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Sleep, metabolism and immunological memory


Research Aims

This area of our research deals with the role of sleep/wake rhythms in the regulation of metabolic and immune functions. With regard to metabolism, the crosstalk between cognitive and endocrine factors is of particular relevance, and we are examining how sleep modulates higher cognitive processes that govern metabolic control. Sleep is also intimately involved in the modulation of immune processes and we are especially interested in how sleep fosters the development of immunological memory.



1.) Luciana Besedovsky
2.) Manfred Hallschmid
3.) Matthias Thienel
4.) Stoyan Dimitrov



Current projects
  • Circadian aspects of T cell function (Luciana Besedovsky, Stoyan Dimitrov)
  • Cognitive control of eating behavior (Manfred Hallschmid, Volker Ott, Matthias Thienel)
  • Corticosteroid receptor-mediated modulation of T cell migration (Luciana Besedovsky)
  • Fetal and neonatal aspects of body weight regulation (Manfred Hallschmid)
  • Hypocretin-1 and metabolic regulation (Manfred Hallschmid, Matthias Thienel)
  • IL-1 effects on sleep and cognition (Luciana Besedovsky, Stoyan Dimitrov)
  • Insulin effects on the human brain (Manfred Hallschmid, Volker Ott, Matthias Thienel)
  • Memory functions and ingestive behavior (Manfred Hallschmid, Matthias Thienel)
  • Oxytocin and metabolic function in health and disease (Manfred Hallschmid, Volker Ott, Matthias Thienel)
  • Role of sleep in vaccination (Luciana Besedovsky, Stoyan Dimitrov)



Key publications
  • Benedict C, Brede S, Schiöth HB, Lehnert H, Schultes B, Born J, Hallschmid M (2011) Intranasal insulin enhances postprandial thermogenesis and lowers postprandial serum insulin levels in healthy men. Diabetes 60:114-118
  • Besedovsky L, Born J, Lange T (2012) Blockade of mineralocorticoid receptors enhances naive T-helper cell counts during early sleep in humans. Brain Behav Immun 26:1116-1121
  • Besedovsky L, Born J, Lange T (2014) Endogenous glucocorticoid receptor signaling drives rhythmic changes in human T cell subset numbers and the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4. FASEB J, 28:67-75
  • Ott V, Finlayson G, Lehnert H, Heitmann B, Heinrichs M, Born J, Hallschmid M (2013) Oxytocin reduces reward-driven food intake in humans. Diabetes 62(10):3418-3425
  • Schultes B, Jauch-Chara K, Gais S, Hallschmid M, Reiprich E, Kern W, Oltmanns KM, Peters A, Fehm HL, Born J (2007) Defective awakening response to nocturnal hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. PLoS Med 4(2): e69



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