Marie Jeansson – The role of angiopoietins in fibrotic diseases

Our research aims to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the development of fibrosis. There is presently no efficient therapy for fibrosis and our goal is to increase the basic knowledge such as that new treatment strategies can be developed. We are in particular interested in the angiopoietins and their role in fibrosis.

Angiopoietins are proteins that bind the tyrosin kinase receptor Tek (also called Tie2), expressed on the endothelium of blood vessels. Angiopoietin-1 is an agonist and results in stabilization and quiescence of the vessel whereas Angiopoietin-2 is an antagonist and inhibits the protective Angiopoietin-1/Tek signaling.

Several clinical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, malaria, and sepsis, increase the serum level of Angiopoietin-2, and the increased ratio between Angpiopoietin-2/Angiopoietin-1 has been shown to predict adverse outcomes.

One of our objectives is to define the role of the Angiopoietin/Tek system in fibrotic diseases, especially kidney fibrosis. To do this we are utilizing inducible conditional knockout mice for different components of the angiopoietin system in different models of fibrosis. We are also using RNASeq to identify new targets in the angiopoietin system that may affect fibrosis. 

In another project, we are studying how loss of Angiopoietin-1 or Tek affects tumor growth and metastasis. We are also investigating local intra-tumoural drug delivery with slow release formulations of docetaxel in comparison to systemic treatment with regards to efficacy and side effects.

Article about Marie Jeansson's research in International Innovation.