Professional Education

  • Staatsexamen, Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz (2009)
  • Doctor of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz (2011)
  • M.D., Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz, Medicine (2009)

Stanford Advisors

Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


Journal Articles

  • Angiotensin II-Induced Vascular Dysfunction Depends on Interferon-?-Driven Immune Cell Recruitment and Mutual Activation of Monocytes and NK-Cells. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology Kossmann, S., Schwenk, M., Hausding, M., Karbach, S. H., Schmidgen, M. I., Brandt, M., Knorr, M., Hu, H., Kröller-Schön, S., Schönfelder, T., Grabbe, S., Oelze, M., Daiber, A., Münzel, T., Becker, C., Wenzel, P. 2013; 33 (6): 1313-1319


    Immune cells contribute to angiotensin II (ATII)-induced vascular dysfunction and inflammation. Interferon-? (IFN-?), an inflammatory cytokine exclusively produced by immune cells, seems to be involved in ATII-driven cardiovascular injury, but the actions and cellular source of IFN-? remain incompletely understood. APPROACH AND RESULTS: IFN-?(-/-) and Tbx21(-/-) mice were partially protected from ATII-induced (1 mg/kg per day of ATII, infused subcutaneously by miniosmotic pumps) vascular endothelial and smooth muscle dysfunction, whereas mice overexpressing IFN-? showed constitutive vascular dysfunction. Absence of T-box expressed in T cells (T-bet), the IFN-? transcription factor encoded by Tbx21, reduced vascular superoxide and peroxynitrite formation and attenuated expression of nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase subunits as well as inducible NO synthase, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, and interleukin-12 in aortas of ATII-infused mice. Compared with controls, IFN-?(-/-) and Tbx21(-/-) mice were characterized by reduced ATII-mediated vascular recruitment of both natural killer (NK)1.1(+) NK-cells as the major producers of IFN-? and CD11b(+)Gr-1(low) interleukin-12 secreting monocytes. Selective depletion and adoptive transfer experiments identified NK-cells as essential contributors to vascular dysfunction and showed that T-bet(+)lysozyme M(+) myelomonocytic cells were required for NK-cell recruitment into vascular tissue and local IFN-? production.We provide first evidence that NK-cells play an essential role in ATII-induced vascular dysfunction. In addition, we disclose the T-bet-IFN-? pathway and mutual monocyte-NK-cell activation as potential therapeutic targets in cardiovascular disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.301437

    View details for PubMedID 23520167

  • Deep vein thrombus formation induced by flow reduction in mice is determined by venous side branches. Clinical hemorheology and microcirculation Brandt, M., Schönfelder, T., Schwenk, M., Becker, C., Jäckel, S., Reinhardt, C., Stark, K., Massberg, S., Münzel, T., von Brühl, M. L., Wenzel, P. 2013


    BACKGROUND: Interaction between vascular wall abnormalities, inflammatory leukocytes, platelets, coagulation factors and hemorheology in the pathogenesis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is incompletely understood, requiring well defined animal models of human disease. METHODS AND RESULTS: We subjected male C57BL/6 mice to ligation of the inferior vena cava (IVC) as a flow reduction model to induce DVT. Thrombus size and weight were analyzed macroscopically and sonographically by B-mode, pulse wave (pw) Doppler and power Doppler imaging (PDI) using highfrequency ultrasound. Thrombus size varied substantially between individual procedures and mice, irrespective of the flow reduction achieved by the ligature. Interestingly, PDI accurately predicted thrombus size in a very robust fashion (r2 = 0.9734, p < 0.0001). Distance of the insertion of side branches from the ligation suture significantly determines thrombus weight (r2 = 0.5597, p < 0.0001) and length (r2 = 0.5441, p < 0.0001) in the IVC, regardless of the flow measured by pw-Doppler with distances <1.5 mm drastically impairing thrombus formation. Occlusion of side branches prior to ligation of IVC did not increase thrombus size, probably due to patent side branches inaccessible to surgery. CONCLUSION: Venous side branches influence thrombus size in experimental DVT and might therefore prevent thrombus formation. This renders vessel anatomy and hemorheology important determinants in mouse models of DVT, which should be controlled for.

    View details for PubMedID 23403491

  • Chronic Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy of Interferon gamma-Overexpressing Transgenic Mice Is Mediated by Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PATHOLOGY Torzewski, M., Wenzel, P., Kleinert, H., Becker, C., El-Masri, J., Wiese, E., Brandt, M., Pautz, A., Twardowski, L., Schmitt, E., Muenzel, T., Reifenberg, K. 2012; 180 (1): 73-81


    We recently described a model of inflammatory cardiomyopathy in interferon (IFN)-? overexpressing transgenic mice stably circulating IFN-? in the serum referred to as SAP--IFN-? mice. SAP-IFN-? transgenic mice show cardiac infiltration by mononuclear leukocytes, culminating in dilated cardiomyopathy characterized by an increase of left ventricular end diastolic diameter and reduction of fractional shortening. We hypothesized that the pathological mechanism underlying SAP-IFN-? cardiomyopathy might be mediated by (auto)immune processes or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-? synthesis from IFN-?-activated macrophages. To verify these hypotheses, we crossed SAP-IFN-? transgenic mice with immunodeficient Rag1(-/-) or TNF-?(-/-) knockout mice and analyzed the cardiac phenotype of the resulting double-mutant offspring. Immunodeficient Rag1(-/-) SAP-IFN-? mice had a decreased impaired life span and intensive cardiac inflammatory reactions, showing that the cardiotoxic IFN-? effect operative in SAP-IFN-? mice was not mediated by an adaptive immune mechanism. SAP-IFN-? TNF-?(-/-) hearts showed virtually no histopathological alterations, a significant reduction of cardiac infiltration by CD11c(+) dendritic cells and F4/80(+) macrophages, almost complete normalization of cardiac troponin T levels in serum and of left ventricular end diastolic diameter and fractional shortening, and a dramatic increase of life span, compared with SAP-IFN-? transgenic controls. Thus, myocarditis and cardiomyopathy developing in IFN-?-overexpressing transgenic mice is, to a significant degree, mediated by TNF-?. TNF-?-mediated cardiotoxicity in SAP-IFN-? transgenic mice is independent of changes of apoptosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.09.006

    View details for Web of Science ID 000298976000009

    View details for PubMedID 22051774

  • Mechanisms underlying recoupling of eNOS by HMG-CoA reductase inhibition in a rat model of streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus ATHEROSCLEROSIS Wenzel, P., Daiber, A., Oelze, M., Brandt, M., Closs, E., Xu, J., Thum, T., Bauersachs, J., Ertl, G., Zou, M., Foerstermann, U., Muenzel, T. 2008; 198 (1): 65-76


    HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have been shown to upregulate GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH-I), the key enzyme for tetrahydrobiopterin de novo synthesis and to normalize tetrahydrobiopterin levels in hyperglycemic endothelial cells. We sought to determine whether in vivo treatment with the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor atorvastatin is able to upregulate the GTPCH-I, to recouple eNOS and to normalize endothelial dysfunction in an experimental model of diabetes mellitus.In male Wistar rats, diabetes was induced by streptozotocin (STZ, 60 mg/kg). In STZ rats, atorvastatin feeding (20 mg/kg/d, 7 weeks), normalized vascular dysfunction as analyzed by isometric tension studies, levels of circulating endothelial progenitor cells (FACS-analysis), superoxide formation (assessed by lucigenin-enhanced chemiluminescence and dihydroethidium staining), vascular levels of the phosphorylated vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (P-VASP), tyrosine nitration of the prostacyclin synthase, expression of GTPCH-I, dihydrofolate reductase and eNOS, translocation of regulatory NADPH oxidase subunits rac1, p47phox and p67phox (assessed by Western blot) and vascular tetrahydrobiopterin levels as measured by HPLC. Dihydroethidine staining revealed that the reduction of vascular superoxide was at least in part due to eNOS recoupling.HMG-CoA reductase inhibition normalizes endothelial function and reduces oxidative stress in diabetes by inhibiting activation of the vascular NADPH oxidase and by preventing eNOS uncoupling due to an upregulation of the key enzyme of tetrahydrobiopterin synthesis, GTPCH-I.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2007.10.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000255491800008

    View details for PubMedID 18061195

  • Number of nitrate groups determines reactivity and potency of organic nitrates: a proof of concept study in ALDH-2(-/-) mice BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHARMACOLOGY Wenzel, P., Hink, U., Oelze, M., Seeling, A., Isse, T., Bruns, K., Steinhoff, L., Brandt, M., Kleschyov, A. L., Schulz, E., Lange, K., Weiner, H., Lehmann, J., Lackner, K. J., Kawamoto, T., Muenzel, T., Daiber, A. 2007; 150 (4): 526-533


    Mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH-2) has been shown to provide a pathway for bioactivation of organic nitrates and to be prone to desensitization in response to highly potent, but not to less potent, nitrates. We therefore sought to support the hypothesis that bioactivation by ALDH-2 critically depends on the number of nitrate groups within the nitrovasodilator.Nitrates with one (PEMN), two (PEDN; GDN), three (PETriN; glyceryl trinitrate, GTN) and four (pentaerithrityl tetranitrate, PETN) nitrate groups were investigated. Vasodilatory potency was measured in isometric tension studies using isolated aortic segments of wild type (WT) and ALDH-2-/- mice. Activity of the cGMP-dependent kinase-I (reflected by levels of phosphorylated VAsodilator Stimulated Phosphoprotein, P-VASP) was quantified by Western blot analysis, mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity by HPLC. Following incubation of isolated mitochondria with PETN, PETriN-chromophore and PEDN, metabolites were quantified using chemiluminescence nitrogen detection and mass spectrometry.Compared to WT, vasorelaxation in response to PETN, PETriN and GTN was attenuated about 10fold in ALDH-2-/- mice, identical to WT vessels preincubated with inhibitors of ALDH-2. Reduced vasodilator potency correlated with reduced P-VASP formation and diminished biotransformation of the tetranitrate- and trinitrate-compounds. None of these findings were observed for PEDN, GDN and PEMN.Our results support the crucial role of ALDH-2 in bioactivating highly reactive nitrates like GTN, PETN and PETriN. ALDH-2-mediated relaxation by organic nitrates therefore depends mainly on the number of nitrate groups. Less potent nitrates like PEDN, GDN and PEMN are apparently biotransformed by other pathways.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/sj.bjp.0707116

    View details for Web of Science ID 000244386900018

    View details for PubMedID 17220910

Stanford Medicine Resources: