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Prof. Dr. Oliver Bosch




Project 1: Maternal behaviour is the behaviour of the mother ensuring the well-being and development of her offspring. In order to become maternal, the mother’s brain undergoes remarkable physiological and behavioural changes in the peripartum period to meet the demands of the offspring. These adaptations, which start as complex and direct consequences of hormonal signals arising from the foetus, continue in lactation as a result of close interactions between mother and offspring - the maternal behaviour. Our group is interested in the neurobiological regulation of maternal behaviour in rodents by the brain arginine-vasopressin system and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system with special focus on maternal neglect. We apply such techniques as various behavioural tests, micro-/retrodialysis, osmotic minipumps, viral vector-mediated gene transfer, in situ hybridisation, receptor autoradiography, blood sampling.

Project 2: Positive social relationships are vital for mental and physical health; hence, their sudden disruption result in emotional distress quite often leading to symptoms of depression. Using the animal model of the monogamous prairie vole, which forms selective, enduring pair bonds, we study the behavioural, emotional and neuroendocrine consequences of partner loss (in collaboration with Prof. Larry Young, Emory University, Atlanta, USA). Intriguingly, short separation from the pair-bonded female partner, but not from a male sibling, leads to higher basal plasma corticosterone concentration, adrenal hypertrophy and increased passive stress-coping, which is indicative of depressive-like behaviour. The latter is mediated by an increased activity of the brain corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system, which in turn supresses the oxytocin signalling especially in the nucleus accumbens shell. Our studies aim to further investigate the dysregulation/interactions of the oxytocin and CRF system following loss of the partner not only from the male but also from the female perspective. The experiments will range from short-term to long-term separation with or without reunion of the pairs. A wide variety of up-to-date methods will be applied, from behavioural tests to local intracerebral manipulations (viral vector-mediated gene manipulation, microdialysis, acute and chronic application of receptor (ant-)agonist), as well as epigenetic approaches to electrophysiology.

Grants / Awards


DFG grant (BO 1958/8-2) to study the role of the brain CRF-BP in the rodent maternal brain

DFG grant (BO 1958/9-1) to study the role of TSPO in animal models of extremes in anxiety (part of the Research Group FOR 2858)


DFG-funded project "Impact of brain neuropeptides on partner loss-induced depressive-like behaviour in monogamous prairie voles" as part of the graduate school GRK 2174/1 "Neurobiology of Emotion Dysfunctions"


DFG grant (BO 1958/8-1) to study the role of the brain corticotropin releasing factor system in maternal neglect in rodents


DFG grant (BO 1958/6-1) to investigate in depth the role of the brain vasopressin system in mediating maternal care in rodents


DAAD Travel grant for collaboration with Dr. Simone Meddle, University of Edinburgh


Armin Ermisch Memorial Award


PhD-Stipend of the University of Regensburg (Promotionsstipendium)



2017  Appointed extraordinary ("außerplanmäßiger") Professor at the Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine at the University of Regensburg

2011  Habilitation in Zoology at the University of Regensburg to achieve the "Dr. habil." and Privatdozent PD  Habilitation thesis: "The neuroendocrine regulation of maternal behaviour and the impact on the offspring in rodents."

2007 to date Senior Scientist

2001-2007 Postdoc in Prof. Inga Neumann’s group at the University of Regensburg with focus on maternal behavior, anxiety and stress coping in a rat model for extremes in anxiety

2001  PhD degree in biology at the University of Regensburg PhD thesis: "Wirtsdüfte und deren Komponenten im Spiegelbild der olfaktorischen Sinneszellen bei der Gelbfiebermücke Aedes aegypti (L.)"

1998-2001 PhD studies in biology at the University of Regensburg with focus on Zoology / Insect physiology

1998  MSc (Diplom) in biology at the University of Regensburg Diploma/Master thesis: "Über die Attraktivität verschiedener Komponenten des menschlichen Hautduftes und die Bedeutung der Struktur von Duftwolken für die Attraktivität von Duftstoffen - Messungen an der Gelbfiebermücke Aedes aegypti (L.)"

1995-1997 Graduate studies in biology at the University of Regensburg with focus on Zoology / Insect physiology1992-1995 undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Regensburg


Societies / Journals

since 2023  Council member of the European Brain and Behaviour EBBS

since 2022  Council member of the European Society for Comparative Endocrinology ESCE

since 2019  Founding and council member of The Neurobiology of Grief International Network NOGIN

since 2015 Editorial board member of Hormones and Behavior

since 2014  Senior editor for  Journal of Neuroendocrinology JNE



Google Scholar


Demarchi L, Sanson A, Bosch OJ (2024) Neurobiological traces of grief: Examining the impact of offspring loss after birth on rat mothers’ brain and stress-coping behavior in the first week postpartum. Neurosci Appl 104065. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nsa.2024.104065.

Sanson A, Krieg P, Schramm MM, Kellner K, Maloumby R, Klampfl SM, Brunton PJ,Bosch OJ (2024) CRF binding protein activity in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus is essential for stress adaptations and normal maternal behaviour in lactating rats. Neurobiol Stress 100631, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ynstr.2024.100631

Sanson A, Demarchi L, Bosch OJ (2024) Neuroendocrine basis of impaired mothering in rodents.In: Caldwell HK, Albers HE (eds) Neuroendocrinology of Behavior and Emotions. Masterclass in Neuroendocrinology, vol 16. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-51112-7_4


Gryksa K, Schmidtner AK, Masis-Calvo M, Rodriguez-Villagra OA, Havasi A,Wirobski G, Maloumby R, Jägle H, Bosch OJ, Slattery DA, Neumann ID (2023) Selective breeding of rats for high (HAB) and low (LAB) anxiety-related behaviour: A unique model for comorbid depression and social dysfunctions . Neurosci Biobehav Rev 152: 105292

Demarchi L, Sanson A, Bosch OJ (2023) Brief vs long maternal separationin lactating rats: consequences on maternal behavior, emotionality, andbrain oxytocin receptor binding. J Neuronedocrinol e13252 https://doi.org/10.1111/jne.13252

Pawluski JL, Brunton PJ, Bosch OJ (2023) The 7th International Meeting on the Neuroscience of Parenting. J Neuroendocrinol e13321. https://doi.org/10.1111/jne.13321


Sanson A, Bosch OJ (2022) Dysfunctions of brain oxytocin signaling: Implications for poor mothering. Neuropharmacology 211: 109049. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2022.109049


Demarchi L, Pawluski JL, Bosch OJ (2021) The brain oxytocin and corticotropin-releasing factor systems in grieving mothers: What we know and what we need to learn. Peptides 143: 170593. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.peptides.2021.170593

Pohl TT, Jung O, Di Benedetto B, Young LJ Bosch OJ (2021) Microglia react to partner loss in a sex- and brain site-specific manner in prairie voles. Brain Behav Immun 96: 168-186. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2021.05.026

Winter J, Meyer M, Berger I, Royer M, Bianchi M, Kuffner K, Peters S, Stang S, Langgartner D, Hartmann F, Schmidtner AK, Reber SO, Bosch OJ, Bludau A, Slattery DS, van den Burg EH, Jurek B, Neumann ID (2021) Chronic oxytocin-driven alternative splicing of Crfr2α induces anxiety. Mol Psychiatry https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01141-x

Oliveira VEdM, Lukas M, Wolf HN, Durante E, Lorenz A, Mayer AL, Bludau A, Bosch OJ, Grinevich V, Egger V, de Jong TR, Neumann ID (2021) Oxytocin and vasopressin within the ventral and dorsal lateral septum modulate aggression in female rats. Nat Commun 12: 2900.


Gryksa K, Mittmann L, Bauer A, Peterlik D, Flor PJ, Uschold-Schmidt N, Bosch OJ (2020) Metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 controls maternal care, maternal motivation and maternal aggression in mice. Genes Brain Behav 19:e12627


Robinson KJ, Bosch OJ, Levkowitz G, Busch KE, Jarman A, Ludwig M (2019) Social creatures: model animal systems for studying the neuroendocrine mechanisms of social behaviour. J Neuroendocrinol doi.org/10.1111/jne.12807

Pawluski JL, Champagne FA, Bosch OJ (2019) Parental Brain Conference 2018. J Neuroendocrinol e12789.

Stolzenberg DS, Hernandez-D'Anna KL, Bosch OJ, Lonstein JS (2019) Maternal behavior from a neuroendocrine perspective. In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.

