My research covers all aspects of neuroimmune interactions in the peripheral and central nervous system.

Michaela Kress
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med.

Department of Physiology and Biomedical Physics

Innbruck Medical University



Current SPIN Students
Current Research

MK’s research interests cover all aspects of neuroimmune interactions in the peripheral and central nervous system. The lab investigates mutual signals of immune cells and neurons specifically in the peripheral nerve and dorsal root ganglia that are critically involved in processes modulating nociception.


One focus is on the expression and functional regulation of sensory neuron specific transducer ion channels but also voltage-gated sodium channels and chloride channels. Several transgenic mouse models are available to assess the importance of gp130 dependent cytokines for peripheral nerve regeneration following experimental nerve injury and the role of these cytokines for the local immune response at the injury site but also in the spinal cord with particular focus on microglia.

The scientific interests include bioactive lipids and their importance in nociception but also in synaptic plasticity involved in learning and memory as well as cognitive processes in the brain. MK has broad expertise in analysis of sensory neuron function and dysfunction in chronic pain models and applies an interdisciplinary approach to assess neuroimmune signals for pain pathophysiology with a combination of classical whole cell patch-clamp and teased fibre recordings, microfluorimetric calcium measurements, expression analyses (in situ hybridisation, indirect immune fluorescence, qRT-PCR) and rodent behavioural phenotyping (nociception, sensory-motor coordination, memory).


Selected Publications

Sphingosine-1-Phosphate-Induced Nociceptor Excitation and Ongoing Pain Behavior in Mice and Humans Is Largely Mediated by S1P3 Receptor. Camprubí-Robles M, Mair N, Andratsch N, Benetti C, Beroukas D, Rukwied R, Langeslag M, Proia RL, Schmelz M, Ferrer Montiel AV, Haberberger RV, Kress MJ. Neurosci. (in press)

Construction of a global pain systems network highlights phospholipid signaling as a regulator of heat nociception. Neely GG, Rao S, Costigan M, Mair N, Racz I, Milinkeviciute G, Meixner A, Nayanala S, Griffin RS, Belfer I, Dai F, Smith S, Diatchenko L, Marengo S, Haubner BJ, Novatchkova M, Gibson D, Maixner W, Pospisilik JA, Hirsch E, Whishaw IQ, Zimmer A, Gupta V, Sasaki J, Kanaho Y, Sasaki T, Kress M, Woolf CJ, Penninger JM. PLoS Genet. Epub 2012 Dec 6.

Genetic evidence for an essential role of neuronally expressed IL-6 signal transducer gp130 in the induction and maintenance of experimentally induced mechanical hypersensitivity in vivo and in vitro. Quarta S, Vogl C, Constantin CE, Üçeyler N, Sommer C, Kress M. Mol Pain. 2011 Sep 27;7:73. 

A key role for gp130 expressed on peripheral sensory nerves in pathological pain.
Andratsch M, Mair N, Constantin CE, Scherbakov N, Benetti C, Quarta S, Vogl C, Sailer CA, Uceyler N, Brockhaus J, Martini R, Sommer C, Zeilhofer HU, Müller W, Kuner R, Davis JB, Rose-John S, Kress M. J Neurosci. 2009 Oct 28.

Fast modulation of heat-activated ionic current by proinflammatory interleukin 6 in rat sensory neurons. Obreja O, Biasio W, Andratsch M, Lips KS, Rathee PK, Ludwig A, Rose-John S, Kress M. Brain. 2005 Jul;128(Pt 7):1634-41. Epub 2005 Apr 7.