Nikolaus Maier

Nikolaus Maier
Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin | Charité · Neuroscience Research Center

MD; Dr. med. (Doctorate in Neurophysiology)

About

43
Publications
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Introduction
I have been studying the cellular, synaptic and network mechanisms of hippocampal rhythms since 1999, contributing to the field with the establishment of an in vitro model of hippocampal sharp wave/ripple complexes (SWRs). Using electrophysiological approaches, my research focuses on both chemical and electrical neuronal synchronization during physiological and pathologically altered high-frequency oscillations.

Publications

Publications (43)
Article
Full-text available
Sharp wave-associated ∼200-Hz ripple oscillations in the hippocampus have been implicated in the consolidation of memories. However, knowledge on mechanisms underlying ripples is still scarce, in particular with respect to synaptic involvement of specific cell types. Here, we used cell-attached and whole-cell recordings in vitro to study activity o...
Article
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High-frequency hippocampal network oscillations, or "ripples," are thought to be involved in episodic memory. According to current theories, memory traces are represented by assemblies of principal neurons that are activated during ripple-associated network states. Here we performed in vivo and in vitro experiments to investigate the synaptic mecha...
Article
Full-text available
Cannabis consumption results in impaired learning. The proper synchronization of neuronal activity in the mammalian hippocampus gives rise to network rhythms that are implicated in memory formation. Here, we have studied the impact of cannabinoids on hippocampal sharp waves and associated ripple oscillations using field- and whole-cell voltage-clam...
Article
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The mammalian hippocampus displays a peculiar pattern of fast (approximately 200 Hz) network oscillations superimposed on slower sharp waves. Such sharp wave-ripple complexes (SPW-R) have been implicated in memory consolidation. We have recently described a novel and unique method for studying SPW-R in naive slices of murine hippocampus. Here, we u...
Article
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The characteristic, behaviour-related network oscillations of the mammalian hippocampus (, gamma and ripples) are accompanied by strongly phase-coupled action potentials in specific subsets of GABAergic interneurones. It has been suggested that the resulting phasic, repetitive inhibition shapes rhythmic coherent activity of the neuronal network. He...
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Almost seventy years after the discovery of the mechanisms of action potential generation, some aspects of their computational consequences are still not fully understood. Based on mathematical modeling, we here explore a type of action potential dynamics – arising from a saddle-node homoclinic orbit bifurcation - that so far has received little at...
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In this issue of Neuron, Szabo et al. uncover a unique subtype of interneurons that is highly active during ripples but largely silent during theta oscillations. The study provides exciting new insights into the regulation and propagation of ripples in CA1 and beyond.
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Background and purpose: The KCNQ2 gene encodes for the Kv 7.2 subunit of non-inactivating potassium channels. KCNQ2-related diseases range from autosomal dominant neonatal self-limited epilepsy, often caused by KCNQ2 haploinsufficiency, to severe encephalopathies caused by KCNQ2 missense variants. Here, we investigated in vitro and in vivo effects...
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Sharp wave-ripples (SWRs) represent synchronous discharges of hippocampal neurons and are believed to play a major role in memory consolidation. A large body of evidence suggests that SWRs are exclusively generated in the CA3-CA2 network. In contrast, here, we provide several lines of evidence showing that the subiculum can function as a secondary...
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Sharp wave-ripple complexes (SWRs) are hippocampal network phenomena involved in memory consolidation. To date, the mechanisms underlying their occurrence remain obscure. Here, we show how the interactions between pyramidal cells, parvalbumin-positive (PV+) basket cells, and an unidentified class of anti-SWR interneurons can contribute to the initi...
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Aging is associated with functional alterations of synapses thought to contribute to age-dependent memory impairment (AMI). While therapeutic avenues to protect from AMI are largely elusive, supplementation of spermidine, a polyamine normally declining with age, has been shown to restore defective proteostasis and to protect from AMI in Drosophila....
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Cell assemblies and central pattern generators (CPGs) are related types of neuronal networks: both consist of interacting groups of neurons whose collective activities lead to defined functional outputs. In the case of a cell assembly, the functional output may be interpreted as a representation of something in the world, external or internal; for...
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The role of mossy cells (MCs) of the hippocampal dentate area has long remained mysterious. Recent research has begun to unveil their significance in spatial computation of the hippocampus. Here, we used an in vitro model of sharp wave-ripple complexes (SWRs), which contribute to hippocampal memory formation, to investigate MC involvement in this f...
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Hippocampal ripples are involved in memory consolidation, but the mechanisms underlying their generation remain unclear. Models relying on interneuron networks in the CA1 region disagree on the predominant source of excitation to interneurons: either “direct,” via the Schaffer collaterals that provide feedforward input from CA3 to CA1, or “indirect...
Article
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The distinctive firing pattern of grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) supports its role in the representation of space. It is widely believed that the hexagonal firing field of grid cells emerges from neural dynamics that depend on the local microcircuitry. However, local networks within the MEC are still not sufficiently characterized...
Chapter
Hippocampal sharp wave/ripple complexes (SWRs) are rhythmic electrographic activities that appear strictly coupled with resting behavioral waking states of the brain and slow-wave sleep. Several lines of evidence now support their involvement in the formation and long-term consolidation of hippocampus-dependent memories. During SWRs, the hippocampa...
