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Dr. Jochen Holzschuh

Dr. Jochen Holzschuh
Dr. Jochen HolzschuhUniversity Freiburg, Biology I
Hauptstr. 1
D-79104 Freiburg
Phone: ++49 / 761 / 203 - 2516

E-Mail: Jochen.Holzschuh@biologie.uni-freiburg.de

Internet: http://www.biologie.uni-freiburg.de/


Research interests


The vertebrate brain has to regulate manifold functions to assure the correct function and survival of an organism. For this bold venture diverse neuronal networks with various types of neurons are built during the development of this organism. One of these networks is the sensory system, which detects information about an organism’s internal and external environment and thereby determines, in part, the response of the organism. The sensory neurons of the peripheric nervous system have afferent connections to hindbrain neurons, which are controlling the function of these organs and in turn are regulated by other hindbrain neurons e.g. noradrenergic neurons (NA). These NA neurons process information from peripheral and central sensory systems and therefore involved in the control of behavioral states, cardiovascular functions, nociception, sympathetic function and coordinate respiratory activity.

Defects in brainstem NA neurons are implicated in several human respiratory disorders, like congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), central sleep apnea (CSA) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Our laboratory aims to understand how signaling molecules and neuron specific transcription factors cooperate to regulate the differentiation of NA neurons in the brainstem and regulate the development of the respiratory network in zebrafish. With our research we hope to gain a better understanding of respiratory disorders in humans.

Our lab also studies the differentiation of neural crest cells to neurons of the sympathetic ganglia and enteric ganglia of the peripheric nervous system.


Dr. rer. nat. Jochen Holzschuh - CV


Education and professional experience:

  • 1990 – 1996
    Studies in Biology at the University of Heidelberg with emphasis in Zoology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology
  • 1991 – 1996
    Worked as an undergraduate in the aquatic toxicology laboratory of PD.Dr. Thomas Braunbeck
  • 1996 – 1997
    Diploma thesis at the University of Heidelberg in the Laboratory of “Untersuchungen zur Komplementierung von Cytotoxizitätstests mit permanenten Fischzellkulkturen durch S9-Präparate aus Fische und Säugern“
  • 1997 – 1998
    I pursued neuroscience as a Ph.D. student with Prof. C. Grothe Institut of Anatomy II University Freiburg working on the function of the 18 kD and 21/23 kD fibroblast growth factor-2 isoforms in neuronal differentiation. I became more interested in Developmental Neuroscience and transferred to Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Driever Department of Developmental Biology, Biology I, University of Freiburg.
  • 1998 – 2002
    Ph. D, studies in the laboratory of Prof. Wolfgang Driever at the University of Freiburg “Genetic analyses of the development of the catecholaminergic system in zebrafish”
  • 2002 – 2004
    Postdoc at the Dept. of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, Irvine USA in the laboratory of Dr. T. Schilling, studying the development of placodal derived sensory neurons in zebrafish
  • Dez. 2004 - Dec 2010
    Junior group leader (Wissenschaftlicher Assistent, C1), University of Freiburg, Biology I, Dept. of Developmental Biology.
  • Since Dec. 2010
    Senior Scientist / Lecturer (Akademischer Rat), University of Freiburg, Biology I, Dept. of Developmental Biology.




