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Fibrosis & Portal Hypertension Experimental Laboratory (HEPEX)

Scarring (fibrosis) of the liver and the resulting portal hypertension (portal hypertension) are serious clinical pictures in patients with liver diseases. Most chronic liver diseases, such as viral hepatitis or fatty liver inflammation (NASH) lead to liver fibrosis and portal hypertension.

In the laboratory for experimental liver fibrosis and portal hypertension (HEPEX Lab), the research group headed by Thomas Reiberger is investigating the molecular mechanisms and the resulting new therapeutic approaches in various animal models. The HEPEX Lab works in close cooperation with the Department of Biomedical Research of the Medical University of Vienna and offers opportunities for translational research in the field of liver fibrosis and portal hypertension in the N094 PhD program for Vascular Biology of the Medical University of Vienna.

Among the milestones of the HEPEX Lab is the "bench-to-bedside" description of the effectiveness of the anti-angiogenetic multikinase inhibitor sorafenib on portal hypertension: Sorafenib was first investigated in a rat model of portal hypertension and subsequently the described ones Effects also confirmed in patients with portal hypertension who were treated with sorafenib due to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Furthermore, potential harmful side effects of the beta-blocker nebivolol in portal hypertension could be shown, and anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenetic properties of pioglitazone in two models of portal hypertension could be identified.

In terms of methods, the invasive characterization of systemic, splanchnic and portal hemodynamics in vivo in rat and mouse models of liver fibrosis and portal hypertension are available. In particular, the partial portal vein ligation (PPVL), the bile duct ligation (BDL) and the carbon tetrachlorocarbon (CCL4) model are used. The molecular methods to characterize angiogenesis, oxidative stress, inflammation and extracellular matrix composition in liver fibrosis and portal hypertension are developed in close collaboration with Ms. Assoc. Prof.PD. Natalya Rohr-Udilova performed.

The team at the HEPEX laboratory works alongside numerous national and international projects and is known for its expertise in innovative collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry.

Assoc. Prof. PD. Dr. Thomas Reiberger


Assoc.Prof. PD. Nataliya Rohr-Udilova