Neurocentre Magendie

Team publications

IF du Neurocentre

78 publications

* equal contribution
The indicated IF have been collected by the Web of Sciences in June 2016

07/06/2017 | autism res
Behavioral abnormalities in the Fmr1-KO2 mouse model of fragile X syndrome: The relevance of early life phases.
Gaudissard J, Ginger M, Premoli M, Memo M, Frick A, Pietropaolo S

Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a developmental disorder caused by a mutation in the X-linked FMR1 gene, coding for the FMRP protein which is largely involved in synaptic function. FXS patients present several behavioral abnormalities, including hyperactivity, anxiety, sensory hyper-responsiveness, and cognitive deficits. Autistic symptoms, e.g., altered social interaction and communication, are also often observed: FXS is indeed the most common monogenic cause of autism. Mouse models of FXS are therefore of great interest for research on both FXS and autistic pathologies. The Fmr1-KO2 mouse line is the most recent FXS model, widely used for brain studies; surprisingly, little is known about the face validity of this model, i.e., its FXS-like behavioral phenotype. Furthermore, no data are available for the age-related expression of the pathological phenotypes in this mouse line, a critical issue for modelling neurodevelopmental disorders. Here we performed an extensive behavioral characterization of the KO2 model at infancy, adolescent and adult ages. Hyperactivity, altered emotionality, sensory hyper-responsiveness and memory deficits were already present in KO mice at adolescence and remained evident at adulthood. Alterations in social behaviors were instead observed only in young KO animals: during the first 2 weeks of life, KOs emitted longer ultrasonic vocalizations compared to their WT littermates and as adolescents they displayed more aggressive behaviors towards a conspecific. These results strongly support the face validity of the KO2 mouse as a model for FXS, at the same time demonstrating that its ability to recapitulate social autistic-relevant phenotypes depends on early testing ages. Autism Res 2017. (c) 2017 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

10/04/2017 | Nat Neurosci   IF 16.7
Abnormal wiring of CCK+ basket cells disrupts spatial information coding.
Del Pino I, Brotons-Mas JR, Marques-Smith A, Marighetto A, Frick A, Marin O, Rico B

The function of cortical GABAergic interneurons is largely determined by their integration into specific neural circuits, but the mechanisms controlling the wiring of these cells remain largely unknown. This is particularly true for a major population of basket cells that express the neuropeptide cholecystokinin (CCK). Here we found that the tyrosine kinase receptor ErbB4 was required for the normal integration into cortical circuits of basket cells expressing CCK and vesicular glutamate transporter 3 (VGlut3). The number of inhibitory synapses made by CCK+VGlut3+ basket cells and the inhibitory drive they exerted on pyramidal cells were reduced in conditional mice lacking ErbB4. Developmental disruption of the connectivity of these cells diminished the power of theta oscillations during exploratory behavior, disrupted spatial coding by place cells, and caused selective alterations in spatial learning and memory in adult mice. These results suggest that normal integration of CCK+ basket cells in cortical networks is key to support spatial coding in the hippocampus.

2017 | Methods Mol Biol
Dual Anterograde and Retrograde Viral Tracing of Reciprocal Connectivity.
Haberl MG, Ginger M, Frick A

Current large-scale approaches in neuroscience aim to unravel the complete connectivity map of specific neuronal circuits, or even the entire brain. This emerging research discipline has been termed connectomics. Recombinant glycoprotein-deleted rabies virus (RABV G) has become an important tool for the investigation of neuronal connectivity in the brains of a variety of species. Neuronal infection with even a single RABV G particle results in high-level transgene expression, revealing the fine-detailed morphology of all neuronal features-including dendritic spines, axonal processes, and boutons-on a brain-wide scale. This labeling is eminently suitable for subsequent post-hoc morphological analysis, such as semiautomated reconstruction in 3D. Here we describe the use of a recently developed anterograde RABV G variant together with a retrograde RABV G for the investigation of projections both to, and from, a particular brain region. In addition to the automated reconstruction of a dendritic tree, we also give as an example the volume measurements of axonal boutons following RABV G-mediated fluorescent marker expression. In conclusion RABV G variants expressing a combination of markers and/or tools for stimulating/monitoring neuronal activity, used together with genetic or behavioral animal models, promise important insights in the structure-function relationship of neural circuits.

The possible effects on cognitive processes of external electric fields, such as those generated by power line pillars and household appliances are of increasing public concern. They are difficult to study experimentally, and the relatively scarce and contradictory evidence make it difficult to clearly assess these effects. In this study, we investigate how, why and to what extent external perturbations of the intrinsic neuronal activity, such as those that can be caused by generation, transmission and use of electrical energy can affect neuronal activity during cognitive processes. For this purpose, we used a morphologically and biophysically realistic three-dimensional model of CA1 pyramidal neurons. The simulation findings suggest that an electric field oscillating at power lines frequency, and environmentally measured strength, can significantly alter both the average firing rate and temporal spike distribution properties of a hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neuron. This effect strongly depends on the specific and instantaneous relative spatial location of the neuron with respect to the field, and on the synaptic input properties. The model makes experimentally testable predictions on the possible functional consequences for normal hippocampal functions such as object recognition and spatial navigation. The results suggest that, although EF effects on cognitive processes may be difficult to occur in everyday life, their functional consequences deserve some consideration, especially when they constitute a systematic presence in living environments.

