Lehrstuhl I Anatomie



AG Prof. Horn-Bochtler

PD Dr.rer.nat. Anja Horn-Bochtler, Research Group Leader
Anatomische Anstalt, Lehrstuhl I
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
Pettenkoferstrasse 11
(Postadresse: Pettenkoferstr. 12)
D- 80336 München

Curriculum Vitae

Date of birth: 26th of July, 1960
Scientific Career
2009 - Research Group Leader, Institute of Anatomy, LMU
Associated faculty member of the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences
1997 -   2009 Senior scientist at the Institute of Anatomy, LMU
1991 – 1995 Postdoc, Institute of Neuropathology, LMU

Academic Education

1997 Habilitation (Zoology), Faculty of Biology, LMU
1986 – 1990 PhD Dissertation, Faculty of Biology, LMU
1979 – 1986 Diplom in Biologie, Universität Ulm


1990-1991 Postdoc NATO fellowship from DAAD, Dept. of Neurobiology & Behavior, State University at Stony Brook, New York, USA
1996- 1997 Grant from the DFG for the “Habilitation”


Lectures: Funktionelle Morphologie I Neuroanatomy, Faculty of Medicine, MeCum
Seminar: Organzentriertes Seminar mit klinischen Bezügen, MeCum
Lab rotations: Neuroanatomy of the oculomotor system (biology students)
Practical course: Basic course in Neurobiology (biology students)
Practical course: Functional neuroanatomy of the human brain (biology students)

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Research projects:

Neuroanatomy of the oculomotor and vestibular system

In vertebrates the eyes are moved by three pairs of extraocular muscles, which are innervated by motoneurons in the brainstem. There are 6 types of eye movments (vestibulo-ocular and optokinetic reflex, saccades, smooth pursuit, vergence and fixation) which are controlled by independent premotor networks that converge on the motoneurons. Recent work by our group showed that there are two sets of motoneurons which innervate two different types of muscle fibres, singly-innervated twitch- and multiply-innervated tonic muscle fibres. Both muscle fibre types appear to be controlled by different premotor networks implying different functions. Our research focuses on the identification, histochemical characterization and transmitter inputs of functional cell groups that are involved in eye movements in animal studies. In a further step these neuron populations are identified in the human brain by these histochemical properties. Despite the lack of a stretch reflex sensory information reaches the brain from the eye muscles. However, the occurence of classical proprioceptors is highly variable in different vertebrates and often present only in a rudimentary form as in human. One current research project is the investigation of the sensory innervation of the extraocular muscles including the role of the specialized palisade endings only present in eye muscles.


Methods used in our laboratory:

  • Neuroanatomical tract-tracing
  • immunohistochemistry: immunoperoxidase and immunofluorescence
  • computer-based cell plotting (Neurolucida) and morphometry (Image J)
  • enzymatic methods on muscle and brain tissue 
  • routine muscle and brain tissue histology
  • correlative neuroanatomy of the human brain

Group members

Current Research Collaborations

  • O. Ehrt and G. Rudolph, Dept. Ophthalmology, LMU Munich
  • H. Kretzschmar and S. Roeber, Institute of  Neuropathology, LMU Munich
  • M. Mustari, Primate Center, Seattle, Washington, USA
  • P. May, Dept. Anatomy, Jackson, USA
  • H. Ying, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
  • K. Hüfner, Department of Neurology, LMU Munich
  • W. Härtig, Paul Flechsig Inst. Brain Research; University of Leipzig
  • H. Straka, Department Biologie II, LMU
  • J. Erichsen, School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University

Current Funding

  • DFG since 2003: Non-Twitch-muscle fibre system and proprioception in extraocular muscles in mammals • BMBF: IFB - Integriertes Forschungs- und Behandlungszentrum für Schwindel, Gleichgewichts- und Okulomotorikstörungen since 2010: Neuropathological correlates of ocular motor, vestibular and postural deficits in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)
  • NIH; subaward as co-investigator with Prof. May (Jackson, USA) 2010-2015: Midbrain circuitry for neuronal control of gaze

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Selected publications of the last 10 years

