Clinical features and prognosis of major neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer´s, Parkinson´s, traumatic injury and stroke, are not only determined by mechanics, cell biology and genetics, but are strongly affected by the patient´s environment and behavior, such as social interaction, cognitive and physical activity. In addition, environmental and nutritive toxins (heavy metals, smoking, alcohol, illicit drugs, medical substances, chronic stress) may affect the course of neurological disease and often harm the brain per se. We are interested in mechanisms of these lifestyle effects on the brain using rodent and invertebrate models as well as human brain tissue.
Using transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer´s disease, we have found that environmental enrichment and physical activity may improve behavioral, histological and molecular features of disease (Ambrée et al. 2006, Herring et al. 2011). In cooperation with the group of Prof. Uwe Karst (Analytical Chemistry) we are currently studying abnormal deposition of silver (derived from silver-coated endoprostheses, fig. 1) and gadolinium (derived from MRI contrast agents, fig. 2) in human brain tissue. Using Drosophila melanogaster we are studying the in-vivo distribution of arsenic-containing lipids that are included in seafood (fig. 3). Finally, we explore Drosophila as a model for analyzing effects of sports activities versus physically inactive lifestyle (fig. 4) and social isolation versus social interaction (fig. 5) on normal and diseased brain.
Prof. Dr. Uwe Karst
University of Münster
Institute of Inorganic and
Prof. Dr. Tanja Schwerdtle,
Institut für Ernährungswissenschaft
14558 Nuthetal, OT Bergholz-Rehbrücke
Dr. Dirk Rieger
Lehrstuhl für Neurobiologie und Genetik
- Berlandi J, Lin FJ, Ambrée O, Rieger D, Paulus W, Jeibmann A
Swing Boat: Inducing and Recording Locomotor Activity in a Drosophila melanogaster Model of Alzheimer's Disease. Front Behav Neurosci. 2017 Aug 30;11:159
- Ambrée O, Touma C, Görtz N, Keyvani K, Paulus W, Palme R, Sachser N.
Activity changes and marked stereotypic behavior precede Abeta pathology in TgCRND8 Alzheimer mice. Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Jul;27(7):955-64.
- Herring A, Lewejohann L, Panzer AL, Donath A, Kröll O, Sachser N, Paulus W, Keyvani K.
Preventive and therapeutic types of environmental enrichment counteract beta amyloid pathology by different molecular mechanisms. Neurobiol Dis. 2011 Jun;42(3):530-8.
- Niehoff AC, Schulz J, Soltwisch J, Meyer S, Kettling H, Sperling M, Jeibmann A, Dreisewerd K, Francesconi KA, Schwerdtle T, Karst U.
Imaging by Elemental and Molecular Mass Spectrometry Reveals the Uptake of an Arsenolipid in the Brain of Drosophila melanogaster. Anal Chem. 2016 May 17;88(10):5258-63.
- Niehoff AC, Bauer OB, Kröger S, Fingerhut S, Schulz J, Meyer S, Sperling M, Jeibmann A, Schwerdtle T, Karst U.
Quantitative Bioimaging to Investigate the Uptake of Mercury Species in Drosophila melanogaster. Anal Chem. 2015 Oct 20;87(20):10392-6.
- Meyer S, Schulz J, Jeibmann A, Taleshi MS, Ebert F, Francesconi KA, Schwerdtle T.
Arsenic-containing hydrocarbons are toxic in the in vivo model Drosophila melanogaster. Metallomics. 2014 Nov;6(11):2010-4.
- Paulus W.
Lifestyle neuropathology: how our behavior harms our brains and what we can do about it. Acta Neuropathol. 2014 Jan;127(1):1.