Christine Winter

Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Saxony, Germany

Are you Christine Winter?

Claim your profile

Publications (91)398.75 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To date, the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on hippocampal neurogenesis have been mainly characterized in the context of memory. Acute stimulation (i.e. for 1 h) of either the entorhinal cortex or the anterior thalamus increases both cell proliferation and survival. We investigate whether stimulation applied to targets being considered for the treatment of depression, namely the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) or nucleus accumbens (Acb), also increases hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents. Rats were treated with vmPFC or Acb DBS for 1 h at different settings. 5'-bromo-2'deoxyuridine (BrdU) was injected three days following stimulation onset and animals were sacrificed 24 h or 28 days later. Overall, we found that neither vmPFC nor Acb DBS increased hippocampal neurogenesis. In summary, the delivery of acute stimulation into targets homologous to those used in human depression trials does not increase hippocampal neurogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 09/2015; 68:27-29. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.05.012 · 4.09 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A growing body of evidence sheds light on the neurodevelopmental nature of schizophrenia with symptoms typically emerging during late adolescence or young adulthood. We compared the pre-symptomatic adolescence period with the full symptomatic period of adulthood at the behavioral and neurobiological level in the poly I:C maternal immune stimulation (MIS) rat model of schizophrenia. We found that in MIS-rats impaired sensorimotor gating, as reflected in disrupted prepusle inhibition (PPI), emerged post-pubertally, with behavioral deficits being only recorded in adulthood but not during adolescence. Using post mortem HPLC we found that MIS-rats show distinct dopamine and serotonin changes in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), nucleus accumbens (Nacc), caudate putamen, globus pallidus, and hippocampus. Further, FDG-PET has shown that these animals had lower glucose uptake in the ventral hippocampus and PFC and a higher metabolism in the amygdala and Nacc when compared to controls. Changes in neurotransmission and metabolic activity varied across brain structures with respect to first appearance and further development. In the mPFC and Hipp, MIS-rats showed abnormal neurochemical and metabolic activity prior to and with the development of behavioral deficits in both adolescent and adult states, reflecting an early impairment of these regions. In contrast, biochemical alteration in the Nacc and globus pallidus developed as a matter of age. Our findings suggest that MIS-induced neurochemical and metabolic changes are neurodevelopmental in nature and either progressive or non-progressive and that the behavioral deficits manifest as these abnormalities increase. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Schizophrenia Research 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2015.05.010 · 4.43 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A significant portion of patients suffering from major depression remain refractory to available antidepressant treatment strategies. This highlights the need for a better understanding of the underlying neuropathology in order to develop rationale-based treatments. Here we aimed to further characterize neurobiological abnormalities of the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL) rat model of depression. Biochemically, in FSL rats we mainly found increased levels of serotonin in most cortical and subcortical brain regions when compared to controls. Using electrophysiological measurements, in FSL rats we found decreased alpha, beta and low gamma oscillatory activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens and decreased alpha and beta as well as increased low gamma oscillatory activity in the subthalamicus nucleus when compared to controls. In summary, we show distinct neurochemical properties in combination with particular oscillatory activity patterns for brain areas thought to be pathophysiologically relevant for depression. Our data contribute to the further understanding of neurobiological alterations in the FSL rat model of depression that could provide a basis for research into future therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Behavioural brain research 05/2015; 291. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2015.05.027 · 3.39 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are easily harvested, and possess anti-inflammatory and trophic properties. Furthermore, MSC promote neuroprotection and neurogenesis, which could greatly benefit neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease. MSC were transplanted one week after 6-hydroxydopamine lesioning and effects were evaluated after 6 months. MSC localized around the substantia nigra and the arachnoid mater, expressing pericyte and endothelial markers. MSC protected dopamine levels and upregulated peripheral anti-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, adipose-derived MSC increased neurogenesis in hippocampal and subventricular regions, and boosted memory functioning. Considering that hyposmia and loss of memory function are two major nonmotor symptoms in Parkinson's disease, transplants with modulatory effects on the hippocampus and subventricular zone could provide a disease-modifying therapy.
