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Research group Fiebich

Neurochemistry and Neuroimmunology
Research group
Dr. Bernd Fiebich
Phone: +49 (0)761 270 - 68980
Email: bernd.fiebich@uniklinik-freiburg.de
Group members: Dr. Inga Herpfer (M.D.)
Dr. Soraya Wilke Saliba (Ph.D)
Matthias Apweiler (M.D. student)
Jana Streyczek (M.D. student)
Lu Sun (M.D. student)
Ashwini Tirkey (Master student, IMBS)
Maria Park (student, Molecular Medicine)
Julia Gotsulyak (Bachelor student, Molecular Medicine)
Maralen Roters (M.D. student)
Elena Brombacher (student, Molecular Medicine)

Research focus

Our research group is interested in various aspects of neuroinflammtion and neurodegeneration related to aging and psychiatric diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, depression etc.).
We are studying in detail  inflammatory pathways such as cytokines and chemokines and the arachidonic acid cascade in microglia with a focus on Prostaglandin E2/D2 and the enzymes involved in their synthesis (COX, mPGES, PGDS).
Another major focus of our group is the role of the GPR55 in neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and the impact of GPR55 antagonists/agonists on neuroinflammatory events in several cell types of the CNS.
We also investigate the anti-inflammatory effects of natural derived drugs (natural products).

Research projects

  • Neuroinflammation and depression
  • Psychoneuroendocrinology
  • Alzheimer’s disease and neurodegeneration
  • Aging
  • GPR55


  • Neuroinflammation: Dr. Antonio Oliveira (University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil), Dr. Candelario-Jalil, (University of Florida, Gainesville, USA)
  • GPRs: Prof. Bäse (KIT Karlsruhe), Prof. F. Simonin (University of Strasbourg, France)
  • Natural products: Prof. M. Heinrich (School of Pharmacy London), Prof. G. Appendino (University of Navarra, Italy), Prof. M. Olajide (University of Huddersfield, UK) ,  Prof. E. Munoz (University of Cordoba, Spain)
  • Nutrition and healthy aging: Dr. G. Eckert (University of Frankfurt)
  • Neuropeptides: Prof. K. Lieb (Universitätsmedizin Mainz)
  • Microglia/CNS and Nanowires: Prof. T. Stieglitz (IMTEK Freiburg)
  • Enviromental toxins affecting the brain: Prof.H. Fetou (University of Sfax, Tunisia), Prof. M. Bouchard (University of Montreal, Canada)
  • Purino receptors: Prof. R. Akundi (South Asian University, New Delhi, India
  • miRNA: Dr. T. Nuehrenberg (University Heart Center Bad Krozingen), Dr. A Höllig (University Hospital RWTH Aachen)

