Dr. Wolfgang Kruse, Department of Zoology and Neurobiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology

Wolfgang Kruse

Research Programme:

The Department for General Zoology and Neurobiology is interested in understanding ion channel function and system modulation in animal physiology and behaviour. Our research is centred on the characterization of voltage gated Ca2+ channels and their modulatory proteins, e.g in the cerebellum. We recently established virus mediated infection methods and mouse genetics to investigate the role of P/Q-type Ca2+ channel domains for sub-cellular targeting, cellular function and animal behaviour.

Ca2+ channels mediate voltage dependent Ca2+ influx in sub cellular compartments of neurons, triggering such diverse processes as neurotransmitter release, dendritic action potentials and excitation-transcription coupling. In this context, our research is focused on the electrophysiological consequences of mutations in voltage-gated Ca2+ channels which change the density of Ca2+ channel complexes. We are currently interested in the role of Ca2+ channel mutations which are established in transgenic mouse lines. With in-vivo multi-electrode electrophysiology of cerebellar Purkinje cells we elucidate the physiological changes which are paralleled by behavioural deficits in the affected animals. Using optogentic tools we are now able to influence selectively the activity of cerebellar populations by light, which allow us to manipulate the cerebellar network in a cell-specific approach.