Service lab Neurogenetics

The Neurogenetics Laboratory provides top level scientific expertise and technology for the assessment of mouse behavior and mouse genetics. Neurogenetics investigates inherited preconditions for the abilities of the nervous system.

Our group concentrates according to the aims of LIN on the genetic basis of learning and memory. The mouse as a model system is easily accessible to genetic modification and possesses a highly developed mammalian brain. The knowledge acquired with the mouse model can thus be translated to humans.

Our basic research easily connects to human diseases like Alzheimer's dementia or autism but also to pathophysiological conditions like depression or posttraumatic stress disorder.

Main interests are the investigation of new pharmacological active substances for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia and the functions of Neuroplastin in learning and memory processes.

  • Head


    Dirk Montag heads the Neurogenetics Laboratory at LIN. After studying Biochemistry at the University Tübingen, Dirk Montag received his Ph.D. at the Max-Planck-Institute for Biology. His research in the USA (Scripps Clinic 1989-1991) and Switzerland (ETH-Zurich 1991-1997) made him expert in the field of neural cell recognition molecules.

    In 1997, Dirk Montag established a research group at LIN and received his habilitations from ETH-Zurich and the University of Grenoble. Since 1998, Dirk Montag is Privatdozent (University Lecturer) at Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg.


  • Members


    PD Dr. Dirk
    PhD student  
    Technical staff member  
  • Projects


    We achieved considerable progress in our main research area: functions of neuroplastin. In our first description of the neuroplastin-deficient mouse (Bhattacharya et al. 2017) we prove that neuroplastin is essential for particular forms of learning and memory. Genetic inactivation of neuroplastin in the adult animal demonstrated that memory of negative associative experiences is not possible without neuroplastin. Inactivation of neuroplastin selectively in glutamatergic neurons (Herrera-Molina et al. 2017), in the immune system (Korthals et al. 2017), and the discovery of the phylogenetically conserved complex formation of neuroplastin with plasma membrane calcium ATPases, which are mediating the intracellular calcium homeostasis, resulted in major progress understanding the necessity and functions of neuroplastin.

  • Current Third Party Funds

    Current Third Party Funds

    LIN Special Project co-applicant
    “Hippocampus-dependent versus striatum-dependent spatial learning in latent toxoplasmosis - A cross-species investigation"

    co-applicant/ project partner
    "Presynaptic functions of Neuroplastin" (PrePLASTic)

  • Publications



    Montag D, Pelz L, Rathjen F. 2023. Lack of the Ig cell adhesion molecule BT-IgSF (IgSF11) induced behavioral changes in the open maze, water maze and resident intruder test. PLoS ONE. 18(1):Article e0280133.



    Ilic K, Lin X, Malci A, Stojanović M, Puljko B, Rožman M, Vukelić Ž, Heffer M, Montag D, Schnaar RL, Kalanj-Bognar S, Herrera-Molina R, & Mlinac-Jerkovic K. 2021. Plasma membrane calcium ATPase-neuroplastin complexes are selectively stabilized in GM1-containing lipid rafts. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22(24):Article 13590.

    Montag D. 2021. Retrograde amnesia - a question of disturbed Calcium levels?. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 15:Article 746198.

    Lin X, Liang Y, Herrera-Molina R, Montag D. 2021. Neuroplastin in Neuropsychiatric Diseases. Genes. 12(10):Article 1507.

    Lin X, Brunk MGK, Yuanxiang P, Curran AW, Zhang E, Stöber F, Goldschmidt J, Gundelfinger ED, Vollmer M, Happel MFK, Herrera-Molina R, Montag D. 2021. Neuroplastin expression is essential for hearing and hair cell PMCA expression. Brain Structure and Function. 226(5):1533-1551.



    Koch N, Koch D, Krueger S, Tröger J, Sabanov V, Ahmed T, McMillan LE, Wolf D, Montag D, Kessels MM, Balschun D, Qualmann B. 2020. Syndapin I Loss-of-Function in Mice Leads to Schizophrenia-Like Symptoms. Cerebral Cortex.



