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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. His research interest is the connection between immunosenescence and autoimmune processes of the CNS. 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, single molecule arrays and proteomics, we aim to understand age-related changes and pathological alterations in the immunosurveillance of the CNS.

Research website

Positions held

  • Since 2023: Schilling Professorship for Personalized Medicine in Neuroimmunology (Hermann and Lilly Schilling Foundation for Medical Research), Head of Department for Translational Neurology
  • Since 2021: Managing Senior Physician (Geschäftsführender Oberarzt)
  • Since 2015: Senior Physician and Head of Neuroimmunology, University Medical Center Mainz
  • Since 2015: Professor of Neuroimmunology, University Medical Center Mainz & Head of the Research Group for Experimental Neuroimmunology


  • 2010: MD, University of Würzburg
  • 2007: BSc in Biomedicine, University of Würzburg

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 sclerosis. Brain, 144:2954-2963 Link

Eschborn M, Pawlitzki M, Wirth T, Nelke C, Pfeuffer S, Schulte-Mecklenbeck A, Lohmann L, Rolfes L, Pape K, Eveslage M, Bittner S, Gross CC, Ruck T, Wiendl H, Meuth SG and Klotz L (2021) Evaluation of age-dependent immune signatures in patients with multiple sclerosis. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm, 8:e1094 Link

Wasser B, Luchtman D, Löffel J, Robohm K, Birkner K, Stroh A, Vogelaar CF, Zipp F and Bittner S (2020) CNS-localized myeloid cells capture living CNS-invading T cells during neuroinflammation. J Exp Med, 217: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, 130:715–732 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 encephalomyelitisNat Neurosci, 21:1392–1403 Link