Development of oligodendrocytes and Neurovascular Interactions


Research center

47 bld de l'Hôpital
75651 Paris
Alexis Brice


Université Pierre et Marie Curie
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


UMRS 1127 UMR 7225


Neural stem cells
Neural development
Oligodendrocyte precursors
Neurovascular interactions
Vascular growth factors and receptors
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and gliomas
Available to host a PhD student


Han J, Calvo CF, Kang TH, Baker KL, Park JH, Parras C, Levittas M, Birba U, Pibouin-Fragner L, Fragner P, Bilguvar K, Duman RS, Nurmi H, Alitalo K, Eichmann AC, Thomas JL. Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 controls neural stem cell activation in mice and humans. Cell Rep. 2015 Feb 24;10(7):1158-72. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.01.049. Epub 2015 Feb 19.

Miguez A., Ducret S., Di Meglio T., Parras C., HHmidan H., Haton C., Sekizar S., Mannioui A., Vidal M., Kerever A., Nyabi O., Haigh J., Zalc B., M. Rijli FM.,Thomas J-L. Opposing roles for Hoxa2 and Hoxb2 in hindbrain oligodendrocyte patterning. J. Neurosci., 2012 32(48):17172?17185

Eichmann A. and Thomas J-L. Molecular Parallels between Neural and Vascular Development. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2013 Jan 1;3(1):a006551.

Bouvrée K., Brunet I., del Toro R., Gordon E., Prahst C., Cristofaro B., Mathivet T., Xu Y., Soueid J., Fortuna V., Miura N., Aigrot M-S., Maden C.H., Ruhrberg C., Thomas J-L., Eichmann A. Semaphorin3A, Neuropilin-1 and PlexinA1 are required for lymphatic valve formation. Circ Res. 2012 Aug 3;111(4):437-45

Kaya F., Mannioui A., Chesneau A., Sekizar S., Maillard E., Balagny C., Houel-Renault L., DuPasquier D., Bronchain O., Holtzmann , Desmazieres A., Thomas J-L., Demeneix B., Brophy P., Zalc B., Mazabraud A. Live imaging of targeted cell ablation in Xenopus: a new model to study demyelination and repair. J. Neurosci., 2012 32(37):12885-12895.

Nakatani H, Martin E, Hassani H, Clavairoly A, Maire CL, Viadieu A, Kerninon C, Delmasure A, Frah M, Weber M, Nakafuku M, Zalc  B, Thomas JL, Guillemot F, Nait-Oumesmar B, Parras C. Ascl1/Mash1 promotes brain oligodendrogenesis during myelination and remyelination. J Neurosci. 2013 Jun 5;33(23):9752-68.

Fields of research

Neurogenetics / neurodevelopment

Research Theme

One aspect of our research is the study of oligodendroglial cell development in the embryonic brain, especially the specification and migration of oligodendrocyte precursors (OPs). In addition, since the development of the central nervous system depends on constant interactions between neural cells and the cerebral vascular network, our studies extend to the neurovascular interactions occurring in the neurogenic niches and the white matter of the normal brain, as well as in the context of neural pathologies such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and gliomas.

The development of oligodendroglial cells in the embryonic brain has been extensively studied by our team over the last ten years. Specification and migration of oligodendrocyte precursors (OPs) have been investigated: i) the localization of production sites for OPs in the mouse and chick; ii) the diversity of populations of OPs in the embryonic brain; iii) the migratory pathways of OPs in the embryonic brain and their monofocal ventral origin in the embryonic forebrain; iv) the identification of molecules produced by the environment of OPs which control their migration, such as the axonal growth factors netrin-1, semaphorins 3A, 3F and the ephrinBs.

They are also developing new research on the neurovascular interactions, based on the finding that the lymphatic endothelial cell growth factor VEGF-C is also expressed by neural cells and provides a trophic support to neural progenitor cells during brain development. More recently, we have reported the direct action of VEGFR-3, the specific receptor of VEGF-C, in murine adult neural stem cells.

Lab rotation

Oligodendroglial, microglial interactions during demyelination and remyelination in a Xenopus transgenic model

Team leader: 

THOMAS Jean-Leon


September 18, 2017 - June 29, 2018

Application deadline: 

June 29, 2018


~ Sept-Dec 2017

~ Jan-March 2018

~ April-June 2018


We have generated a transgenic Xenopus of conditional demyelination in which myelinating oligodendrocytes express the GFP reporter. We are now using the Crispr/Cas9 knock-in approach to introduce the tdTomato fluorescent reporter into the microglial lineage of this transgenic Xenopus line. Fluorescent microglial cells (red) and oligodendrocytes (green) will allow us to monitor in vivo, thanks to the transparency of tadpoles, microglial activation following demyelination and remyelination.  


Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière - 47, boulevard de l'Hôpital 75651 Paris cedex 13 - +33 1 57 27 44 71 -


ZALC Bernard