Prof. Dr. med. Martin Witt


Universitätsmedizin Rostock 
Institut für Anatomie Rostock 
Prof. Dr. med. Martin Witt
Gertrudenstraße 9

18057 Rostock

Tel.: +49 (0)381 - 494 8435 
Fax: +49 (0)381 - 494 8402  
Raum 2.33 
E-Mail: martin.witt{bei}med.uni-rostock.de

Link zur Arbeitsgruppe: AG Chemosensory System

Scientific profile

Functional Morphology of Chemosensory Systems

Our group is currently working on the impact of general neurodegeneration on olfactory acuity. Currently, we use several animal models that mimic defects occurring in human diseases such as Idiopathic Parkinson´s Syndrome, Huntington´s disease or Niemann-Pick disease. Most outcomes are based on immunohistochemical and electron microscopical techniques.

Further interests:

·         Distribution pattern of human olfactory epithelium

·         Characterization of olfactory cell cultures

·         Regenerative potential of the human olfactory system

·         Human olfactory bulb and central olfactory pathways

·         Morphology and immunohistochemistry of the human vomeronasal organ


  • Association for Chemical Sciences (AChemS)
  • German Anatomical Society (Anatomische Gesellschaft)
  • Society for Histochemistry
  • European Chemoreception Research organization (ECRO)

Ad-hoc reviewer in scientific journals

  • Acta Oto-Laryngologica
  • African Zoology
  • Anatomical Record
  • Anatomy & Embryology
  • BBA_Molecular Basis of Disease
  • Cells Tissues Organs
  • Differentiation
  • European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology and Head & Neck
  • Chemical Senses
  • DNA and Cell Biology
  • Experimental Brain Research
  • Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience
  • Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
  • Histochemical Journal
  • Histochemistry Cell Biology
  • Histopathology
  • Journal of Anatomy
  • Journal of Comparative Neurology
  • Journal of Neuroscience
  • Laryngoscope
  • Microscopy Research and Techniques
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience letters
  • Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
  • Stem Cells
  • Tissue & Cell

Publications (since 2009)

