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Institute of Physiology and Pathophysiology

Kann Lab

About us

 

The research in the Kann laboratory has two scientific focuses:

 

1. The human brain has a relatively high energy demand and is very sensitive to shortage of oxygen and glucose. We investigate the neuronal energy metabolism and the functions of mitochondria, in particular during synchronized neuronal network activities that underlie higher brain functions, such as perception and memory, under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

 

 

 

(a) Combined recordings of the local field potential and the oxygen concentration in the CA3 region of acute hippocampal slices. (b, c) Sample traces of gamma oscillations (30-70 Hz) and sharp wave-ripples (Schneider et al., JCBFM, 2019).

 

 

 

2. The human brain possesses innate immune cells, so-called microglial cells (resident macrophages). Microglia become activated, for example, during injury and infection. We investigate the impact of microglia at different activation stages on neuronal network activities and neurodegeneration.

 

 

(a) Staining with the microglial marker Iba1 in slice cultures exposed to the leukocyte cytokine interferon-γ for 72 h. (b) Stereology-based cell counting of Iba1-positive cells. (c) Sample spectrograms of gamma oscillations from recordings in individual slices. The slowing of gamma oscillations (IFN-γ) is mainly caused by the moderate release of nitric oxide from activated microglia (Ta et al., PNAS, 2019).

 

 

Our basic research provides insights into pathophysiological mechanisms that might have a role in brain diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

 

 

Selected publications:

 

Cunnane SC, Trushina E, Morland C, Prigione A, Casadesus G, Andrews ZB, Beal MF, Bergersen LH, Brinton RD, de la Monte S, Eckert A, Harvey J, Jeggo R, Jhamandas JH, Kann O, la Cour MC, Martin WF, Mithieux G, Moreira PI, Murphy MP, Nave K-A, Nuriel T, Oliet SHR, Saudou F, Mattson MP, Swerdlow RH, Millan MJ. Brain energy rescue: an emerging therapeutic concept for neurodegenerative disorders of ageing. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2020 Sep;19(9):609-633. doi: 10.1038/s41573-020-0072-x.

 

Hollnagel JO, Cesetti T, Schneider J, Vazetdinova A, Valiullina-Rakhmatullina F, Lewen A, Rozov A, Kann O. Lactate attenuates synaptic transmission and affects brain rhythms featuring high energy expenditure. iScience. 2020 Jul 24; 23(7):101316. doi 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101316.

 

Ta TT, Dikmen HO, Schilling S, Chausse B, Lewen A, Hollnagel JO, Kann O. Priming of microglia with IFN-γ slows neuronal gamma oscillations in situ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Feb 19;116(10):4637-4642. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1813562116.

 

Schneider J, Berndt N, Papageorgiou IE, Maurer J, Bulik S, Both M, Draguhn A, Holzhütter HG, Kann O. Local oxygen homeostasis during various neuronal network activity states in the mouse hippocampus. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2017 Jan 1:271678X17740091. doi: 10.1177/0271678X17740091. [Epub ahead of print]

 

Papageorgiou IE, Lewen A, Galow LV, Cesetti T, Scheffel J, Regen T, Hanisch UK, Kann O. TLR4-activated microglia require IFN-γ to induce severe neuronal dysfunction and death in situ. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jan 5;113(1):212-7.

 

Kann O, Huchzermeyer C, Kovács R, Wirtz S, Schuelke M. Gamma oscillations in the hippocampus require high complex I gene expression and strong functional performance of mitochondria. Brain. 2011 Feb;134(Pt 2):345-58.

 

Kann O, Kovács R, Njunting M, Behrens CJ, Otáhal J, Lehmann TN, Gabriel S, Heinemann U. Metabolic dysfunction during neuronal activation in the ex vivo hippocampus from chronic epileptic rats and humans. Brain. 2005 Oct;128(Pt 10):2396-407. 


Recent Publications

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Alginate hydrogel polymers enable efficient delivery of a vascular-targeted AAV vector into aortic tissue. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2021 Jun 11;21:83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2021.02.017. eCollection 2021 Jun 11.

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Microglia and lipids: how metabolism controls brain innate immunity. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2021 Apr;112:137-144. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2020.08.001. Epub 2020 Aug 15.

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Absence of neocytolysis in humans returning from a 3-week high-altitude sojourn. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2021 Mar 17:e13647. doi: 10.1111/apha.13647. Online ahead of print.

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Cardiomyocyte depolarization triggers NOS-dependent NO transient after calcium release, reducing the subsequent calcium transient. Basic Res Cardiol. 2021 Mar 17;116(1):18. doi: 10.1007/s00395-021-00860-0.

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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs); generation and enrichment protocols, immature and mature structure and function. In: Recent Advances in iPSC-Derived Cell Types, Volume 4, 1st Edition (Birbrair A, ed.) Academic Press 2021, pp. 191-226. Paperback ISBN 9780128222300; eBook ISBN 9780128224540

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Simulation of Air Travel-Related Irradiation Exposure of Cryopreserved Mouse Germplasm Samples. Biopreserv Biobank. 2021 Mar 1. doi: 10.1089/bio.2020.0046. Online ahead of print.

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Anesthetics and plants: no pain, no brain, and therefore no consciousness. Protoplasma. 2021 Mar;258(2):239-248. doi: 10.1007/s00709-020-01550-9. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

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Epigenetic regulation of cardiac electrophysiology in atrial fibrillation: HDAC2 determines action potential duration and suppresses NRSF in cardiomyocytes. Basic Res Cardiol. 2021 Feb 25;116(1):13. doi: 10.1007/s00395-021-00855-x. PMID: 33630168

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Endothelial cells control vascular smooth muscle cell cholesterol levels by regulating 24-dehydrocholesterol reductase expression. Exp Cell Res. 2021 Feb 15;399(2):112446. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2020.112446. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

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A New Apparatus for Recording Evoked Responses to Painful and Non-painful Sensory Stimulation in Freely Moving Mice. Front Neurosci. 2021 Feb 12;15:613801. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.613801. eCollection 2021.

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Inhibition of cyclooxygenase activity by diclofenac attenuates varicose remodeling of mouse veins. Vessel Plus 2021 Feb 7;5:7. doi: 10.20517/2574-1209.2020.52.

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Integrated information theory does not make plant consciousness more convincing. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Jan 21:S0006-291X(21)00057-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.01.022. Online ahead of print.

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AAV-mediated AP-1 decoy oligonucleotide expression inhibits aortic elastolysis in a mouse model of marfan syndrome. Cardiovasc Res. 2021 Jan 20:cvab012. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvab012. Online ahead of print.

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Voltage-independent GluN2A-type NMDA receptor Ca2+ signaling promotes audiogenic seizures, attentional and cognitive deficits in mice. Commun Biol. 2021 Jan 8;4(1):59. doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01538-4.

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Assessable learning outcomes for the EU Education and Training Framework core and Function A specific modules: Report of an ETPLAS WORKING Group. Lab Anim. 2020 Dec 7:23677220968589. doi: 10.1177/0023677220968589. Online ahead of print.

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Debunking a myth: plant consciousness. Protoplasma. 2020 Nov 16. doi: 10.1007/s00709-020-01579-w. Review. Online ahead of print.


Institute of
Physiology and Pathophysiology

Heidelberg University

Im Neuenheimer Feld 326

69120 Heidelberg

Germany

Phone:+49 6221 54-4056
Fax:+49 6221 54-6364
E-mail:susanne.bechtel@
physiologie.uni-heidelberg.de