Research Group Helge Müller-Fielitz

Group members

Dr. Helge Müller-Fielitz, Marcus Stahr (MD student), Sebastian Abele (MD student), Marius Richter (student assistant)

Research Interests

My group is interested in the physiological role of tanycytes, a specialized population of glial cells in the ependymal layer of the 3rd ventricle. The cell bodies of tanycytes contact the CSF and send long projections into the parenchyma of the basal hypothalamus and the median eminence, where they contact blood vessels. Tanycytes are in a strategic localization to control the blood-CSF barrier of the median eminence, the transport of substances over this barrier as well as in the regulation of the hormone release into the portal venous system of the median eminence. However, little is known about their functions and the underlying mechanisms.

Our main focus is to clarify the role of tanycytes in the regulation of the energy homeostasis, the barrier function as well as their influence on the release of hormones of the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. To investigate these topics, we have established new genetic and viral tools to specifically manipulate tanycytic functions in vivo. With these tools we are able to knockout or overexpress genes especially in tanycytes and to investigate the structural and genetic consequences as well as changes in the phenotype of the animals. For these purposes we use indirect calorimetry, behavioral tests, and hormonal assays as well as laser microdissection to analyze changes in gene expression.

Funding

2011-2012: Individual Funding of the University of Lübeck

2015-2018: SPP 1629/2 “Thyroid Trans Act” DFG