    Annamneedi A, Caliskan G, Müller S, Montag D, Budinger E, Angenstein F, Fejtova A, Tischmeyer W, Gundelfinger ED, Stork O. 2018. Ablation of the presynaptic organizer Bassoon in excitatory neurons retards dentate gyrus maturation and enhances learning performance. Brain Structure and Function. 223(7):3423-3445.

    Brocka M, Helbing C, Vincenz D, Scherf T, Montag D, Goldschmidt J, Angenstein F, Lippert M. 2018. Contributions of dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic neurons to VTA-stimulation induced neurovascular responses in brain reward circuits. NeuroImage. 177:88-97.

    Lang D, Schott BH, van Ham M, Morton L, Kulikovskaja L, Herrera-Molina R, Pielot R, Klawonn F, Montag D, Jänsch L, Gundelfinger ED, Smalla KH, Dunay IR. 2018. Chronic Toxoplasma infection is associated with distinct alterations in the synaptic protein composition. Journal of Neuroinflammation. 15(1):Article 216.



    Korthals M, Langnaese K, Smalla KH, Kähne T, Herrera-Molina R, Handschuh J, Lehmann AC, Mamula D, Naumann M, Seidenbecher C, Zuschratter W, Tedford K, Gundelfinger ED, Montag D, Fischer KD, Thomas U. 2017. A complex of Neuroplastin and Plasma Membrane Ca2+ ATPase controls T cell activation. Scientific Reports. 7(1):Article 8358.

    Herrera-Molina R, Mlinac-Jerkovic K, Ilic K, Stöber F, Vemula SK, Sandoval M, Milosevic NJ, Simic G, Smalla KH, Goldschmidt J, Bognar SK, Montag D. 2017. Neuroplastin deletion in glutamatergic neurons impairs selective brain functions and calcium regulation: Implication for cognitive deterioration. Scientific Reports. 7(1):Article 7273.

    Altmüller F, Pothula S, Annamneedi A, Nakhei-Rad S, Montenegro-Venegas C, Pina-Fernández E, Marini C, Santos M, Schanze D, Montag D, Ahmadian MR, Stork O, Zenker M, Fejtova A. 2017. Aberrant neuronal activity-induced signaling and gene expression in a mouse model of RASopathy. PLoS Genetics. 13(3):Article e1006684.

    Bhattacharya S, Herrera-Molina R, Sabanov V, Ahmed T, Iscru E, Stöber F, Richter K, Fischer KD, Angenstein F, Goldschmidt J, Beesley PW, Balschun D, Smalla KH, Gundelfinger ED, Montag D. 2017. Genetically induced retrograde amnesia of associative memories after neuroplastin ablation. Biological Psychiatry. 81(2):124-135.



    Arias HR, Ravazzini F, Targowska-Duda KM, Kaczor AA, Feuerbach D, Boffi JC, Draczkowski P, Montag D, Brown BM, Elgoyhen AB, Jozwiak K, Puia G. 2016. Positive allosteric modulators of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors affect neither the function of other ligand- and voltage-gated ion channels and acetylcholinesterase, nor β-amyloid content. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. 76:19-30.

    Möhle L, Israel N, Paarmann K, Krohn M, Pietkiewicz S, Müller A, Lavrik IN, Buguliskis JS, Schott BH, Schlüter D, Gundelfinger ED, Montag D, Seifert U, Pahnke J, Dunay IR. 2016. Chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection enhances β-amyloid phagocytosis and clearance by recruited monocytes. Acta neuropathologica communications. 4:25.