Klampfl SM, Bosch OJ (2019) Mom doesn't care: when increased brain CRF system activity leads to maternal neglect in rodents. Front Neuroendocrinol 53: 100735. 

Bayerl DS, Klampfl SM, Bosch OJ (2019) More than reproduction - central GnRH antagonism decreases maternal aggression in lactating rats. J Neuroendocrinol e12709.

Bayerl DS, Bosch OJ (2019) Brain vasopressin signaling modulates aspects of maternal behavior in lactating rats. Genes Brain Behav 18: e12517.
Pohl TT, Young LJ Bosch OJ (2019) Lost connections: Oxytocin and the neural, physiological and behavioural consequences of disrupted relationships. Int J Psychophysiology 136: 54-63.


Bosch OJ, Young LJ (2018) Oxytocin and social relationships: From attachment to bond disruption. Curr Top Behav Neurosci 35: 97-117.

Klampfl SM, Bosch OJ (2018) When mothers neglect their offspring: an activated CRF system in the BNST is detrimental for maternal behavior. Arch Womens Ment Health. doi.org/10.1007/s00737-018-0897-z.

Klampfl SM, Schramm MM, Gaßner BM, Hübner K, Seasholtz AF, Brunton PJ, Bayerl DS, Bosch OJ (2018) Maternal stress and the MPOA: Activation of CRF receptor 1 impairs maternal behavior and triggers local oxytocin release in lactating rats. Neuropharmacology 133: 440-450.

Bosch OJ, Pohl TT, Neumann IN, Young LJ (2018) Abandoned prairie vole mothers show normal maternal care but altered emotionality: Potential influence of the brain corticotropin-releasing factor system. Behav Brain Res 341: 114-121.

Menon R, Grund T, Zoicas I, Althammer F, Fiedler D, Biermeier V, Bosch OJ, Hiraoka Y, Nishimori K, Eliava M, Grinevich V, Neumann ID (2018) Oxytocin signalling in the lateral septum prevents social fear during lactation. Curr Biol 28: 1066-1078.e6.


Bosch OJ (2017) Look behind the eyes - vasopressin rules the day. J Physiol 595: 3245.


Klampfl SM, Schramm MM, Stinnett GS, Bayerl DS, Seasholtz AF, Bosch OJ (2016) CRF-binding protein modulates aspects of maternal behavior under stressful conditions and supports a hypo-anxious state in lactating rats. Horm Behav 84: 136-144.

Brown CH, Bosch OJ (2016) Vasopressin and oxytocin: Conductors of the symphony of physiology and behaviour. J Neuroendocrinology 28 doi:10.1111/jne.12386.
Bayerl DS, Hönig JN, Bosch OJ (2016) Vasopressin V1a, but not V1b, receptors within the PVN of lactating rats mediate maternal care and anxiety-related behaviour. Behav Brain Res 305: 18-22.
Bosch OJ, Dabrowska J, Modi ME, Johnson ZV, Keebaugh AC, Barrett CE, Ahern TH, Guo JD, Grinevich V, Rainnie DG, Neumann ID, Young LJ (2016) Oxytocin in the nucleus accumbens shell reverses CRFR2-evoked passive stress-coping after partner loss in monogamous male prairie voles. Psychoneuroendocrinology 64: 66-78.
Klampfl SM, Brunton PJ, Bayerl DS, Bosch OJ (2016) CRF-R1 activation in the anterior-dorsal BNST induces maternal neglect in lactating rats via an HPA axis-independent central mechanism. Psychoneuroendocrinology 64: 89-98.
Bayerl DS, Kaczmarek V, Jurek B, van den Burg EH, Neumann ID, Gaßner BM, Klampfl SM, Bosch OJ (2016) Antagonism of V1b receptors promotes maternal motivation to retrieve pups in the MPOA and impairs pup-directed behavior during maternal defense in the mpBNST of lactating rats. Horm Behav 79: 18-27


de Jong TR, Menon R, Bludau A, Grund T, Biermeier V, Klampfl SM, Jurek B, Bosch OJ, Hellhammer J, Neumann ID (2015) Salivary oxytocin concentrations in response to running, sexual self-stimulation, breastfeeding and the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST): an oxytocin challenge study. Psychoneuroendocrinology 62: 381-388.


