Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Endres group

Molecular mechanisms of healthy aging and neurodegeneration

Group Leader

PD Dr. rer. nat. Endres
Kristina Endres , PD Dr. rer. nat.
Position: Head of the group "Molecular mechanisms of healthy aging and neurodegeneration"
Qualifications: Graduate biologist
Further Information

Group members

  • Dipl.-Chem. Malena dos Santos Guilherme
  • M. Sc. Vu Thu Thuy Nguyen
  • B. Sc. Canan Bakir
  • B. Sc. Hannah Klug
  • B. Sc. Teresa Steudter
  • B. Sc. Jessika Olma
  • B. Sc. Jason Sallbach
  • Cand. med. Laura-Malina Kapphan
  • Stud. rer. nat. Katrin Debrich
  • Stud. rer. nat. Franziska Brühl
  • Stud. rer. nat. Sarah Meyer


    Short description

    Our research group investigates the following topics:

    1) Molecular relationships of the physiology and pathology of the neuronal aging process. On the one hand we want to understand how cognitively healthy ageing can be achieved. To this end, we investigate proteins that are characterized as longevity factors or as neuron-protective and their influence by resilience mechanisms.

    2) Molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. Our focus here is on the alpha-secretase ADAM10, which prevents the formation of senile plaques in the brain. In a translational research approach, we transfer pharmacological substances, which we identify as inducers of alpha-secretase by cellular assays, first into cognitive tests in Alzheimer's model mice and finally into the clinic. We work closely together with the specialists in dementia and ageing research and the Study Centre for Mental Disorders.

    3) Enteric nervous system and the microbiome. The intestine contains the largest peripheral nervous system (ENS) and can therefore serve as a surrogate for processes within the brain. The ENS is strongly influenced by the commensals of the intestine - the microbiome. We are currently investigating how the ENS interacts with the microbiome in the ageing process and in Alzheimer's dementia.



    • Prof. Susanne Gerber, Human Genetics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
    • Prof. Helen May-Simera, Institute of Molecular Physiology, Johannes-Gutenberg University Mainz
    • Prof. Tobias Hartmann, Experimental Neuroscience, Saarland University, Homburg/Saar
    • Prof. Stefan Lichtenthaler, DZNE, Munich
    • Prof. Karl-Herbert Schäfer, University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern and Pediatric Surgery, Mannheim-Heidelberg
    • PD Dr. Andreas Schwiertz, Institute of Microecology, Herborn


    • Prof. Taisuke Tomita, University of Tokyo, Japan


  • Alfons Geib Foundation for the Research of Alzheimer's Dementia
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Funds
  • Göhring Foundation Dementia Research
  • MWWK Rhineland-Palatinate
  • Key publications

    • Gadomsky L, Dos Santos Guilherme M, Winkler J, der Kooij MV, Hartmann T, Grimm M, Endres K. Elevated Testosterone Level and Urine Scent Marking in Male 5xFAD Alzheimer Model Mice. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2020 Feb 16. doi: 10.2174/1567205017666200217105537.
    • Hewel C, Kaiser J, Wierczeiko A, Linke J, Reinhardt C, Endres K, Gerber S. Common miRNA Patterns of Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease and Their Putative Impact on Commensal Gut Microbiota. Front Neurosci. 2019 Mar 5;13:113. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00113.
    • Brummer T, Müller SA, Pan-Montojo F, Yoshida F, Fellgiebel A, Tomita T, Endres K, Lichtenthaler SF. NrCAM is a marker for substrate-selective activation of ADAM10 in Alzheimer's disease. EMBO Mol Med. 2019 Apr;11(4). pii: e9695. doi: 10.15252/emmm.201809695.
    • Brandscheid C, Schuck F, Reinhardt S, Schäfer KH, Pietrzik CU, Grimm M, Hartmann T, Schwiertz A, Endres K. Altered Gut Microbiome Composition and Tryptic Activity of the 5xFAD Alzheimer's Mouse Model. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;56(2):775-788. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160926.
    • Endres, K, Fahrenholz, F, Lotz, J, Hiemke, C, Teipel, S, Lieb, K, Tüscher, O, Fellgiebel, A. Increased APPs-alpha levels in Alzheimer’s disease patients treated with acitretin. Neurology 2014 83(21): 1930-1935
    • Postina R, Schroeder A, Dewachter I, Bohl J, Schmitt U, Kojro E, Prinzen C, Endres K, Hiemke C, Blessing M, Flamez P, Dequenne A, Godaux E, van LF, Fahrenholz F. A disintegrin-metalloproteinase prevents amyloid plaque formation and hippocampal defects in an Alzheimer disease mouse model. J Clin Invest 2004;113(10):1456-64.01993