Herbert Hildebrandt (Neuroglycobiochemistry)


Varbanov H, Jia S, Kochlamazashvili G, Bhattacharya S, Buabeid MA, El Tabbal M, Hayani H, Stoyanov S, Sun W, Thiesler H, Röckle I, Hildebrandt H, Senkov O, Suppiramaniam V, Gerardy-Schahn R, Dityatev A (2023). Rescue of synaptic and cognitive functions in polysialic acid-deficient mice and dementia models by short polysialic acid fragments. Neurobiol Dis. 180:106079. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2023.106079.

Thiesler H, Gretenkort L, Hoffmeister L, Albers I, Ohlmeier L, Röckle I, Verhagen A, Banan R, Köpcke N, Krönke N, Feuerhake F, Behling F, Barrantes-Freer A, Mielke D, Rohde V, Hong B, Varki A, Schwabe K, Krauss JK, Stadelmann C, Hartmann C, Hildebrandt H (2023). Proinflammatory macrophage activation by the polysialic acid-Siglec-16 axis is linked to increased survival of patients with glioblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 29(12):2266-2279. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-22-1488. Free full text available in PMC.

Gretenkort L*, Thiesler H*, Hildebrandt H (2023). Neuroimmunomodulatory properties of polysialic acid. Glycoconj J. 40(3):277-294. Review. doi: 10.1007/s10719-023-10120-z. *equally contributing first authors

Schröder L-J*, Thiesler H*, Gretenkort L, Möllenkamp TM, Stangel S, Gudi V#, Hildebrandt H# (2023). Polysialic acid promotes remyelination in cerebellar slice cultures by Siglec-E-dependent modulation of microglia polarization. Front Cell Neurosci 17:1207540. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2023.1207540. *equally contributing first authors, #equally contributing last authors


Deuper L, Meuser M, Thiesler H, Jany UWH, Rudat C, Hildebrandt H, Trowe MO, Kispert A (2022). Mesenchymal FGFR1 and FGFR2 control patterning of the ureteric mesenchyme by balancing SHH and BMP4 signaling. Development 149 (17): dev200767. doi: 10.1242/dev.200767.

Kurz J, Weiss AC, Lüdtke T H-W, Deuper L, Trowe MO, Thiesler H, Hildebrandt H, Heineke J, Duncan SA, Kispert A (2022). GATA6 is a crucial factor for Myocd expression in the visceral smooth muscle cell differentiation program of the murine ureter. Development 149 (15): dev200522. doi: 10.1242/dev.200522.

Thiesler H*, Küçükerden M*, Gretenkort L, Röckle I, Hildebrandt H (2022). News and views on polysialic acid: From tumor progression and brain development to psychiatric disorders, neurodegeneration, myelin repair and immunomodulation. Front Cell Dev Biol 10:871757. Review. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2022.871757. *equally contributing first authors

Küçükerden M*, Schuster UE*, Röckle I, Alvarez-Bolado G, Schwabe K, Hildebrandt H (2022). Compromised mammillary body connectivity and psychotic symptoms in mice with di- and mesencephalic ablation of ST8SIA2. Transl Psychiatry 12: 51. doi: 10.1038/s41398-022-01816-1. *equally contributing first authors

Kurz J, Weiss AC, Thiesler H, Qasrawi F, Deuper L, Kaur J, Rudat C, Lüdtke TH, Wojahn I, Hildebrandt H, Trowe MO, Kispert A (2022). Notch signaling is a novel regulator of visceral smooth muscle cell differentiation in the murine ureter. Development 149 (4): dev199735. doi: 10.1242/dev.199735.

Meuser M, Deuper L, Rudat C, Aydoğdu N, Thiesler H, Zarnovican P, Hildebrandt H, Trowe MO, Kispert A (2022). FGFR2 signaling enhances the SHH-BMP4 signaling axis in early ureter development. Development 149 (1): dev200021. doi: 10.1242/dev.200021.