  • Kopp, F.; Eickner, T.; Polei, S.; Falke, K.; Witt, M.; Grabow, N.; Stachs, O.; Guthoff, R. F.; Lindner, T., Ultrahigh field MR imaging of a subconjunctival anti-glaucoma drug delivery system in a rabbit model. Sci Rep 2017, 7, (1), 15780.
  • Lukas, J.; Cozma, C.; Yang, F.; Kramp, G.; Meyer, A.; Nesslauer, A. M.; Eichler, S.; Bottcher, T.; Witt, M.; Brauer, A. U.; Kropp, P.; Rolfs, A., Glucosylsphingosine Causes Hematological and Visceral Changes in Mice-Evidence for a Pathophysiological Role in Gaucher Disease. Int J Mol Sci 2017, 18, (10).
  • Meyer, A.; Wree, A.; Gunther, R.; Holzmann, C.; Schmitt, O.; Rolfs, A.; Witt, M., Increased Regenerative Capacity of the Olfactory Epithelium in Niemann-Pick Disease Type C1. Int J Mol Sci 2017, 18, (4).
  • Malinska A, Podemska Z, Sujka-Kordowska P, Witkiewicz W, Nowicki M, Perek B, Witt M. 2017. Caveolin 2: a facultative marker of unfavourable prognosis in long-term patency rate of internal thoracic artery grafts used in coronary artery bypass grafting. Preliminary report. Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28122853
  • Schlegel V, Thieme M, Holzmann C, Witt M, Grittner U, Rolfs A, Wree A. 2016. Pharmacologic Treatment Assigned for Niemann Pick Type C1 Disease Partly Changes Behavioral Traits in Wild-Type Mice. Int J Mol Sci 17. DOI:10.3390/ijms17111866
  • Wohlert D, Kroger J, Witt M, Schmitt O, Wree A, Czech-Damal N, Siebert U, Folkow L, Hanke FD. 2016. A Comparative Morphometric Analysis of Three Cranial Nerves in Two Phocids: The Hooded Seal (Cystophora Cristata) and the Harbor Seal (Phoca Vitulina). Anatomical record (Hoboken, NJ : 2007) DOI:10.1002/ar.23298
  • Erdsack N, Dehnhardt G, Witt M, Wree A, Siebert U, Hanke W. 2015. Unique fur and skin structure in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina)-thermal insulation, drag reduction, or both? J R Soc Interface 12. PMID:25652462
  • Hovakimyan M, Siewert S, Schmidt W, Sternberg K, Reske T, Stachs O, Guthoff R, Wree A, Witt M, Schmitz KP, Allemann R. 2015. Development of an Experimental Drug Eluting Suprachoroidal Microstent as Glaucoma Drainage Device. Transl Vis Sci Technol 4:14. PMID:26175960
  • Maass F, Petersen J, Hovakimyan M, Schmitt O, Witt M, Hawlitschka A, Lukas J, Rolfs A, Wree A. 2015. Reduced cerebellar neurodegeneration after combined therapy with cyclodextrin/allopregnanolone and miglustat in NPC1: A mouse model of Niemann-Pick type C1 disease. Journal of Neuroscience Research 93:433-442. doi: 10.1002/jnr.23509
  • Witt M, Reutter K. 2015. Anatomy of the Tongue and Taste Buds. In: Handbook of Olfaction and Gustation: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p 637-664. . ISBN-13: 978-1118139226
  • Voss K, Falke K, Bernsdorf A, Grabow N, Kastner C, Sternberg K, Minrath I, Eickner T, Wree A, Schmitz KP, Guthoff R, Witt M, Hovakimyan M. 2015. Development of a novel injectable drug delivery system for subconjunctival glaucoma treatment. J Control Release 214:1-11. DOI:10.1016/j.jconrel.2015.06.035
  • Reetz J, Hildebrandt S, Schmidt A, Meier C, Herchenroder O, Glaser A, Witt M, Putzer BM, Wree A. 2015. Novel subventricular zone early progenitor cell-specific adenovirus for in vivo therapy of central nervous system disorders reinforces brain stem cell heterogeneity. Brain structure & function. DOI 10.1007/s00429-015-1025-8
  • Hovakimyan M, Falke K, Stahnke T, Guthoff R, Witt M, Wree A, Stachs O. 2014. Morphological Analysis of Quiescent and Activated Keratocytes: A Review of Ex Vivo and In Vivo Findings. Curr Eye Res. DOI:10.3109/02713683.2014.902073
  • Yan X, Yang F, Lukas J, Witt M, Wree A, Rolfs A, Luo J. 2014. Hyperactive glial cells contribute to axonal pathologies in the spinal cord of Npc1 mutant mice. Glia 62:1024-1040. DOI: 10.1002/glia.22659
  • Yan X, Lukas J, Lin J, Ernst M, Koczan D, Witt M, Fuellen G, Wree A, Rolfs A, Luo J. 2014. Aberrant expressions of delta-protocadherins in the brain of Npc1 mutant mice. Histol Histopathol 29:1185-1199. DOI:10.14670/HH-29.1185
  • Yan X, Ma L, Hovakimyan M, Lukas J, Wree A, Frank M, Guthoff R, Rolfs A, Witt M, Luo (2014) Defects in the retina of Niemann-Pick type C 1 mutant mice. BMC Neuroscience 2014, 15:126
  • Gradl G, Herlyn P, Finke B, Gierer P, Wree A, Witt M, Mittlmeier T, Vollmar B. 2013. A pan-caspase inhibitor reduces myocyte apoptosis and neuropathic pain in rats with chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve. Anesthesia and analgesia 116:216-223.
  • Hawlitschka A, Antipova V, Schmitt O, Witt M, Benecke R, Mix E, Wree A. 2013. Intracerebrally applied botulinum neurotoxin in experimental neuroscience. Current pharmaceutical biotechnology 14:124-130.
  • Hovakimyan M, Maass F, Petersen J, Holzmann C, Witt M, Lukas J, Frech MJ, Hubner R, Rolfs A, Wree A. 2013. Combined therapy with cyclodextrin/allopregnanolone and miglustat improves motor but not cognitive functions in Niemann-Pick Type C1 mice. Neuroscience 252:201-211. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2013.08.001
