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Cellular Neurophysiology



Welcome to the Department of Cellular Neurophysiogy. For many years our goal was to understand the molecular mechanism of regulated exocytosis. Regulated exocytosis refers to the fusion of intracellular vesicles with the plasma membrane for the controlled release of vesicle contents (e.g. neurotransmitters/neuropeptides from neurons). It is thus the basis of almost every form of communication between cells such as synaptic or hormonal transmission. It also plays an essential role in the release of cytotoxic substances or cytokines from cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to kill foreign, virus infected or cancer cells and boost the immune response.

Intriguingly, we found that in neurons and in CTLs regulated exocytosis occurs through very similar molecular mechanisms. We are now studying them in more details while we are also examining the function of the released substances.

More specifically we are investigating the molecular mechanism of synaptic release in:

Dorsal root ganglion neurons

 Cytotoxic T lymphocytes

→  Dorsal root ganglion neurons

→  Cytotoxic T lymphocytes


In order to achieve our goals we are using high- and super-resolution microscopy methods for imaging live or fixed cells from defined genetic model systems.

Extrapolation of that knowledge from individual synapses to networks of the brain and immune system will enable us to understand the function of these networks and identify potential strategies for treatment of disorders.




provisional management:

Prof. Dr. Dieter Bruns


Bernadette Schwarz

  +49 6841/16-16400
  +49 6841/16-16402

Cellular Neurophysiology
Saarland University
CIPMM | Building 48
D-66421 Homburg