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Molecular Cardiology

Projektleiterin PD Dr. Diana Lindner

Our research interest

Heart failure often occur as a consequence of various cardiovascular diseases and typically associated with cardiac remodeling in which inflammation and fibrosis play crucial roles. In a healthy heart, the extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a scaffold for cardiac cells, ensuring the structural integrity of the heart, but also serves as a reservoir for latent growth factors. Under pathological conditions, excessive deposition of ECM proteins can lead to increased stiffness of the myocardial tissue which resulting in systolic and diastolic dysfunction. In contrast, dampened fibrotic remodeling in the context of myocardial infarction can lead to inadequate scarring, resulting in ventricular dilatation or even rupture.

Our research group is focused on the regulation of cardiac inflammation and fibrotic remodeling in different types of heart failure. Therefore, animal models are used to experimentally induce heart failure, e.g. by myocardial infarction or viral myocarditis. We also combine in vivo animal models with in vitro cell culture experiments to investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathophysiology of the various underlying heart diseases and their progression to heart failure.


In vivo heart failure models and technics:

  • Hemodynamic measurements to characterize LV function
  • Myocardial infarction (LAD-ligation and ischemia/reperfusion)
  • Cardiac hypertrophy by transverse aortic constriction (TAC) or by DOCA/nephrectomy
  • Viral myocarditis induced by Coxsackie-Virus B3
  • Diabetic cardiomyopathy (STZ model)


In vitro models and technics:

  • Isolation and culture of primary cardiac cells (fibroblasts, cardiomyocytes)
  • Ischemic cell culture system
  • Migration assays and co-culture experiments


Main analysis methods:

  • Gene expression analyses
    • TaqMan
    • Bulk RNA sequencing
    • Single-cell sequencing
  • Histology
    • Routine staining methods (e.g., Picro-Sirius, Haematoxylin-eosin)
    • Immunohistology (Chromogenic and Fluorescent)
    • In-situ hybridization
  • Confocal microscopy
  • FACS analyses

Priv.-Doz. Dr. rer. nat. Diana Lindner


AG Lindner

Dr. rer. biol. hum. Hanna Wolf


AG Lindner

Dr. med. Lucas Bacmeister


Virginia K. Haacke
Medizinische Technologin für Laboratoriumsanalytik

Svenja Kupsch
Research Technician

Rebecca Scholz
Student research assistant

Grafik Team

Open positions

We are currently accepting applications for Master's students. We offer you the opportunity to be trained in up-to-date laboratory methods, animal care as well as project design, data analysis and presentation. You will have the opportunity to present data at scientific conferences and contribute to scientific publications.

Recent key publications

T. Haase, C. Muller, B. Stoffers, P. Kirn, M. Waldenberger, F.J. Kaiser, M. Karakas, S.V. Kim, S. Voss, P.S. Wild, K.J. Lackner, J. Andersson, S. Soderberg, D. Lindner*, T. Zeller*, G Protein-Coupled Receptor 15 Expression Is Associated with Myocardial Infarction, International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2023) 24(1)

H. Bräuninger, B. Stoffers, A.D.E. Fitzek, K. Meissner, G. Aleshcheva, M. Schweizer, J. Weimann, B. Rotter, S. Warnke, C. Edler, F. Braun, K. Roedl, K. Scherschel, F. Escher, S. Kluge, T.B. Huber, B. Ondruschka, H.P. Schultheiss, P. Kirchhof, S. Blankenberg, K. Puschel, D. Westermann, D. Lindner, Cardiac SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with pro-inflammatory transcriptomic alterations within the heart, Cardiovascular Research (2022) 118(2): p. 542-555.

H. Bräuninger, T. Thottakara, J. Schon, S. Voss, V. Dhople, S. Warnke, K. Scherschel, B. Schrage, P. Kirchhof, S. Blankenberg, U. Volker, D. Westermann, E. Hammer*, D. Lindner*, Cytokine-Mediated Alterations of Human Cardiac Fibroblast's Secretome, International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2021) 22(22)

D. Lindner, A. Fitzek, H. Bräuninger, G. Aleshcheva, C. Edler, K. Meissner, K. Scherschel, P. Kirchhof, F. Escher, H.P. Schultheiss, S. Blankenberg, K. Puschel, D. Westermann, Association of Cardiac Infection With SARS-CoV-2 in Confirmed COVID-19 Autopsy Cases, JAMA Cardiology (2020) 5(11): p. 1281-1285.

L. Bacmeister, M. Schwarzl, S. Warnke, B. Stoffers, S. Blankenberg, D. Westermann, D. Lindner, Inflammation and fibrosis in murine models of heart failure, Basic Research in Cardiology (2019) 114(3)

S. Voss, S. Kruger, K. Scherschel, S. Warnke, M. Schwarzl, B. Schrage, E. Girdauskas, C. Meyer, S. Blankenberg, D. Westermann, D. Lindner, Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF) Expression Increases during Myocardial Infarction and Supports Pro-Inflammatory Signaling in Cardiac Fibroblasts, Biomolecules  (2019) 9(2)

S. Hinrichs, K. Scherschel, S. Kruger, J.T. Neumann, M. Schwarzl, I. Yan, S. Warnke, F.M. Ojeda, T. Zeller, M. Karakas, T. Keller, C. Meyer, S. Blankenberg, D. Westermann*, D. Lindner*, Precursor proadrenomedullin influences cardiomyocyte survival and local inflammation related to myocardial infarction, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2018) 115(37): p. E8727-E8736.