Helmut Heinsen

University of Wuerzburg, Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (142)772.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Colon cancer is one of the most common tumors in the human population. Recent studies have shown a reduced risk for colon cancer in patients given the antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX). The exact mechanism by which FLX might protect from colon cancer remains however controversial. Here, FLX reduced the development of different colon tumor xenografts, as well as proliferation in hypoxic tumor areas within them. FLX treatment also decreased microvessel numbers in tumors. Although FLX did not increase serum and tumor glucose levels as much as the colon chemotherapy goldstandard Fluorouracil did, lactate levels were significantly augmented within tumors by FLX treatment. The gene expression of the MCT4 lactate transporter was significantly downregulated. Total protein amounts from the third and fifth mitochondrial complexes were significantly decreased by FLX in tumors. Cell culture experiments revealed that FLX reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential significantly and disabled the reactive oxygen species production of the third mitochondrial complex. Furthermore, FLX arrested hypoxic colon tumor cells in the G0/G1 phase of the cell-cycle. The expression of key cell-cycle-related checkpoint proteins was enhanced in cell culture and in vivo experiments. Therefore, we suggest FLX impairs energy generation, cell cycle progression and proliferation in tumor cells, especially under condition of hypoxia. This then leads to reduced microvessel formation and tumor shrinkage in xenograft models. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Cellular Signalling 05/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.cellsig.2015.05.008 · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hippocampus is one of the most essential components of the human brain and plays an important role in learning and memory. The hippocampus has drawn great attention from scientists and clinicians due to its clinical importance in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), non-AD dementia, and epilepsy.. Understanding the function of the hippocampus and related disease mechanisms requires comprehensive knowledge of the orchestration of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, and post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins. The past decade has seen remarkable advances in the high-throughput sequencing techniques that are collectively called next generation sequencing (NGS). NGS enables the precise analysis of gene expression profiles in cells and tissues, allowing powerful and more feasible integration of expression data from the gene level to the protein level, even allowing "-omic" level assessment of PTMs. In addition, improved bioinformatics algorithms coupled with NGS technology are finally opening a new era for scientists to discover previously unidentified and elusive proteins. In the present review, we will focus mainly on the proteomics of the human hippocampus with an emphasis on the integrated analysis of genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics. Finally, we will discuss our perspectives on the potential and future of proteomics in the field of hippocampal biology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neuroproteomics: Applications in Neuroscience and Neurology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins & Proteomics 03/2015; 1854(7). DOI:10.1016/j.bbapap.2015.02.010 · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pharmacological interventions in Alzheimer's disease (AD) are likely to be more efficacious if administered early in the course of the disease, foregoing the spread of irreversible changes in the brain. Research findings underline an early vulnerability of the isodendritic core (IC) network to AD neurofibrillary lesions. The IC constitutes a phylogenetically conserved subcortical system including the locus coeruleus in pons, dorsal raphe nucleus, and substantia nigra in the midbrain, and nucleus basalis of Meynert in basal forebrain. Through their ascending projections to the cortex, the IC neurons regulate homeostasis and behavior by synthesizing aminergic and cholinergic neurotransmitters. Here we reviewed the evidence demonstrating that neurons of the IC system show neurofibrillary tangles in the earliest stages of AD, prior to cortical pathology, and how this involvement may explain pre-amnestic symptoms, including depression, agitation, and sleep disturbances in AD patients. In fact, clinical and animal studies show a significant reduction of AD cognitive and behavioral symptoms following replenishment of neurotransmitters associated with the IC network. Therefore, the IC network represents a unique candidate for viable therapeutic intervention and should become a high priority for research in AD.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 02/2015; DOI:10.3233/JAD-142682 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The role of neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases has become more evident in recent years. Research on the etiology and pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) has focused on the role of chemokines such as CX3CL1, on the triggering receptors expressed by myeloid cells (TREMs), especially TREM2, and on the transcription factor/nuclear hormone receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). Here we analyzed the expression levels of CX3CL1, TREM2, and PPARγ in tissue homogenates from human brain regions that have different degrees of vulnerability to neuropathological AD-related changes to obtain insights into the pathogenesis and progression of AD. We found that CX3CL1 and TREM2, two genes related to neuroinflammation, are more highly expressed in brain regions with pronounced vulnerability to AD-related changes, such as the hippocampus, and that the expression levels reflect the course of the disease, whereas regions with low vulnerability to AD, seemed generally less affected by neuroinflammation. Furthermore, our results support previous findings of significantly higher CX3CL1 plasma levels in patients with mild to moderate AD than in patients with severe AD. Thus, CX3CL1 should be considered as promising additional marker for the early diagnosis of AD and underlines once more, the involvement of the neuroinflammation in the pathogenesis of this neurodegenerative disease.
