1.  GABAergic synapses and circuits

  • Role of GABAA receptor for the formation and maintenance of GABAergic synapses, analyzed in mutant mice lacking specific GABAA receptor subunits
  • Mechanisms of GABAergic synaptic plasticity in developing and adult brain
  • Molecular mechanisms and signaling cascades regulating the gephyrin postsynaptic scaffold in GABAergic synapses

2.  Role of the GABAergic system in the regulation of adult neurogenesis

  • Perturbation of adult neurogenesis in mutant mice lacking specific GABAA receptor subunits: differential role of tonic and phasic inhibition on neuronal proliferation, migration, and differentiation
  • Role of GABAA receptors and gephyrin for synaptic integration of adult-born olfactory bulb granule cells

3.  Neuro-immune interactions: relevance for neurodegenerative diseases and epilepsy

  • Mechanisms of epileptogenesis in a mouse model of focal hippocampal seizures, with a focus on neuroprotection
  • Role of neuro-immune interactions for neurodegeneration, epileptogenesis, and onset of recurrent seizures
  • Interactions between chronic inflammation, protein aggregation, axonal dysfunction, and epileptogenesis

4.  Methodological developments 

  • Improved immunohistological methods for improved detection of membrane proteins
  • Image quantification
  • Pre- and post-embedding immunoelectron microscopy

Techniques and Equipment

Immunohistochemistry: single and multiple labeling studies in tissue sections and cell cultures

immunoelectron microscopy; in situ hybridization histochemistry

Molecular Biology; protein biochemistry; cell line (COS, HEK, Hela) cultures, rat primary neuron cultures,  transfection by magnetofection

Stereotaxic surgery, intracerebral virus injections, EEG recordings

Microscopy and imaging: Confocal laser scanning microscopy and epifluorescence microscopy; live-imaging of cultured neurons; computer-based image analysis and densitometry

Main equipment: Zeiss LSM 710 Zen and LSM 700 Zen confocal laser scanning microscopes; Zeiss Apotome; Leica inverse microscope for live-cell microscopy; image analysis systems (MCID, Mercator, ImageJ, Imaris); standard equipment for molecular biology, biochemistry, histology and autoradiography, cryostat, microtome, cell culture facilities.

All major protocols used in our laboratory can be downloaded from our website (see link “protocols”)