Perivascular Cells in Homeostasis and Disease
A major interest of our group is deciphering cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cardiac fibrosis, a hallmark of most forms of heart failure that remains an unmet clinical need.
The walls of blood vessels are composed of endothelial cells and perivascular cell lineages (pericytes, vascular smooth muscle and fibroblasts). In addition to having relevant functions in tissue homeostasis, perivascular cells play a critical role in diseases as diverse as aneurysms, fibrosis, heart failure and obesity. Our group uses lineage-tracing techniques in transgenic mice to visualize, in vivo, the fate of distinct perivascular cell types in development, aging and disease. Additionally, we study transcriptional mechanisms operating in each perivascular cell lineage and how perturbation of cell type-specific transcription factors, in conditional knockout mice, results in cardiovascular disease.
Funded by a DZHK Junior Research Group grant (https://dzhk.de/junior-research-group/)