Dr. Oliver Schlüter European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen – European Neuroscience Institute, Göttingen

  • Alumni

Molecular Neurobiology

  • European Neuroscience Institute Göttingen
  • [email protected]
  • +49-551-39-10374
  • +49-551-39 12346
  • Germany

About Dr. Oliver Schlüter

Activity-dependent modulations of synaptic transmission are key mechanisms of information processing and storage in neuronal circuits. A variety of related but mechanistically distinct forms of synaptic plasticity have been described in in vitro preparations of brain slices.

A major goal of my laboratory is to elucidate the underlying molecular events, leading to and regulating changes in synaptic efficacy. Newly developed techniques of molecular replacement, using mouse genetics and/or viral-mediated gene transfer allow us to manipulate the molecular composition of single neurons in a spatial and temporal controlled manner.

In particular, we are able to investigate the effects of heterologously expressed proteins on the background of wild-type neurons, or neurons, in which the endogenous protein expression is diminished. We combine this technique with simultaneous dual whole cell patch clamp recordings from rodent brain slices to monitor changes in synaptic efficacy in the manipulated cell in comparison to the neighboring control cell.

Knowledge gained from the understanding of molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission and plasticity will ultimately provide important clues for the function of neural circuits and potentially the functioning of the brain.

Selected publications:

  1. Fitzgerald PJ, Pinard CR, Camp MC, Feyder M, Sah A, Bergstrom HC, Graybeal C, Liu Y, Schlüter OM, Grant SG, Singewald N, Xu W, Holmes A (2015). Durable fear memories require PSD-95. Mol Psychiatry doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.161.
  2. Ma Y-Y, Lee BR, Wang X, Guo C, Liu L, Cui R, Lan R, Lan Y, Balcita-Pedicino JJ, Wolf ME, Sesack SR, Shaham Y, Schlüter OM, Huang YH, Dong Y (2014). Bidirectional Modulation of Incubation of Cocaine Craving by Silent Synapse-Based Remodeling of Prefrontal Cortex to Accumbens Projections. Neuron 83(6): 1453-67.
  3. Greifzu F, Pielecka-Fortuna J, Kalogeraki E, Krempler K, Favaro PD, Schlüter OM, Löwel S (2014). Environmental enrichment extends ocular dominance plasticity into adulthood and protects from stroke-induced impairments of plasticity. PNAS 111(3):1150-5.
  4. Lee BR*, Ma Y*, Huang YH, Wang X, Otaka M, Ishikawa M, Neumann PA, Graziane NM, Brown TE, Suska A, Guo C, Lobo MK, Sesack SR, Wolf ME, Nestler EJ, Shaham Y, Schlüter OM, Dong Y# (2013). Maturation of silent synapses in amygdala-accumbens projection contributes to incubation of cocaine craving. Nat Neurosci 16(11): 1644-51.
  5. Krüger JM, Favaro PD, Liu M, Kitlinska A, Huang X, Raabe M, Akad DS, Liu Y, Urlaub H, Dong Y, Xu W, Schlüter OM (2013). Differential roles of Postsynaptic Density-93 isoforms in regulating synaptic transmission. J Neurosci 33(39): 15504-17.
  6. Bonnet SA*, Akad DS*, Samaddar T, Liu Y, Huang X, Dong Y, Schlüter OM (2013). Synaptic state-dependent functional interplay between Postsynaptic Density-95 and Synapse-associated Protein 102. J Neurosci 33(33):13398-409.
  7. Ishikawa M, Otaka M, Huang YH, Neumann PA, Winters BD, Grace AA, Schlüter OM#, Dong Y# (2013). Dopamine triggers heterosynaptic plasticity. J Neurosci 33(16):6759-65. 
  8. Suska A, Lee BR, Huang YH, Dong Y#, Schlüter OM# (2013). Selective presynaptic enhancement of the prefrontal cortex to nucleus accumbens pathway by cocaine. PNAS 110(2):713-8.
  9. Winters BD*, Krüger JM*, Huang X, Gallaher ZR, Ishikawa M, Czaja K, Krueger JM, Huang YH, Schlüter OM#, Dong Y# (2012). Cannabinoid receptor 1-expressing neurons in nucleus accumbens. PNAS 109(40):E2717-25.
  10. Brown TE, Lee BR, Mu P, Ferguson D, Dietz D, Ohnishi YN, Lin Y, Suska A, Ishikawa M, Huang YH, Shen H, Kalivas PW, Sorg BA, Zukin RS, Nestler EJ, Dong Y#, Schlüter OM# (2011). A silent synapse-based mechanism for cocaine-induced locomotor sensitization. J Neurosci 31(22):8163-74.
  11. Huang YH, Lin Y, Mu P, Lee BR, Brown TE, Wayman G, Marie H, Liu W, Yan Z, Sorg BA, Schlüter OM, Zukin RS, Dong Y# (2009). In vivo cocaine experience generates silent synapses. Neuron 63(1):40-7.
  12. Bhattacharyya S, Biou V, Xu W, Schlüter O, Malenka RC (2009). A critical role for PSD-95/AKAP interactions in endocytosis of synaptic AMPA receptors. Nat Neurosci 12(2):172-81. 
  13. Gallardo G., Schlüter OM, Südhof TC (2008). A molecular pathway of neurodegeneration linking alpha-synuclein to ApoE and Abeta peptides. NatNeurosci 11(3):301-8. 
  14. Xu* W, Schlüter* OM, Steiner P, Czervionke BL, Sabatini B, Malenka RC (2008). Molecular Dissociation of the Role of PSD-95 in Regulating Synaptic Strength and LTD. Neuron 57(2):248-62.
  15. Schlüter* OM, Xu* W, Malenka RC (2006). Alternative N-terminal domains of PSD-95 and SAP97 govern activity-dependent regulation of synaptic AMPA receptor function. Neuron 51(1):99-111.
  16. Schlüter OM, Basu J, Südhof TC, Rosenmund C (2006). Rab3 superprimes synaptic vesicles for release: implications for short-term synaptic plasticity. J Neurosci 26(4):1239-46.
  17. Chandra S, Gallardo G, Fernandez-Chacon R, Schlüter OM, Südhof TC (2005). Alpha-synuclein cooperates with CSPa in preventing neurodegeneration. Cell 123(3):383-96. 
  18. Fornai, F, Schlüter OM, Lenzi P, Gesi M, Ruffoli R, Ferrucci M, Lazzeri G, Busceti CL, Pontarelli F, Battaglia G, Pellegrini A, Nicoletti F, Ruggieri S, Paparelli A, Südhof TC# (2005). Parkinson-like syndrome induced by continuous MPTP infusion: Convergent roles of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and a-synuclein. PNAS 102(9):3413-18.
  19. Schlüter OM, Schmitz F, Jahn R, Rosenmund C, Südhof TC (2004). A complete genetic analysis of neuronal Rab3 function. J Neurosci 24(29):6629-37. 


  1. Huang YH, Schlüter OM, Dong Y (2015). Silent Synapses Speak Up: Updates of the Neural Rejuvenation Hypothesis of Drug Addiction. Neuroscientist pii: 1073858415579405.
  2. Huang YH, Schlüter OM, Dong Y (2013). An unusual suspect in cocaine addiction. Neuron 80(4):835-6. 
  3. Huang YH, Schlüter OM, Dong Y (2011). Cocaine-induced homeostatic regulation and dysregulation of nucleus accumbens neurons. Behav Brain Res 216(1):9-18. 
  4. Fiala A, Suska A, Schlüter OM (2010). Optogenetic Approaches in Neuroscience. Cur Biol 20(20):R897-903. 

Technical Expertise

  • patch clamp 
  • optophysiology
  • organotypic slice cultures 
  • mouse genetics 
  • shRNA 
  • viral vectors