  • Reichenbach B., Kolmogorova, E., Prier, A., Nguyen, T., Delalande, JM., Smith, C., Holzschuh, J.* and Shepherd, IT.* (2007) * contributed equally to this work Endoderm derived Sonic hedgehog and mesoderm Hand 2 expression are required for enteric nervous system development in Zebafish. . Submitted Dev. Biol. S-07-00896
  • Filippi, A., Dürr, K., Ryu, S., Willaredt, M., Holzschuh, J., and Driever W (2007) Expression and function of nr4a2, lmx1b, and pitx3 in zebrafish dopaminergic and noradrenergic neuronal development. BMC Devel. Biol. 2007 Dec 5;7(1):135
  • Ryu S, Mahler J, Acampora D, Holzschuh J, Erhardt S, Omodei D, Simeone A, Driever W. (2007) Orthopedia homeodomain protein is essential for diencephalic dopaminergic neuron development. Curr Biol. 2007 May 15;17(10):873-80
  • Isken, A., Holzschuh, J., Lampert, JM., Fischer, L., Oberhauser, V., Palczewski, K. and Lintig, J. v. (2006) Sequestration of retinyl ester is essential for retinoid signaling in the zebrafish embryo. J Biol Chem. 2007 Jan 12;282(2):1144-51
  • Ettl, AK., Holzschuh, J. and Driever, W. (2006) The zebrafish mutation m865 affects formation of dopaminergic neurons and neuronal survival, and maps to agenetic interval containing the sepiapterin reductase locus. Anat Embryol (Berl). 2006 Dec;211 Suppl 1:73-86.
  • Dürr, K., Holzschuh, J., Filippi, A., Ettl, AK., Ryu, S., Shepherd, IT., and Driever W. (2006) Differential roles of transcriptional mediator complex subunits Crsp34/Med27, Crsp150/Med14, and Trap100/Med24 during zebrafish retinal development Genetics 174(2):693-705
  • Ryu, S., Holzschuh, J., Erhardt, S., Ettl, AK. and Driever W. (2005) Depletion of Minichromosome Maintenance Protein 5 in the zebrafish retina causes cell cycle defect and apoptosis. PNAS 102 (51):18467-18472
  • Holzschuh, J., Wada, N., Wada, C., Schaffer, A., Javidan, Y., Tallafuß, A., Bally-Cuif, L., Schilling T. (2005) Requirements for endoderm and BMP signaling in sensory neurogenesis in Zebrafisch. Development 132:3731-3742
  • Barrallo Gimeno A., Holzschuh J., Driever W. and EW. Knapik. (2004) The mont blanc gene is essential for cranial and trunk neural crest formation. Development 131 1463 (IF 7,149)
  • Holzschuh, J., Barrallo Gimeno, A., Ettl, A.-K., Knapik, E., and Driever, W. (2003) Noradrenergic neurons in the zebrafish hindbrain are induced by retinoic acid and require mont blanc/Ap-2a for expression of the neurotransmitter phenotype. Development 130:5741-5754. (IF 7,663)
  • Holzschuh, J., Hauptmann, G., and W. Driever (2003). Genetic analysis of the roles of Hh, FGF8 and Nodal signaling during catecholaminergic system development in the zebrafish brain. J Neuroscience 23: 5507-5519. (IF 8,306)
  • Lampert, J.M., Holzschuh, J., Hessel, S., Driever, W., Vogt. K., and von Lintig. J. (2003). Provitamin A conversion to retinal via the {beta},{beta}-carotene-15,15'-oxygenase (bcox) is essential for pattern formation and differentiation during zebrafish embryogenesis. Development 130: 2173-2186. (IF 7,663)
  • Biemar, F., Baraldi, F., Devos, N., Holzschuh, J., Martial, J.A., Driever, W., and Peers, B. (2002) Analysis of meis genes expression in zebrafish suggests a role in the development of organs derived from the endoderm. Dev. Biol. 247(2):259. (IF 5,194)
  • Holzschuh J, Ryu S, Aberger F, Driever W. (2001) Dopamine transporter expression distinguishes dopaminergic neurons from other catecholaminergic neurons in the developing zebrafish embryo. Mech. Dev. 2001 Mar;101(1-2):237-43. (IF3,687)
  • Grothe C, Meisinger C, Holzschuh J, Wewetzer K, Cattini P. (1998) Over-expression of the 18 kD and 21/23 kD fibroblast growth factor-2 isoforms in PC12 cells and Schwann cells results in altered cell morphology and growth. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1998 Jun 1;57(1):97-105. (IF 2,475)
  • Zahn T, Hauck C, Holzschuh J, Braunbeck T. (1995) Acute and sublethal toxicity of seepage waters from garbage dumps to permanent cell lines and primary cultures of hepatocytes from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): a novel approach to environmental risk assessment for chemicals and chemical mixtures. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine. 1995 Jan;196(5):455-79.
  • Holzschuh, J., Hollert, H., Islinger, M., Bieberstein, U., Rahman, N., Ruff, N., Braunbeck, T. (1995) Akute Cytotoxizitätstests mit permanenten Fischzellinien aus der Regenbogenforelle (Oncorhynchus mykiss) – ein Vergleich von Methoden und Zellinien. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 88.1: 258.
  • Hauck, C., Holzschuh, J., und Braunbeck T (1994) Bioaktivierung von Cyclophosphamid im Cytotoxizitätstest mit Fischzellen durch Supplementierung mit S9-Proteinfraktionen aus Säugetieren und Fischen. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges. 87.1: 258.


Review article


  • Ryu, S, Holzschuh J., Mahler, J. and Driever, W. Genetic analysis of dopaminergic system development in zebrafish. J. Neural. Transm Suppl. (2006) 70: 61–6


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