    Journal of Neural Transmission 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00702-015-1369-5 · 2.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The fornix and hippocampus are critical to recollection in the healthy human brain. Fornix degeneration is a feature of aging and Alzheimer's disease. In the presence of fornix damage in mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a recognized prodrome of Alzheimer's disease, recall shows greater dependence on other tracts, notably the parahippocampal cingulum (PHC). The current aims were to determine whether this shift is adaptive and to probe its relationship to cholinergic signaling, which is also compromised in Alzheimer's disease. Twenty-five human participants with MCI and 20 matched healthy volunteers underwent diffusion MRI, behavioral assessment, and volumetric measurement of the basal forebrain. In a regression model for recall, there was a significant group × fornix interaction, indicating that the association between recall and fornix structure was weaker in patients. The opposite trend was present for the left PHC. To further investigate this pattern, two regression models were generated to account for recall performance: one based on fornix microstructure and the other on both fornix and left PHC. The realignment to PHC was positively correlated with free recall but not non-memory measures, implying a reconfiguration that is beneficial to residual memory. There was a positive relationship between realignment to PHC and basal forebrain gray matter volume despite this region demonstrating atrophy at a group level, i.e., the cognitive realignment to left PHC was most apparent when cholinergic areas were relatively spared. Therefore, cholinergic systems appear to enable adaptation to injury even as they degenerate, which has implications for functional restoration. Copyright © 2015 Ray et al.
    The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 01/2015; 35(2):739-47. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3617-14.2015 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Degeneration of basal forebrain (BF) cholinergic nuclei is associated with cognitive decline, and this effect is believed to be mediated by neuronal dysfunction in the denervated cortical areas. MRI-based measurements of BF atrophy are increasingly being used as in vivo surrogate markers for cholinergic degeneration, but the functional implications of reductions in BF volume are not well understood. We used high-resolution MRI, fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (PET), and neuropsychological test data of 132 subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 177 cognitively normal controls to determine associations between BF atrophy, cortical hypometabolism, and cognitive deficits. BF atrophy in MCI correlated with both impaired memory function and attentional control deficits, whereas hippocampus volume was more specifically associated with memory deficits. BF atrophy was also associated with widespread cortical hypometabolism, and path analytic models indicated that hypometabolism in domain-specific cortical networks mediated the association between BF volume and cognitive dysfunction. The presence of cortical amyloid pathology, as assessed using AV45-PET, did not significantly interact with the observed associations. These data underline the potential of multimodal imaging markers to study structure-function-cognition relationships in the living human brain and provide important in vivo evidence for an involvement of the human BF in cortical activity and cognitive function.
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    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD), an autosomal dominantly inherited polyglutamine or CAG-repeat disease along with somatomotor, oculomotor, psychiatric, and cognitive symptoms presents clinically with impairments of elementary and complex visual functions, as well as altered visual evoked potentials (VEP). Previous volumetric and pathoanatomical postmortem investigations pointed to an involvement of Brodmann's primary visual area 17 (BA17) in HD. Since the involvement of BA17 could be interpreted as an early-onset brain neurodegeneration we further characterized this potential primary cortical site of HD-related neurodegeneration neuropathologically and performed an unbiased estimation of the absolute nerve cell number in thick gallocyanin stained frontoparallel tissue sections through the striate area of seven control individuals and seven HD patients using Cavalieri's principle for volume and the optical disector for nerve and glial cell density estimations. This investigation showed a reduction of the estimated absolute nerve cell number of BA17 in the HD patients (71.044.037 ± 12.740.515 nerve cells) of 32% in comparison to the control individuals (104.075.067 ± 9.424.491 nerve cells) (Mann-Whitney U-test; p < 0.001). Additional pathoanatomical studies showed that nerve cell loss was most prominent in the outer pyramidal layer III, the inner granular layers IVa and IVc, as well as in the multiform layer VI of BA17 of the HD patients. Our neuropathological results in BA17 confirm and extend previous postmortem, biochemical and in vivo neuroradiological HD findings and offer suitable explanations for the elementary and complex visual dysfunctions, as well as for the altered VEP observed in HD patients.
