Dr. agr. Winfried Otten

Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
working group Psychophysiology
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2
18196 Dummerstorf

Research interests

  • Determination of glucocorticoids in hair and feathers as a biological indicator for retrospective minimally-invasive monitoring of animal welfare in different livestock species
  • Tryptophan metabolism: relevance for immune function, mood and behaviour
  • Analyses of neurotransmitters, catecholamines, their precursors and metabolites in biological samples using high performance liquid chromatography

Curriculum Vitae

  • 1992-present: Scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) Dummerstorf, Institute of Institute of Behavioural Physiology
  • 1993: Ph.D. at the Technical University of Munich
  • 1984-1989: Technical University of Munich, studies of agriculture with focus on animal production


Döring, F.; Lüersen, K.; Schmelzer, C.; Hennig, S.; Lang, I. S.; Görs, S.; Rehfeldt, C.; Otten, W.; Metges, C. C. (2013):
Influence of maternal low protein diet during pregnancy on hepatic gene expression signature in juvenile female porcine offspring. Mol Nutr Food Res 57 (2): 277-290
Kanitz, E.; Otten, W.; Tuchscherer, M.; Gräbner, M.; Brüssow, K.-P.; Rehfeldt, C.; Metges, C. C. (2012):
High and low protein: carbohydrate dietary ratios during gestation alter maternal-fetal cortisol regulation in pigs. Plos One 7 (12): 1-11
Tuchscherer, M.; Otten, W.; Kanitz, E.; Gräbner, M.; Tuchscherer, A.; Bellmann, O.; Rehfeldt, C.; Metges, C. C. (2012):
Effects of inadequate maternal dietary protein:carbohydrate ratios during pregnancy on offspring immunity in pigs. BMC Vet Res 8: 232-243
Gimsa, U.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W.; Tuchscherer, M.; Tuchscherer, A.; Ibrahim, S. M. (2012):
Tumour necrosis factor receptor deficiency alters anxiety-like behavioural and neuroendocrine stress responses of mice. Cytokine 59 (1): 72-78
Metzler-Zebeli, B. U.; Lang, I. S.; Görs, S.; Brüssow, K.-P.; Hennig, U.; Nürnberg, G.; Rehfeldt, C.; Otten, W.; Metges, C. C. (2012):
High-protein-low-carbohydrate diet during pregnancy alters maternal plasma amino acid concentration and placental amino acid extraction but not fetal plasma amino acids in pigs. Brit J Nutr 108 (12): 2176-2189
Metges, C. C.; Lang, I. S.; Hennig, U.; Brüssow, K.-P.; Kanitz, E.; Tuchscherer, M.; Schneider, F.; Weitzel, J. M.; Steinhoff-Ooster, A.; Sauerwein, H.; Bellmann, O.; Nürnberg, G.; Rehfeldt, C.; Otten, W. (2012):
Intrauterine growth retarded progeny of pregnant sows fed high protein:low carbohydrate diet is related to metabolic energy deficit. Plos One 7 (2): 1-10
Rehfeldt, C.; Stabenow, B.; Pfuhl, R.; Block, J.; Nürnberg, G.; Otten, W.; Metges, C. C.; Kalbe, C. (2012):
Effects of limited and excess protein intake of pregnant gilts on carcass quality and cellular properties of skeletal muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue in fattening pigs. J Anim Sci 90 (1): 184-196
Rehfeldt, C.; Lefaucheur, L.; Block, J.; Stabenow, B.; Pfuhl, R.; Otten, W.; Metges, C. C.; Kalbe, C. (2012):
Limited and excess protein intake of pregnant gilts differently affects body composition and cellularity of skeletal muscle and subcutaneous adipose tissue of newborn and weanling piglets. Eur J Nutr 51 (2): 151-165
Rehfeldt, C.; Lang, I. S.; Görs, S.; Hennig, U.; Kalbe, C.; Stabenow, B.; Brüssow, K.-P.; Pfuhl, R.; Bellmann, O.; Nürnberg, G.; Otten, W.; Metges, C. C. (2011):
Limited and excess dietary protein during gestation affects growth and compositional traits in gilts and impairs offspring fetal growth. J Anim Sci 89 (2): 329-341
Le Floch, N.; Otten, W.; Merlot, E. (2011):
Tryptophan metabolism, from nutrition to potential therapeutic applications. Amino Acids 41 (5): 1195-1205
Zimmermann, S; Zöls, S.; Otten, W.; Palzer, A.; Ritzmann, M.; Heinritzi, K. (2011):
Evaluation of carbon dioxide anaesthesia for the castration of male suckling piglets by stress hormone concentrations, behaviour and clinical factors. Berl Munch Tierarztl 124 (9/10): 368-375
Gimsa, U.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W.; Aheng, C.; Tuchscherer, M.; Ricquier, D.; Miroux, B.; Ibrahim, S. M. (2011):
Alterations in anxiety-like behavior following knockout of the uncoupling protein 2 (ucp2) gene in mice. Life Sci 89 (19-20): 677-684
Kanitz, E.; Otten, W.; Hameister, T.; Tuchscherer, M.; Puppe, B.; Tuchscherer, A. (2011):
Age-related changes in corticosteroid receptor expression and monoamine neurotransmitter concentrations in various brain regions of postnatal pigs. J Neurosci Res 89 (7): 1134-1141
Rehfeldt, C.; Block, J.; Lefaucheur, L.; Stabenow, B.; Otten, W.; Metges, C. C.; Kalbe, C. (2010):
Inadequate protein intake of pregnant gilts affects body composition and skeletal muscle properties of newborn piglets. In: Energy and protein metabolism and nutrition, EAAP publication No. 127, 2010, 3rd EAAP ISEP, Parma, Italy, 6-10 September 2010 (ed. G. Matteo Corvetto, Hrsg.) Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands, (ISSN 0071-2477): 383-384
Kiank, C.; Zeden, J.P.; Drude, S.; Domanska, G.; Fusch, G.; Otten, W.; Schütt, C. (2010):
Psychological stress-induced, IDO1-dependent tryptophan catabolism: implications on immunosuppression in mice and humans. Plos One 5 (7): 1-12
Otten, W.; Kanitz, E.; Couret, D.; Veissier, I.; Prunier, Armelle; Merlot, E. (2010):
Maternal social stress during late pregnancy affects hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function and brain neurotransmitter systems in pig offspring. DOMEST ANIM ENDOCRIN 38 (3): 146-156
Mühlbauer, I.C.; Otten, W.; Lüpping, W.; Palzer, A.; Zöls, S.; Elicker, S.; Ritzmann, M.; Heinritzi, K. (2009):
Untersuchung zur CO2-Narkose als eine Alternative zur betäubungslosen Kastration von Saugferkeln. Prakt Tierarzt 90 (5): 460-464
Gimsa, U.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W.; Ibrahim, S. M. (2009):
Behavior and stress reactivity in mouse strains with mitochondrial DNA variations. Ann NY Acad Sci 1153: 131-138
Gräbner, M.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W. (2009):
Pränataler Stress bei Nutztieren: Eine Übersicht. Berl Munch Tierarztl 122 (3/4): 73-81
Yu, X.; Gimsa, U.; Wester-Rosenlöf, L.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W.; Kunz, M.; Ibrahim, S. M. (2009):
Dissecting the effects of mtDNA variations on complex traits using mouse conplastic strains. Genome Res 19 (1): 159-165