    Regenerative Medicine 05/2015; 10(4):431-46. DOI:10.2217/rme.15.17 · 3.50 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent years, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a promising treatment option for patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Several stimulation targets have successfully been tested in clinical settings, including the subgenual cingulum (Cg25) and the medial forebrain bundle (MFB). MFB-DBS has led to remarkable results, surpassing the effect of previous targets in terms of response latency and number of responders. However, the question remains as to which mechanisms underlie this difference. The aim of the present study was to thoroughly study the anti-depressant effect of MFB-DBS in the Flinders sensitive line (FSL) rat model of depression as well as to investigate whether MFB-DBS and Cg25-DBS operate through the same neurobiological circuits. FSL and control rats received bilateral high-frequency stimulation to the MFB at the level of the lateral hypothalamus, while being subjected to a variety of depression- and anxiety-related behavioral paradigms. To further compare the effects of MFB-DBS and Cg25-DBS on reward-related behavior, animals were stimulated in either the MFB or ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC, rodent analog to Cg25), while being tested in the intra-cranial self-stimulation paradigm. A marked symptom-specific anti-depressant effect of MFB-DBS was demonstrated. The ICSS-paradigm revealed that MFB-DBS, as opposed to vmPFC-DBS interacts with the reward system. Our data suggest that MFB-DBS and Cg25-DBS do not operate via the same neurobiological circuits. This differentiation might be of interest when selecting patients for either Cg25- or MFB-DBS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Brain Stimulation 02/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.brs.2015.02.009 · 5.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    N M Jadavji · F Wieske · U Dirnagl · C Winter
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an enzyme key regulator in folate metabolism. Deficiencies in MTHFR result in increased levels of homocysteine, which leads to reduced levels of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). In the brain, SAM donates methyl groups to catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), which is involved in neuro-transmitter analysis. Using the MTHFR-deficient mouse model the purpose of this study was to investigate levels of monoamine neurotransmitters and amino acid levels in brain tissue. MTHFR deficiency affected levels of both glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid in within the cerebellum and hippocampus. Mthfr −/− mice had reduced levels of glutamate in the amygdala and γ-aminobutyric acid in the thalamus. The excitatory mechanisms of homocysteine through activation of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in brain tissue might alter levels of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 02/2015; 3:1-4. DOI:10.1016/j.ymgmr.2015.02.001 · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In Parkinson's disease (PD), neurogenesis in the subventricular zone (SVZ)–olfactory bulb (OB) axis is affected as the result of the lack of dopaminergic innervations reaching the SVZ. This aberrant network has been related to the hyposmia of PD patients, which is an early diagnostic marker of the disease. Consequently, much interest arose in finding mechanisms to modulate the SVZ-OB axis. Direct modulation of this axis could be achieved by transplantation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC), as it has been shown in rat and mouse PD models. However, the neurogenic effect of MSC in PD was thus far only analyzed weeks after transplantation, and little is known about effects immediately after transplantation.
    Cytotherapy 10/2014; 17(2). DOI:10.1016/j.jcyt.2014.09.005 · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The acquisition of language and speech is uniquely human, but how genetic changes might have adapted the nervous system to this capacity is not well understood. Two human-specific amino acid substitutions in the transcription factor forkhead box P2 (FOXP2) are outstanding mechanistic candidates, as they could have been positively selected during human evolution and as FOXP2 is the sole gene to date firmly linked to speech and language development. When these two substitutions are introduced into the endogenous Foxp2 gene of mice (Foxp2(hum)), cortico-basal ganglia circuits are specifically affected. Here we demonstrate marked effects of this humanization of Foxp2 on learning and striatal neuroplasticity. Foxp2(hum/hum) mice learn stimulus-response associations faster than their WT littermates in situations in which declarative (i.e., place-based) and procedural (i.e., response-based) forms of learning could compete during transitions toward proceduralization of action sequences. Striatal districts known to be differently related to these two modes of learning are affected differently in the Foxp2(hum/hum) mice, as judged by measures of dopamine levels, gene expression patterns, and synaptic plasticity, including an NMDA receptor-dependent form of long-term depression. These findings raise the possibility that the humanized Foxp2 phenotype reflects a different tuning of corticostriatal systems involved in declarative and procedural learning, a capacity potentially contributing to adapting the human brain for speech and language acquisition.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2014; 111(39). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1414542111 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Environmental factors have long been known to regulate brain plasticity. We investigated the potential influence of social experience on ocular dominance plasticity. Fully adult female or male mice were monocularly deprived for four days and kept a) either alone or in pairs of the same sex and b) either in a small cage or a large, featureless arena. While mice kept alone did not show ocular dominance plasticity, no matter whether in a cage or in an arena, paired female mice in both environmental conditions displayed a shift of ocular dominance towards the open eye. Paired male mice, in contrast, showed no plasticity in the cage, but a very strong ocular dominance shift in the arena. This effect was not due to increased locomotion, since the covered distance was similar in single and paired male mice in the arena, and furnishing cages with a running wheel did not enable ocular dominance plasticity in cage-housed mice. Confirming recent results in rats, the plasticity-enhancing effect of the social environment was shown to be mediated by serotonin. Our results demonstrate that social experience has a strong effect on cortical plasticity that is sex-dependent. This has potential consequences both for animal research and for human education and rehabilitation.