Thiesler H, Beimdiek J, Hildebrandt H (2021). Polysialic acid and Siglec-E orchestrate negative feedback regulation of microglia activation. Cell Mol Life Sci 78 (4):1637–1653. doi: 10.1007/s00018-020-03601-z, e-pub: July 28, 2020.


Schuster UE, Rossdam C, Röckle I, Schiff M, Hildebrandt H (2020). Cell-autonomous impact of polysialic acid-producing enzyme ST8SIA2 on developmental migration and distribution of cortical interneurons. J Neurochem 152 (3):333-349. doi: 10.1111/jnc.14896, e-pub: Nov. 26, 2019.


Fewou SN, Röckle I, Hildebrandt H, Eckhardt M (2019). Transgenic overexpression of polysialyltransferase ST8SiaIV under the control of a neuron-specific promoter does not affect brain development but impairs exploratory behavior. Glycobiology 29 (9):657-668. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwz040, e-pub: May 30, 2019.

Curto Y, Alcaide J, Röckle I, Hildebrandt H, Nacher J (2019). Effects of the genetic depletion of polysialyltransferases on the structure and connectivity of interneurons in the adult prefrontal cortex. Front Neuroanat 13:6. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2019.00006.


Jahn K, Wieltsch C, Blumer N, Mehlich M, Pathak H, Kahn A, Hildebrandt H, Frieling H (2017).  A cell culture model for investigation of synapse influence-ability: epigenetics, expression and function of gene targets important for synapse formation and preservation in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells differentiated by retinoic acid.  J Neural Transm 124 (11):1341-1367. doi: 10.1007/s00702-017-1769-9, e-pub Sep 8 2017.

Werneburg S, Fuchs HLS, Albers I, Burkhardt H, Gudi V, Skripuletz T, Stangel M, Gerardy-Schahn R, Hildebrandt H (2017). Polysialylation at early stages of oligodendrocyte differentiation promotes myelin repair. J Neurosci 37 (34):8131-8141. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1147-17.2017, e-pub Jul 31, 2017.

Bokiniec P, Shahbazian S, McDougall SJ, Berning BA, Cheng D, Llewellyn-Smith IJ, Burke PG, McMullan S, Mühlenhoff M, Hildebrandt H, Braet F, Connor M, Packer NH, Goodchild AK (2017). Polysialic acid regulates sympathetic outflow by facilitating information transfer within the nucleus of the solitary tract. J Neurosci 37 (27):6558-6574. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0200-17.2017, e-pub Jun 2, 2017.

Szewczyk LM, Nagalski A, Brozko N, Sawicka K, Werneburg S, Röckle I, Hildebrandt H, Wisniewska MB, Kuznicki J (2017). ST8SIA2 promotes oligodendrocyte differentiation and the integrity of myelin and axons. Glia, 65 (1):34-49. doi: 10.1002/glia.23048, e-pub Aug 18, 2016.


Mehrabian M, Hildebrandt H, Schmitt-Ulms G (2016). NCAM1 Polysialylation: The Prion Protein's Elusive Reason for Being? ASN Neuro 8(6):1759091416679074. Review. doi:10.1177/1759091416679074.

Kallolimath S, Castilho A, Strasser R, Grünwald-Gruber C, Altmann F, Strubl S, Galuska CE, Zlatina K, Galuska PS, Werner S, Thiesler H, Werneburg S, Hildebrandt H, Gerardy-Schahn R, Steinkellner H (2016). Engineering of complex protein sialylation in plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113 (34):9498–9503. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1604371113.

Werneburg S, Buettner FF, Erben L, Mathews M, Neumann H, Mühlenhoff M, Hildebrandt H (2016). Polysialylation and lipopolysaccharide-induced shedding of E-selectin ligand-1 and neuropilin-2 by microglia and THP-1 macrophages. Glia 64 (8):1314-1330. doi:10.1002/glia.23004.

