Chronic diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), such as fear/anxiety disorders and neurodegenerative diseases occur with high and increasing prevalence. Since molecular disease mechanisms are not fully understood, current drug therapies are often unsatisfactory. The development of novel and improved therapeutic strategies requires the identification of innovative targets for therapeutic intervention. The major goal of this SFB is to comprehensively study two signaling pathways that bear such potential: L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) and epigenetic modulators, in particular histone deacetylases (HDACs). Both pathways appear to participate in the etiology of several neurological disorders. Moreover, recent preliminary findings from our consortium suggest that they can be (patho-) physiologically linked.
We bundle our strong local expertise to study calcium mediated, epigenetic and non-coding RNA (ncRNA) - mediated regulatory mechanisms to disclose the role of these pathways for the pathophysiology of Parkinsonian disorders (Parkinson's disease, Multiple System Atrophy), Alzheimer's disease and abnormal fear and anxiety.