Bridging Brain Barriers

Research Interests

The brain depends on the supply of nutrients by other tissues. Vice versa, it controls all bodily functions. Therefore, a close interaction between the central nervous system and the periphery is required. In addition to classical communication channels provided by afferent and efferent nerve fibers, there is an exchange of messengers and metabolites at the interfaces of brain and periphery. The latter encompass the blood-brain barrier, the blood-CSF barrier and, less known, the tanycytic barrier between circumventricular organs and brain parenchyma. Our group investigates the structure and function of these barriers. Bridging brain barriers could be a key principle in the treatment of brain diseases.

Selected recent references

Muller-Fielitz H, Stahr M, Bernau M, Richter M, Abele S, Krajka V, Benzin A, Wenzel J, Kalies K, Mittag J, Heuer H, Offermanns S, Schwaninger M (2017) Tanycytes control the hormonal output of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. Nat Commun 8:484.

Dogbevia GK, Tollner K, Korbelin J, Broer S, Ridder DA, Grasshoff H, Brandt C, Wenzel J, Straub BK, Trepel M, Loscher W, Schwaninger M (2017) Gene therapy decreases seizures in a model of Incontinentia pigmenti. Ann Neurol 82:93-104.

Di Spiezio A, Sandin ES, Dore R, Müller-Fielitz H, Storck SE, Bernau M, Mier W, Oster H, Jöhren O, Pietrzik CU, Lehnert H, Schwaninger M (2017) The LepR-mediated leptin transport across brain barriers controls food reward. Molecular metabolism, in print.