Research Unit: Mechanisms of vascular remodeling in chronic lung diseases
Team Grazyna Kwapiszewska-Marsh and Katharina Jandl
In the recent years our group has delineated that the turnover of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, including the specialized basement membrane (BM), is involved in the pathology of vascular remodeling in pulmonary arterial hypertension, but also in chronic lung diseases. We identified that disturbances in the ECM/BM are linked to changes in immune cell profiles and local cytokine/chemokine milieus. Together, these changes influence the function of vascular structural cells such as the endothelium. In our current projects, we investigate the interaction between ECM/BM proteins, and its bioactive fragments (matrikines) with vascular structural cells and immune cells in chronic lung diseases. Here we aim to delineate how endothelial – ECM interaction leads to the development of vasculopathies in lung diseases.