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Stefan Bittner

Age-related Alterations in CNS Immunosurveillance

The group of Stefan Bittner is located at the PKZI building in close proximity to the Department of Neurology, allowing a close interaction between clinic and laboratory and direct access to human-related material. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is in direct contact with CNS tissue, and information obtained from CSF samples – routinely acquired in clinical practice – allows us to noninvasively investigate soluble proteins and immune cells involved in neurological disorders. Using powerful techniques such as single cell sequencing and single molecule array, we aim to understand age-related changes and pathological alterations in the immunosurveillance of the CNS.

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2021: Managing Senior Physician (Geschäftsführender Oberarzt)
  • Since 2015: Senior Physician and Head of Section Neuroimmunology at the Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Mainz
  • Since 2015: W2 Professor of Neuroimmunology at the Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Mainz, Head of Research Group for Experimental Neuroimmunology, Deputy of the Director for Research and Teaching
  • 2011 - 2015: Residency and Head of Junior Research Group at the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research (IZKF) Münster (SEED Program), University Hospital Münster


  • 2004 - 2010: Medicine (MD), University of Würzburg, Germany
  • 2003 - 2007: BSc in Biomedicine, University of Würzburg, Germany

Selected publications by Stefan Bittner

Bittner S, Oh J, Havrdova EK, Tintore M and Zipp F (2021) The potential of serum neurofilament as biomarker for multiple sclerosisBrain, doi: 10.1093/brain/awab241 Link

Wasser B, Luchtman D, Löffel J, Robohm K, Birkner K, Stroh A, Vogelaar CF, Zipp F and Bittner S (2020) Myeloid cells capture living CNS-invading T cells during neuroinflammation. J Exp Med, 217(6):e20190812 Link

Birkner K, Wasser B, Ruck T, Thalman C, Luchtman, D, Pape, K, Schmaul S, Bitar L, Krämer-Albers EM, Stroh A, Meuth SG, Zipp F and Bittner S (2020) β1-integrin- and KV1.3 channel-dependent signalling stimulates glutamate release from Th17 cells. J Clin Invest, 130(2):715–732 Link

Ellwardt E, Pramanik G, Luchtman D, Novkovic T, Jubal ER, Vogt J, Arnoux I, Vogelaar CF, Mandal S, Schmalz M, Barger Z, Ruiz de Azua I, Kuhlmann T, Lutz B, Mitmann T, Bittner S, Zipp F and Stroh A (2018) Maladaptive cortical hyperactivity upon recovery from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Nat Neurosci, 21(10):1392–1403 Link

Bittner S, Ruck T, Schuhmann MK, Herrmann AM, Moha ou Maati H, Bobak N, Göbel K, Langhauser F, Stegner D, Ehling P, Borsotto M, Pape HC, Nieswandt B, Kleinschnitz C, Heurteaux C, Galla HJ, Budde T, Wiendl H and Meuth SG (2013) Endothelial TWIK-related potassium channel-1 (TREK1) regulates immune-cell trafficking into the CNS. Nat Med, 19:1161–5 Link