Article
View largeDownload slide See Zekeridou and Lennon (doi: 10.1093/aww213 ) for a scientific commentary on this article . Antibodies against the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor are suspected to underlie anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis. Kreye et al. provide direct evidence by showing that monoclonal human NR1 antibodies are sufficient to downregulate...
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Cortical and hippocampal oscillations play a crucial role in the encoding, consolidation, and retrieval of memory. Sharp-wave associated ripples have been shown to be necessary for the consolidation of memory. During consolidation, information is transferred from the hippocampus to the neocortex. One of the structures at the interface between hippo...
Article
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KCNQ2 (Kv7.2) and KCNQ3 (Kv7.3) K þ channels dampen neuronal excitability and their functional impairment may lead to epilepsy. Less is known about KCNQ5 (Kv7.5), which also displays wide expression in the brain. Here we show an unexpected role of KCNQ5 in dampening synaptic inhibition and shaping network synchronization in the hippocampus. KCNQ5 l...
Article
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Neuronal networks often express coherent oscillatory activity. These rhythms can provide a temporal reference for the activity of single neurons and allow the formation of spatiotemporal activity patterns with a defined phase relationship of action potentials. In a single brain nucleus, oscillations at different frequencies might be simultaneously...
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Zusammenfassung Viele neuronale Netzwerke zeigen kohärente rhythmische Aktivität. Diese Netzwerkoszillationen bilden eine zeitliche Referenz für die Aktivität einzelner Neurone und erlauben so die Entstehung raum-zeitlicher Muster mit definierten Phasenbeziehungen von Aktionspotenzialen. Häufig kann ein Kerngebiet des Gehirns verschiedene Rhythmen...
Article
Full-text available
Neuronal networks often express coherent oscillatory activity. These rhythms can provide a temporal reference for the activity of single neurons and allow the formation of spatiotemporal activity-patterns with defined phase-relationship of action potentials. In a single brain nucleus, oscillations at different frequencies might be simultaneously ge...
Article
Evidence has been presented that CA1 pyramidal cells, during spontaneous in vitro sharp wave/ripple (SPW-R) complexes, generate somatic action potentials that originate in axons. 'Participating' (somatically firing) pyramidal cells fire (almost always) at most once during a particular SPW-R whereas non-participating cells virtually never fire durin...
Article
To report that antibodies to synaptic proteins may occur in association with slow, progressive cognitive decline. A total of 24 patients with progressive cognitive dysfunction of unclear etiology were examined for onconeuronal and synaptic receptor antibodies. The effect of serum was examined in cultures of dissociated mouse hippocampal neurons. Se...
Article
CA3 pyramidal cells receive three main excitatory inputs: the first one is the mossy fiber input, synapsing mainly on the proximal apical dendrites. Second, entorhinal cortex cells form excitatory connections with CA3 pyramidal cells via the perforant path in the stratum lacunosum moleculare. The third input involves the ipsi-and contralateral conn...
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Neurons form transiently stable assemblies that may underlie cognitive functions, including memory formation. In most brain regions, coherent activity is organized by network oscillations that involve sparse firing within a well-defined minority of cells. Despite extensive work on the underlying cellular mechanisms, a fundamental question remains u...
Article
Intracellular transport regulates protein turnover including endocytosis. Because of the spatial segregation of F-actin and microtubules, internalized cargo vesicles need to employ myosin and dynein motors to traverse both cytoskeletal compartments. Factors specifying cargo delivery across both tracks remain unknown. We identified muskelin to inter...
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Plasticity related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific membrane protein related to lipid phosphate phosphatases, which acts in the hippocampus specifically at the excitatory synapse terminating on glutamatergic neurons. Deletion of prg-1 in mice leads to epileptic seizures and augmentation of EPSCs, but not IPSCs. In utero electroporation of PRG-1 i...
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Among the various hippocampal network patterns, sharp wave-ripples (SPW-R) are currently the mechanistically least understood. Although accurate information on synaptic interactions between the participating neurons is essential for comprehensive understanding of the network function during complex activities like SPW-R, such knowledge is currently...
Article
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cAMP is a critical second messenger involved in synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Here, we show that activation of the adenylyl cyclase by forskolin and application of the cAMP-analog Sp-5,6-DCl-cBIMPS both mimicked and occluded tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) in subicular bursting neurons, but not in subicular regular fir...
Article
Distinct functional roles in learning and memory are attributed to certain areas of the hippocampus and the parahippocampal region. The subiculum as a part of the hippocampal formation is the principal target of CA1 pyramidal cell axons and serves as an interface in the information processing between the hippocampus and the neocortex. Subicular pyr...
Article
Due to the ubiquitous use of cellular phones much has been speculated on secondary effects of electromagnetic irradiation emitted by those. Additionally, several studies have reported vegetative alterations as well as effects on the neuronal and molecular levels in humans. Here, using a psycho-physiological test paradigm, we examined effects of exp...
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Recent evidence suggests that electrotonic coupling is an important mechanism for neuronal synchronisation in the mammalian cortex and hippocampus. Various types of network oscillations have been shown to depend on, or be sharpened by, gap junctions between inhibitory interneurones or excitatory projection cells. Here we made use of a targeted disr...

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