint erosivity in animal models and human arthritis and to develop therapeutic strategies involving estrogen receptor signaling. It is anticipated that this work will lead to knowledge on mechanisms of tissue destruction also in other chronic inflammatory diseases (CID). 

Destruction of inflamed tissues, such as cartilage, bone, lungs or kidneys, is the most common reason for disability in patients with CID. Of particular common interest is the destruction of bone that occurs not only in arthritis, but also in most diseases with longstanding systemic inflammation. Postmenopausal women are particularly affected. An important aim of our research is to define prognostic markers for destruction and to translate basic findings into clinical trials and clinical practice.

Genetics for bone erosivity and generalised osteoporosis is analysed in a large group of genetically heterogenous stock mice with collagen induced arthritis. This project aims to identify specific genes that regulate development of generalized osteoporosis in arthtritic subjects. 

The connection between loss of sex hormones and progession of inflammation driven bone destruction and osteoporosis is investigated by studies of animal models and clinical investigations. These studies will provide a basis for future national multicentre clinical trials of drugs that target estrogen receptors.