Nils Brose Can Autism Be Explained by Biological Causes and Hence Be Treated Medically?

Nils Brose is Director at the Department of Molecular Neurobiology of the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Göttingen, Germany. Brose completed his studies with a Master’s degree in Physiology from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Biology from the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. Brose’s fields of expertise are the molecular mechanisms of nerve cell development. As leader of the research group on molecular neurobiology, Brose researches synaptic cell adhesion proteins and how they influence neuropsychiatric diseases, such as autism spectrum disorders.

Area of Research

Molecular Neurobiology

Ji-Ying Song, Konstantin Ichtchenko, Thomas C. Südhof and Nils Brose. "Neuroligin 1 is a Postsynaptic Cell-Adhesion Molecule of Excitatory Synapses." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 96 (1999): 1100-1105.  
Stephane Jamain, Konstantin Radyushkin, Kurt Hammerschmidt, Sylvie Granon, Susann Boretius, Frederique Varoqueaux, Nelina Ramanantsoa, Jorge Gallego, Anja Ronnenberg, Dorina Winter, Jens Frahm, Julia Fischer, Thomas Bourgeron et al. "Reduced Social Interaction and Ultrasonic Communication in a Mouse Model of Monogenic Heritable Autism." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (2008): 1710-1715.  
Tolga Soykan, Daniela Schneeberger, Giancarlo Tria, Claudia Buechner, Nicole Bader, Dmitri Svergun, Ingrid Tessmer, Alexandros Poulopoulos, Theofilos Papadopoulos, Frederique Varoqueaux, Hermann Schindelin and Nils Brose. "A Conformational Switch in Collybistin Determines the Differentiation of Inhibitory Postsynapses." The EMBO Journal 33 (2014): 2113-2133.  
Frederique Varoqueaux, Gayane Aramuni, Randi L. Rawson, Ralf Mohrmann, Markus Missler, Kurt Gottmann, Weiqi Zhang, Thomas C. Südhof and Nils Brose. "Neuroligins Determine Synapse Maturation and Function." Neuron 51 (2006): 741-754.  

since 2006

Honorary Professor of Biochemistry

University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Faculty of Biology

since 2002

Professor of Biochemistry

University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Faculty of Medicine

since 2001

Director

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine

1995-2001

Research Group Leader

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine

1993-1995

Postdoctoral Researcher

Howard Hughes Medical Institute und University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas

1991-1993

Postdoctoral Researcher

Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute, La Jolla, USA

1990-1991

Scientific Researcher

Max Planck Society (more details)

Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry

1998

Habilitation

University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

1990

PhD in Biology

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

1987

Master in Physiology

University of Oxford

1981-1985

Studies in Biochemistry and Biology

University of Tübingen (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen)

Fellowships

Fellow of "Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina" (since 2014)

Fellow of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) (since 2007)

Heisenberg‐Stipendium der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (1998-2001)

Helmholtz‐Stipendium im Fach Neurobiologie (1995-1997)

E.P. Abraham Cephalosporin Fund Fees Scholarship, E.P. Abraham Cephalosporin Fund und Queen’s College, Oxford (1986)

Florey European Scholarship am Queen’s College, Oxford (1986)

Prizes

Gerhard Hess‐Preis der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (1997-2003)

© Maximilian Dörrbecker

Max Planck Society


"The Max Planck Society is Germany's most successful research organization. Since its establishment in 1948, no fewer than 18 Nobel laureates have emerged from the ranks of its scientists, putting it on a par with the best and most prestigious research institutions worldwide. The more than 15,000 publications each year in internationally renowned scientific journals are proof of the outstanding research work conducted at Max Planck Institutes – and many of those articles are among the most-cited publications in the relevant field." (Source)

Institute

Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine

Research at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine focuses on the genetic, molecular, and cellular processes that control the formation and integrity of the nervous system and its malfunction in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. A particular emphasis is on neural development and function, signaling between nerve cells and neuroplasticity, and the complex functional and metabolic interplay between glial cells and neurons in the brain. Scientists at the institute study the basic biology of these processes - from the molecular and cellular to the systems level, and from mouse to man - and their perturbations in model diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, leukodystrophies, schizophrenia, or autism. (Source: MPI for Experimental Medicine)

Map

Autism spectrum disorders are largely of genetic origin, and 5-10% of cases are currently known to be caused by a single gene mutation. Understanding the consequences of these mutations in detail can open the way for medical treatment. The study presented in this video focused on how a frequent mutation seen in patients with autism spectrum disorders causes the brain dysfunction that leads to the behavioral symptoms. Based on mice with the same genetic lesion that is known to cause autism spectrum disorder in human patients, mutant brains and nerve cells and the behavior of mutant mice were examined. The mice showed clear signs of autism related behavioral defects, and further analyses provided insights into the changes in brain function that are caused by the gene mutation, as NILS BROSE explains in this video. The corresponding data show that synapses of nerve cells that use the neurotransmitter GABA are particularly affected by the mutation. If these results can be confirmed to reflect the situation in the human body, there would be a chance to interfere with medication targeting GABAergic synapses.

LT Video Publication DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10270

Perturbed Hippocampal Synaptic Inhibition and Gamma-Oscillations in a Neuroligin-4 Knockout Mouse Model of Autism

  • Matthieu Hammer, Dilja Krueger-Burg, Liam Patrick Tuffy, Benjamin Hillman Cooper, Holger Taschenberger, Sarit Pati Goswami, Hannelore Ehrenreich, Peter Jonas, Frederique Varoqueaux, Jeong-Seop Rhee and Nils Brose
  • Cell Reports
  • Published in 2015

Chicago

Matthieu Hammer, Dilja Krueger-Burg, Liam Patrick Tuffy, Benjamin Hillman Cooper, Holger Taschenberger, Sarit Pati Goswami, Hannelore Ehrenreich, Peter Jonas, Frederique Varoqueaux, Jeong-Seop Rhee and Nils Brose. "Perturbed Hippocampal Synaptic Inhibition and Gamma-Oscillations in a Neuroligin-4 Knockout Mouse Model of Autism." Cell Reports 13 (2015): 516-523.