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Pathomechanismus of Aortic aneurysms
Aortic aneurysms are characterised by vascular inflammation, apoptosis and the degradation of extracellular matrix. Our aneurysm research focuses on the kallikrein-kinin- and renin-angiotensin systems, which are known players in hemodynamic stress, a causative factor for aneurysm formation, and also in vascular wall homeostasis. Well established animal models and primary cell cultures from aorta allow us to evaluate important signalling cascades and investigate new therapeutic targets. Human abdominal aortic tissue from patients undergoing surgery is also studied, and candidate genes for aneurysm disease are analysed. Research is focused on the role of different components of the renin-angiotensin system as well as kininogen in vascular inflammation, proteolysis and apoptosis as part of the aneurysmal disease. The link of AAA with known risk factors for the disease could help us in the understanding of the pathomechanisms. Therefore, we are also interested in vascular remodelling by obesity, insulin resistance and uremia.