Rainer Hellweg

Learn More
Altered glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling is a postulated mechanism for the pathogenesis of major depression. To mimic the human situation of altered GR function claimed for depression, we generated mouse strains that underexpress or overexpress GR, but maintain the regulatory genetic context controlling the GR gene. To achieve this goal, we used the(More)
Neurotrophins like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are thought to play an important role in neuronal repair and plasticity. Recent experimental evidence suggests neuroprotective effects of these proteins in multiple sclerosis (MS). We investigated the response of serum NGF and BDNF concentrations to standardized acute(More)
In recent years it has become clear that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients benefit from physical exercise as performed in aerobic training but little is known about the effect on functional domains and physiological factors mediating these effects. We studied immunological, endocrine and neurotrophic factors as well as coordinative function and quality of(More)
Several studies investigated the effect of physical exercise on emotional behaviors in rodents; resulting findings however remain controversial. Despite the accepted notion that voluntary exercise alters behavior in the same manners as antidepressant drugs, several studies reported opposite or no effects at all. In an attempt to evaluate the effect of(More)
Intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of streptozotocin (STZ) has been reported to impair cerebral glucose utilization and energy metabolism (Nitsch and Hoyer: Neurosci Lett, 128:199-202, 1991) and also to prejudice passive avoidance learning in adult rats (Mayer et al.: Brain Res 532:95-100, 1990). It is well established that the forebrain cholinergic(More)
INTRODUCTION The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) are a central part of the molecular concepts on neuroplastic changes associated with stress, anxiety and depression. An increasing number of studies uses serum BDNF levels as a potential indicator for central nervous system alterations. METHODS To analyze(More)
Sympathetic and neural-crest derived sensory neurons consisting of unmyelinated and small myelinated fibers are known to be affected at an early stage in diabetes mellitus (DM). Since these peripheral neurons need nerve growth factor (NGF) for their development and maintenance of function in adulthood, changes in endogenous NGF levels could be of relevance(More)
There is compelling evidence that withdrawal of neurotrophins can lead to impaired neuronal function and even apoptotic death of neurons. Recent experimental evidence suggests that antidepressant drugs and electroconvulsive treatment might work by enhancing CNS levels of neurotrophins. In addition, Lithium (LI) has been shown to exert robust neuroprotective(More)
The "neurotrophin hypothesis" of depression predicts that depressive disorders in humans coincide with a decreased activity and/or expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain. Therefore, we investigated whether mice with a reduced BDNF expression due to heterozygous gene disruption demonstrate depression-like neurochemical changes or(More)
INTRODUCTION Stress, glucocorticoids and anti-depressant treatment have been found to modulate the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF). Recent research suggests that serum BDNF concentration is reduced in depression and that successful antidepressant treatment leads to an increase in serum BDNF concentration.(More)