AG Mack

Mitglieder: Dr. Andreas Mack, PhD, Ulrich Mattheus, Felix Deffner, Ronja Bihlmaier

Research Interest:

The neuronal environment is largely determined by glial cells regulating the water and ionic homeostasis. We study these cells in various systems from specialized ependymal cells in the human choroid plexus to astroglial cells in the optic nerve of fish interacting with growing axons.

In a continuously growing nervous system such as the brain and retina of fish, existing cells have to adjust to the changing conditions. 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.  We have also applied clearing methods (CLARITY) with confocal and light sheet microscopy to our research topics (see →  Mikroskopie/Histologie).

AG Mack_01

Astroglial cells in the brain of fish have mostly a radial shape. Shown here on the left are radial glial cells in the telencephalon of a cichlid fish, stained for glial fibrillary acidic protein (red) and maturing neurons labeled with doublecortin (green), lying under the ventricular surface layer. The parasagittal section through the telencephalon on the right depicts radial glial cells (green) running around central neuronal groups and nuclei. Comparing these glial patterns to those of other vertebrates puts our research in the perspective of the evolution of glial function. (

AG Mack 02

In another line of experiments, we are studying water channels in the ependyma and epithelium of the human and mouse choroid plexus. These cells express aquaporin-1 (red) and at places also aquaporin-4 in the aging brain. Laminin in the basal lamina is by green immunofluorescence (see doi:10.1007/s00018-022-04136-1, also → Grundlagenforschung → Wasser- & Ionenhomöostase).

In addition, we are investigating growth-related processes, structural changes, and neuronal and glial cell additions occurring in the fish retina and optic nerve, in collaboration with Prof. Juan M. Lara and Dr. L. deOliveira-Mello, University of Salamanca/ University of Helsinki (see doi:10.3390/biology11020248).

Our microscopical and histological approaches are complemented by molecular biology methods in collaborating projects with the groups of Dr. Neckel, 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.

For more information, write to: