Cellular and molecular mechanisms of plasticity and memory



Research center

Bâtiment 145, Centre d'études de Saclay
91191 Gif sur Yvette
Philippe Vernier


Université Paris Sud 11
ED 568 BioSigNe
Université Paris Sud 11


Département Cognition & Comportements
Idex NeuroSaclay


Synaptic plasticity
Learning and Memory
Adult hippocampal neurogenesis
Intellectual deficiencies
Alzheimer's disease


Veyrac A.*, Gros A.*, Bruel-Jungerman E., Rochefort C., Kleine Borgmann F.B., Jessberger S., Laroche S. (2013) Zif268/egr1 gene controls the selection, maturation and functional integration of adult hippocampal newborn neurons by learning. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 110:7062-7067.

Besnard A., Caboche J., Laroche S. (2013) Comparative dynamics of MAPK/ERK signaling components and immediate early genes in the hippocampus and amygdala following contextual fear conditioning and retrieval. Brain Struc. Function, [Epub ahead of print].

Morice E.*, Farley S.*, Poirier R.*, Dallerac G., Chagneau C., Pannetier S., Hanauer A., Davis S., Vaillend C., Laroche S. (2013) Defective synaptic transmission and structure in the dentate gyrus and selective fear memory impairment in the Rsk2 mutant mouse model of Coffin-Lowry syndrome. Neurobiol. Disease, 58:156-168.

Penke Z., Morice E., Veyrac A., Gros A., Chagneau C., Le Blanc P., Samson N., Baumgärtel K., Mansuy I.M., Davis S., Laroche S. (2013) Zif268/Egr1 gain of function facilitates hippocampal synaptic plasticity and long-term spatial recognition memory. Phil. Trans.R. Soc. B, in press.

Perronnet C., Chagneau C., Le Blanc P., Samson-Desvignes N., Mornet D., Laroche S., De La Porte S., Vaillend C. (2012) Upregulation of brain utrophin does not rescue behavioral alterations in dystrophin-deficient mice. Human Molecular Genetics,21:2263-2276.

Fields of research

Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience

Research Theme

Research in the team focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of learning and memory and on identifying mechanisms responsible for memory dysfunction in brain pathologies. Our objective is to identify in different structures of the brain such as the hippocampus and cortex the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying brain of plasticity, to characterize their role in the formation of memories and identify networks and brain structures within which these changes occur during the laying down of memories. Our approach, from genes to function, leads to both the identification of cellular and synaptic changes linked to learning and to the functional characterisation of the role of signalling cascades, transcription factors, and the regulation of genes and proteins underlying different phases of plasticity and forms of memory. The research projects cover different facets of plasticity and memory, ranging from synaptic mechanisms to neurogenesis, complemented by the analysis of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory dysfunction associated with pathologies of genetic origin such as mental retardation or neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. In these animal models, we explore the potential of genetic, pharmacological or behavioural therapies. The research is based on multidisciplinary approaches including cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, functional neuroanatomy and imaging, pharmacology, in vivo electrophysiology and behavioural analyses of learning and memory in rats and genetically modified mice.

Team members

POIRIER Roselyne
DAVIS Sabrina
VEYRAC Alexandra
GROS Alexandra