PD Dr. Tobias Polte


PD Dr. Tobias Polte

Scientist, Deputy Head of the Department, Theme Coordinator of
Maternal exposure and offspring health
and Platform Coordinator of
In vivo models

Helmholtz Centre for
Environmental Research – UFZ
Department of Environmental Immunology
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

Phone: +49 341 6025-1545

Tobias Polte - Experimental Allergology and Immunology
Photo: Sebastian Wiedling/UFZ

Research Interests

Currently we are investigating in different murine disease models the role of environmental pollutants as risk factors in the development of immune diseases like allergic asthma or rheumatoid arthritis but also possible effects on metabolism or behaviour. Thereby we are in particular looking on the impact of maternal exposure to environmental pollutants on the disease risk of the offspring. Another topic are gene-environment interactions. The long-term objective of our research is the development of new prevention and therapeutic strategies for immune diseases.

Curriculum vitae / Scientific career

Since 2020

Deputy Head of the Department Environmental Immunology, UFZ Leipzig

2018 - 2020

Acting Head of the Department Environmental Immunology, UFZ Leipzig

2016 - 2018

Deputy Head of the Department Environmental Immunology, UFZ Leipzig

Since 2012

Head of the Helmholtz University Research Group Experimental Allergy and Immunology


Habilitation and Venia legendi at the Leipzig University, Faculty of Medicine

2007 - 2012

Head of a Helmholtz University Young Investigators Group at the UFZ and the University of Leipzig

2002 - 2007

Postdoc in the Junior Research Group of Prof. Gesine Hansen at the Medical School of the Martin Luther University, Halle


Postdoc at the Department of Pediatrics, Stanford Medical School, Stanford University (USA)

2000 - 2002

Postdoc at the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of Bath (UK)

1997 - 2000

PhD, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology,
Martin Luther University, Halle

1996 - 1997

Graduand at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Martin Luther University, Halle

1991 - 1995

Study of Pharmacy at the Martin Luther University, Halle



Brigitte-Gedek-Science-Award of the Society for Mycotoxin Research


Wilhelm-Roux Award of the Martin Luther University, Halle

2000 - 2002

Postdoctoral fellowship of the German Research Council (DFG)


Dorothea Erxleben Award of the Martin Luther University, Halle

Highlighted Publications

Buchenauer L, Haange S, Bauer M, Rolle-Kampczyk UE, Wagner M, Stucke J, Elter E, Fink B, Vass M, von Bergen M, Schulz A, Zenclussen AC, Junge KM, Stangl GI, Polte T. Maternal exposure of mice to glyphosate induces depression- and anxiety-like behavior in the offspring via alterations of the gut-brain axis. Sci Total Environ. 2023; 905:167034 Abstract

Leppert B, Strunz S, Seiwert B, Schlittenbauer L, Schlichting R, Pfeiffer C, Röder S, Bauer M, Borte M, Stangl GI, Schöneberg T, Schulz A, Karkossa I, Rolle-Kampczyk UE, Thürmann L, von Bergen M, Escher BI, Junge KM., Reemtsma T., Lehmann I, Polte T. Maternal paraben exposure triggers childhood overweight development. Nat Commun 2020;11 , art. 561 Abstract Press Release Research Highlight Nature Reviews Endocrinology

Jahreis S, Trump S, Bauer M, Bauer T, Thürmann L, Feltens R, Wang Q, Gu L, Grützmann K, Röder S, Averbeck M, Weichenhan D, Plass C, Sack U, Borte M, Dubourg V, Schüürmann G, Simon JC, von Bergen M, Hackermüller J, Eils R, Lehmann I, Polte T. Maternal phthalate exposure promotes allergic airway inflammation over two generations via epigenetic modifications. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018 Feb;141:741-753 Abstract Press Release Editorial

Polte T, Petzold S, Bertrand J, Schütze N, Hinz D, Simon JC, Lehmann I, Echtermeyer F, Pap T, Averbeck M. Critical role for syndecan-4 in dendritic cell migration during development of allergic airway inflammation. Nat Commun 2015 Jul 13;6:7554 Abstract Press Release

Schütze N, Lehmann I, Bönisch U, Simon JC, Polte T. Exposure to mycotoxins increases the allergic immune response in a murine asthma model. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2010; 181: 1188-1199. Cover Press Release

Polte T, Hennig C, Hansen G. Allergy prevention starts before conception: Maternofetal transfer of tolerance protects from the development of asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Nov;122(5):1022-1030.e5 Abstract

Polte T, Behrendt AK, Hansen G. Direct evidence for a critical role of CD30 in the development of allergic asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Oct;118(4):942-8 Abstract

Polte T, Foell J, Werner C, Hoymann HG, Braun A, Burdach S, Mittler RS, Hansen G. CD137-mediated immunotherapy for allergic asthma. J Clin Invest. 2006 Apr;116(4):1025-36 Abstract

Full List of Publications