AG Mack

Mitglieder: Dr. Andreas Mack, PhD, Ulrich Mattheus, Leokadia Macher

Research Interest: In a continuously growing nervous system such as the brain and retina of fish, existing cells have to adjust to the changing conditions. This includes glial cells which provide for the environment that is necessary for proper neuronal signaling. We are studying astroglial cells in brain and retina of teleost fish using immunocytochemistry, confocal microscopy, and electron microscopy (see → Funktionsbereiche →  Mikroskopie/Histologie), as well as cell culture and physiological approaches.  Recently, we have also applied clearing methods (CLARITY) with confocal and light sheet microscopy to our research topics (see →  Mikroskopie/Histologie).


Astroglial cells in the brain of fish are mostly radial forming junctions at the ventricular surface. Schown here are on the left, radial glial cells in the brainstem of a cichlid fish stained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (red) the tight junction marker ZO-1 (green), and on the right radial glial cells in the telencephalon of a zebrafish stained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (red) and glutamine synthetase (green).

These glial cells express the main water channel in the brain aquaporin-4 in a less polarized pattern compared to mammals, suggesting a different control of water flow (see → Grundlagenforschung → Wasser- & Ionenhomöostase). Comparing these expression patterns to those of other vertebrates puts our research in the perspective of the evolution of glial function.

In addition we are investigating structural changes and neuronal and glial cell additions occurring during the growth processes in the fish retina and brain.

Our microscopical and histological approaches are complemented by molecular biology methods in collaborating projects with the groups of PD Dr. Wizenmann, Dr. Gleiser, and Prof. Dr. Just.

Aspects of mammalian astrocytes and pathological changes occurring in these cells are studied in collaboration with Dr. Fallier-Becker, Institute of Pathology and Neuropathology Tübingen.

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