Translational Brain Research
Prof. Dr. Jochen Herms
Group Leader
Prof. Herms is Director of the Institute for Neuropathology at the LMU Munich
Feodor-Lynen-Str. 17
81377 München

jochen.herms@dzne.de
 +49 89 4400-46427

Areas of investigation/research focus

We are especially interested on the mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal Dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
Synaptic failure is believed to be one of the initial events in Alzheimer`s disease and supposed to be responsible for the irreversible nerve cell loss and progressive dementia characteristic for this disease.

Jochen Herms’ lab addresses this experimentally mainly by either analysing various transgenic mouse models of these diseases or by analysing knock-out mice in which proteins are lacking that are critically involved in these diseases, like the Amyloid precursor protein (APP), Presenilins, BACE, Tau or alpha-synuclein. These knockout mice are not only interesting for the identification of potential gain or loss of function mechanisms in the pathophysilogy of neurodegenerative diseases but more importantly may allow the identification of potential synaptic side effects of therapeutical strategies which affect the physiological function of these proteins.

 more Infos

Apart from standard techniques like molecular biology, histochemistry and electrophysiology the Lab applies and further develops high end imaging techniques like long-term in vivo two-photon imaging. This technique allows us to follow the fate of individual synapses over weeks to months within their physiological environment. Moreover parameters that are supposed to be involved in synaptic failure including microglia activation, the extracellular matrix, vascularisation, mitochondrial function, and neuronal activity, can be studied in vivo over extended periods of time. Prof. Herms and his colleagues cooperate with leading companies for medical deceives to discover new non-invasive optical approaches for the early identification of people at risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease.

Key Publications

Marinkovic P, Blumenstock S, Goltstein PM, Korzhova V, Peters F, Knebl A, Herms J. In vivo imaging reveals reduced activity of neuronal circuits in a mouse tauopathy model. Brain. 2019 Apr 01; 142:1051-1062. doi: 10.1093/brain/awz035
Chengyu Zou, Sophie Crux, Stephane Marinesco, Elena Montagna, Carmelo Sgobio, Yuan Shi, Song Shi, Kaichuan Zhu, Mario M Dorostkar, Ulrike C Müller, Jochen Herms. Amyloid precursor protein maintains constitutive and adaptive plasticity of dendritic spines in adult brain by regulating D-serine homeostasis. EMBO Journal. 2016 Oct 16; 35:2213-2222. doi: 10.15252/embj.201694085
Filser S, Ovsepian SV,Masana M, Blazquez-Llorca L, Brandt Elvang A, Volbracht C, Müller MB, Jung CK, Herms J. Pharmacological Inhibition of BACE1 Impairs Synaptic Plasticity and Cognitive Functions. Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Jan 01; 77:729-39.
Johanna Neuner, Saak V. Ovsepian, Mario Dorostkar, Severin Filser, Aayush Gupta, Stylianos Michalakis, Martin Biel, Jochen Herms. Pathological α-synuclein impairs adult-born granule cell development and functional integration in the olfactory bulb. Nature Communications. 2014 May 27; 5 doi: 10.1038/ncomms4915
Fuhrmann M, Bittner T, Jung CKE, Burgold S, Page RM, Mitteregger G, Haass C, LaFerla FM, Kretzschmar HA, Herms J. Microglia CX3CR1 knockout prevents neuron loss in an Alzheimer`s disease mouse model. Nature Neurosci. 2010 Jan 01; 13:411-413.

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