    Spilker C, Nullmeier S, Grochowska KM, Schumacher A, Butnaru I, Macharadze T, Gomes GM, YuanXiang P, Bayraktar G, Rodenstein C, Geiseler C, Kolodziej A, Lopez-Rojas J, Montag D, Angenstein F, Bär J, D’Hanis W, Roskoden T, Mikhaylova M, Budinger E, Ohl FW, Stork O, Zenclussen AC, Karpova A, Schwegler H, Kreutz MR. 2016. A Jacob/Nsmf Gene Knockout Results in Hippocampal Dysplasia and Impaired BDNF Signaling in Dendritogenesis. PLoS Genetics. 12(3):Article e1005907.

    Kuhn PH, Colombo AV, Schusser B, Dreymueller D, Wetzel S, Schepers U, Herber J, Ludwig A, Kremmer E, Montag D, Müller U, Schweizer M, Saftig P, Bräse S, Lichtenthaler SF. 2016. Systematic substrate identification indicates a central role for the metalloprotease ADAM10 in axon targeting and synapse function. eLife. 5(JANUARY2016):Article e12748.



    Bhattacharya S, Maelicke A, Montag D. 2015. Nasal application of the galantamine pro-drug memogain slows down plaque deposition and ameliorates behavior in 5X familial Alzheimer's disease mice. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 46(1):123-136.

    Bhattacharya S, Montag D. 2015. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor modifications: A promising strategy to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Neural Regeneration Research. 10(1):43-45.



    Herrera Molina R, Sarto-Jackson I, Montenegro-Venegas C, Heine M, Smalla KH, Seidenbecher CI, Beesley PW, Gundelfinger ED, Montag D. 2014. Structure of excitatory synapses and GABAA receptor localization at inhibitory synapses are regulated by neuroplastin-65. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 289(13):8973-8988.

    Bhattacharya S, Haertel C, Maelicke A, Montag D. 2014. Galantamine slows down plaque formation and behavioral decline in the 5XFAD mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. PLoS ONE. 9(2):Article e89454.



    Jüttner R, Montag D, Craveiro RB, Babich A, Vetter P, Rathjen FG. 2013. Impaired presynaptic function and elimination of synapses at premature stages during postnatal development of the cerebellum in the absence of CALEB (CSPG5/neuroglycan C). European Journal of Neuroscience. 38(9):3270-3280.

    Vogel H, Montag D, Kanzleiter T, Jonas W, Matzke D, Scherneck S, Chadt A, Töle J, Kluge R, Joost HG, Schürmann A. 2013. An Interval of the Obesity QTL Nob3.38 within a QTL Hotspot on Chromosome 1 Modulates Behavioral Phenotypes. PLoS ONE. 8(1):e53025.



    Legate KR, Montag D, Böttcher RT, Takahashi S, Fässler R. 2012. Comparative phenotypic analysis of the two major splice isoforms of phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase type Iγ in vivo. Journal of Cell Science. 125(23):5636-5646.

    Schmeisser MJ, Ey E, Wegener S, Bockmann J, Stempel AV, Kuebler A, Janssen AL, Udvardi PT, Shiban E, Spilker C, Balschun D, Skryabin BV, Dieck ST, Smalla KH, Montag D, Leblond CS, Faure P, Torquet N, Le Sourd AM, Toro R, Grabrucker AM, Shoichet SA, Schmitz D, Kreutz MR, Bourgeron T, Gundelfinger ED, Boeckers TM. 2012. Autistic-like behaviours and hyperactivity in mice lacking ProSAP1/Shank2. Nature. 486(7402):256-260.

  • Teaching & Internships

    Teaching & Internships

    Privatdozent (Lecturer) Dr. Montag participates in the curriculum for "Integrative Neuroscience" at OvGU.

    There are possibilities for practical lab courses, master and Ph.D studies under his supervision. If you are interested, please contact him!

  • Hugo Junkers Award

    Hugo Junkers Award

    Hugo Junkers Award in 2016: Dirk Montag (l.) and Rodrigo Herrera-Molina (r.) win 2nd place in the category "Most Innovative Projects in Basic Research" for their neuroplastin research.


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