CERIC Center of Excellence for Research on Inflammation and Cardiovascular disease

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Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery & Center for Molecular Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital, Solna

Institute for Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital Hamburg

Phone +46 8 517 756 09

Group members


Thomas Renné, MD PhD, professor
Tobias Fuchs, PhD, senior research fellow

Postdoctoral fellows

Katrin Nickel, PhD
Ellinor Kenne, PhD

PhD students

Jenny Björkqvist
Linda Labberton
Magnus Larsson, MD
Pär Forsman, MD
Mireia Pedragosa

Technical and adminstrative staff

Anne Jämsä, PhD, Lab manager

Thomas Renné

Combinations of proinflammatory and procoagulant reactions are the unifying principle for a variety of disorders affecting the cardiovascular system. Factor XII (FXII, Hageman factor) is a plasma protease that initiates the contact system. This system starts a cascade of procoagulant and proinflammatory reactions. The biochemistry of the contact system in vitro is well understood, however its in vivo functions are just beginning to emerge. We have previously demonstrated that FXII is essential for thrombus formation while being dispensable for hemostatic processes that terminate blood loss. Challenging the dogma of a coagulation balance, targeting FXII protected from cerebral ischemia without interfering with hemostasis. In contrast, excess FXII activity is associated with a life threatening inflammatory disorder, Hereditary angioedema. We recently have identified platelet polyphosphate (an inorganic polymer) and mast cell heparin as in vivo FXII activators with implications on the initiation of thrombosis and edema.

Currently the laboratory is exploring roles of the FXII-driven contact system at the intersection of procoagulant and proinflammatory pathways using animal models and patient materials. A key aspect of our work is the analysis of common principles, interactions and cross-talk between coagulation and inflammation, to identify novel therapeutic targets. Elucidating the FXII-driven contact system offers the exciting opportunity to develop strategies for safe interference with both thrombotic and inflammatory diseases.

Research interactions with CERIC

  • Crosstalk of coagulation and inflammation – identification of common principles.
  • Safe anticoagulant drugs: strategies to interfere with thrombosis without bleeding risk.
  • Functions and regulation of polyphosphate at the intersection of thrombosis and edema.
  • Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) – biological functions and novel biomarker.