More information

Martina Rauner Group

Cell and molecular principles of integrative bone biology

Portrait Martina Rauner

Bone is a highly dynamic tissue that constantly undergoes remodeling to maintain its structure and function. Bone remodeling is a precisely coordinated process requiring osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes. As bone interacts with many organs, disturbances in bone metabolism are frequently linked to other co-pathologies (e.g. myelodysplastic syndromes, sarcopenia). Likewise, bone is frequently affected by inflammatory, metabolic, or hematological diseases (e.g. diabetes, thyroid hormone excess, glucocorticoids). Thus, our major research interest is to analyze the cellular and molecular mechanisms in the communication of bone with other organs, thereby, specifically focusing on the Wnt and BMP pathways. Currently, we have four major interests:

(I) Osteoimmunology

In the Osteoimmunology research area, we investigate the interactions between the immune system and bone cells in glucocorticoid- and arthritis-induced bone loss models. A major focus is thereby to define the role of the Wnt pathway in health and disease.

(II) Osteooncology

In the Osteooncology field, we aim to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of bone metastasis forming as a frequent complication within breast and prostate cancer, in particular Dkk1. All activities in this area take place within the DFG research consortium µBONE.

(III) Thyroid hormones and bone

Hyperthyroidism is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. In this research area, we study the mechanisms that mediate the high bone turnover in hypothyroidism (Wnts and BMPs) and investigate the role of the thyroid hormone transporter Mct8 in bone remodeling.

(IV) Osteohematology

The bone compartment is frequently affected in hematological disorders including myelodysplastic syndromes. In particular, iron overload negatively impacts on bone. In this area, we are focusing on the mechanisms underlying bone loss due to iron overload and the mechanisms that lead to poor bone quality in myelodysplastic syndromes.

Martina Rauner Research: Figure
Bone is an integrative organ, which communicates with several organs in the body. Our group is particularly interested in unraveling the cellular and molecular mechanisms in interactions between bone and the immune system, the hematopoietic system, and hormones.

Future Projects and Goals

  • Unraveling the underlying mechanisms of inflammatory, hematological, and hormone-mediated bone diseases
  • Investigating the role of Wnt and BMP signaling therein
  • Understanding the role of Wnt signaling and hypoxia in the bone metastatic process

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  • Comprehensive bone phenotyping (µCT, histomorphometry, biomechanics, bone remodeling)
  • Bone cell differentiation assays
  • Generating and characterizing novel transgenic mouse lines
  • Animal models of bone diseases


Since 2018
W2-Professor of Molecular Bone Biology, Department of Medicine III & Center for Healthy Aging, Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden

Since 2015
Scientific Director of the Bone Lab, Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden

Habilitation, Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden, Germany

Junior group leader, Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden

Post-doctoral fellow, ECTS/AMGEN Bone Research Fellowship, Medical Faculty of the TU Dresden

Graduation, Dr. scient. med., Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Short-term fellowship, Harvard Medical School, USA

Short-term fellowship, Philipps University, Marburg, Germany

More Information

Selected Publications

Colditz J, Thiele S, Baschant U, Niehrs C, Bonewald LF, Hofbauer LC, Rauner M
Postnatal skeletal deletion of Dickkopf-1 increases bone formation and bone volume in male and female mice, despite increased sclerostin expression.
J Bone Miner Res, in press (2018)

Hildebrandt S, Baschant U, Thiele S, Tuckermann J, Hofbauer LC, Rauner M
Glucocorticoids suppress Wnt16 expression in osteoblasts in vitro and in vivo.
Scientific Reports, 8:8711. (2018)

Picke AK, Campbell GM, Blühler M, Krügel U, Schmidt FN, Tsourdi E, Winzer M, Rauner M, Vukicevic V, Busse B, Salbach-Hirsch J, Tuckermann JP, Simon JC, Anderegg U, Hofbauer LC, Saalbach A
Thy-1 (CD90) promotes bone formation and protects against obesity.
Sci Translational Medicine, in press (2018)

Rauner M, Franke K, Murray M, Singh RP, Hiram-Bab S, Platzbecker U, Gassmann M, Socolovsky M, Neumann D, Gabet Y, T Chavakis, Hofbauer LC, Wielockx B
Increased EPO levels are associated with bone loss in mice lacking PHD2 in EPO-producing cells.
J Bone Miner Res, 31:1877–1887 (2016)

Tsourdi E, Rijntjes E, Köhrle J, Hofbauer LC, Rauner M
Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism in male mice and their effects on bone mass bone turnover, and the Wnt inhibitors sclerostin and dickkopf-1.
Endocrinology, 156:3517–3527 (2015)


Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Bone Diseases
Department of Medicine III
Dresden University Medical Center
Fetscherstraße 74
01307 Dresden