    NeuroImage 08/2014; 103. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.08.040 · 6.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adult human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been reported to induce neuroprotective effects in models for Parkinson´s disease (PD). However, these effects strongly depend on the most optimal application of the transplant. In the present study we compared monolayer-cultured (aMSC) and spheroid (sMSC) MSC following transplantation into the substantia nigra (SN) of 6-OHDA lesioned rats regarding effects on the local microenvironment, degeneration of dopaminergic neurons, neurogenesis in the hippocampal DG as well as motor and memory function in the 6-OHDA-rat model for PD. aMSC transplantation significantly increased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the SN, increased the levels of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and improved motor functions compared to untreated and sMSC treated animals. In contrast, sMSC grafting induced an increased local microgliosis, decreased TH levels in the SN and reduced numbers of newly generated cells in the dentate gyrus (DG) without yet affecting hippocampal learning and memory function. We conclude that the neuroprotective potential of adipose-derived MSC in the rat model of PD crucially depends on the applied cellular phenotype.
    Stem Cell Reviews and Reports 08/2014; 11(1). DOI:10.1007/s12015-014-9551-y · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vagal afferents are an important neuronal component of the gut-brain axis allowing bottom-up information flow from the viscera to the CNS. In addition to its role in ingestive behavior, vagal afferent signaling has been implicated modulating mood and affect, including distinct forms of anxiety and fear. Here, we used a rat model of subdiaphragmatic vagal deafferentation (SDA), the most complete and selective vagal deafferentation method existing to date, to study the consequences of complete disconnection of abdominal vagal afferents on innate anxiety, conditioned fear, and neurochemical parameters in the limbic system. We found that compared with Sham controls, SDA rats consistently displayed reduced innate anxiety-like behavior in three procedures commonly used in preclinical rodent models of anxiety, namely the elevated plus maze test, open field test, and food neophobia test. On the other hand, SDA rats exhibited increased expression of auditory-cued fear conditioning, which specifically emerged as attenuated extinction of conditioned fear during the tone re-exposure test. The behavioral manifestations in SDA rats were associated with region-dependent changes in noradrenaline and GABA levels in key areas of the limbic system, but not with functional alterations in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal grand stress. Our study demonstrates that innate anxiety and learned fear are both subjected to visceral modulation through abdominal vagal afferents, possibly via changing limbic neurotransmitter systems. These data add further weight to theories emphasizing an important role of afferent visceral signals in the regulation of emotional behavior.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 05/2014; 34(21):7067-76. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0252-14.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus is impaired in schizophrenic patients and in an animal model of schizophrenia. Amongst a plethora of regulators, the immune system has been shown repeatedly to strongly modulate neurogenesis under physiological and pathological conditions. It is well accepted, that schizophrenic patients have an aberrant peripheral immune status, which is also reflected in the animal model. The microglia as the intrinsic immune competent cells of the brain have recently come into focus as possible therapeutic targets in schizophrenia. We here used a maternal immune stimulation rodent model of schizophrenia in which polyinosinic-polycytidilic acid (Poly I:C) was injected into pregnant rats to mimic an anti-viral immune response. We identified microglia