We want to unravel how the extracellular matrix of the brain contributes to the enormous capability and plasticity of this organ.
The brain extracellular matrix, which amounts to 20 - 25 percent of the tissue, is formed by neurons and glial cells and consists of large carbohydrate polymers like hyaluronic acid, proteoglycans like Brevican or Neurocan, and a variety of glycoproteins. It changes its structure and composition during brain development of animals and humans, but also upon brain damage, neurological or psychiatric disorders and during natural ageing.
Constanze Seidenbecher studied Biochemistry at Martin Luther University Halle from 1983 to 1988 and obtained her Ph.D in Molecular Neuroscience at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg in 1996. She finished her habilitation in 2005 and obtained the Venia legendi for Biochemistry at the Medical Faculty of the Otto von Guericke University, where she was appointed as adjunct professor in 2016. Since 2004 she is also head of the Science Management and Public Relations group at LIN.
She is member of the Board of directors of the Center for Behavioral Brain Sciences (CBBS) Magdeburg since 2017. Furthermore, she is steering committee member of the Collaborative Research Center "Neurobiology of motivated behavior" and the graduate program “SynAGE” and deputy speaker of the graduate school ABINEP. In 2019 she was elected as council member of the International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN).
Her scientific interests are devoted to synaptic molecules and the brain extracellular matrix and their role in neuroplasticity and cognitive functions.
Heads Prof. Dr. Constanze Seidenbecher +49-391-6263-92401 email@example.com Dr. Renato Frischknecht (LIN/University Erlangen) firstname.lastname@example.org PhD students Armand Blondiaux +49-391-6263-93341 email@example.com Jessica Mitlöhner +49-391-6263-93351 firstname.lastname@example.org Jana Schulze Technical staff members Kathrin Hartung +49-391-6263-93191 email@example.com Students Anne Graw
It is our goal to understand how nerve cell activity, e.g. during learning or remembering, and matrix integrity are linked. Thus, we study on one hand how experimental matrix changes, e.g. after enzymatic degradation or in proteoglycan mutant mice, affects neuronal activity and cognitive processes in animals. On the other hand, we search for naturally occuring matrix changes induced or modulated by neural activity.
Currently, we are particularly focused on the role of neuromodulators like dopamine in matrix reconstruction and we search for matrix changes upon healthy ageing and epilepsy:
- How is the proteolytic cleavage of major chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans in the vicinity of synapses affected by dopaminergic activation? Which intracellular signaling events are involved? Our findings within the CRC779 suggest a mechanistic involvement of neuromodulatory dopaminergic signaling in the adjustment of ECM integrity, which is of relevance for various plasticity processes in neurons like those underlying learning and memory formation, but also pathophysiological conditions of the brain, like drug addiction and epilepsy.
- Within the MC-ITN ECMED we search for changes in the brain ECM in mouse models for epilepsy. To this end, we investigate different strains of Bassoon-deficient models, record epileptic events in the mice in collaboration with the Dityatev lab at the DZNE and look for ECM changes in various subcellular fractions of the mouse brain tissue.
- In our new project within “SynAGE” we follow the hypothesis that age-dependent changes in ECM composition contribute to cognitive decline and that living conditions like enriched environment may improve cognitive abilities during aging via modulating the ECM.
- Current Third Party Funds
- Teaching and internships
We give lectures, seminars and tutorials for students of the international Master program „Integrative Neuroscience“ at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg and teach Neurobiochemistry for medical students.
For interested and highly motivated Master students with a background in Biochemistry or Molecular Neuroscience we offer internships and projects for Master thesis works. Please contact Constanze Seidenbecher if you are interested.
- Group Life