Zebrafish Neurogenetics (ZEN)


Research center

25 rue du Docteur Roux
75015 Paris
Christian Bréchot


ED 515 Complexité du Vivant
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


Department of Developmental and stem cell Biology
Labex Revive


stem cell


L. Dirian, S. Galant, M. Coolen, J. Livet, W. Chen, S. Bedu, C. Houart, L. Bally-Cuif* and I. Foucher*. Spatial regionalization and heterochrony in the formation of adult pallial neural stem cells. Dev. Cell 30:123-136 (2014).

G. FurlanV. Cuccioli, N. Vuillemin, L. Dirian, A. Janue Muntasell, M. CoolenN. DrayS. Bedu, C. Houart, E. Beaurepaire, I. Foucher*and L. Bally-Cuif*. Life-long neurogenic activity of individual neural stem cells and continuous growth establish an outside-in architecture in the teleost pallium. Curr. Biol., in press (2017). * co-senior authorship. 

S. KatzD. Cussigh, N. Urban, F. Guillemot, L. Bally-Cuif* and M. Coolen*. A non-canonical nuclear role for microRNA-9 and Argonaute proteins in balancing the quiescent and activated adult neural stem cell state. Cell Reports 17: 1383-1398 (2016).    

S. GalantG. FurlanM. CoolenL. DirianI. Foucher and L. Bally-CuifEmbryonic origin and lineage hierarchies of the neural progenitor subtypes building the zebrafish adult midbrain. Dev Biol. pii: S0012-1606(16)30424-9 (2016).

N. DrayS. Bedu, N. Vuillemin, A. AlunniM. CoolenM. Krecsmarik, W. Supatto, E. Beaurepaire and L. Bally-Cuif. Large-scale live imaging of adult neuro stem cells in their endogenous niche. Development 142: 3592-3600 (2015).

Fields of research

Neurogenetics / neurodevelopment

Research Theme

The central nervous system (CNS) of vertebrates is a complex arrangement of neurons and glial cells that underlie brain physiology and animal behavior. These cells are set-up in defined numbers at specific locations from neural progenitors or Neural Stem Cells (NSCs), largely during early stages of life. In addition, the maintenance of NSCs in the brain until adulthood is a general phenomenon, likely crucial to late adaptation events. Indeed, defects in adult neurogenesis have been correlated with neurodegenerative and mood-related disorders, and also occur during ageing.

Within this context, the large-frame perspective of our research program is to understand the molecular integration of NSC biology with the ultimate aspect of brain function: the determination of behavior. To this aim, we focus both on the molecular mechanisms underlying NSC fate during development and adulthood, and on basic features of adult neurogenesis and its impact on behavioral modulation. Our model is the zebrafish, Danio rerio, where adult NSCs are abundant, which stands as an excellent comparative vertebrate model to the mouse, and where we recently identified NSC factors that we can now use as starting point towards dissecting NSC genetic cascades. In addition, we developed assays measuring emotional and cognitive behavior in this species.

ENP Students

Shauna KATZ

Team members

Alessandro Alunni
Marion Coolen