Röckle I and Hildebrandt H (2016). Deficits of olfactory interneurons in polysialyltransferase- and NCAM-deficient mice. Dev Neurobiol 76 (4): 421-433. doi:10.1002/dneu.22324.


Piras F., Schiff M., Chiapponi C., Bossù P., Mühlenhoff M., Caltagirone C., Gerardy-Schahn R., Hildebrandt H.*, Spalletta G.* (2015) Brain structure, cognition and negative symptoms in schizophrenia are associated with serum levels of polysialic acid-modified NCAM. Transl. Psychiatry 5:e658, doi:10.1038/tp.2015.156 (*equally contributing last authors).

Koulaxouzidis G., Reutter W., Hildebrandt H., Stark G.B., Witzel C. (2015) In vivo stimulation of early peripheral axon regeneration by N-propionylmannosamine in the presence of polysialyltransferase ST8SIA2. J. Neural Transm. 122 (9):1211-1219. doi: 10.1007/s00702-015-1397-1

Werneburg S., Buettner F.F.R., Mühlenhoff M., Hildebrandt H. (2015) Polysialic acid modification of the synaptic cell adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 in human embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte precursor cells. Stem Cell Res. 14 (3):339–346. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2015.03.001

Werneburg S., Mühlenhoff M., Stangel M., Hildebrandt H. (2015) Polysialic acid on SynCAM 1 in NG2 cells and on neuropilin-2 in microglia is confined to intracellular pools that are rapidly depleted upon stimulation. Glia 63 (7):1240-1255. doi: 10.1002/glia.22815

Kröcher T., Malinovskaja K., Jürgenson M., Aonurm-Helm A., Zharkovskaya T., Kalda A., Röckle I., Schiff M., Weinhold B., Gerardy-Schahn R., Hildebrandt H. (corresponding author), Zharkovsky A. (2015) Schizophrenia-like phenotype of polysialyltransferase ST8SIA2-deficient mice. Brain Struct. Funct. 220 (1):71-83. doi: 10.1007/s00429-013-0638-t, e-pub Sep 22, 2013.


Tantra M., Kröcher T., Papiol S., Winkler D., Röckle I., Jatho J., Burkhardt H., Ronnenberg A., Gerardy-Schahn R., Ehrenreich H.*, Hildebrandt H.* (2014) St8sia2 deficiency plus juvenile cannabis exposure in mice synergistically affect higher cognition in adulthood. Behav. Brain Res. 275:166-175. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2014.08.062 (*equally contributing corresponding authors)

Kröcher T.*, Röckle I.*, Diederichs U., Weinhold B., Burkhardt H., Yanagawa Y., Gerardy-Schahn R., Hildebrandt H. (2014) A crucial role for polysialic acid in developmental interneuron migration and the establishment of interneuron densities in the mouse prefrontal cortex. Development 141 (15): 3022-3032. doi: 10.1242/dev.111773. (* equally contributing)

Schnaar R. L., Gerardy-Schahn R., Hildebrandt H. (2014) Sialic acids in the brain: gangliosides and polysialic acid in nervous system development, stability, disease, and regeneration. Physiol. Rev. 94 (2): 461-518. Review. (Cover, April 2014)

Hildebrandt H. (corresponding author), Dityatev A. (2014) With a little help from EphA3 and polysialic acid: Ectodomain shedding of NCAM is gaining momentum. Editorial Highlight. J. Neurochem. 128 (2): 206-209. doi:10.1111/jnc.12514


Kröcher T., Malinovskaja K., Jürgenson M., Aonurm-Helm A., Zharkovskaya T., Kalda A., Röckle I., Schiff M., Weinhold B., Gerardy-Schahn R., Hildebrandt H. (corresponding author), Zharkovsky A. (2013) Schizophrenia-like phenotype of polysialyltransferase ST8SIA2-deficient mice. Brain Struct. Funct. advance online publication, 22. Sept. 2013; doi:10.1007/s00429-013-0638-z

Hildebrandt H., Dityatev A. (2013) Polysialic acid in brain development and synaptic plasticity. Top. Curr. Chem. 366:55-96. doi: 10.1007/128_2013_446, Review.