Selected recent papers

  • Apweiler M, Streyczek J, Saliba SW, Collado JA, Hurrle T, Gräßle S, Muñoz E, Normann C, Hellwig S, Bräse S, Fiebich BL. Functional Selectivity of Coumarin Derivates Acting via GPR55 in Neuroinflammation.  Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jan 16;23(2):959. doi.org/10.3390/ijms23020959.
  • Apweiler M, Saliba SW, Streyczek J, Hurrle T, Gräßle S, Bräse S, Fiebich BL. Targeting Oxidative Stress: Novel Coumarin-Based Inverse Agonists of GPR55. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 28;22(21):11665. doi.org/10.3390/ijms222111665. PMID: 34769094
  • Gellner AK, Reis J, Fiebich BL, Fritsch B. Electrified microglia: Impact of direct current stimulation on diverse properties of the most versatile brain cell. Brain Stimul. 2021 Sep-Oct;14(5):1248-1258. doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2021.08.007. Epub 2021 Aug 17. PMID: 34411753
  • Atanasov AG, Zotchev SB, Dirsch VM.. Fiebich BL,..; International Natural Product Sciences Taskforce, Supuran CT. Natural products in drug discovery: advances and opportunities. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2021 Jan 28:1-17. doi.org/10.1038/s41573-020-00114-z
  • Meixensberger S, Kuzior H, Fiebich BL, Süß P, Runge K, Berger B, Nickel K, Denzel D, Schiele MA, Michel M, Maier S, Bechter K, Domschke K, Tebartz van Elst L, Endres D. Upregulation of sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 Levels in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders.  Diagnostics (Basel). 2021 Jun 22;11(7):1134. doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11071134. PMID: 34206599
  • Saliba SW , Gläser F, Deckers A, Keil A, Hurrle T, Apweiler M, Ferver F, Volz N, Endres D, Bräse S,   Fiebich BL. Effects of a Novel GPR55 Antagonist on the Arachidonic Acid Cascade in LPS-Activated Primary Microglial Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 2503. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22052503
  • Michel M, Fiebich BL, Kuzior H, Meixensberger S, Berger B, Maier S, Nickel K, Runge K, Denzel D, Pankratz B, Schiele MA, Domschke K, van Elst LT, Endres D. Increased GFAP concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with unipolar depression. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 May 21;11(1):308. doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01423-6.
  • Runge K, Fiebich BL, Kuzior H, Saliba SW, Yousif NM, Meixensberger S, Nickel K, Denzel D, Schiele MA, Maier SJ, Berger B, Dersch R, Domschke K, Tebartz van Elst L, Endres D. An observational study investigating cytokine levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Schizophr Res. 2021 May;231:205-213. doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2021.03.022.  Epub 2021 Apr 19. PMID: 33887648
  • Kuzior H, Fiebich BL, Yousif NM, Saliba SW, Ziegler C, Nickel K, Maier SJ, Süß P, Runge K, Matysik M, Dersch R, Berger B, Robinson T, Venhoff N, Kessler F, Blank T, Domschke K, Tebartz van Elst L, Endres D. Increased IL-8 concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with unipolar depression.  Compr Psychiatry. 2020 Oct;102:152196. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2020.152196. Epub 2020 Aug 12. PMID: 32927367
  • Gargouri B, Boukholda K, Kumar A, Benazzouz A, Fetoui H, Bouchard M., Fiebich BL Bifenthrin insecticide promotes oxidative stress and increases inflammatory mediators in human neuroblastoma cells through NF-kappaB pathway. Toxicol In Vitro. 2020 Jun;65:104792. doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2020.104792. Epub 2020 Feb 13.
  • Saliba SW, Bonifacino T, Serchov T, Bonanno G, de Oliveira ACP, Fiebich BL. Neuroprotective Effect of AM404 Against NMDA-Induced Hippocampal Excitotoxicity. Front Cell Neurosci. 2019 Dec 20;13:566. doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2019.00566. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31920563 Free PMC article.
  • Gargouri B, Bouchard M, Saliba SW, Fetoui H, Fiebich BL. Repeated bifenthrin exposure alters hippocampal Nurr-1/AChE and induces depression-like behavior in adult rats. Behav Brain Res. 2019 Sep 16;370:111898. doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2019.04.012. Epub 2019 Apr 9. PMID: 30978409
  • Saliba SW, Jauch H, Gargouri B, Keil A, Hurrle T, Volz N, Mohr F, van der Stelt M, Bräse S, Fiebich BL.  Anti-neuroinflammatory effects of GPR55 antagonists in LPS-activated primary microglial cells.  J Neuroinflammation. 2018 Nov 19;15(1):322. doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1362-7. PMID: 30453998 Free PMC article.
  • Gargouri B, Yousif NM, Bouchard M, Fetoui H, Fiebich BL. Inflammatory and cytotoxic effects of bifenthrin in primary microglia and organotypic hippocampal slice cultures.  J Neuroinflammation. 2018 May 24;15(1):159. doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1198-1. PMID: 29793499 Free PMC article.
  • Gargouri B, Carstensen J, Bhatia HS, Huell M, Dietz GPH, Fiebich BL. Anti-neuroinflammatory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 in LPS-activated primary microglial cells. Phytomedicine. 2018 May 15;44:45-55. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2018.04.009. Epub 2018 Apr 6. PMID: 29895492


  • BMWi/AIF: AGEsense: Determination, function, and pharmaclogical intervention of the synthesis of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)
  • BMBF (TUNGER-36): Cooperation project with the University of Sfax, Tunisia: Mechanism- based approaches for improved health risk assessment of synthetic pyrethroids in the CNSD