  • Hovakimyan M, Meyer A, Lukas J, Luo J, Gudziol V, Hummel T, Rolfs A, Wree A, Witt M. 2013. Olfactory deficits in Niemann-Pick type C1 (NPC1) disease. PLoS One 8:e82216. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0082216
  • Freiherr J, Wiesmann M, Witt M. Functional Anatomy of the Olfactory System II: Central relays, pathways, and their function. In: Management of Smell and Taste Disorders. A Practical Guide for Clinicians (eds. Welge-Lüssen A, Hummel T.), Chapter 3, pp. 27-38, Thieme, Stuttgart, New York 2013, ISBN: 978-3-13-154521-3
  • Witt M, Meredith M. The Human Vomeronasal System. In: Management of Smell and Taste Disorders. A Practical Guide for Clinicians (eds. Welge-Lüssen A, Hummel T.), chapter 4, pp.39-48, Thieme, Stuttgart, New York 2013, ISBN: 978-3-13-154521-3
  • Hovakimyan M, Petersen J, Maass F, Reichard M, Witt M, Lukas J, Stachs O, Guthoff R, Rolfs A, Wree A. 2012. Corneal alterations during combined therapy with cyclodextrin/allopregnanolone and miglustat in a knock-out mouse model of NPC1 disease. PLoS One 6:e28418.
  • Hovakimyan M, Ramoth T, Lobler M, Schmitz KP, Witt M, Guthoff R, Stachs O. 2012. Evaluation of protective effects of trehalose on desiccation of epithelial cells in three dimensional reconstructed human corneal epithelium. Curr Eye Res 37:982-989.
  • Smitka M, Puschmann S, Buschhueter D, Gerber JC, Witt M, Honeycutt N, Abolmaali N, Hummel T. 2012. Is there a correlation between hippocampus and amygdala volume and olfactory function in healthy subjects? Neuroimage 59:1052-1057. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.09.024
  • Allemann R, Langner S, Witt M, Schmidt W, Schmitz KP, Hosten N, Guthoff R, Stachs O. 2011. Ultra high-field magnetic resonance imaging of a glaucoma microstent. Curr Eye Res 36:719-726.
  • Hovakimyan M, Stachs O, Reichard M, Mascher H, Lukas J, Frech MJ, Guthoff R, Witt M, Rolfs A, Wree A. 2011. Morphological alterations of the cornea in the mouse model of niemann-pick disease type c1. Cornea 30:796-803.
  • Yan X, Lukas J, Witt M, Wree A, Hubner R, Frech M, Kohling R, Rolfs A, Luo J. 2011. Decreased expression of myelin gene regulatory factor in Niemann-Pick type C 1 mouse. Metab Brain Dis 26:299-306.
  • Gudziol V, Pietsch J, Witt M, Hummel T. 2010. Theophylline induces changes in the electro-olfactogram of the mouse. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 267:239-243.
  • Konstantinidis I, Witt M, Kaidoglou K, Constantinidis J, Gudziol V. 2010. Olfactory mucosa in nasal polyposis: Implications for FESS outcome. Rhinology 48:47-53.
  • Wree A, Mix E, Hawlitschka A, Antipova V, Witt M, Schmitt O, Benecke R. 2010. Intrastriatal botulinum toxin abolishes pathologic rotational behaviour and induces axonal varicosities in the 6-OHDA rat model of Parkinson's disease. Neurobiol Dis 41:291-298.
  • Minovi A, Witt M, Prescher A, Gudziol V, Dazert S, Hatt H, Benecke H. 2010. Expression and distribution of the intermediate filament protein nestin and other stem cell related molecules in the human olfactory epithelium. Histol Histopathol 25:177-187.
  • Srur E, Stachs O, Guthoff R, Witt M, Pau HW, Just T. 2010. Change of the human taste bud volume over time. Auris Nasus Larynx 37:449-455.
  • Hermann A, Suess C, Fauser M, Kanzler S, Witt M, Fabel K, Schwarz J, Hoglinger GU, Storch A. 2009. Rostro-caudal gradual loss of cellular diversity within the periventricular regions of the ventricular system. Stem Cells 27:928-941.
  • Hummel T, Witt M, Reichmann H, Welge-Luessen A, Haehner A. 2009. Immunohistochemical, volumetric, and functional neuroimaging studies in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. J Neurol Sci 289:119-122.
  • Larsson M, Farde L, Hummel T, Witt M, Lindroth NE, Backman L. 2009. Age-related loss of olfactory sensitivity: association to dopamine transporter binding in putamen. Neuroscience 161:422-426.
  • Ostalska-Nowicka D, Nowicki M, Kondraciuk B, Partyka M, Samulak D, Witt M. 2009. Expression of galectin-3 in nephrotic syndrome glomerulopaties in children. Folia Histochem Cytobiol 47:315-322.
  • Witt M, Bormann K, Gudziol V, Pehlke K, Barth K, Minovi A, Hahner A, Reichmann H, Hummel T. 2009. Biopsies of olfactory epithelium in patients with Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord 24:906-914.
  • Smitka M, Abolmaali N, Witt M, Gerber JC, Neuhuber W, Buschhueter D, Puschmann S, Hummel T. 2009. Olfactory bulb ventricles as a frequent finding in magnetic resonance imaging studies of the olfactory system. Neuroscience 162:482-485.
  • Witt M. 2009. Neural Coding of Taste. In: Binder M, Hirokawa N, Windhorst U, editors. Encyclopedia of Neuroscience: Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p 2556-2558. link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-540-29678-2_3779
  • Witt M, Hansen A (2009) Strukturelle und physiologische Grundlagen des Riechens. In (Hummel T, Welge-Lüssen A, eds) Riech- und Schmeckstörungen, Thieme, Stuttgart, pp.11-26, ISBN 9783131478115

Curriculum vitae

since 2008 Extraordinary Professor of Anatomy, Rostock University Medical Center, Rostock, Germany
10/11 2007 Visiting Professor at the Batterjee Medical College, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2005 Research Professor, Otorhinolaryngology, Taste and Smell Clinic, TU Dresden
2002 Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo (Faculty of Frontier Sciences, Department of Integrated Biosciences)
1999 Extraordinary Professor of Anatomy, Technical University Dresden
1997-2005 Wissenschaftlicher Oberassistent (Dept. of Anatomy, TU Dresden)
1995 Appointed Associate Professor at the Dept. of Anatomy, Kuwait University (turned down)
1994-1997 Senior Physician ("Oberarzt") and Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anatomy, Technical University of Dresden, Germany
1994 Habilitation degree on "Carbohydrate histochemistry of vertebrate taste organs". University of Tübingen, Germany
1990 Research Fellow, Dept. of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C., USA
1988-1994 Senior Research Associate ("wissenschaftlicher Assistent"), Dept. of Anatomy, University of Tübingen
1984-1988 Research Associate (wissenschaftlicher Angestellter), Dept. of Anatomy, University of Tübingen
1986 Doctoral thesis in Medical Sciences (Ph.D.) on "Lectin histochemical and immunohistochemical characterization of the anterior pituitary of the rat". University of Tübingen, Germany
1983 American Medical Examination (ECFMG)
1983 State examination (M.D.) and admission as a physician at the University of Hamburg
1977-1983 Studies of Medicine at the Universities of Torino (Italy), Graz (Austria) and Hamburg (Germany)
1966 First swimming certificate