Bayerl DS, Klampfl SM, Bosch OJ (2014) Central V1b receptor antagonism in lactating rats: Impairment of maternal care but not of maternal aggression. J Neuroendocrinol 26: 918-926 .

Bosch OJ, Slattery DA, Neumann ID (2014) The 5th Parental Brain Conference. J Neuroendocrinol 26: 625-626

Klampfl SM, Brunton PJ, Bayerl DS, Bosch OJ (2014) Hypo-activation of CRF receptors, predominantly type 2, in the medial-posterior BNST is vital for adequate maternal behavior in lactating rats. J Neurosci 34: 9665-9676.


Bosch OJ (2013) Maternal aggression in rodents: Brain oxytocin and vasopressin mediate pup defence. Phil Trans R Soc B: 368 20130085.

Klampfl SM, Neumann ID, Bosch OJ (2013) Reduced brain CRF receptor activation is required for adequate maternal care and maternal aggression in lactating rats. Eur J Neurosci 38: 2742-2750.


Okimoto N, Bosch OJ, Slattery DA, Pflaum K, Matsushita H, Wei F-Y, Ohmori M, Nishiki T-I, Ohmori I, Hiramatsu Y, Matsui H, Neumann ID, Tomizawa K (2012) RGS2 mediates the anxiolytic effect of oxytocin. Brain Res 1453: 26-33.

Bosch OJ, Neumann ID (2012) Both oxytocin and vasopressin are mediators of maternal care and aggression in rodents: From central release to sites of action. Horm Behav 61: 293-303.


Caughey S, Klampfl SM, Bishop VR, Pförtsch J, Neumann ID, Bosch OJ, Meddle SL (2011) Changes in the intensity of maternal aggression and central oxytocin and vasopressin V1a receptors across the peripartum period in the rat. J Neuroendocrinol 23: 1113-1124.

Bosch OJ (2011) Maternal nurturing is dependent on her innate anxiety: The behavioral roles of brain oxytocin and vasopressin. Horm Behav 59: 201-212.

Bosch OJ, Kessler MS, Bunck M, Landgraf R, Neumann ID (2011) Maternal care differs in mice bred for high versus low trait anxiety: Impact of brain vasopressin and cross-fostering. Social Neuroscience 6: 156-168.


Bosch OJ, Pförtsch J, Beiderbeck DI, Landgraf R, Neumann ID (2010) Maternal behaviour is associated with vasopressin release in the medial preoptic area and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis in the rat. J Neuroendocrinol 22: 420-429.

Bosch OJ, Neumann ID (2010) Vasopressin released within the central amygdala promotes maternal aggression. Eur J Neurosci 31: 883-891.

Waldherr M, Nyuyki K, Maloumby R, Bosch OJ, Neumann ID (2010) Attenuation of the neuronal stress responsiveness and corticotrophin releasing hormone synthesis after sexual activity in male rats. Horm Behav 57: 222-229.


Bosch OJ, Nair HP, Ahern TH, Neumann ID, Young LJ (2009) The CRF system mediates increased passive stress-coping behavior following the loss of a bonded partner in a monogamous rodent. Neuropsychopharmacology 34: 1406-1415.

Lucassen PJ, Bosch OJ, Jousma E, Kromer S, Andrews R, Seckl J, Neumann ID (2009) Prenatal stress reduces postnatal neurogenesis in rats selectively bred for high, but not low anxiety: possible key role of placental 11ß-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2. Eur J Neurosci 29: 97-103.


Bosch OJ, Neumann ID (2008) Brain vasopressin is an important regulator of maternal behavior independent of dams' trait anxiety. PNAS 105: 17139-17144.

Neumann ID, Bosch OJ (2008) Maternal stress adaptations peripartum: Mom's innate anxiety determines maternal care and aggression. In: Neurobiology of the parental brain. pp. 115-130. Bridges R [ed.]; Elsevier.

Blume A, Bosch OJ, Miklos S, Torner L, Wales L, Waldherr M, Neumann ID (2008) Oxytocin reduces anxiety via ERK1/2 activation: local effect within the rat hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. Eur J Neurosci 27: 1947-1956.


Bosch OJ, Sartori SB, Singewald N, Neumann ID (2007) Extracellular amino acid levels in the paraventricular nucleus and the central amygdala in high- and low-anxiety dams during maternal aggression: Regulation by oxytocin. Stress 10: 261-270.

