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M1 Bent Brachvogel

Mitochondrial dysfunction in cartilage and its consequences for ECM and joint homeostasis

Prof. Dr. Bent Brachvogel

University Hospital for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Experimental Neonatology
Faculty of Medicine, University of Cologne
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 52, 50931 Cologne


The integrity of cartilage is warranted by the interaction of chondrocytes with their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM), but during aging this interplay deteriorates. Mitochondria should act as substantial factor for chondrocyte homeostasis and ECM production, secretion and degradation and recent descriptive studies link mitochondrial dysfunction to pathological cartilage degeneration.

We could show that mitochondrial dysfunction in cartilage disturbs the ECM composition leading to premature growth plate closure, dystrophic bone formation and impaired joint integrity. Within the research unit we now want to understand the molecular mechanisms by which mitochondrial dysfunction affect cartilage/ECM homeostasis and joint integrity. Consequences on cartilage and bone organization, inflammation and the metabolism will be determined and the link between mitochondrial dysfunction and aging-related degenerative cartilage diseases will be studied.

This project will provide an understanding of the role of mitochondria for ECM production and remodeling, cartilage to bone transformation and the pathogenesis of mitochondria-related joint diseases.