RHEUMATOLOGY RESEARCH LABORATORY NIJMEGEN NCMLS

Program director: Wim B. van den Berg

The Laboratory of Experimental Rheumatology & Advanced Therapeutics at the University of Nijmegen is part of the department of Rheumatology.The Laboratory is affiliated with the biomedical graduate school of the Nijmegen University, the Institute of Cellular Signaling (ICS).

The lab is situated in the the so-called "Research Tower" of the Nijmegen Center for Molecular Life Sciences (NCMLS).

RESEARCH IS FOCUSED ON CARTILAGE DESTRUCTION IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND OSTEOARTHRITIS.

 

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

I To identify the role of cytokines in arthritis and cartilage destruction.

II To identify synovial activation pathways / enzymes involved in cartilage breakdown

III To analyse the role of growth factors in cartilage destruction and repair

IV Application of local gene therapy in treatment of arthritis / cartilage repair

V Cartilage tissue engineering

FUTURE APPROACHES

In the past , emphasis has been on animal models of arthritis. It was identified that IL-1 beta is a crucial cytokine in arthritis. The relative role of alike cytokines such as IL-17 and IL-18 will be explored in patient material and animal models. Control of these destructive cytokines as well as protective cytokines (IL-4, IL-6, IL-10) will be evaluated.

Moreover, the focus will be broadened to analysis of cytokine involvement in osteoarthritis (OA). Both overexpression of destructive cytokines as well as disturbed growth factor- receptor interaction at the articular chondrocytes seem crucial in impaired repair.

It is expected that inflammatory elements of arthritis can be controlled in the near future. We are then still confronted with eroded joints. Further research will focus on understanding and optimization of cartilage repair, including tissue engineering.

More information on the research is presented under the "research button" on this page.



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University Medical Centre Nijmegen 'St. Radboud'
University of Nijmegen