Alexander Dityatev

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German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Magdeburg, Germany



Title of talk:
Extracellular matrix and neuroplasticity


Alexander Dityatev is a Professor at the the head of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases site in Magdeburg, where he heads the Molecular Neuroplasticity research group. He has co-authored more than 130 papers (h-index=48 in Google Scholar), and is co-editor of books “Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptogenesis” (2006) and “Brain Extracellular Matrix in Health and Disease” (2014).

Prof. Dityatev’s group explores the role of the extracellular environment of the brain in processes of learning and memory. The formation and and ongoing activity of synaptic connections between neurons require adhesive interactions between cells and their extracellular environment, which include both cell adhesion and extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules. These molecules regulate synaptogenesis, synaptic and extrasynaptic transmission and plasticity. In fact, a synapse can be viewed as a tetrapartite system composed of pre- and postsynaptic specializations, glial terminals and (peri)synaptic ECM.  The Molecular Neuroplasticity research group aims to uncover novel mechanisms by which the ECM and cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) control learning-induced synaptic plasticity and homeostatic regulations in the brain, to characterize how dysregulation in expression and posttranslational modifications of these molecules, their receptors and ectoproteases may induce neuroinflammation and synaptic dysfunctions in major neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, and to develop new CAM- and ECM-targeting  strategies for restoration of synaptic and cognitive functions in animal models of these diseases.


Selected Publications:

Morellini F, Malyshev A, Volgushev M, Chistiakova M, Papashvili G, Fellini L, Kleene R, Schachner M, Dityatev A Impaired fear extinction due to a deficit in Ca2+ influx through L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in mice deficient for tenascin-C. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 2017;11:16

Minge D, Senkov O, Kaushik R, Herde MK, Tikhobrazova O, Wulff AB, Mironov A, van Kuppevelt TH, Oosterhof A, Kochlamazashvili G, Dityatev A, Henneberger C Heparan Sulfates Support Pyramidal Cell Excitability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Context Discrimination. Cereb Cortex. 2017 Feb 1;27(2):903-918.

Matuszko G, Curreli S, Kaushik R, Becker A, Dityatev A Extracellular matrix alterations in the ketamine model of schizophrenia Neuroscience. 2017 May 14;350:13-22

Garau G, Magotti P, Heine M, Korotchenko S, Lievens PM, Berezin V, Dityatev A Heparin/heparan sulfates bind to and modulate neuronal L-type (Cav1.2) voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. Exp Neurol. 2015 Dec;274(Pt B):156-65

Kochlamazashvili G, Bukalo O, Senkov O, Salmen B, Gerardy-Schahn R, Engel AK, Schachner M, Dityatev A.  Restoration of synaptic plasticity and learning in young and aged NCAM-deficient mice by enhancing neurotransmission mediated by GluN2A-containing NMDA receptorsJ Neurosci. 2012 Feb 15;32(7):2263-75

Dityatev A, Schachner M, Sonderegger P.The dual role of the extracellular matrix in synaptic plasticity and homeostasis. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 Nov;11(11):735-46

Kochlamazashvili G, Henneberger C, Bukalo O, Dvoretskova E, Senkov O, Lievens PM, Westenbroek R, Engel AK, Catterall WA, Rusakov DA, Schachner M, Dityatev A. The extracellular matrix molecule hyaluronic acid regulates hippocampal synaptic plasticity by modulating postsynaptic L-type Ca(2+) channels. Neuron. 2010 Jul 15;67(1):116-28

Dityatev, A; Schachner, M (2003) Extracellular matrix molecules and synaptic plasticity. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2003 Jun;4(6):456-68