Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain

Göttingen, Germany

Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain

Göttingen, Germany
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Dibaj P.,University of Gottingen | Nadrigny F.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | Steffens H.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | Steffens H.,University of Gottingen | And 9 more authors.
GLIA | Year: 2010

To understand the pathomechanisms of spinal cord injuries will be a prerequisite to develop efficient therapies. By investigating acute lesions of spinal cord white matter in anesthetized mice with fluorescently labeled microglia and axons using in vivo two-photon laser-scanning microscopy (2P-LSM), we identified the messenger nitric oxide (NO) as a modulator of injury-activated microglia. Local tissue damages evoked by high-power laser pulses provoked an immediate attraction of microglial processes. Spinal superfusion with NO synthase and guanylate cyclase inhibitors blocked these extensions. Furthermore, local injection of the NO-donor spermine NONOate (SPNO) or the NO-dependent second messenger cGMP induced efficient migration of microglial cells toward the injection site. High-tissue levels of NO, achieved by uniform superfusion with SPNO and mimicking extended tissue damage, resulted in a fast conversion of the microglial shape from ramified to ameboid indicating cellular activation. When the spinal white matter was preconditioned by increased, ambient ATP (known as a microglial chemoattractant) levels, the attraction of microglial processes to local NO release was augmented, whereas it was abolished at low levels of tissue ATP. Because both signaling molecules, NO and ATP, mediate acute microglial reactions, coordinated pharmacological targeting of NO and purinergic pathways will be an effective mean to influence the innate immune processes after spinal cord injury. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Manzke T.,University of Gottingen | Manzke T.,Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain | Niebert M.,University of Gottingen | Niebert M.,Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2010

Rhythmic breathing movements originate from a dispersed neuronal network in the medulla and pons. Here, we demonstrate that rhythmic activity of this respiratory network is affected by the phosphorylation status of the inhibitory glycine receptor α3 subtype (GlyRα3), which controls glutamatergic and glycinergic neuronal discharges, subject to serotonergic modulation. Serotonin receptor type 1A-specific (5-HTR1A-specific) modulation directly induced dephosphorylation of GlyRα3 receptors, which augmented inhibitory glycine-activated chloride currents in HEK293 cells coexpressing 5-HTR1A and GlyRα3. The 5-HTR1A-GlyRα3 signaling pathway was distinct from opioid receptor signaling and efficiently counteracted opioid-induced depression of breathing and consequential apnea in mice. Paradoxically, this rescue of breathing originated from enhanced glycinergic synaptic inhibition of glutamatergic and glycinergic neurons and caused disinhibition of their target neurons. Together, these effects changed respiratory phase alternations and ensured rhythmic breathing in vivo. GlyRα3-deficient mice had an irregular respiratory rhythm under baseline conditions, and systemic 5-HTR1A activation failed to remedy opioid-induced respiratory depression in these mice. Delineation of this 5-HTR1A-GlyRα3 signaling pathway offers a mechanistic basis for pharmacological treatment of opioid-induced apnea and other breathing disturbances caused by disorders of inhibitory synaptic transmission, such as hyperekplexia, hypoxia/ischemia, and brainstem infarction.


Wessels J.T.,University of Gottingen | Yamauchi K.,Anticancer, Inc. | Yamauchi K.,University of California at San Diego | Hoffman R.M.,Anticancer, Inc. | And 3 more authors.
Cytometry Part A | Year: 2010

This review focuses on technical advances in fluorescence microscopy techniques including laser scanning techniques, fluorescence-resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy, fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), stimulated emission depletion (STED)-based super-resolution microscopy, scanning confocal endomicroscopes, thinsheet laser imaging microscopy (TSLIM), and tomographic techniques such as early photon tomography (EPT) as well as on clinical laser-based endoscopic and microscopic techniques. We will also discuss the new developments in the field of fluorescent dyes and fluorescent genetic reporters that enable new possibilities in high-resolution and molecular imaging both in in vitro and in vivo. Small animal and tissue imaging benefit from the development of new fluorescent proteins, dyes, and sensing constructs that operate in the far red and near-infrared spectrum. Copyright © 2010 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.


Sussulini A.,University of Campinas | Sussulini A.,Jülich Research Center | Sussulini A.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | Kratzin H.,Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine | And 5 more authors.
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

In the present work, metallomics studies using biomolecular (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry, MALDI-TOF MS/MS) and elemental mass spectrometry (laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, LA-ICPMS) of human blood serum samples from bipolar disorder (BD) patients compared to controls were performed. The serum samples from three different groups: control (n = 25), BD patients treated with Li (n = 15), and BD patients not treated with Li (n = 10), were pooled according to their groups and separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2-D PAGE). Then, in order to determine the metals bound to the protein spots and search for differences among the studied groups, the 2-D gels were analyzed by LA-ICPMS in three distinct modes: bioimaging of metals in gel sections, line scan through the protein spots, and microlocal analysis of selected protein spots. MALDI-TOF MS/MS characterized 32 serum proteins, and they were associated with the metals previously detected. When comparing control and treated BD patient groups, a differentiation in terms of metals bound to proteins was possible to observe. The main metals bound to proteins found in all groups were Na, Mg, Zn, Ca, and Fe. Mn was only detected in the control group; Co was only observed in the control and BD patients treated with Li group. K and Ti were only found in the BD patient groups, and P was only observed in control and BD patients not treated with Li drugs. This exploratory work shows that the association of LA-ICPMS with MALDI-TOF MS/MS is a powerful strategy in metallomics studies applied to determine differences in metal-containing proteins, being able to play an important role on the discovery of potential markers for BD and its treatment with Li in serum samples. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Ducker E.B.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry | Kuhn L.T.,EXC 171 | Kuhn L.T.,European Neuroscience Institute Gottingen ENI G | Munnemann K.,Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance | Year: 2012

The Non-Hydrogenative Parahydrogen-Induced Polarization (NH-PHIP) technique, which is referred to as Signal Amplification by Reversible Exchange (SABRE), has been reported to be applicable to various substrates and catalysts. For more detailed studies, pyridine was mainly examined in the past. Here, we examined several pyrazole derivatives towards their amenability to this method using Crabtree's Catalyst, which is the polarization transfer catalyst that is best documented. Additionally, the dependence of the signal enhancement on the field strength, at which the polarization step takes place, was examined for pyridine and four different pyrazoles. To achieve this, the polarization step was performed at numerous previously determined magnetic fields in the stray field of the NMR spectrometer. The substrate dependence of the field dependence proved to be relatively small for the different pyrazoles and a strong correlation to the field dependence for pyridine was observed. Reducing the number of spins in the catalyst by deuteration leads to increased enhancement. This indicates that more work has to be invested in order to be able to reproduce the SABRE field dependence by simulations. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Schmidt M.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry | Sun H.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry | Rogne P.,European Neuroscience Institute Gottingen ENI G | Rogne P.,Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

Even though the important antimalaria drug rac-erythro-mefloquine HCl has been on the market as Lariam for decades, the absolute configurations of its enantiomers have not been determined conclusively. This is needed, since the (-) enantiomer is believed to cause adverse side effects in malaria treatment resulting from binding to the adenosine receptor in the human brain. Since there are conflicting assignments based on enantioselective synthesis and anomalous X-ray diffraction, we determined the absolute configuration using a combination of NMR, optical rotatory dispersion (ORD), and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy together with density functional theory calculations. First, structural models of erythro-mefloquine HCl compatible with NMR-derived 3J HH scalar couplings, 15N chemical shifts, rotational Overhauser effects, and residual dipolar couplings were constructed. Second, we calculated ORD and CD spectra of the structural models and compared the calculated data with the experimental values. The experimental results for (-)-erythro-mefloquine HCl matched our calculated chiroptical data for the 11R,12S model. Accordingly, we conclude that the assignment of 11R,12S to (-)-erythro-mefloquine HCl is correct. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Bonn F.,University of Cologne | Pantakani K.,University of Gottingen | Shoukier M.,University of Gottingen | Langer T.,University of Cologne | And 3 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2010

An autosomal recessive form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (AR-HSP) is primarily caused by mutations in the SPG7 gene, which codes for paraplegin, a subunit of the hetero-oligomeric m-AAA protease in mitochondria. In the current study, sequencing of the SPG7 gene in the genomic DNA of 25 unrelated HSP individuals/families led to the identification of two HSP patients with compound heterozygous mutations (p.G349S/p.W583C and p.A510V/p.N739KfsX741) in the coding sequence of the SPG7 gene. We used a yeast complementation assay to evaluate the functional consequence of novel SPG7 sequence variants detected in the HSP patients. We assessed the proteolytic activity of hetero-oligomeric m-AAA proteases composed of paraplegin variant(s) and proteolytically inactive forms of AFG3L2 (AFG3L2E575Q or AFG3L2K354A) upon expression in m-AAA protease-deficient yeast cells. We demonstrate that the newly identified paraplegin variants perturb the proteolytic function of hetero-oligomeric m-AAA protease. Moreover, commonly occurring silent polymorphisms such as p.T503A and p.R688Q could be distinguished from mutations (p.G349S, p.W583C, p.A510V, and p.N739KfsX741) in our HSP cohort. The yeast complementation assay thus can serve as a reliable system to distinguish a pathogenic mutation from a silent polymorphism for any novel SPG7 sequence variant, which will facilitate the interpretation of genetic data for SPG7. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


Pajonk F.-G.,Saarland University | Pajonk F.-G.,Dr K Fontheims Hospital For Mental Health | Wobrock T.,University of Gottingen | Gruber O.,University of Gottingen | And 13 more authors.
Archives of General Psychiatry | Year: 2010

Context: Hippocampal volume is lower than expected in patients with schizophrenia; however, whether this represents a fixed deficit is uncertain. Exercise is a stimulus to hippocampal plasticity. Objective: To determine whether hippocampal volume would increase with exercise in humans and whether this effect would be related to improved aerobic fitness. Design: Randomized controlled study. Setting: Patients attending a day hospital program or an outpatient clinic. Patients or Other Participants: Male patients with chronic schizophrenia and matched healthy subjects. Interventions: Aerobic exercise training (cycling) and playing table football (control group) for a period of 3 months. Main Outcome Measures: Magnetic resonance imaging of the hippocampus. Secondary outcome measures were magnetic resonance spectroscopy, neuropsychological (Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Corsi blocktapping test), and clinical (Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale) features. Results: Following exercise training, relative hippocampal volume increased significantly in patients (12%) and healthy subjects (16%), with no change in the nonexercise group of patients (-1%). Changes in hippocampal volume in the exercise group were correlated with improvements in aerobic fitness measured by change in maximum oxygen consumption (r=0.71; P=.003). In the schizophrenia exercise group (but not the controls), change in hippocampal volume was associated with a 35% increase in the N-acetylaspartate to creatine ratio in the hippocampus. Finally, improvement in test scores for short-term memory in the combined exercise and nonexercise schizophrenia group was correlated with change in hippocampal volume (r=0.51; P<.05). Conclusion: These results indicate that in both healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia hippocampal volume is plastic in response to aerobic exercise. ©2010 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.


Schnell C.,University of Gottingen | Schnell C.,Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain | Hagos Y.,University of Gottingen | Hulsmann S.,University of Gottingen | Hulsmann S.,Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Sulforhodamine 101 (SR101) is widely used as a marker of astrocytes. In this study we investigated labeling of astrocytes by SR101 in acute slices from the ventrolateral medulla and the hippocampus of transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the astrocyte-specific human GFAP promoter. While SR101 efficiently and specifically labeled EGFP-expressing astrocytes in hippocampus, we found that the same staining procedure failed to label astrocytes efficiently in the ventrolateral medulla. Although carbenoxolone is able to decrease the SR101-labeling of astrocytes in the hippocampus, it is unlikely that SR101 is taken up via gap-junction hemichannels because mefloquine, a blocker for pannexin and connexin hemichannels, was unable to prevent SR101-labeling of hippocampal astrocytes. However, SR101-labeling of the hippocampal astrocytes was significantly reduced by substrates of organic anion transport polypeptides, including estron-3-sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, suggesting that SR101 is actively transported into hippocampal astrocytes. © 2012 Schnell et al.


Zeug A.,Hannover Medical School | Woehler A.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry | Woehler A.,Research Center Molecular Physiology of the Brain | Neher E.,Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry | And 2 more authors.
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2012

Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) has become an important tool for analyzing different aspects of interactions among biological macromolecules in their native environments. FRET analysis has also been successfully applied to study the spatiotemporal regulation of various cellular processes using genetically encoded FRET-based biosensors. A variety of procedures have been described for measuring FRET efficiency or the relative abundance of donor-acceptor complexes, based on analysis of the donor fluorescence lifetime or the spectrally resolved fluorescence intensity. The latter methods are preferable if one wants to not only quantify the apparent FRET efficiencies but also calculate donor-acceptor stoichiometry and observe fast dynamic changes in the interactions among donor and acceptor molecules in live cells. This review focuses on a comparison of the available intensity-based approaches used to measure FRET. We discuss their strengths and weaknesses in terms of FRET quantification, and provide several examples of biological applications. © 2012 Biophysical Society.

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