Dr. med. vet. Dominique Wiener, PhD, DECVP


Institute for Animal Pathology
Vetsuisse Faculty
University of Bern
Postfach 8466
CH-3001 Bern
Phone: +41 31 631 24 16



Activties and Research Interests

Pathogenesis of canine alopecia

Hair growth is dependent on a strict coordination of the hair cycle (HC) phases anagen, catagen, telogen, exogen and kenogen and a fully functional stem cell (SC) compartment. Non-inflammatory alopecia is a frequent problem in dogs but so far neither molecular mechanisms involved in the canine HC nor in activation of follicular stem cells have been investigated and the pathogenesis is still largely unknown. Based on the fact that all alopecic dogs, irrespective of the cause, have a significantly increased amount of kenogen follicles, we conclude that anagen induction is impaired in all HC disorders. Thus we hypothesize that the gene expression patterns and the follicular SC subsets are disturbed in the HF of these dogs. The aims of research projects are: i.) to elucidate aberrations in the gene expression profile of cycling HFs in alopecic dogs as compared to healthy dogs  ii.) to define alterations in the growth potential and the molecular signature of the HF SC compartment in alopecic dogs as compared to healthy dogs and iii.) to get insight into the key regulators of SC proliferation and differentiation.

We expect that the results of our work will foster our understanding of the pathogenesis of alopecic disorders.

Selected publications

E.-M. Mausberg, G. Dolf, C. Drögemüller, T. Leeb, S. Rüfenacht , M. Welle (2007): Evaluation of the CTSL2 gene as a candidate gene for alopecia X in Pomeranians and Keeshonden. Animal Biotechnology, Vol 18(4), 291-29

Wiener D.J., Plattet P., Cherpillod P., Zipperle L., Doherr M.G., Vandevelde M., Zurbriggen A. (2007) Synergistic inhibition in cell-cell fusion mediated by the matrix and nucleocapsid protein of canine distemper virus. Virus Res. 129(2):145-154.

I.M. Reichler*, M. Welle*, C. Eckrich, U. Sattler, A. Barth, M. Hubler, C.S. Nett-Mettler, W. Jöchle, S. Arnold (2008): Spaying-induced coat changes: The role of gonadotropins, GnRH and GnRH-treatment on the hair cycle of female dogs. Veterinary Dermatology, Vol 19(2), 77-87   * Authors contributed equally

M. Welle, U. Philipp, S. Rüfenacht, P. Roosje, M. Scharfenstein, M. Linek, L. Mecklenburg, P. Grest, M. Drögemüller, B. Haase, T. Leeb (2009): MLPH genotype – melanin phenotype correlation in dilute dogs. Journal of Hereditary, Vol 100(Suppl 1), 75-79

Wiener D.J., Vandevelde M., Zurbriggen A., Plattet P. (2010) Investigation of a unique short open reading frame within the 3‘ untranslated region of the canine distemper virus matrix gene, Virus Res. 2010 Nov;153(2):234-43. Epub 2010 Aug 24.

Röthlisberger A. *, Wiener D.J. *, Schweizer M., Peterhans E., Zurbriggen A., Plattet P. (2010) Two domains of the V protein of virulent canine distemper virus selectively inhibits STAT1 and STAT2 nuclear import, J Virol. 2010 Jul;84(13):6328-43.   * Authors contributed equally

T. Müntener, M.G. Doherr, F. Guscetti, M.M. Suter, M.M. Welle (2011): The canine hair cycle – a guide for the assessment of morphological and immunohistochemical criteria. Veterinary Dermatology, Vol 22(5):383-95. Epub 2011 Mar 14

T. Müntener, G. Schuepbach-Regula, L. Frank, S. Rüfenacht, M.M. Welle (2012): Canine non-inflammatory alopecia: a comprehensive evaluation of common and distinguishing histological characteristics. Veterinary Dermatology, Vol 23(3):206-e44

D.J Wiener, C. Gurtner, L. Panakova, T-B. Mausberg, P. Roosje, E. Müller, C. Drögemüller, L. Leeb, M.M. Welle: Clinical and histological characterization of the hair coat and glandular tissue of Chinese crested Dogs. In press Veterinary Dermatology