Stigloher lab


Prof. Dr. Christian Stigloher

Department Zoology I, Cell and Developmental Biology

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Publications (selected list)

Stigloher C, Ninkovic J, Laplante M, Geling A, Tannhäuser B, Topp S, Kikuta H, Becker TS, Houart C, Bally-Cuif L. (2006) Segregation of telencephalic and eye-field identities inside the zebrafish forebrain territory is controlled by Rx3. Development, 133(15):2925-35. 

Leucht C*, Stigloher C*, Wizenmann A, Klafke R, Folchert A, Bally-Cuif L. (2008) (* joint first authorship) MicroRNA-9 directs late organizer activity of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary. Nature Neuroscience, 11(6):641-8. 

Stigloher C, Zhan H, Zhen M, Richmond JE and Bessereau JL. (2011) The Presynaptic Dense Projection of the Caenorhabiditis elegans Cholinergic Neuromuscular Junction Localizes Synaptic Vesicles at the Active Zone through SYD-2/Liprin and UNC-10/RIM-Dependent Interactions. The Journal of Neuroscience, 23;31(12):4388-96. 

Markert SM, Britz S, Proppert S, Lang M, Witvliet D, Mulcahy B, Sauer M, Zhen M, Bessereau JL, Stigloher C. (2016) Filling the gap: adding super-resolution to array tomography for correlated ultrastructural and molecular identification of electrical synapses at the C. elegans connectome. Neurophotonics, 3(4):041802. 

Kaltdorf KV, Schulze K, Helmprobst F, Kollmannsberger P, Dandekar T, Stigloher C. (2017) FIJI Macro 3D ART VeSElecT: 3D Automated Reconstruction Tool for Vesicle Structures of Electron Tomograms. PLoS Computational Biology, 13(1):e1005317. 


Neuronal synapses are highly efficient and complex cellular signaling machineries that achieve remarkable precision in signal transmission for a prolonged period of time, in some cases throughout the lifetime of an animal. The importance of synaptic efficiency is mirrored by many neural diseases but in particular by synaptopathies where synaptic organization and function is disrupted. In order to provide reliable signaling synaptic vesicles have to be retained close to the presynaptic active zone, the domain where vesicles are docked and fuse with the membrane after Ca influx in a nano-domain through voltage gated channels. 
How are synaptic vesicles kept coherently close to the active zone to maintain efficient signaling? To shed light onto this question our team focuses on the cellular architecture using a combination of genetic tools and imaging techniques. In particular we apply electron tomography as ultra high 3D resolution method to dissect components and function of synaptic architecture. We use a synergistic combination of two highly tractable models where they are most appropriate: The C. elegans neuromuscular junctions for efficient candidate identification and manipulation and the neuromuscular junctions of the zebrafish larva as vertebrate model to test for evolutionary conservation of function.