Mühlenhoff M., Rollenhagen M., Werneburg S., Gerardy-Schahn R. Hildebrandt H. (2013) Polysialic acid - versatile modification of NCAM, SynCAM 1 and neuropilin-2. Neurochem. Res. 38 (6): 1134-1143. Review.


Vogt J., Glumm R., Schlüter L., Schmitz D., Rost B.R., Streu N., Rister B., Bharathi B.S., Gaggiannis D., Hildebrandt H., Weinhold B, Mühlenhoff M., Naumann T., Savaskan N.E., Brauer A.U., Reutter W., Heimrich B., Nitsch R, Horstkorte R. (2012) Homeostatic regulation of NCAM-polysialylation is critical for correct synaptic targeting. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 69 (7): 1179-91.

Hildebrandt H., Mühlenhoff M., Gerardy-Schahn, R. (2012) Polysialinsäure – ein Zucker reguliert die Hirnentwicklung. BioSpektrum 18 (1): 26-29, Review (German).


Schiff M., Röckle I., Burkhardt H., Weinhold B., Hildebrandt, H. (2011) Thalamocortical pathfinding defects precede degeneration of the reticular thalamic nucleus in polysialic acid-deficient mice. J. Neurosci. 31 (4): 1302-1312.

Eggers K., Werneburg S., Schertzinger A., Abeln M., Schiff M., Scharenberg M.A., Burkhardt H., Mühlenhoff M., Hildebrandt H. (2011) Polysialic acid controls NCAM signals at cell-cell contacts to regulate focal adhesion independent from FGF receptor activity. J. Cell Sci. 124 (19): 3279-3291.

Valentiner U., Mühlenhoff M., Lehmann U., Hildebrandt H., Schumacher U. (2011) Expression of the neural cell adhesion molecule and polysialic acid in human neuroblastoma cell lines. Int. J. Oncol. 39 (2): 417-424.

Bolborea M., Laran-Chich M.P., Rasri K., Hildebrandt H., Govitrapong P., Simonneaux V., Pevet P., Steinlechner S., Klosen P. (2011). Melatonin controls photoperiodic changes in tanycyte vimentin and neural cell adhesion molecule expression in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus). Endocrinology 152 (10): 3871-3883.


Koutsoudaki P.N., Hildebrandt H., Gudi V., Skripuletz T., Skuljec J., Stangel, M. (2010) Remyelination is accelerated in St8siaIV deficient mice after cuprizone induced demyelination. Neuroscience 171 (1): 235–244.

Galuska S.P., Rollenhagen M., Kaup M., Eggers K., Oltmann-Norden I., Schiff M., Hartmann M., Weinhold B., Hildebrandt H., Geyer R., Mühlenhoff M., Geyer H. (2010) Synaptic cell adhesion molecule SynCAM1 is a target for polysialylation in postnatal mouse brain. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107 (22): 10250-10255. 

Nacher J., Guirado R., Varea E., Alonso-Llosa G., Röckle I., Hildebrandt H. (2010). Divergent impact of the polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV on polysialic acid expression in immature neurons and interneurons of the adult cerebral cortex. Neuroscience 167 (3): 825-837.

Kustermann S., Hildebrandt H., Bolz S., Dengler K., Kohler K. (2010) Genesis of rods in the zebrafish retina occurs in a microenvironment provided by polysialic acid-expressing Müller glia. J. Comp. Neurol. 518 (5): 636-646.

Hildebrandt, H., Mühlenhoff, M., and Gerardy-Schahn, R. (2010) Polysialylation of NCAM. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 663: 95–109. Review.


