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The Doctoral Dissertation by Antti Pemmari, MD was Awarded

Published on 5.10.2023
Tampere University
The Finnish Pharmacological Society awarded the 2022 doctoral dissertation prize to Antti Pemmari, MD - Medications and mediators of inflammation influence the phenotypes of macrophages and chondrocytes

Antti Pemmari's dissertation "Macrophage and chondrocyte phenotypes in inflammation" was awarded the prize of pharmacology dissertation of the year 2022. In his dissertation, Pemmari utilized next generation sequencing to examine the altered phenotypes of cells by means of genome wide expression analysis. He characterized the chondrocyte phenotypes induced by Th1/Th2/Th17 type inflammation and by selected anti-inflammatory medicines. Pemmari conducted his doctoral research at the Immunopharmacology Research Group at Tampere University and it was approved by the faculty with distinction.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition affecting a significant part of the aging population. Despite active research efforts, effective drug treatments influencing the progression of the disease have not yet been developed. All types of joint cells, especially chondrocytes (cells of the cartilage) and macrophage-like synovial cells, influence OA development. Changes in the phenotypes of these cells can be observed during the disease process; some of these changes being beneficial and others harmful. The dissertation describes, for the first time, the effects of drugs used in the symptomatic treatment of OA, such as glucocorticoids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, on chondrocyte phenotype. The thesis also characterizes chondrocyte phenotypes induced by the key Th1/Th2/Th17 cytokines.

The results of the dissertation provide new insights into the significance of macrophages and chondrocytes in the development and treatment of OA and other inflammatory diseases. They also offer valuable information for drug development. According to Pemmari, it is likely that modifying cell phenotypes can influence the development and progression of OA.

The Finnish Pharmacological Society annually recognizes an outstanding dissertation in the field of pharmacology. The selection is made by the society's board based on members' nominations. This year, the award was presented during a scientific symposium held on September 22nd at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki, as part of the Society's 75th anniversary celebration. Pemmari presented the findings of his dissertation at the event.