Neuropharmacology / cell signaling
Our lab is interested in how a brain develops and how it is protected from disorders, like intellectual disability and neurodegeneration.Although the emphasis in the media and, even the scientific literature tends to be on brain disease, it is worth remembering that vastmajority of people - and indeed animals - are in fact healthy and do not suffer from brain disorders. In fact, brain health is so robustthat often even individuals with mutations that could lead to disease do not develop the symptoms. How does brain developmentresist dysregulation more than 95% of the time?
Our research program aims at understanding how the brain controls locomotor activity, and how aging or neurodegenerative pathologies, such as Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, alter this function and in general brain functioning. We try to identify neuronal networks controlling locomotor activity and circadian mechanisms that modulate them in health and disease. Our approach combines genetics methods, brain imaging and behavioral assays.
The mature nervous system is an intricate network in which neurons are connected to specific partners. The choice of these partners is crucial for the correct behavior of the network (meaning the nervous system) and is determined at early stages of development. Abnormal development of neuronal connections is responsible for a large range of neuronal pathologies, some of them affecting vision. Research carried on by our team focuses on a better understanding of the development of sensory maps including the connection between the retina and the brain.
Our team "Pathophysiology and therapeutic targets of the blood-brain barrier" was created in 2014 with a membership of Inserm inthe new five-year plan. It comes from the team of the former Inserm U705 (ex Director Prof. JM Scherrmann) which studied for morethan 20 years mechanisms of drug exchange in brain barriers. actually, we study the variability factors of two essential functions ofthe BBB, the maintenance of brain homeostasis towards endogenous compounds and the control of brain exposure to drugs and toxicsubstances.
The "Biomarkers of relapse and therapeutic response in addictions and mood disorders" team develops research on mood disordersand addiction both at the clinical and fundamental level (ranked A, AERES 2013, creation 01/01/2014).The objective is to identifyclinical, biological, genetic or imaging-based markers of the response to psychotropic drugs (in the context of drug abuse or during thetreatment for mood disorders or pain management). These markers will allow us to better predict the response (therapeutic and sideeffects) in order to improve the therapeutic monitoring of patients.
We address two questions:
1) Which mechanisms underly the evolution and the diversification of the vertebrate forebrain?
2) What are the evolutionary forces involved?
Research in my team is focused on neuronal G-protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs). These sensory proteins are important targets oftherapeutic and abused drugs, and are usually studied by pharmacology or electrophysiology, but we assume that their functioncannot be fully understood without considering their sub-cellular environment. We have indeed found unexpectedly close relationshipbetween neuropharmacology and neuronal cell biology.
L’objectif général de notre équipe de recherche est de mieux comprendre les mécanismes impliqués dans l’émergence des premiers réseaux synaptiques au cours du développement du système nerveux cetral, en utilisant la moelle épinière embryonnaire comme modèle principal. Nous nous intéressons notamment aux mécanismes sous-tendant l’activité neuronale précoce et au rôle de cette activité dans la synaptogenèse et la mise en place de premiers réseaux synaptiques fonctionnels. Notre équipe s’intéresse également au rôle des interactions entre neurones et cellules gliales dans ces mêmes processus.
Le projet de l'équipe est d’identifier de nouvelles protéines et de nouveaux mécanismes impliqués dans le trafic neuronal de récepteurs, dans le but de caractériser de nouvelles cibles thérapeutiques dans le domaine de la dépression, la schizophrénie et d’autres pathologies neuronales et psychiatriques.
To decipher the molecular mechanisms that allow brain gene expression to adapt to environmental challenges, we focus on the function of inducible transcription factors. Glucocorticoid hormones (GC) plays a key role in physiological and psychological responses to stress. It has multifaceted functions in the brain, most likely reflecting distinct actions in different brain areas and cell populations.