Hildebrandt H. (corresponding author), Mühlenhoff M., Oltmann-Norden I., Röckle I., Burkhardt H., Weinhold B., Gerardy-Schahn R. (2009) Imbalance of neural cell adhesion molecule and polysialyltransferase alleles causes defective brain connectivity. Brain 132 (10): 2831-2838.
(Featured Article in Nature Gateway 'Functional Glycomics')

Schiff M., Weinhold B., Grothe C., Hildebrandt, H. (2009) NCAM and polysialyltransferase profiles match dopaminergic marker gene expression but polysialic acid is dispensable for development of the midbrain dopamine system. J. Neurochem. 110 (5): 1661-1673.

Koutsoudaki P.N., Skripuletz T., Gudi V., Moharregh-Khiabani D., Hildebrandt H., Trebst C., Stangel, M. (2009) Demyelination of the hippocampus is prominent in the cuprizone model. Neurosci. Lett. 451 (1): 83–88.

Mühlenhoff M. , Oltmann-Norden I., Weinhold B., Hildebrandt H., Gerardy-Schahn R. (2009) Brain development needs sugar: the role of polysialic acid in steering NCAM functions. Biol. Chem. 390 (7): 567-574. Review.


Röckle I., Seidenfaden R., Weinhold B., Mühlenhoff M., Gerardy-SchahnR., Hildebrandt H. (2008) Polysialic acid controls NCAM-induced differentiation of neuronal precursors into calretinin-positive olfactory bulb interneurons. Dev. Neurobiol. 68 (9): 1170-84.

Oltmann-Norden I., Galuska S.P., Hildebrandt H., Geyer R., Gerardy-Schahn R., Geyer H., Mühlenhoff M. (2008) Impact of the polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV on polysialic acid synthesis during postnatal mouse brain development J. Biol. Chem. 283 (3): 1463-71.
(Featured Article in Nature Gateway 'Functional Glycomics')


Hildebrandt H., Mühlenhoff M., Weinhold B., Gerardy-Schahn, R. (2007) Dissecting polysialic acid and NCAM functions in brain development. J. Neurochem. 103 (Suppl. 1), 56-64, Review.


Galuska S.P., Oltmann-Norden I., Geyer H., Weinhold B., Kuchelmeister K., Hildebrandt H., Gerardy-Schahn R., Geyer R., Mühlenhoff M. (2006) Polysialic acid profiles of mice expressing variant allelic combinations of the polysialyltransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV. J. Biol. Chem. 281 (42): 31605-15.

Seidenfaden R., Krauter A., Hildebrandt H. (2006) The neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM regulates neuritogenesis by multiple mechanisms of interaction. Neurochem. Int. 49 (1): 1-11.


Weinhold B., Seidenfaden R., Röckle I., Mühlenhoff M., Schertzinger F., Conzelmann S., Marth J.D., Gerardy-Schahn R., Hildebrandt H. (2005) Genetic ablation of polysialic acid causes severe neurodevelopmental defects rescued by deletion of the neural cell adhesion molecule. J. Biol. Chem. 280 (52): 42971-77.

Valentiner U., Carlssona M., Erttmann R., Hildebrandt H., Schumacher U. (2005) Ligands for the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma have inhibitory effects on growth of human neuroblastoma cells in vitro. Toxicology 213 (1-2): 157-168.


selected publications prior to 2005


related to current projects

Seidenfaden R., Krauter, A., Schertzinger, F., Gerardy-Schahn, R., and Hildebrandt, H. (2003) Polysialic acid directs tumor cell growth by controlling heterophilic neural cell adhesion molecule interactions. Mol. Cell Biol. 23: 5908-5918.

Seidenfaden R. and Hildebrandt H. (2001) Retinoic acid-induced changes in NCAM polysialylation and polysialyltransferase mRNA expression of human neuroblastoma cells. J. Neurobiol. 46: 11-28.

Seidenfaden R., Gerardy-Schahn R., Hildebrandt H. (2000) Control of NCAM polysialylation by the differential expression of polysialytransferases ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 79: 680-688.

