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Group leader: Modern risk assessment and sphere biology

Prof. Dr. med. Ellen Fritsche
Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine
Auf’m Hennekamp 50
40225 Düsseldorf

Research Interest

My group works on the identification of signalling pathways which contribute to exogenously-induced developmental neurotoxicity or brain aging. These research questions circle around a 3D in vitro model which consists of neurospheres, clusters of primary neural progenitor cells. Pathways of interest include arylhydrocarbon receptor, thyroid hormone receptor and Nrf2 signalling. Knowledge of tox pathway analyses feed into the application of such a system for toxicity testing. High content image analysis is established to increase the image-based experimental throughput.

Selected Publications
  1. Tegenge, M.A., Rockel, T.D., Fritsche E., Bicker G. (2011). Nitric oxide stimulates human neural progenitor cell migration via cGMP-mediated signal transduction. Cell Mol Life Sci. 68(12):2089-99. PubMed
  2. Gassmann, K., Abel, J., Bothe, H., Haarmann-Stemmann, T., Merk, H. F., Quasthoff, K. N., Rockel, T. D., Schreiber, T., Fritsche, E. (2010). Species-specific AhR deficiency protects human neural progenitor cells against developmental neurotoxicity of PAHs. Environ. Health Perspect. 118:1571–1577. PubMed
  3. Schreiber T, Gassmann K, Götz C, Hübenthal U, Moors M, Krause G, Merk HF, Nguyen NH, Scanlan TS, Abel J, Rose CR, Fritsche E. (2010). PBDEs induce developmental neurotoxicity in a human in vitro model: evidence for endocrine disruption. Environ. Health Perspect. 118:572-578. PubMed
  4. Moors, M., Vudattu, N. K., Abel, J., Krämer, U., Rane, L., Ulfig, N., Ceccatelli, S., Seyfert-Margolies, V., Fritsche, E., Maeurer, M. J. (2010). Interleukin-7 (IL-7) and IL-7 splice variants affect differentiation of human neural progenitor cells. Genes Immun. 1:11-20. PubMed
  5. Moors, M., Rockel, T. D., Abel, J., Cline, J. E., Gassmann, K., Schreiber, T., Schuwald, J., Weinmann, N., Fritsche, E. (2009). Human neurospheres as three-dimensional cellular systems for developmental neurotoxicity testing. Environ. Health Perspect. 117:1131-1138. PubMed
  6. Moors, M., Cline, J. E., Abel, J., Fritsche, E. (2007). ERK-dependent and -independent pathways trigger human neural progenitor cell migration. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 221:57-67. PubMed
  7. Fritsche E, Schäfer C, Calles C, Bernsmann T, Bernshausen T, Wurm M, Hübenthal U, Cline JE, Hajimiragha H, Schroeder P, Klotz LO, Rannug A, Fürst P, Hanenberg H, Abel J, Krutmann J. (2007). Lightening up the UV response by identification of the Arylhydrocarbon Receptor as a cytoplasmatic target for Ultraviolet B radiation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104:8851-8856. PubMed
  8. Fritsche, E., Cline, J. E., Nguyen, N.-H., Scanlan, T. S., Abel, J. (2005). PCBs disturb differentiation of Normal Human Neural Progenitor cells: clue for involvement of thyroid hormone receptors. Environ. Health Perspect. 113:781-786. PubMed
  9. Fritsche, E., Baek, S. J., King, L. M., Zeldin, D. C., Eling, T. E., Bell, D. A. (2001). Functional characterization of cyclooxygenase-2 polymorphisms. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 299:468-476. PubMed
  10. Fritsche, E., Pittman, G. S., Bell, D. A. (2000). Localization, sequence analysis, and ethnic distribution of a 96-bp insertion in the promoter of the human CYP2E1 gene. Mut. Res.-Rev. Mutat. 432:1-5. PubMed
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