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Almost everybody has to deal with stress sometimes. But what is stress? It is a reaction of the body to a challenging situation which elicits a stress response in the body. Stress is also a risk factor for disease and this is an area that MATHIAS V. SCHMIDT and his research team focus on. The most prominent stress-related disorders are psychiatric disorders and metabolic disorders. Specifically, as Schmidt explains in this video, they ask: Is there a common molecular link that may drive the stress risk for disease? A potential molecular link they found is FKBP51. To test this hypothesis they used FKBP51 knockout animals, their cells and also a pharmacological tool, a FKBP51-specific antagonist. The experiments confirmed that FKBP51 indeed links stress response with an increased risk for metabolic disorders. Their findings can thus be used to develop a drug that can then be tested on humans.


Mathias V. Schmidt is Leader of the research group ‘Neurobiology of Stress Resilience’ at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry. Previously, he was Principal Investigator of the research group ‘Molecular Stress Physiology’ at the same Institute. His current research focus is on the behavioral, neuroendocrine and molecular basis of individual stress vulnerability and resilience. He is Associate Editor of Frontiers in Behavioural Neurosciences and Member of the Editorial Board of Stress and PLoS One. Since 2017, he is chair and organizer of the Munich Winter Conference on Stress series.


Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry

Das Ziel des Max-Planck-Instituts für Psychiatrie ist es, durch eine einzigartig enge Verbindung von Grundlagenforschung, klinischer Forschung und Patientenversorgung neue Erkenntnisse über die Ursachen von psychiatrischen Erkrankungen zu gewinnen und in neue diagnostische Möglichkeiten und Behandlungs- sowie Präventionsansätze umzuwandeln. Stress- und Trauma bedingte Erkrankungen wie Depression und Angsterkrankungen bilden den Schwerpunkt unserer Forschung und unserer klinischen Behandlungsangebote.

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Original publication

Stress-Responsive FKBP51 Regulates AKT2-AS160 Signaling and Metabolic Function

others, Balsevich Georgia, Häusl Alexander S., Meyer Carola W., Karamihalev Stoyo, Feng Xixi, Pöhlmann Max L., Dournes Carine, Uribe-Marino Andres, Santarelli Sara and Schmidt Mathias V.
Nature Communications
Published in 2017