Research Group Markus Schwaninger

Research Interests

The human brain represents only 2% of the body mass but consumes 20% of its energy. The high energy use makes the brain vulnerable to a shortage of blood supply as occurs in stroke. In this disorder the energy deficit will lead to the death of neural cells and an inflammatory response that modulates tissue demise. Our group investigates signaling pathways through which ischemia induces neuroinflammation. A current focus is on how peripheral metabolic factors such as glucose influence inflammation in the brain. Conversely, an energy deficit in the brain may affect systemic metabolism and lead to obesity (‘selfish brain’ hypothesis). In this context, we analyze the regulation of food intake focusing on similar neural mechanisms as in our stroke projects.