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Dr. Wolfgang Baeumer, DrMedVet, Dip. ECVPT

Wolfgang Baeumer

Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Phone (office): 919.513.1885
Fax: 919.513.3044


Postdoctoral lecture qualification (Dr. habil) for Parmacology and Toxicology, February 2007
School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany

Dr. med. vet. (Pharmacology), December 1999
School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany

Graduated in Veterinary Medicine, November 1997
School of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany

Research Area

My research focus is in the field of immunopharmacology. Currently, two pharmacological targets, the histamine H4 receptor and sphingosine-1-phosphate agonists are studied with emphasis on treating allergic skin diseases.

Investigation on the role of histamine H4 receptor as compared to other receptors in allergic inflammation of the skin

This project is funded by the German Research Foundation and is carried out in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Manfred Kietzmann, Prof. Dr. Ralf Gutzmer and Prof. Dr. Thomas Werfel from the Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Hannover.

Histamine (2 - (4-imidazolyl) ethylamine) is a biogenic amine that is also called a tissue hormone. After the discovery of the histamine H4 receptor (H4R) in 2000, the role of histamine in the formation of the (allergic) inflammation and itching has to be re-visited. The histamine H4 receptor has been functionally characterized in several immune cells involved in allergic diseases. Another important symptom of atopic dermatitis (in dogs as well as in humans) is itch. Itching is mediated via the H4R in mice. Allergen-induced itch can be blocked in mice by the highly selective H4R antagonists. The H4R was recently functionally described in skin innervating neurons by our group.

Role of sphingosine-1-phosphate as a modulator of allergic skin diseases

This project is also funded by the German Research Foundation and is carried out in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Burkhard Kleuser, University of Potsdam.

Sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) is a unique lipid as it is part of the lipid fraction securing the epidermal permeability barrier on the one hand, on the other hand it has been shown to act as a critical signalling molecule and to elicit a variety of partially contrasting cellular effects.

Own studies in a mouse model of allergic dermatitis revealed that topical administration of S1P impairs Langerhans cell (LC) migration through the skin via internalisation of the S1P1 and S1P3 receptors. This impaired LC migration is accompanied by a diminished local lymph node reaction in the sensitization phase and an impaired inflammatory reaction in the elicitation phase of allergic contact dermatitis. These findings indicate that S1P has local immunosuppressive activity in the epidermis and that reduced S1P levels by an enhanced S1P lyase activity in skin might be involved in Langerhans cell activation and exacerbation of the allergic inflammatory action observed in affected skin lesions of atopic dermatitis. Thus we examined the concentration of S1P in the skin and in plasma of dogs with atopic dermatitis compared to dogs with healthy skin. Results revealed a significantly lower content of S1P in the (lesional) skin and in the plasma of atopic dogs. At the same time the S1P lyase activity is increased dramatically. This suggests a dysregulation of S1P/S1P-lyase axis and confirmed at least for the dog our hypothesis that an imbalance in the S1P pathway in atopic dermatitis is present.

At this time, we intend to translate the research focus from mice to dogs, as atopic dogs are an important target species for veterinary sciences but they represent also an interesting animal model for human atopic dermatitis.

Selected Publications

Japtok L, Schaper K, Bäumer W, Radeke HH, Jeong SK, Kleuser B. (2012) Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Modulates Antigen Capture by Murine Langerhans Cells via the S1P(2) Receptor Subtype. PLoS One;7(11):e49427

Stahl J, Paps J, Bäumer W, Olivry T. (2012) Dermatophagoides farinae house dust mite allergen challenges reduce stratum corneum ceramides in an experimental dog model of acute atopic dermatitis. Vet Dermatol. Dec;23(6):497-e97

Gschwandtner M, Bunk H, Köther G, Thurmond RL, Kietzmann M, Werfel T, Bäumer W, Gutzmer R (2012). Histamine down-regulates IL-27 production in antigen presenting cells J. Leukoc. Biol. 92, 21-29

Rossbach K, Nassenstein C, Gschwandtner M, Schnell D, Sander K, Seifert R, Stark H, Kietzmann M, Bäumer W. (2011) Histamine H(1), H(3) and H(4) receptors are involved in pruritus. Neuroscience. 190: 89-102

Bäumer W., J Stahl, K Sander, L J. Petersen, J Paps, H Stark, M Kietzmann, T Olivry (2011) Lack of preventing effect of systemically and topically administered histamine H1 or H4 receptor antagonists in a dog model of acute atopic dermatitis Exp. Dermatol 20(7):577-81

Bäumer, W, Roßbach, K, Mischke, R, Reines I., Langbein-Detsch, I, Lüth, A., Kleuser, B. (2011) Decreased concentration and enhanced metabolism of sphingosine-1-phosphate in lesional skin of dogs with atopic dermatitis –disturbed sphingosine-1-phosphate homeostasis in atopic dermatitis. J. Invest. Dermatol. 131:266-268

Gschwandtner M, Rossbach K, Dijkstra D, Bäumer W, Kietzmann M, Stark H, Werfel T, and Gutzmer G (2010). Murine and Human Langerhans Cells Express a Functional Histamine H4 Receptor: Modulation of Cell Migration and Function. Allergy 65, 840-849

Rossbach K, Stark H, Sander K, Leurs R., Kietzmann M., Bäumer W (2009). The histamine H4 receptor as a new target for treatment of canine inflammatory skin diseases Vet. Dermatol. 20, 555-561

Reines I., Kietzmann, M., Mischke, R., Tschernig, T., Lüth, A., Kleuser, B., Bäumer, W. (2009). Topical application of sphingosine-1-phosphate and FTY720 attenuate allergic contact dermatitis reaction through inhibition of dendritic cell migration. J. Invest. Dermatol; 129(8):1954-1962

Rossbach, K., Wendorff, S., Sander, K., Stark, H., Gutzmer, R., Werfel, T., Kietzmann, M., Bäumer, W. (2009). Histamine H4 receptor antagonism reduces hapten-induced scratching behaviour but not inflammation. Exp. Dermatol. 18, 57-63 Gschwandtner, M., Purwar, R., Wittmann, M., Bäumer, W., Kietzmann, M., Werfel, T., Gutzmer, R. (2008). Histamine up-regulates keratinocyte MMP-9 production via the histamine H1 receptor. J. Invest. Dermatol. 128, 2783-9

Bäumer, W., Wendorff S., Gutzmer, R., Werfel, T, Dijkstra D, Chazot, P., Stark, H, Kietzmann M. (2008). Histamine H4 receptors modulate dendritic cell migration through skin. Immunomodulatory role of histamine. Allergy 63, 1387-1394