• Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Zimmer
  • Institute of Molecular Psychiatry
  • University of Bonn
  • Sigmund Freud Str. 25
  • 53127 Bonn

Current events & links

SP 2

PD Dr. rer. nat. Andras Bilkei-Gorzo,
Institute of Molecular Psychiatry
University of Bonn
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25,
53127 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0)228 6885-317
Fax: +49 (0)228 6885-301
E-mail: abilkei@uni-bonn.de
Homepage of the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry

Prof. Dr. med. Eberhard Schlicker
Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
University of Bonn
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn
Phone: +49 (0)228 287 51276
Fax: +49 (0)228 287 51301
E-mail: e.schlicker@uni-bonn.de
Homepage of the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Function of the endocannabinoid system in normal and pathological aging processes of the brain

Aging is associated with a decline of cognitive performance in humans and animals. However, as in all age-related health issues, there is a wide spectrum of potential outcomes: While many senior citizens still enjoy their cognitive abilities in old age, others may already show signs of cognitive impairment early in their lives. Endocannabinoids have a general influence on the activity of the brain and are known to affect learning and memory.

Within the scope of SP2 we investigated the function of the ECS in normal and pathological aging of the brin. Interestingly, CB1 receptors do not induce accelerated aging in general, but induce changes in cognitive function and in skin structure that resemble those associated with aging. Further, our studies with conditional CB1 knockout mice specific for GABAergic neurons demonstrated that CB1 receptor activity on the GABAergic neurons protects neurons against age-related changes.

During the current funding period we will now investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to the cognitive deficits in Cnr1-/- mice that were accompanied by enhanced neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and cellular stress. We will address the possibility that CB1 receptor signaling directly affects apoptosis/survival of neurons through the modulation of AKT/ERK signaling pathways. Further we will focus on mechanisms contributing to the enhanced neuroinflammatory response in mice with a specific CB1 receptor deficiency in GABAergic neurons. As a deficit in CB1 receptor signaling results in an enhanced age-related decline of cognitive functions, the project also deals with the question whether the pharmacological or genetic elevation of the CB1 receptor tone is protective.

Team members:

Önder Albayram, PhD
Phone: +49 (0)228 6885-321

Fax: +49 (0)228 6885-301
E-mail: albayram@uni-bonn.de

Frank Ativie, PhD student
Phone +49 (0)228 6885-339
Fax +49 (0)228 6885-301

Kerstin Michel, BTA
Phone: +49 (0)228 6885-323 / or -319

Fax: +49 (0)228 6885-301
E-mail: kerstin.michel@uni-bonn.de

Monika Feliszek, Pharmacist
Phone: +49 (0)228 287-51258
Fax: +69 (0)228 287-51301
E-mail: monika.feliszek@uni-bonn.de

Kirsten Schulte
Phone: +49 (0)228 287-51257
E-mail: kirsten.schulte@uni-bonn.de