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Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology

Research Areas


Using skeletal muscle and neuronal preparations for the development of highly sensitive methods, we are seeking to expand state of the art technology in physical and biophysical sciences to the application in basic medical research.


The techniques used by our group include microscopic fluorescence imaging techniques such as, e.g., confocal/multiphoton imaging, ratiometric wide field fluorescence microscopy, microscopic laser application such as, e.g., UV-laser microdissection and IR-optical tweezers, patch clamp and several other voltage clamp techniques, mathematical modelling of cellular and subcellular dynamic processes, and basic image processing techniques especially for studying dynamic processes.

With the help of this broad spectrum of sensitive techniques many clinical relevant questions can be studied in its molecular origins. For example the investigations on Duchenne muscular dystrophy are utilizing the patch-clamp method and the various approaches for determining the total intracellular calcium turnover in diseased single muscle fibers.

The effects of volatile anaesthetics on the contractile proteins of skeletal and heart muscles, as well as on the ryanodine receptors can be ideally studied using permeabilised muscle fibres, with the contractile force and the calcium turnover as very sensitive indicators of cellular and subcellular effects of volatile anaesthetics.

The research projects of the group are embedded in a network of national and international cooperations, which further expand the interdisciplinary approaches of our research topics. This includes collaborative projects in molecular biology, biotechnology and physical chemistry.







Recent Publications

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High-fat diet suppresses the positive effect of creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle function by reducing protein expression of IGF-PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway. PLoS One. 2018 Oct 4;13(10):e0199728. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199728. eCollection 2018.

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Alcohol reduces muscle fatigue through atomistic interactions with nicotinic receptors. Commun Biol. 2018 Oct 3;1:159. doi: 10.1038/s42003-018-0157-9. eCollection 2018.

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Possible neurotoxicity of the anesthetic propofol: evidence for the inhibition of complex II of the respiratory chain in area CA3 of rat hippocampal slices. Arch Toxicol. 2018 Oct;92(10):3191-3205. doi: 10.1007/s00204-018-2295-8. Epub 2018 Aug 24.

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Endothelial progenitor cells accelerate endothelial regeneration in an in vitro model of Shigatoxin-2a-induced injury via soluble growth factors. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2018 Oct 1;315(4):F861-F869. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00633.2017. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

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Strategy for marker-based differentiation of pro- and anti-inflammatory macrophages using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging. Analyst. 2018 Sep 10;143(18):4273-4282. doi: 10.1039/c8an00659h. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

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Early appearance and spread of fast ripples in the hippocampus in a model of cortical traumatic brain injury. J Neurosci. 2018 Sep 6. pii: 3507-17. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3507-17.2018. [Epub ahead of print]

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Recent advances in hippocampal structure and function. Cell Tissue Res. 2018 Sep;373(3):521-523. doi: 10.1007/s00441-018-2913-z. Epub 2018 Aug 20. doi: 10.1007/s00441-018-2913-z. Editorial. No abstract available.

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Electrical coupling between hippocampal neurons: contrasting roles of principal cell gap junctions and interneuron gap junctions. Cell Tissue Res. 2018 Sep;373(3):671-691. doi: 10.1007/s00441-018-2881-3. Epub 2018 Aug 15. Review.

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Synaptic entrainment of ectopic action potential generation in hippocampal pyramidal neurons. J Physiol. 2018 Aug 24. doi: 10.1113/JP276720. [Epub ahead of print]

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Metabolic modulation of neuronal gamma-band oscillations. Pflugers Arch2018 Sep;470(9):1377-1389. doi: 10.1007/s00424-018-2156-6. Epub 2018 May 28.

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NFAT5 Isoform C Controls Biomechanical Stress Responses of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells. Front Physiol. 2018 Aug 23;9:1190. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.01190. eCollection 2018.

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Persistent sodium current modulates axonal excitability in CA1 pyramidal neurons. J Neurochem. 2018 Aug;146(4):446-458. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14479. Epub 2018 Aug 1.

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Selective vulnerability of αOFF retinal ganglion cells during onset of autoimmune optic neuritis. Neuroscience. 2018 Jul 31. pii: S0306-4522(18)30515-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2018.07.040. [Epub ahead of print]

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The VAMP-associated protein VAPB is required for cardiac and neuronal pacemaker channel function. FASEB J. 2018 Jun 7:fj201800246R. doi: 10.1096/fj.201800246R. [Epub ahead of print]

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The lncRNA CASC9 and RNA binding protein HNRNPL form a complex and co-regulate genes linked to AKT signaling. Hepatology. 2018 May 23. doi: 10.1002/hep.30102. [Epub ahead of print]


Institute of
Physiology and Pathophysiology

Heidelberg University

Im Neuenheimer Feld 326

69120 Heidelberg

Germany

Phone:+49 6221 54-4035
Fax:+49 6221 54-4038
E-mail:sekretariat.hecker@
physiologie.uni-heidelberg.de