IL-1β and TNF-α increase constituting the factors correlating best with decreases in net-neurogenesis and impairment in pre-pulse inhibition of a startle response in the Poly I:C model. Treatment with the antibiotic minocycline (3mg/kg/day) normalized microglial cytokine production in the hippocampus and rescued neurogenesis and behavior. We could also show that enhanced microglial TNF-α and IL-1β production in the hippocampus was accompanied by a decrease in the pro-proliferative TNFR2 receptor expression on neuronal progenitor cells, which could be attenuated by minocycline. These findings strongly support the idea to use anti-inflammatory drugs to target microglia activation as an adjunctive therapy in schizophrenic patients.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 05/2014; 46. DOI:10.1016/j.bbi.2014.01.019 · 6.13 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One of the two core symptoms of major depression (MD), whether uni- or bipolar, is the inability to experience pleasure, suggested to be triggered by dysregulation within the brain reward system. In recent years, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has evolved as a potential tool to modulate pathological neural activity; stimulation of the subgenual cingulate (Cg25) has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms, including anhedonia. In rodents, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) is likely to represent the correlate of Cg25 and accordingly, stimulation of vmPFC reduces anhedonia-like behavior in rats. The present study addresses the question of whether the anti-anhedonic effect of vmPFC-DBS is mediated by the brain reward system. Rats of the Flinders Sensitive Line (FSL), a validated genetic animal model of depression, and its controls, the Flinders Resistant Line (FRL), were stimulated in the vmPFC and tested in the forced swim test (FST), sucrose consumption test (SCT) and the intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) paradigm. The curve-shift paradigm of ICSS was used in combination with vmPFC-DBS, d-amphetamine and fluoxetine to quantify reward-facilitating or -attenuating treatment effects. Our findings support anti-depressive efficacy of vmPFC-DBS with respect to despair- and anhedonia-like behavior, as shown in the FST and SCT, respectively. However, DBS did not elicit reward-facilitating or reward-attenuating effects on ICSS behavior. These data suggest that it is unlikely that the anti-anhedonic effect of vmPFC-DBS depends on the mesolimbic dopaminergic reward system.
    Brain Stimulation 10/2013; 7(1). DOI:10.1016/j.brs.2013.09.002 · 5.43 Impact Factor
  • M. Voget · F. Wieske · C. Reinel · J. Rummel · J. Klein · I. Puls · C. Winter
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2013; 23:S527. DOI:10.1016/S0924-977X(13)70836-8 · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • C. Winter · R. Hadar
    European Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2013; 23:S137. DOI:10.1016/S0924-977X(13)70189-5 · 5.40 Impact Factor
  • Neurotoxicology and Teratology 05/2013; 37. DOI:10.1016/j.ntt.2013.03.012 · 3.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prenatal infection and exposure to traumatizing experiences during peripuberty have each been associated with increased risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. Evidence is lacking for the cumulative impact of such prenatal and postnatal environmental challenges on brain functions and vulnerability to psychiatric disease. Here, we show in a translational mouse model that combined exposure to prenatal immune challenge and peripubertal stress induces synergistic pathological effects on adult behavioral functions and neurochemistry. We further demonstrate that the prenatal insult markedly increases the vulnerability of the pubescent offspring to brain immune changes in response to stress. Our findings reveal interactions between two adverse environmental factors that have individually been associated with neuropsychiatric disease and support theories that mental illnesses with delayed onsets involve multiple environmental hits.
