DFG Research Unit (Forschergruppe) FOR696

Molecular Analyses and Interactions at Articular Interfaces (MAITAG2006)

- Role of Neuroendocrine Immune Mechanisms -

University Regensburg

The Research Unit FOR696 was approved on June 14, 2006 (first round), and on December 22, 2009 (second round).
Many thanks to the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft - DFG).

The research unit intents to

  • find new pathophysiological mechanisms in rheumatoid arthritis by studying the influence of hormones and nerve fibers / neurotransmitters in this disease.
  • find means to improve mesenchymal stem cell to chondrocyte differentiation by sex hormones.
  • find neuroendocrine factors relevant to maintain the integrity between tissue borders of the joint.
  • study hormonal regulation of attachment molecules for the invasive growth of fibroblasts into cartilage.
  • study integration of cartilage supported by sex hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • study the role of alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone on mesenchymal stem cell to chondrocyte differentiation.
  • study the role of the sympathetic nervous system on B cells in arthritis.
  • Please see also our concept of "Cooperative Research Management" (in German)

RA hemiparetic

RA intact


sympathetic ganglion

border cartilage/synovium

aggressive pannus invades cartilage

sympathetic nerve fibers in synovial tissue

Rainer H. Straub