Main container

Inflammatory and degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal system


The activities are aimed at:

  • defining the etiopathogenetic mechanisms of musculoskeletal diseases of great social impact
  • identifying the local and systemic changes that these diseases and/or their treatment determine in the organism
  • studying molecules able to selectively inhibit specific functions, in order to promote the repair/regeneration of damaged osteocartilaginous tissue
  • developing innovative therapeutic methods and strategies aimed at preventing/treating osteoarthritis
  • identifying biomarkers predictive of the course of the main osteoarticular diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • defining the biological bases of individual response to drugs.


Specific activities

Characterization of biological markers of inflammation, of activity and progression of osteoarticular diseases and of therapeutic response

  • ex vivo studies on synovial tissue of patients with osteoarthritis-OA and rheumatoid arthritis-RA to analyze molecular mechanisms and cell populations involved in the development of the inflammatory and pain response
  • studies on cell models (of osteoarticular and/or mesenchymal derivation), prepared with cells isolated from patients with OA or RA, to identify possible therapeutic targets (with particular regard to the signaling mechanisms that control inflammation and degeneration of cartilage tissue) or to evaluate the effect of molecules, nutraceuticals or drugs for OA and/or RA or other osteoaticular diseases (viability, proliferation, cytotoxic activity, apoptosis and anti-inflammatory activity)
  • evaluations of soluble factors released in the synovial fluid and/or in the plasma, of relevance for the etiopathogenesis of OA, RA and genetic pathologies with cartilage involvement
  • evaluation of immune and bone cells interactions
  • advanced preclinical studies (cell therapy) on animal models such as cell therapies for the treatment of specific diseases (eg rheumatic diseases, osteoarthritis, muscular dystrophies) and characterization of the role of specific genes and proteins involved in the pathological process using transgenic animal models (in coll. with the Unit Preclinical and Surgical Studies).

Advanced histological analysis in the rheumatological field

Since 2003, advanced histological analysis with rheumatological orientation has been carried out on synovial tissue samples received from the IOR Clinical Units.

This  activity provides for histological and immunohistochemical analyses on synovial tissue collected during surgical procedures or arthroscopy examinations, and the evaluation by means of a score, carried out jointly by Anatomo-Pathologists and Rheumatologists.

This activity has the primary objective of supplying a qualified histological study service in the rheumatological field.