Tove Christensen Lab


For more than two decades our main interest has been to uncover the pathogenesis of the neurological disease Multiple Sclerosis. We have focused on both human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and certain herpesviruses. We have used and  developed techniques to monitor HERV expression by direct measuring of HERV polymerase both in vivo and in vitro. By defining significant viral epitopes we can monitor the antibody levels in patients and controls, and by in vitro tests evaluate the significance of these antibodies in immune reactions, and the effect of viral epitopes in cell-mediated immunity. It is also possible to visualize expression of viral epitopes on the surface of infected cells. The main goal is to gain sufficient insight into the cause and the pathogenesis of the disease to create the basis for novel treatments.

Research interests

  • Infection and immuno-pathogenesis in chronic diseases.
  • HERVs and herpesviruses as factors in MS pathogenesis.
  • Cell-mediated immunity to HERVs and to herpesviruses.
  • Molecular interactions between exogenous and endogenous viruses.
  • Molecular characterization of expressed HERVs.
  • Molecular pathogenesis of expressed HERVs.


  • HERV expression analyses: activity measurements (RT levels by PERT), Western blotting, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, in vitro transcription and translation, functional studies.
  • Immunological assays: ELISA, TRIFMA, biomarkers, flow cytometry, cytotoxicity, blast transformation.
  • Cellular assays.

Collaborators and centres

Please refer to our list of publications.

Research group members

  • DrMedSci Anné Møller-Larsen (Emerita)
  • Mikkel Carstensen Gjelstrup (PhD student)
  • Morten Stilund (PhD student)
  • Gro Helen Dale (PhD student)
  • Viktoria Papp  (PhD student)
  • Dorte Tranberg Hansen (PhD student)
  • Eva Lykke Petersen (technician)
  • Mette Hadbjerg Løbner(BSc molecular medicine)
  • Close collaboration with DrMedSci Thor Petersen, Department of Neurology, AUH

Group leader

Tove Christensen

Associate professor


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