    Brain Pathology 12/2014; DOI:10.1111/bpa.12237 · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Both neurodegeneration of the cholinergic basal forebrain (BF) and deposition of β-amyloid are early events in the course of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Associations between increased amyloid pathology and cholinergic atrophy have been described in autopsy studies. Methods We used structural MRI and AV45-PET amyloid imaging data of 225 cognitively normal or mildly impaired elderly subjects from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative to assess in vivo associations between BF atrophy and cortical amyloid deposition. Associations were examined using region-of-interest (ROI) and voxel-based approaches with reference to cytoarchitectonic mappings of the cholinergic BF nuclei. Results ROI- and voxel-based approaches yielded complementary evidence for an association between BF volume and cortical amyloid deposition in presymptomatic and predementia stages of AD, irrespective of age, gender, and APOE genotype. Conclusions The observed correlations between BF atrophy and cortical amyloid load likely reflect associations between cholinergic degeneration and amyloid pathology as reported in neuropathologic examination studies.
    Alzheimer's & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2013.09.011 · 17.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Posttranslational modifications modulate protein function in cells. Global analysis of multiple posttranslational modifications can provide insight into physiology and disease, but presents formidable challenges. In the present study, we used a technique that does not require target enrichment to analyze alterations in the phosphorylation and ubiquitination of proteins from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Guided by our previous findings, we applied three strategies to further our understanding of the dysregulation of posttranslationally modified proteins. We first identified phosphorylation sites by determining peptide pI shifts using OFFGEL. Second, using tandem mass spectrometry, we determined the ubiquitination status of the proteins using an assay for a trypsin digestion remnant of ubiquitination (Gly-Gly). Third, for large-scale discovery, we quantified the global differences in protein expression. Of the proteins expressed in AD tissue at levels of 2.0 or greater compared with controls, 60 were phosphorylated and 56 were ubiquitinated. Of the proteins expressed at levels of 0.5 or lower compared with controls, 81 were phosphorylated and 56 were ubiquitinated. Approximately 98 % of the phosphopeptides exhibited a pI shift. We identified 112 new phosphorylation sites (51.38 %), and 92 new ubiquitination sites (96.84 %). Taken together, our findings suggest that analysis of the alterations in posttranslationally modified proteins may contribute to understanding the pathogenesis of AD and other diseases.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 08/2014; 406(22). DOI:10.1007/s00216-014-7933-2 · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Posttranslational modifications modulate protein function in cells. Global analysis of multiple posttranslational modifications can provide insight into physiology and disease, but presents formidable challenges. In the present study, we used a technique that does not require target enrichment to analyze alterations in the phosphorylation and ubiquitination of proteins from patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Guided by our previous findings, we applied three strategies to further our understanding of the dysregulation of posttranslationally modified proteins. We first identified phosphorylation sites by determining peptide pI shifts using OFFGEL. Second, using tandem mass spectrometry, we determined the ubiquitination status of the proteins using an assay for a trypsin digestion remnant of ubiquitination (Gly-Gly). Third, for large-scale discovery, we quantified the global differences in protein expression. Of the proteins expressed in AD tissue at levels of 2.0 or greater compared with controls, 60 were phosphorylated and 56 were ubiquitinated. Of the proteins expressed at levels of 0.5 or lower compared with controls, 81 were phosphorylated and 56 were ubiquitinated. Approximately 98 % of the phosphopeptides exhibited a pI shift. We identified 112 new phosphorylation sites (51.38 %), and 92 new ubiquitination sites (96.84 %). Taken together, our findings suggest that analysis of the alterations in posttranslationally modified proteins may contribute to understanding the pathogenesis of AD and other diseases.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 08/2014; · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The anterior cingulate cortex, which is involved in cognitive and affective functioning, is important in investigating disorders in which individuals exhibit impairments in higher-order functions. In this study, we examined the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) at the cellular level in patients with autism and in controls. We focused our analysis on layer V of the aMCC because it contains von Economo neurons, specialized cells thought to be involved in emotional expression and focused attention. Using a stereologic approach, we determined whether there were neuropathologic changes in von Economo neuron number, pyramidal neuron number, or pyramidal neuron size between diagnostic groups. When the groups were subdivided into young children and adolescents, pyramidal neuron and von Economo neuron numbers positively correlated with autism severity in young children, as measured by the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised. Young children with autism also had significantly smaller pyramidal neurons than their matched controls. Because the aMCC is involved in decision-making during uncertain situations, decreased pyramidal neuron size may reflect a potential reduction in the functional connectivity of the aMCC.
    Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 08/2014; DOI:10.1097/NEN.0000000000000108 · 4.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Similar to Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) is characterized by a profound degeneration of cortically-projecting cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain (BF) and associated depletion of cortical cholinergic activity. We aimed to investigate subregional atrophy of the BF in DLB in vivo and compare it to the pattern of BF atrophy in AD. Structural MRI scans of 11 patients with DLB, 11 patients with Alzheimer's disease, and 22 healthy controls were analysed using a recently developed technique for automated BF morphometry based on high-dimensional image warping and cytoarchitectonic maps of BF cholinergic nuclei. For comparison, hippocampus volume was assessed within the same morphometric framework using recently published consensus criteria for the definition of hippocampus outlines on MRI. The DLB group demonstrated pronounced and subregion-specific atrophy of the BF which was comparable to BF atrophy in AD: volume of the nucleus basalis Meynert was significantly reduced by 20-25 %, whereas rostral BF nuclei were only marginally affected. By contrast, hippocampus volume was markedly less affected in DLB compared to AD. Global cognition as determined by MMSE score was associated with BF volume in AD, but not in DLB, whereas visuoperceptual function as determined by the trail making test was associated with BF volume in DLB, but not in AD. DLB may be characterized by a more selective degeneration of the cholinergic BF compared to AD, which may be related to the differential cognitive profiles in both conditions.
    Journal of Neurology 07/2014; 261(10). DOI:10.1007/s00415-014-7439-z · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    Alzheimer's and Dementia 07/2014; 10(4):P714. DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.05.1318 · 17.47 Impact Factor
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    Stefan Teipel, Helmut Heinsen, Michel Grothe
    Alzheimer's and Dementia 07/2014; 10(4):P213. DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.04.283 · 17.47 Impact Factor
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    Alzheimer's and Dementia 07/2014; 10(4):P521-P522. DOI:10.1016/j.jalz.2014.05.814 · 17.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are among the human synucleinopathies, which show alpha-synuclein immunoreactive neuronal and/or glial aggregations and progressive neuronal loss in selected brain regions (eg, substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, pedunculopontine nucleus). Despite several studies about brainstem pathologies in PD and DLB, there is currently no detailed information available regarding the presence of alpha-synuclein immunoreactive inclusions (i) in the cranial nerve, precerebellar, vestibular and oculomotor brainstem nuclei and (ii) in brainstem fiber tracts and oligodendroctyes. Therefore, we analyzed the inclusion pathologies in the brainstem nuclei (Lewy bodies, LB; Lewy neurites, LN; coiled bodies, CB) and fiber tracts (LN, CB) of PD and DLB patients. As reported in previous studies, LB and LN were most prevalent in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, pedunculopontine and raphe nuclei, periaqueductal gray, locus coeruleus, parabrachial nuclei, reticular formation, prepositus hypoglossal, dorsal motor vagal and solitary nuclei. Additionally we were able to demonstrate LB and LN in all cranial nerve nuclei, premotor oculomotor, precerebellar and vestibular brainstem nuclei, as well as LN in all brainstem fiber tracts. CB were present in nearly all brainstem nuclei and brainstem fiber tracts containing LB and/or LN. These findings can contribute to a large variety of less well-explained PD and DLB symptoms (eg, gait and postural instability, impaired balance and postural reflexes, falls, ingestive and oculomotor dysfunctions) and point to the occurrence of disturbances of intra-axonal transport processes and transneuronal spread of the underlying pathological processes of PD and DLB along anatomical pathways.