Hildebrandt H., Becker C., Mürau M., Gerardy-Schahn R., Rahmann H. (1998) Heterogeneous expression of two polysialyltransferases, ST8SiaII and ST8SiaIV, during postnatal rat brain development. J. Neurochem. 71: 2339-2348.

Hildebrandt H., Becker C., Glüer S., Rösner H., Gerardy-Schahn R., Rahmann H. (1998) Polysialic acid on the neural cell adhesion molecule correlates with expression of polysialyltransferases and promotes neuroblastoma cell growth. Cancer Res. 58: 779-784.



Hildebrandt H. , Jonas U., Ohashi M., Klaiber I., Rahmann H. (1999) Direct electrospray-ionization mass spectrometric analysis of the major ganglioside from crucian carp liver after thin layer chromatography. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. B 122: 83-88.

Hildebrandt H. (1996). Antigen binding of antiganglioside antibodies in vitro is strongly influenced by the ganglioside composition of the sample. FEBS Lett. 388: 29-33.

Rahmann H., Jonas U., Hildebrandt H. (1998) Gangliosides in thermal adaptation: Towards a physicochemical model of ganglioside function. Trends Glycosci. Glycotechnol. 10: 421-437, Review.

Rahmann H., Jonas U., Kappel T., Hildebrandt H. (1998) Differential involvement of gangliosides versus phospholipids in the process of temperature adaptation in vertebrates: a comparative phenomenological and physico-chemical study. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 845, 72-91, Review.


Insect Physiology

Müller U. , Hildebrandt H. (2002) Nitric oxide/cGMP-mediated protein kinase A activation in the antennal lobes plays an important role in appetitive reflex habituation in the honeybee. J. Neurosci. 22: 8739-8747.

Müller U. and Hildebrandt H. (1995). The nitric oxide/cGMP system in the antennal lobe of Apis mellifera is implicated in integrative processing of chemosensory stimuli. Eur. J. Neurosci. 7: 2240-2248.

Hildebrandt H. and Müller U. (1995). Octopamine mediates rapid stimulation of protein kinase A in the antennal lobe of honeybees. J. Neurobiol. 27: 44-50.

Hildebrandt H. and Müller U. (1995). PKA activity in the antennal lobe of honeybees is regulated by chemosensory stimulation in vivo. Brain Res. 679: 281-288.

Menzel R., Durst C., Erber J., Eichmüller S., Hammer M., Hildebrandt H., Mauelshagen J., Müller U., Rosenboom H., Rybak J., Schäfer S., Scheidler A. (1994) The mushroom bodies in the honeybee: From molecules to behaviour. Fortschritte der Zoologie 39, 81-102, Review.

Kaatz H.-H., Hildebrandt H., Engels W. (1992) Primer effect of queen pheromone on juvenile hormone biosynthesis in adult worker honey bees. J. Comp. Physiol. B 162: 588-592.

Hildebrandt H. and Kaatz H.-H. (1992) Antennal perception of the honey bee queen pheromone and its effect on juvenile hormone biosynthesis in workers. In: Mauchamp B., Couillaud F., Baehr J.C. (Hrsg.): Insect Juvenile Hormone Research, pp 73-82. INRA, Paris.

Kaatz H.-H., Hildebrandt H., Dittrich F., Engels W. (1991) Pheromonal effects on the endocrine and reproductive system in worker honey bees. In: Romanuk M., Harmatha J., Vrkoc J. (Hrsg.): Insect Chemical Ecology, pp 105-108. Academia Prague and SPB Acad. Publ., The Hague.

Hildebrandt H. and Kaatz H.-H. (1990) Impact of queen pheromone on the physiological status of worker honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). In: Veeresh, G.K., Mallik, B. and Viraktamath, C.A. (Hrsg.): Social insects and the environment, pp 740-741. IBH, New Dehli.