Institute of Molecular Psychiatry

  • Director: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Zimmer
  • University of Bonn
  • Sigmund Freud Str. 25
  • 53127 Bonn

FOR 926

Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Endocannabinoid System

Coordinators:

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Zimmer
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Beat Lutz

In 2008 we established the DFG funded Research Unit 926 “Physiology and Pathophysiology of the Endocannabinoid System” together with colleagues from the University of Mainz. In the focus of this Research Unit was the idea that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a critical role in the maintenance of the organism’s homeostasis. When exposed to a stressor, our body responds by the release of chemical mediators, which enables us to cope with the situation and to maintain a stable internal milieu. These reactions are initially beneficial for the organism, but the chronic elevation of stress response mediators results in a cumulative “allostatic load”, which may contribute to pathological processes.

We felt that the function of the ECS in maintaining homeostasis would be best addressed in an interdisciplinary consortium that attempts to clarify commonalities in the function or dysfunction of the ECS in different organ systems and developmental periods, to build up a critical mass necessary to successfully compete in this field of very competitive research. We therefore build up a consortium composed of research groups with a long standing track record in cannabinoid research and groups who were interested in studying the ECS in the context of their primary research focus.

The goal of this multi-disciplinary Research Unit is the analysis of the ECS in the maintenance of homeostasis and investigations on the consequences of chronic changes in ECS activity in different model systems. These projects aim at elucidating commonalities in the function or dysfunction of the ECS in normal physiology and pathophysiology.

The following projects are included in FOR926:

SP1: Prof. Dr. Christian Behl

“Analysis of the detrimental effects of Cnr1-/- mice in an Alzheimer’s mouse model and of the interplay between CB1 receptor function and amyloid precursor protein processing.”
Institute of Physiological Chemistry & Pathobiochemistry, University of Mainz

SP2: Dr. Dr. Andras Bilkei-Gorzo and Prof. Dr. Eberhard Schlicker

“Function of the endocannabinoid system in normal and pathological aging processes of the brain.”
Institute of Molecular Psychiatry and Department of Psychiatry, University of Bonn

SP3: Prof. Dr. Beat Lutz

“Characterization of cell type-specific endocannabinoid signaling at biochemical and behavioral level.”
Institute of Physiological Chemistry & Pathobiochemistry, University of Mainz

SP4: Project has been combined with SP2.

SP5: Dr. Walter Magerl and Prof. Dr. Rolf-Detlef Treede

“Role of the endocannabinoid system in human pain sensitivity, pain plasticity, pain habituation, and neurogenic and non-neurogenic inflammation.”
Center of Biomedicine and Medical Technology Mannheim (CBTM)

SP6: Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer

“The role of the CB2 receptor and human CB2 receptor variants in neuropathic pain.”
Institute of Molecular Psychiatry, University of Bonn

SP7: Dr. Evelyn Gaffal and Prof. Dr. Thomas Tüting

“Role of the endocannabinoid system in the regulation of cellular immune responses in the skin.”
Department of Dermatology, University of Bonn

SP8: Dr. Oliver Dewald, Dr. Daniela Wenzel and Prof. Dr. Bernd Fleischmann

“The role of the endocannabinoid system in homeostasis and adaptation to pathological conditions in the murine cardiopulmonary system.”
Department of Cardiac Surgery and Institute of Physiology I, University of Bonn

SP9: Dr. Miriam Schneider

“Impact of the developing endocannabinoid system in rats on the modulatory influence of stress on adolescent ethanol intake.”
Institute of Psychopharmacology, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim

SP10: Dr. Judith Alferink

“Role of the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) in neuroinflammation.”
Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Molecular Psychiatry, University of Bonn

CP1: Prof. Dr. Beat Lutz

“Detection and quantification of endocannabinoids and related lipids by LC-MS/MS.”
Institute of Physiological Chemistry & Pathobiochemistry, University of Mainz

CP2: Prof. Dr. Andreas Zimmer and Prof. Dr. Beat Lutz

“Common resources of the Research Unit.”
Institute of Molecular Psychiatry, University of Bonn and Institute of Physiological Chemistry & Pathobiochemistry, University of Mainz