    Brain Pathology 07/2014; 25(2). DOI:10.1111/bpa.12168 · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The HUPO Brain Proteome Project (HUPO BPP) held its 20th workshop in Yokohama, Japan, September 15, 2013. The focus of the autumn workshop was on new insights and prospects of neurodegenerative diseases.
    Proteomics 06/2014; 14(11). DOI:10.1002/pmic.201470084 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The HUPO Brain Proteome Project (HUPO BPP) held its 21(st) workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii. During the 23-24 January 2014 the island became the center of the open workshop of the scientific community.
    Proteomics 04/2014; DOI:10.1002/pmic.201470083 · 3.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive polyglutamine disease that leads to a severe striatal and layer-specific neuronal loss in the cerebral neo-and allocortex. As some of the clinical symptoms (eg, oculomotor dysfunctions) suggested a degeneration of select brainstem nuclei, we performed a systematic investigation of the brainstem of eight clinically diagnosed and genetically confirmed HD patients. This post-mortem investigation revealed a consistent neuronal loss in the substantia nigra, pontine nuclei, reticulotegmental nucleus of the pons, superior and inferior olives, in the area of the excitatory burst neurons for horizontal saccades, raphe interpositus nucleus and vestibular nuclei. Immunoreactive intranuclear neuronal inclusions were present in all degenerated and apparently spared brainstem nuclei and immunoreactive axonal inclusions were observed in all brainstem fiber tracts of the HD patients. Degeneration of brainstem nuclei can account for a number of less well-understood clinical HD symptoms (ie, cerebellar, oculomotor and vestibular symptoms), while the formation of axonal aggregates may represent a crucial event in the cascades of pathological events leading to neurodegeneration in HD.
    Brain Pathology 04/2014; 24(3):247-260. DOI:10.1111/bpa.12115 · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite a massive research effort to elucidate Alzheimer's disease (AD) in recent decades, effective treatment remains elusive. This failure may relate to an oversimplification of the pathogenic processes underlying AD and also lack of understanding of AD progression during its long latent stages. Although evidence shows that the two specific neuropathological hallmarks in AD (neuronal loss and protein accumulation), which are opposite in nature, do not progress in parallel, the great majority of studies have focused on only one of these aspects. Furthermore, research focusing on single structures is likely to render an incomplete picture of AD pathogenesis because as AD involves complete brain networks, potential compensatory mechanisms within the network may ameliorate impairment of the system to a certain extent. Here, we describe an approach for enabling integrative analysis of the dual-nature lesions, simultaneously, in all components of one of the brain networks most vulnerable to AD. This approach is based on significant development of methods previously described mainly by our group that were optimized and complemented for this study. It combines unbiased stereology with immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence, making use of advanced graphics computing for three-dimensional (3D) volume reconstructions. Although this study was performed in human brainstem and focused in AD, it may be applied to the study of any neurological disease characterized by dual-nature lesions, in humans and animal models. This approach does not require a high level of investment in new equipment and a significant number of specimens can be processed and analyzed within a funding cycle
    Journal of neuroscience methods 04/2014; 226. DOI:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.01.030 · 1.96 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
772.83 Total Impact Points

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Institutions

  • 1988–2015
    • University of Wuerzburg
      • • Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy
      • • Institute of Organic Chemistry
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2011
    • Avid Radiopharmaceuticals
      Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • 2006
    • Technische Universität München
      München, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2002
    • RWTH Aachen University
      • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
      Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany