Christian Klämbt

Research topic

We are interested in the development and function of Drosophila glial cells. The nervous system comprises six different glial cells types. Within the nervous system several distinct cell types guarantee its functionality. The wrapping glia forms membrane ensheathment around axons in the peripheral nervous system, which resemble the differentiation of vertebrate Schwann cells.  Within this CRC we ask how glial cells can recognize axonal bundles and how they can establish the axonal ensheathment employing advance Drosophila genetics, imaging and biochemistry. Two other glial cell types establish the blood-brain barrier.  We address how this barrier is established and stays intact in the growing organism and we analyze how transport of nutrients is organized across this barrier.  Finally, glial cells such as the ensheathing glia and the astrocyte-like glial cells are able to modulate synaptic function.  We study these properties by using advanced larval tracking hard- and software ( that had been established in the lab.


  • Bauke, A.-C., Sasse, S., Matzat, T., and Klämbt, C. (2015). A transcriptional network controlling glial development in the Drosophila visual system. Development 142, 2184–2193.
  • Franzdóttir, S.R., Engelen, D., Yuva-Aydemir, Y., Schmidt, I., Aho, A., and Klämbt, C. (2009). Switch in FGF signalling initiates glial differentiation in the Drosophila eye. Nature 460, 758–761.
  • Klämbt, C. (2009). Modes and regulation of glial migration in vertebrates and invertebrates. Nat Rev Neurosci 10, 769–779.
  • Matzat, T., Sieglitz, F., Kottmeier, R., Babatz, F., Engelen, D., and Klämbt, C. (2015). Axonal wrapping in the Drosophila PNS is controlled by glia-derived neuregulin homolog Vein. Development 142, 1336–1345.
  • Otto, N., Risse, B., Berh, D., Bittern, J., Jiang, X., and Klämbt, C. (2016). Interactions among Drosophila larvae before and during collision. Sci Rep 6, 31564.
  • Risse, B., Berh, D., Otto, N., Klämbt, C., and Jiang, X. (2017). FIMTrack: An open source tracking and locomotion analysis software for small animals. PLoS Comp Biol 13, e1005530.
  • Risse, B., Thomas, S., Otto, N., Löpmeier, T., Valkov, D., Jiang, X., and Klämbt, C. (2013). FIM, a Novel FTIR-Based Imaging Method for High Throughput Locomotion Analysis. PLoS ONE 8, e53963.
  • Sasse, S., and Klämbt, C. (2016). Repulsive Epithelial Cues Direct Glial Migration along the Nerve. Developmental Cell 39, 696–707.
  • Sieglitz, F., Matzat, T., Yuva-Adyemir, Y., Neuert, H., Altenhein, B., and Klämbt, C. (2013). Antagonistic Feedback Loops Involving Rau and Sprouty in the Drosophila Eye Control Neuronal and Glial Differentiation. Sci Signal 6, ra96.
  • Silies, M., and Klämbt, C. (2010). APC/C(Fzr/Cdh1)-dependent regulation of cell adhesion controls glial migration in the Drosophila PNS. Nat Neurosci 13, 1357–1364.
  • Volkenhoff, A., Weiler, A., Letzel, M., Stehling, M., Klämbt, C., and Schirmeier, S. (2015). Glial Glycolysis Is Essential for Neuronal Survival in Drosophila. Cell Metab. 22, 437–447.