Center of Experimental Rheumatology

Center of Experimental Rheumatology, Zurich, Switzerland

The focus of the research group of Caroline Ospelt lies on the analysis of the role of synovial fibroblasts in the pathogenesis of RA. Synovial fibroblasts from patients with RA exhibit an invasive and destructive phenotype, which is maintained under cell culture conditions and is characterised by increased expression of matrix-degrading enzymes and pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. This aggressive phenotype is believed to be sustained by alterations in epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation and non-coding RNA. Latest data of the group also show a substantial influence of genetics and joint localisation on the activation of synovial fibroblasts. In this regard, different aspects of fibroblast biology are analysed to decipher how these cells are activated in RA, how they contribute to disease and how they can be therapeutically targeted.

Link: The role of synovial fibroblasts in RA – Universitätsspital Zürich (

PI: Prof Dr med Caroline Ospelt

@CarolineOspelt, Caroline Ospelt (, ORCID 0000-0002-9151-4650