Göttinger Graduiertenschule für Neurowissenschaften, Biophysik und Molekulare Biowissenschaften

Pangrsic Vilfan, Tina, Dr.*

Junior Research Group Leader ?

  • 2000: Diploma in flute at the Academy of Music, University of Ljubljana
  • 2001: BSc in Biology at the Biotechnical faculty, University of Ljubljana
  • 2001-2006: PhD study of Biomedicine, Medical School, University of Ljubljana
  • 2006: PhD in Medical Sciences, University of Ljubljana
  • 2007-2012: Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the InnerEarLab, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Göttingen
  • 2013-present: Head of the Junior Research Group "Synaptic physiology of mammalian vestibular hair cells", Institute for Auditory Neuroscience and InnerEarLab, University of Göttingen

Major Research Interests

Our group is interested in the molecular and cellular mechanisms governing the fast encoding of sensory information in the inner ear. Our focus is the neurotransmission in vestibular hair cells (VHCs) of the otolith organs. Vestibular epithelia in higher vertebrates contain two types of hair cells that differ in structure and function. Both encode vestibular signals at unconventional, ribbon synapses and drive some of the fastest and most accurate reflexes in the body. We are particularly interested in the function of a unique calyx synapse of the type I VHC, which has only evolved late in evolution. Patch-clamp recordings together with calcium uncaging and imaging will provide us a comprehensive analysis of excitation and secretion. We further aim at determining synaptic differences among the two types of VHCs, which will provide clues as to their precise functions in balance sensing. To identify the molecular determinants that govern sensory encoding at the vestibular synapse we plan to screen the vestibular function in mice with genetic manipulations expected to affect the synaptic function by behavioural and systems physiology tests. We are planning to investigate mutants with observed vestibular dysfunction using a combination of functional, structural and molecular approaches to gain a better understanding of the vestibular function.
Our group is further interested in the cellular processes that underlie the noise- and drug-induced damage to the cells of the inner ear. The cochlear hair cells, together with the postsynaptic auditory terminals, are very fragile and can be injured or lost following exposure to noise, ototoxic drugs, and also in the process of aging. Such injury usually results in permanent hearing loss. Using state-of-the-art electrophysiology and optical methods we are investigating the biophysics and molecular physiology of cochlear inner hair cell synpases of the noise-exposed ears of mice.

Homepage Department/Research Group



Selected Recent Publications

  • Pangrsic T*, Gabrielaitis M*, Michanski S, Schwaller B, Wolf F, Strenzke N, Moser T. (2015) EF-hand protein Ca2+ buffers regulate Ca2+ influx and exocytosis in sensory hair cells. PNAS 112, E1028-37. *shared first authorship
  • Weiler S, Krinner S, Wong AB, Moser T, Pangr?i? T. (2014) ATP hydrolysis is critically required for function of CaV1.3 channels in cochlear inner hair cells via fueling Ca2+ clearance. J Neurosci. 34, 6843-8.
  • Gregory FD*, Pangrsic T*, Calin-Jageman IE*, Moser T, Lee A. (2013) Harmonin enhances voltage-dependent facilitation of Cav1.3 channels and synchronous exocytosis in mouse inner hair cells. J Physiol. 591, 3253-69.
  • Gregory FD*, Bryan KE*, Pangrsic T*, Calin-Jageman IE, Moser T, Lee A. (2011) Harmonin inhibits presynaptic Cav1.3 Ca2+ channels in mouse inner hair cells. Nat Neurosci. 14, 1109-11.
  • Pangrsic T, Lasarow L, Reuter K, Takago H, Schwander M, Riedel D, Frank T, Tarantino LM, Bailey JS, Strenzke N, Brose N, Müller U, Reisinger E, Moser T. (2010) Hearing requires otoferlin-dependent efficient replenishment of synaptic vesicles in hair cells. Nat Neurosci. 13, 869-876.
  • Rutherford MA, Pangrsic T. (2012) Molecular anatomy and physiology of exocytosis in sensory hair cells. Cell Calcium 52, 327-37. Invited Review.