Experimental Neurophysiology
Prof. Dr. Dirk Isbrandt
Group Leader
c/o Uniklinikum Köln LFI/Gebäude 13 Ebene 4, Raum 1 Kerpener Str. 62
50924 Köln

dirk.isbrandt@dzne.de
 +49 221 47832732

Areas of investigation/research focus

One focus of Dirk Isbrandt's research is on the investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying disease-associated changes in cellular excitability using transgenic mouse models. He specifically investigates the impact of disease-associated mutations on neuronal ion channels, which cause the so-called ion channel diseases ("channelopathies"). His research involves the identification and functional characterization of mutations in ion channel genes and the generation of corresponding mouse models. Using these transgenic mice, he studies the consequences of reversible functional inactivation or chronic loss of neuronal ion channels by employing a multidimensional strategy that is designed to correlate changes in hippocampal, cortical, and basal ganglia network activities, as well as synaptic plasticity with behavioral responses and cognitive functions. In addition, his research is aimed at testing pharmacological treatments to prevent, attenuate, or normalize the observed changes in network activity and cognitive performance.

During the last years, another long-term research interest has been on the investigation of pathophysiological consequences of cerebral creatine deficiencies, a group of recently identified severe diseases affecting the synthesis and transport of creatine.

Key Publications

Stephan Lawrence Marguet, Vu Thao Quyen Le-Schulte, Andrea Merseburg, Axel Neu, Ronny Eichler, Igor Jakovcevski, Anton Ivanov, Ileana Livia Hanganu-Opatz, Christophe Bernard, Fabio Morellini, Dirk Isbrandt. Treatment during a vulnerable developmental period rescues a genetic epilepsy. Nature Medicine. 2015 Nov. 30; 21:1436-1444. doi: 10.1038/nm.3987
Malte Stockebrand, Sönke Hornig, Axel Neu, Dorothee Atzler, Kathrin Cordts, Rainer H. Böger, Dirk Isbrandt, Edzard Schwedhelm, Chi-Un Choe. Homoarginine supplementation improves blood glucose in diet-induced obese mice. Amino Acids. 2015 Aug. 31; 47:1921-1929. doi: 10.1007/s00726-015-2022-1
Alig J, Marger L, Mesirca P, Ehmke H, Mangoni ME, Isbrandt D. Control of heart rate by cAMP sensitivity of HCN channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan. 01; 106:12189-94. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810332106
Peters HC, Hu H, Pongs O, Storm JF, Isbrandt D. Conditional transgenic suppression of M channels in mouse brain reveals functions in neuronal excitability, resonance and behavior. Nat Neurosci. 2005 Jan. 01; 8:51-60. doi: 10.1038/nn1375
Schulze-Bahr E, Neu A, Friederich P, Kaupp UB, Breithardt G, Pongs O, Isbrandt D. Pacemaker channel dysfunction in a patient with sinus node disease. J Clin Invest. 2003 Jan. 01; 111:1537-45. doi: 10.1172/JCI16387

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