PhD-Program Inflammation and Immunity
Medizinische Universität Wien

Michael Trauner, MD

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Department of Medicine III
Medical University of Vienna
Währinger Gürtel 18-20
1090 Vienna
Tel: + 43-1-40400-4744



Research interests

Mechanisms of cell injury and inflammation in cholestatic and metabolic liver diseases, liver dysfunction in sepsis, gut-liver axis, chronic inflammatory bile duct diseases (cholangiopathies), pharmacological treatment of cholestatic and fatty liver disease as well as sepsis with associated liver dysfunction/cholestasis.

The Hans Popper Laboratory of Molecular Hepatology, led by Prof. Trauner, is focused on the molecular mechanisms of inflammation in cholestatic and metabolic liver diseases with the specific role of bile acid (BAs) in the pathogenesis and treatment of these disorders. Previous work of the applicant has focused on the role of BA-activated nuclear receptors and modified BA derivatives in the regulation of hepatobiliary transport, inflammation, fibrosis as well as cellular proliferation and has resulted in several key publications and two international patents on novel BA signaling drugs. Emerging evidence suggests that the signaling properties of BA (e.g. through activation of dedicated nuclear and plasma membrane receptors) may play a key role in the control of metabolism,  inflammation, as well as in innate and adaptive immunity in the liver and beyond. BA-activated receptors could therefore represent a novel therapeutic strategy for acute and chronic liver injury in sepsis as converging site of BA toxicity, signaling and inflammation.

Selected Publications

Schwabl P, Hambruch E, Seeland BA, Hayden H, Wagner M, Garnys L, Strobel B, Schubert TL, Riedl F, Mitteregger D, Burnet M, Starlinger P, Oberhuber G, Deuschle U, Rohr-Udilova N, Podesser BK, Peck-Radosavljevic M, Reiberger T, Kremoser C, Trauner M. The FXR agonist PX20606 ameliorates portal hypertension by targeting vascular remodelling and sinusoidal dysfunction. J Hepatol. 2016 Dec 18. [Epub ahead ofprint]

Lemberger UJ, Fuchs CD, Karer M, Haas S, Stojakovic T, Schöfer C, Marschall HU, Wrba F, Taketo MM, Egger G, Trauner M, Österreicher CH. Hepatocyte specific expression of an oncogenic variant of β-catenin results in cholestatic liver disease. Oncotarget. 2016 Dec 27;7(52):86985-86998.

Fuchs CD, Paumgartner G, Wahlström A, Schwabl P, Reiberger T, Leditznig N, Stojakovic T, Rohr-Udilova N, Chiba P, Marschall HU, Trauner M. Metabolic preconditioning protects BSEP/ABCB11(-/-) mice against cholestatic liver injury.  J Hepatol. 2017 Jan;66(1):95-101.

Baghdasaryan A, Fuchs CD, Österreicher CH, Lemberger UJ, Halilbasic E, Påhlman I, Graffner H, Krones E, Fickert P, Wahlström A, Ståhlman M, Paumgartner G, Marschall HU, Trauner M. Inhibition of intestinal bile acid absorption improves cholestatic liver and bile duct injury in a mouse model of sclerosing cholangitis. J Hepatol. 2016 Mar;64(3):674-81

Mueller M, Thorell A, Claudel T, Jha P, Koefeler H, Lackner C, Hoesel B, Fauler G, Stojakovic T, Einarsson C, Marschall HU, Trauner M. Ursodeoxycholic acid exerts farnesoid X receptor-antagonistic effects on bile acid and lipid metabolism in morbid obesity. J Hepatol. 2015 Jun;62(6):1398-404.

Sombetzki M, Fuchs CD, Fickert P, Österreicher CH, Mueller M, Claudel T, Loebermann M, Engelmann R, Langner C, Sahin E, Schwinge D, Guenther ND, Schramm C, Mueller-Hilke B, Reisinger EC, Trauner M. 24-nor-ursodeoxycholic acid ameliorates inflammatory response and liver fibrosis in a murine model of hepatic schistosomiasis. J Hepatol. 2015 Apr;62(4):871-8.

Recknagel P, Gonnert FA, Westermann M, Lambeck S, Lupp A, Rudiger A, Dyson A, Carré JE, Kortgen A, Krafft C, Popp J, Sponholz C, Fuhrmann V, Hilger I, Claus RA, Riedemann NC, Wetzker R, Singer M, Trauner M (shared senior authorship), Bauer M. Liver dysfunction and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signalling in early sepsis: experimental studies in rodent models of peritonitis. PLoS Medicine. 2012;9(11):e1001338

Moustafa T, Fickert P, Magnes C, Guelly C, Thueringer A, Frank S, Kratky D,Sattler W, Reicher H, Sinner F, Gumhold J, Silbert D, Fauler G, Höfler G, Lass A,Zechner R, Trauner M. Alterations in lipid metabolism mediate inflammation, fibrosis, and proliferation in a mouse model of chronic cholestatic liver injury. Gastroenterology. 2012; 142(1):140-151

Baghdasaryan A, Claudel T, Gumhold J, Silbert D, Adorini L, Roda A, VecchiottiS, Gonzalez FJ, Schoonjans K, Strazzabosco M, Fickert P, Trauner M. Dualfarnesoid X receptor/TGR5 agonist INT-767 reduces liver injury in the Mdr2-/-(Abcb4-/-) mouse cholangiopathy model by promoting biliary HCO⁻₃ ; output. Hepatology. 2011 Oct;54(4):1303-12.