Senast ändrad: 02 februari 2021

The research of the Section of Pathology is focused on connective tissue diseases involving the skeletal and circulatory systems in domestic animals, with a translational approach towards human medicine.

The profile of the research within the skeletal systems is, concentrated on joint diseases: such as osteochondrosis (OC) and osteoarthritis (OA) in the horse, pig, dog, cat and bovine. The research group study cartilage and bone macromolecules, metabolic, inflammatory and pain mediators, and their relation to mechanical load and pathological processes., The aim is to find biomarkers in tissue fluid (synovial fluid and serum) for diagnostic and prognostic purposes and to identify joint pain. The aim of the research is to design a biomarker panel that can be used to evaluate the joint health of the individual animal and aid in treatment evaluations and rehabilitation. The overall aim of the research is to build an orthopedic platform in collaboration with experts of different disciplines at SLU.

The main research activities are

  • Equine OA, Read more about the research on joint disease in horses at BVF "Forskning om ledsjukdom hos häst" (in Swedish). The aim is to find early biomarkers for joint pain and articular cartilage destruction. In horses this is investigated with the aid of in vitro cell cultures as well as joint fluid and blood sample analyses from clinical cases of lame horses (in vivo). The clinical research is done in collaboration with Professor Anna Jansson, AFB, associate professor Karin Holm (UDS), and associate professor Marie Rhodin (AFB) as well as Kristin Aurell Abrahamsson, Kungsbacka equine clinic. This research is also done with a translational approach into human OA in collaboration with professors MD, Anders Lindahl, and Elisabeth Hansson, Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg. The well-established in vitro methods developed by our group can also be used to study the effects of treatments against OA. An ongoing project, in collaboration with Norway (associate professor Cathrine Fjordbakk), investigates the components and effects of autologous biological products.

  • Feline OA, Similar to the research in horses and dogs the research is aimed at finding markers of early joint disease. The studies are aimed at characterizing changes associated with feline OA on a tissue level as well as from a whole-body perspective. Methods used include computed tomography and microscopic evaluation of joint tissue changes and a pressure mat system for gait analyses. Body composition is determined by computed tomography and investigation of possible mediators of markers for disease are evaluated in blood samples. The studies are conducted in collaboration with associate professor VMD Anna Bergh, VMD Emma Strage and VMD Charles Ley at the Department of Clinical Sciences, SLU and VMD Sarah Stadig, Falköpings Smådjursklinik.

  • OC, The early changes of vessel necrosis in porcine, equine and bovine growth cartilages, that lead to focal growth cartilage necrosis (OC latens) that can develop into osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) with subsequent pain and lameness, are studied with the aid of different imaging techniques (Micro CT, MR, LM, TEM) as well as use of biomarker panel aimed at evaluating cartilage degradation and joint pain. This research is done in collaboration with professor DVM, Cathy Carlson, Minneapolis St Paul, Minnesota, USA and senior lecturer, VMD Kristin Olstad, Oslo, Norway.

  • Atherosclerosis, In collaboration with Lillemor Mattson Hulthen at University of Gothenburg we have localized a biomarker (specific cleavage of COMP (cartilage oligomeric matrix protein)) in plasma in patients with severe atherosclerotic plaques.
Group members:

Stina Ekman, professor, VMD, Diplomate of ECVP
Eva Skiöldebrand, professor, DVM, PhD
Cecilia Ley, senior lecturer, VMD, Diplomate of ECVP
Maria Löfgren, post doc, PhD
Fredrik Södersten, VMD, PhD 
Karin Vargmar, lecturer, VMD
Anna Kendall, graduate student, DVM, Diplomate of ECVIM