    Science 03/2013; 339(6123):1095-9. DOI:10.1126/science.1228261 · 31.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The underlying neurobiology of addictive or repetitive behaviours, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), involves dopaminergic dysregulation. While addictive behaviour depends strongly on mesolimbocortical dopaminergic responses, repetitive behaviours have been associated with dopaminergic dysregulation in the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuitry. The present study investigates differences in brain stimulation reward in rats with quinpirole-induced compulsive checking behaviour, in order to examine if deficits in reward processing are also relevant for OCD. Rats were tested in the intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) paradigm, which targets reward-related responses. After phenotype induction, animals were implanted with a monopolar stimulation electrode in the left medial forebrain bundle and trained to press a lever to self-administer electric stimulation of varying frequency. The curve-shift method was used to assess the reward-facilitating effects of d-amphetamine and the reward-attenuating effects of haloperidol (a D2 antagonist). Thresholds for ICSS were estimated before and after drug/saline injection. The reward-facilitating effects of d-amphetamine were enhanced in quinpirole-treated rats in comparison to controls. This finding suggests that chronic quinpirole-treatment induces changes within the reward circuitry relevant for compulsive behaviour in the rat.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 10/2012; 16(05):1-9. DOI:10.1017/S1461145712000983 · 5.26 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The development of more efficient treatment remains a major unmet need in the realm of schizophrenia disease. Using the maternal immune stimulation and the pubertal cannabinoid administration rat model of schizophrenia, the present study aimed at testing the hypothesis that deep brain stimulation (DBS) serves as a novel therapeutic technique for this disorder. METHODS: Adult offspring of dams, treated with the immune activating agent poly I:C (4 mg/kg, n = 50) or saline (n = 50), underwent bilateral stereotactic electrode implantation into one of the following brain regions: subthalamic nucleus (STN, n = 12/10), entopeduncularis nucleus (EP, n = 10/11), globus pallidus (GP, n = 10/10), medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC, n = 8/8), or dorsomedial thalamus (DM, n = 10/11). Adult rats treated with the CB1 receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN, n = 16) or saline (n = 12) during puberty were bilaterally implanted with electrodes into either the mPFC (n = 8/6) or the DM (n = 8/6). After a post-operative recovery period of one week, all rats were tested on a well-established cross-species phenomenon that is disrupted in schizophrenia, the pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) under different DBS conditions. RESULTS: Poly I:C induced deficits in PPI of the ASR were normalized upon DBS. DBS effects depended on both stimulation target and stimulation parameters. Most prominent effects were found under DBS at high frequencies in the mPFC and DM. These effects were replicated in the pubertal WIN administration rat model of schizophrenia. CONCLUSIONS: Brain regions, in which DBS normalized PPI deficits, might be of therapeutic relevance to the treatment of schizophrenia. Results imply that DBS could be considered a plausible therapeutic technique in the realm of schizophrenia disease.
    Brain Stimulation 10/2012; 6(4). DOI:10.1016/j.brs.2012.09.004 · 5.43 Impact Factor
  • Source
    R Willi · C Winter · F Wieske · A Kempf · B K Yee · M E Schwab · P Singer
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: EphA4 receptor (EphA4) tyrosine kinase is an important regulator of central nervous system development and synaptic plasticity in the mature brain, but its relevance to the control of normal behavior remains largely unexplored. This study is the first attempt to obtain a behavioral profile of constitutive homozygous and heterozygous EphA4 knockout mice. A deficit in locomotor habituation in the open field, impairment in spatial recognition in the Y-maze and reduced probability of spatial spontaneous alternation in the T-maze were identified in homozygous EphA4(-/-) mice, while heterozygo us EphA4(+/-) mice appeared normal on these tests in comparison with wild-type (WT) controls. The multiple phenotypes observed in EphA4(-/-) mice might stem from an underlying deficit in habituation learning, reflecting an elementary form of nonassociative learning that is in contrast to Pavlovian associative learning, which appeared unaffected by EphA4 disruption. A deficit in motor coordination on the accelerating rotarod was also demonstrated only in EphA4(-/-) mice - a finding in keeping with the presence of abnormal gait in EphA4(-/-) mice - although they were able to improve performance over training. There was no evidence for substantial changes in major neurochemical markers in various brain regions rich in EphA4 as shown by post-mortem analysis. This excludes the possibility of major neurochemical compensation in the brain of EphA4(-/-) mice. In summary, we have demonstrated for the first time the behavioral significance of EphA4 disruption, supporting further investigation of EphA4 as a possible target for behavioral interventions where habituation deficits are prominent.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 08/2012; 11(8). DOI:10.1111/j.1601-183X.2012.00842.x · 3.51 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
398.75 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2015
    • Technische Universität Dresden
      • • Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus
      • • Institute and Outpatient Clinics of Psychiatrics and Psychotherapy
      Dresden, Saxony, Germany
  • 2010–2012
    • Carl Gustav Carus-Institut
      Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2004–2012
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • • Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      • • Department of Nephrology
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 2004–2008
    • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany