23.10.2019      13:00

IZN Seminar


Formation of prediction error signals in interregional assemblies during reinforcement learning

Carla Filosa (AG Kelsch)


Immunometabolism and neurodegeneration: How microglial metabolism determines neuronal life and death

Bruno Chausse (AG Kann)


Im Neuenheimer Feld 306


30.10.2019      13:00

Neurobiology Lecture


Regulation of neurogenesis and neural stem cell plasticity through neuron-glia crosstalk in health and disease

Caghan Kizil
Technical University, Dresden

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease and is incurable. We do not know the exact cause or how to revert the disease manifestation. The neurocentric view of AD, which proposed that the neurons are the centrally affected cells and a treatment could be possible by focusing on these cell types, evolved into a more complex and grift paradigm where many non-neuronal cell types are now thought to be causative to the onset of AD: immune cells, neurovascular unit, and neural stem cells. All these cell types malfunction in AD and contribute to the complex pathological output.

In our lab, we hypothesized that providing new neurons into the diseases brain would be a way to circumvent the effects of AD. One specialized cell type that is capable of doing so is the endogenous neural stem cells, which could act as reservoirs for new neurons; however, lose their ability to do so in disease conditions. We are investigating the molecular mechanisms through which human neural stem cells could be coaxed to be plastic – proliferative and neurogenic – again in AD, and we do so by using zebrafish – an organism with extraordinary neuro-regenerative ability. We believe that with what we learn from zebrafish, we can design novel therapeutic ways to fight AD from a neuro-regenerative perspective.

In my talk, I will present (1) our adult zebrafish brain model of AD and its regenerative ability, (2) the molecular programs that we identified to enable a regenerative response after Alzheimer’s-like loss of neurons, (3) a novel 3D culture method for experimentally modeling human neural stem cell plasticity, and (4) our current efforts to translate the findings in zebrafish to humanized systems.


Im Neuenheimer Feld 306


06.11.2019      13:00

IZN Seminar


Fluidity of functional ensembles in the infralimbic cortex of rats performing a reward-seeking task

Ivo Sonntag (AG T.Kuner)


Early prediction of phenotypic severity in urea cycle disorders

Matthias Zielonka (AG Kölker)


Im Neuenheimer Feld 306


13.11.2019      13:00

Neurobiology Lecture


Social transmission of maternal behavior via oxytocin

Rob Froemke
New York University School of Medicine
Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
New York, USA

Oxytocin is important for social interactions and maternal behavior. However, little is known about when, where, and how oxytocin modulates neural circuits to improve social cognition.

Here I will discuss recent results and unpublished data from our lab on how oxytocin enables maternal behavior in new mother mice. I will focus on experience-dependent plasticity in auditory cortex related to recognizing the significance of pup distress calls, which are important for mother mice retrieving lost pups back to the nest. Surprisingly, this behavior, neural responses, and oxytocin receptor expression were lateralized to the left side of the auditory cortex, perhaps similar to the lateralization of language abilities in humans.

I will also describe a new system we have built to combine neural recordings from the auditory cortex and oxytocin neurons of the hypothalamus in vivo, synchronized with days-to-weeks long continuous video monitoring of homecage behavior to identify when oxytocin release and cortical plasticity might occur during natural social and maternal experience.


Im Neuenheimer Feld 306

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ZI eröffnet Zentrum für Innovative Psychiatrie- und Psychotherapieforschung (ZIPP)

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Gründer (links), Leiter der Abteilung Molekulares Neuroimaging, zeigt Wissenschaftsministerin Theresia Bauer im Beisein von ZI-Vorstandsvorsitzendem Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg und kaufmännisch-administrativem Vorstand Andreas-W. Möller die Möglichkeiten der Bildgebung im neuen ZIPP. Foto: ZI/Schwetasch

Prof. Dr. Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Vorstandsvorsitzender des ZI, hat das Konzept des ZIPP federführend entwickelt: „Mit dem ZIPP haben die Forscher und Kliniker des ZI eine ideale Struktur, um die Entwicklung wirklich neuer Psychotherapien und Pharmakotherapien rasch voranzubringen und die Chancen aus der Grundlagenforschung rasch in die Anwendung zu führen.“ Zur forschungstechnologischen Ausstattung des ZIPP zählen neben zwei 3-Tesla-Magnetresonanztomographen, die auch miteinander verbunden eingesetzt werden können (sogenanntes Hyperscanning), unter anderem auch ein neues Gerät für die kombinierte Positronenemissions- und Magnetresonanztomographie (PET-MRT). Sie ist eines der modernsten Verfahren der Hirnbildgebung und ermöglicht eine genaue Untersuchung der Aktivität von Botenstoffen (Neurotransmittern) und neuen Medikamenten im Gehirn. Ebenfalls neu installiert wurde ein Magnetenzephalograph (MEG) zur Erforschung der elektrischen Aktivität von Nervenzellen bei Prozessen des Wahrnehmens, Denkens und Empfindens. Mehr…

Nerve cells fire brain tumor cell growth

T.kuner-naturesept2019Heidelberg scientists and physicians describe in the scientific journal 'Nature' how nerve cells of the brain connect with aggressive glioblastomas and thus promote tumor growth / Mechanism of tumor activation provides starting points for clinical trials

Nerve cells transmit their signals via synapses – fine cell extensions with contact buttons that rest on the next nerve cell – among each other. Scientists and physicians at the University Hospital, the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center have now discovered that neurons of the brain also form tumor cells of aggressive glioblastomas in such direct cell-cell contacts. In this way, they pass on excitatory stimuli to the cancer cells. The tumor benefits from this 'input': the activation signals are probably a driving force for tumor growth and the invasion of tumor cells into healthy brain tissue, as the teams led by Prof.Dr.med. Frank Winkler and Prof.Dr. Thomas Kuner using special imaging techniques found out. But there is also good news: certain substances can block the transmission of signals in animal experiments. The results have been published online in the journal 'Nature' Externer Inhalt

Related 'Nature' article: Cancer cells have ‘unsettling’ ability to hijack the brain’s nerves Externer Inhalt

Neuronal vulnerability and multilineage diversity in multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neuroinflammatory disease with a relapsing–remitting disease course at early stages, distinct lesion characteristics in cortical grey versus subcortical white matter and neurodegeneration at chronic stages. Lucas Schirmer used single-nucleus RNA sequencing to assess changes in expression in multiple cell lineages in MS lesions and validated the results using multiplex in situ hybridization. His findings have been published in Nature Externer Inhalt

Human blood cells can be directly reprogrammed into neural stem cells

Foto © M.C. Thier/DKFZ

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the stem cell institute HI-STEM* in Heidelberg have succeeded for the first time in directly reprogramming human blood cells into a previously unknown type of neural stem cell. These induced stem cells are similar to those that occur during the early embryonic development of the central nervous system. They can be modified and multiplied indefinitely in the culture dish and can represent an important basis for the development of regenerative therapies.

Together with stem cell researcher Frank Edenhofer from the University of Innsbruck and neuroscientist Hannah Monyer from DKFZ and the Heidelberg University Hospital, Andreas Trumpp (German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Director of HI-STEM in Heidelberg) and his team have succeeded in reprogramming different human cells: connective tissue cells of the skin or pancreas as well as peripheral blood cells. "The origin of the cells had no influence on the properties of the stem cells," said Marc Christian Thier, first author of the study. In particular, the possibility of extracting neural stem cells from the blood of patients without invasive intervention is a decisive advantage for future therapeutic approaches. More...


Open positions at the IZN

  • The Puttagunta group is seeking a highly motivated and qualified M.Sc. student to start a PhD project, the goal of which is to understand the underlying mechanisms that transpire after spinal cord injury that lead toward half of all spinal cord injury patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Methods that will be used: intersectional genetics, cell-specific ablations, use of reporter lines, monosynaptic tracing, tissue clearing and 3D microscope reconstruction, behavioural pain assessments and histology. Adobe
    Posted 07.2019

  • The Acuna group and Katrin Schrenk-Siemens are seeking 2 highly motivated postdoc candidates to work on the recently funded project 'Human pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons as a tool to study central and peripheral nociceptive mechanisms' using RNAseq, electrophysiology, imaging, and super-resolution microscopy. Adobe
    Posted 06.2019

  • The group of Prof. Andreas Draguhn is looking for an outstanding PhD student for a pathophysiological study in cellular neurophysiology to study changes in retinal function following experimental autoimmune optic neuritis, with particular emphasis on alterations in synaptic transmission and glutamate homeostasis. Methods include cellular electrophysiology, microscopy, viral transduction and histological/morphological techniques. Adobe
    Posted 02.2019



Managing Director:
Prof. Dr. Hilmar Bading
IZN-Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 1.OG
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16500
Fax:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16524
email:  Bading@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de


Dr. Otto Bräunling
IZN-Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 1.OG
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16502
Fax:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16524
email:  Braeunling@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de


Administration & Information:
Irmela Meng
IZN-Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 366, 1.OG
D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16501
Fax:  +49 - 6221 - 54 16524
email:  Sekretariat@nbio.uni-heidelberg.de
Webmaster contact: WebmasterIZN@uni-heidelberg.de
Latest Revision: 2019-10-17
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