The Abramson Lab

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Abramson Lab

Logos for NYU School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, and Division of Rheumatology

Basic Arthritis Research


Our lab is interested in the cytokine, growth factors, extracellular matrix proteins and integrins involved in the chondrocyte signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms that regulate the biology of chondrocytes and bone cells.

Basic research is also carried out on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying chondrocyte differentiation and maturation.

Figure 2: Dysregulated gene expression profiling in osteoarthritis cartilage using Affymetrix microarray. Each column represents one sample and differentially expressed genes are shown in rows.
[Click on image to see enlargement of figure]


We also study global changes in the gene expression in disease tissues utilizing microarray and bioinformatics (Figure 2).

Histology of normal and osteoarthritic cartilage.

This is done with non-arthritic and osteoarthritic cartilage tissues (Figure 3). We are also currently involved in characterizing the promoters of dysregulated genes in OA with promoter analyses software to characterize and study the influence of transcription factors on these genes.

We have demonstrated important functions for nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 in the activation of MAP kinase signaling, protease synthesis and cellular death in chondrocyte and synovial fibroblast.

Current projects address the function of novel proteins such F-spondin which are not previously studied in cartilage metabolism and the elucidation of their mechanisms of action (such as effects on gene expression, differentiation of chondrocyte and pathological mineralization).

Figure 3: Histology of normal (top panel) and OA (bottom panel) cartilage. The normal cartilage has smooth articular surface and OA cartilage shows fibrillation, fissuring of articular surface and also shows clustering of cells in superficial zone of the cartilage.
[Click on image to see enlargement of figure]

The fundamental knowledge obtained from these studies is crucial for understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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