  • Horn AKE, Büttner-Ennever JA, Wahle P, Reichenberger I (1994) Neurotransmitter profile of saccadic omnipause neurons in nucleus raphe interpositus. J. Neurosci. 14:2037-2046
  • Horn AKE, Büttner-Ennever JA, Suzuki Y, Henn V (1995) Histological identification of premotor neurons for horizontal saccades in monkey and man by parvalbumin immunostaining. J. Comp. Neurol. 359:350-36310.
  • Büttner-Ennever JA, Cohen B, Horn AKE, Reisine H (1996) Efferent pathways of the nucleus of the optictract (NOT) in monkey and their role in eye movements. J.Comp. Neurol. 373:90-107.
  • Horn AKE, Büttner-Ennever JA (1998) Premotor neurons for vertical eye-movements in the rostral mesencephalon of monkey and man: Histological identification by parvalbumin immunostaining. J. Comp. Neurol. 392:413-427.
  • Averbuch-Heller L, Helmchen C, Horn AKE, Leigh RJ, Büttner-Ennever JA (1998) Slow vertical saccades in motor neuron disease: Correlation of structure and function. Ann. Neurol. 44:641-648.
  • Horn AKE, Büttner-Ennever JA, Gayde M, Messoudi A (2000) Neuroanatomical identification of mesencephalic premotor neurons coordinating eyelid with upgaze in the monkey and man. J. Comp. Neurol. 420:19-34.
  • Arbusow V, Strupp M, Wasicky R, Horn AKE, Schulz P, Brandt T (2000) Detection of herpes simplex virus type 1 in human vestibular nuclei.  Neurology 55:880-882.
  • Büttner-Ennever, JA, Horn AKE, Scherberger H, D`Ascanio P (2001) Motoneurons of twitch and nontwitch extraocular muscle fibers in the abducens, trochlear, and oculomotor nuclei of monkeys.  J.Comp.Neurol. 438:318-335
  • Büttner-Ennever JA, Horn AKE (2002) The neuroanatomical basis of oculomotor disorders: the dual motor control of extraocular muscles and its possible role in proprioception. Curr. Opin. Neurol. 15: 35-43.
  • Horn AKE, Brückner G, Härtig W, Messoudi A (2003) Saccadic omnipause and burst neurons in the primate are ensheathed by perineuronal nets, but differ in their expression of calcium-binding proteins. J. Comp. Neurol. 455:341-352.
  • *Theil D, *Horn AKE, Derfuss T, Strupp M, Arbusow V, Brandt T (2004) Prevalence and distribution of HSV-1, VZV and HHV-6 in human cranial nerve nuclei III, IV, VI, VII, and XII. J. Med. Virol.74:102-106. * equally contributed
  • Eberhorn AC, Horn AKE, Eberhorn N, Fischer P, Boergen K-P, Büttner-Ennever JA (2005) Palisade endings in extraocular eye muscles revealed by SNAP-25 immunoreactivity. J. Anat. 206:307-315.
  • Eberhorn A, Ardeleanu P, Büttner-Ennever JA, Horn, AKE (2005) Histochemical differences between motoneurons supplying multiply and singly innervated extraocular muscle fibers. J. Comp. Neurol. 491:352-366.
  • Eberhorn A, Büttner-Ennever JA, Horn AKE (2006) Identification of motoneurons innervating multiply- or singly-innervated extraocular muscle fibres in the rat. Neuroscience 137:891-903.
  • Horn AKE, Eberhorn A, Härtig W, Ardeleanu P, Messoudi A, Büttner-Ennever JA (2008) Perioculomotor cell groups in monkey and man defined by their histochemical and functional properties: a reappraisal of the Edinger-Westphal nucleus. J. Comp. Neurol. 507: 1317-1335.
  • Fackelmann K, Nouriani A, Horn AKE, Büttner-Ennever JA (2008) Histochemical characterisation of trigeminal neurons that innervate monkey extraocular muscles. Prog. Brain Res. 171: 17-20.
  • Horn AKE, Büttner-Ennever JA (2008) Brainstem circuits controlling lid–eye coordination in monkey. Prog. Brain Res. 171: 87-95.
  • Geiner S, Horn AKE, Wadia NH, Sakai H, Büttner-Ennever JA (2008) The neuroanatomical basis of slow saccades in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (Wadia-subtype). Prog. Brain Res. 171: 575-581.
  • Hüfner K, Horn AKE, Derfuss T, Glon C, Sinicina I, Arbusow V, Strupp M, Brandt T, Theil D (2009) Fewer latent herpes simplex virus type 1 and cytotoxic T cells occur in the ophthalmic division than in the maxillary and mandibular divisions of the human trigeminal ganglion and nerve. J. Virol. 83: 3696–3703.
  • Schreyer S, Büttner-Ennever JA, Tang X, Mustari MJ, Horn AKE (2009) Orexin-A inputs onto visuomotor cell groups in the monkey brainstem. Neuroscience 164: 629-640.
  • Kozicz T, Bittencourt J, May P, Anton R, Gamlin P, Palkovits M, Horn AKE, Toledo C, Ryabinin A (2011) The Edinger-Westphal nucleus: a historical, structural and functional perspective on a dichotomous terminology. J. Comp. Neurol. 519: 1413-1434.
  • Lienbacher K, Mustari M, Ying H, Büttner-Ennever JA, Horn AKE (2011) Do the palisade endings in extraocular muscles arise from neurons in the motonuclei? Invest. Ophthal. Vis. Sci. 52:2510-2519.

Buchartikel (Übersichtsartikel)

  • Büttner-Ennever J.A, Horn A.K.E. (2004) Reticular Formation – Eye Movements, Gaze and Blinks. In Eds. Paxinos G., Mai J.K. “Human Nervous System”, San Diego, Academic Press, pp. 479-510.
  • Horn A.K.E. (2006) The reticular formation. Prog. Brain Res. 151:127-155.
  • McCrea R, Horn A.K.E. (2006) Prepositus nucleus. Prog. Brain Res. 151:205-230.
  • Horn A.K.E., Büttner-Ennever J.A. (2009) Neuroanatomie des Hirnstamms. In: Urban P.P. (ed), Erkrankungen des Hirnstamms, Schattauer Verlag, pp: 1-34.
  • Horn AKE, Leigh J (2011) The anatomy and physiology of the ocular motor system. In Kennard C and Leigh RJ, eds. Neuro-ophthalmology, Handbook of clinical neurology, Elsevier 102: 21-69.