Bosch OJ, Müsch W, Bredewold R, Slattery DA, Neumann ID (2007) Prenatal stress increases HPA-axis activity and impairs maternal care in lactating female offspring: implications for postpartum mood disorder. Psychoneuroendocrinology 32: 267-278.

Douglas AJ, Meddle SL, Kroemer S, Muesch W, Bosch OJ, Neumann ID (2007) Social stress induces hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis responses in lactating rats bred for high trait anxiety. Eur J Neurosci 25: 1599-1603.


Bosch OJ, Krömer SA, Neumann ID (2006) Prenatal stress: opposite effects on anxiety and hypothalamic expression of vasopressin and corticotropin-releasing hormone in rats selectively bred for high and low anxiety. Eur J Neurosci 23: 541-551.

Bosch OJ, Waldherr SA, Nair HP, Young LJ, Neumann ID (2006) Viral vector-mediated overexpression of oxytocin receptors in the amygdala of virgin rats increases aggression and reduces anxiety. Front Neuroendocrinol 27: 124-125.


Bosch OJ, Meddle SL, Beiderbeck DI, Douglas AJ, Neumann ID (2005) Brain oxytocin correlates with maternal aggression: link to anxiety. J Neurosci 25: 6807-6815.

Neumann ID, Krömer S, Bosch OJ (2005) Effects of psycho-social stress during pregnancy on neuroendocrine and behavioural parameters in lactation depend on the genetically determined stress vulnerability. Psychoneuroendocrinology 30: 791-806.

Neumann ID, Wigger A, Krömer S, Frank E, Landgraf R, Bosch OJ (2005) Differential effects of periodic maternal separation on adult stress coping in a rat model of extremes in trait anxiety. Neuroscience 132: 867-877.

Douglas AJ, Meddle SL, Toschi N, Bosch OJ, Neumann ID (2005) Reduced activity of the noradrenergic system in the paraventricular nucleus at the end of pregnancy: implications for stress hyporesponsiveness. J Neuroendocrinol 17: 40-48.

Ebner K, Bosch OJ, Kromer SA, Singewald N, Neumann ID (2005) Release of oxytocin in the rat central amygdala modulates stress-coping behavior and the release of excitatory amino acids. Neuropsychopharmacology 30: 223-230.


Bosch OJ, Krömer SA, Brunton PJ, Neumann ID (2004) Release of oxytocin in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, but not amygdala or septum in lactating residents and virgin intruders during maternal defence. Neuroscience 124: 439-448.


Douglas AJ, Brunton PJ, Bosch OJ, Russel JA, Neumann ID (2003) Neuroendocrine responses to stress in mice: hyporesponsiveness in pregnancy and parturition. Endocrinology 144: 5268-5276.

Neumann ID, Bosch OJ, Toschi N, Torner L, Douglas AJ (2003) No stress response of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in parturient rats: lack of involvement of brain oxytocin. Endocrinology 144: 2473-2479.


Bosch OJ, Geier M, Boeckh J (2000) Contribution of fatty acids to olfactory host finding of female Aedes aegypti. Chem Senses 25: 323-330.


Geier M, Bosch OJ, Boeckh J (1999) Influence of odour plume structure on upwind flight of mosquitoes towards hosts. J Exp Biol 202: 1639-1648.

Geier M, Bosch OJ, Boeckh J (1999) Ammonia as an attractive component of host odour for the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Chem Senses 24: 647-653.


  Group Leader

Prof Dr. Oliver J. Bosch 0941 / 943 3076 D4.2.317 E-Mail


PhD Students

Nina Buchhauser
0941 / 943 3119
D4.2.315 E-Mail
Luisa Demarchi 0941 / 943 3050 D4.2.311 E-Mail
Alice Sanson
0941 / 943 3050 D4.2.311 E-Mail
Sara Sheibani Tezerji 0941 / 943 3050 D4.2.311 E-Mail

Master Students

Anna-Lena Boos
Franziska Gareis

Bachelor Students

Tamina Gebhardt
Nadine Hempel
Simone Schraml

  1. Fakultäten
  2. Fakultät für Biologie und Vorklinische Medizin

Prof. Dr. Oliver Bosch



Bio D4.2.317
Tel. +49-941-943-3076