17/06/2016 | Nat Commun   IF 11.3
Early synaptic deficits in the APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease involve neuronal adenosine A2A receptors.
Viana da Silva S, Haberl MG, Zhang P, Bethge P, Lemos C, Goncalves N, Gorlewicz A, Malezieux M, Goncalves FQ, Grosjean N, Blanchet C, Frick A, Nagerl UV, Cunha RA, Mulle C

Synaptic plasticity in the autoassociative network of recurrent connections among hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells is thought to enable the storage of episodic memory. Impaired episodic memory is an early manifestation of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the APP/PS1 mouse model of AD amyloidosis, we show that associative long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) is abolished in CA3 pyramidal cells at an early stage. This is caused by activation of upregulated neuronal adenosine A2A receptors (A2AR) rather than by dysregulation of NMDAR signalling or altered dendritic spine morphology. Neutralization of A2AR by acute pharmacological inhibition, or downregulation driven by shRNA interference in a single postsynaptic neuron restore associative CA3 LTP. Accordingly, treatment with A2AR antagonists reverts one-trial memory deficits. These results provide mechanistic support to encourage testing the therapeutic efficacy of A2AR antagonists in early AD patients.

Post-learning hippocampal sharp wave-ripples (SWRs) generated during slow wave sleep are thought to play a crucial role in memory formation. While in Alzheimer's disease, abnormal hippocampal oscillations have been reported, the functional contribution of SWRs to the typically observed spatial memory impairments remains unclear. These impairments have been related to degenerative synaptic changes produced by soluble amyloid beta oligomers (Abetaos) which, surprisingly, seem to spare the SWR dynamics during routine behavior. To unravel a potential effect of Abetaos on SWRs in cognitively-challenged animals, we submitted vehicle- and Abetao-injected mice to spatial recognition memory testing. While capable of forming short-term recognition memory, Abeta mice exhibited faster forgetting, suggesting successful encoding but an inability to adequately stabilize and/or retrieve previously acquired information. Without prior cognitive requirements, similar properties of SWRs were observed in both groups. In contrast, when cognitively challenged, the post-encoding and -recognition peaks in SWR occurrence observed in controls were abolished in Abeta mice, indicating impaired hippocampal processing of spatial information. These results point to a crucial involvement of SWRs in spatial memory formation and identify the Abeta-induced impairment in SWRs dynamics as a disruptive mechanism responsible for the spatial memory deficits associated with Alzheimer's disease.

2016 | neural plast   IF 3.6
Mechanisms Underlying Adaptation of Respiratory Network Activity to Modulatory Stimuli in the Mouse Embryo.
Chevalier M, De Sa R, Cardoit L, Thoby-Brisson M

Breathing is a rhythmic behavior that requires organized contractions of respiratory effector muscles. This behavior must adapt to constantly changing conditions in order to ensure homeostasis, proper body oxygenation, and CO2/pH regulation. Respiratory rhythmogenesis is controlled by neural networks located in the brainstem. One area considered to be essential for generating the inspiratory phase of the respiratory rhythm is the preBotzinger complex (preBotC). Rhythmogenesis emerges from this network through the interplay between the activation of intrinsic cellular properties (pacemaker properties) and intercellular synaptic connections. Respiratory activity continuously changes under the impact of numerous modulatory substances depending on organismal needs and environmental conditions. The preBotC network has been shown to become active during the last third of gestation. But only little is known regarding the modulation of inspiratory rhythmicity at embryonic stages and even less on a possible role of pacemaker neurons in this functional flexibility during the prenatal period. By combining electrophysiology and calcium imaging performed on embryonic brainstem slice preparations, we provide evidence showing that embryonic inspiratory pacemaker neurons are already intrinsically sensitive to neuromodulation and external conditions (i.e., temperature) affecting respiratory network activity, suggesting a potential role of pacemaker neurons in mediating rhythm adaptation to modulatory stimuli in the embryo.

11/2015 | sci adv
Structural-functional connectivity deficits of neocortical circuits in the Fmr1 (-/y) mouse model of autism.
Haberl MG, Zerbi V, Veltien A, Ginger M, Heerschap A, Frick A

Fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common inherited form of intellectual disability disorder and a frequent cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is characterized by a high prevalence of sensory symptoms. Perturbations in the anatomical connectivity of neocortical circuits resulting in their functional defects have been hypothesized to contribute to the underlying etiology of these disorders. We tested this idea by probing alterations in the functional and structural connectivity of both local and long-ranging neocortical circuits in the Fmr1 (-/y) mouse model of FXS. To achieve this, we combined in vivo ultrahigh-field diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), functional MRI, and viral tracing approaches in adult mice. Our results show an anatomical hyperconnectivity phenotype for the primary visual cortex (V1), but a disproportional low connectivity of V1 with other neocortical regions. These structural data are supported by defects in the structural integrity of the subcortical white matter in the anterior and posterior forebrain. These anatomical alterations might contribute to the observed functional decoupling across neocortical regions. We therefore identify FXS as a 'connectopathy,' providing a translational model for understanding sensory processing defects and functional decoupling of neocortical areas in FXS and ASD.

11/09/2015 | Science   IF 34.7
Tuning of fast-spiking interneuron properties by an activity-dependent transcriptional switch.
Dehorter N, Ciceri G, Bartolini G, Lim L, del Pino I, Marin O

The function of neural circuits depends on the generation of specific classes of neurons. Neural identity is typically established near the time when neurons exit the cell cycle to become postmitotic cells, and it is generally accepted that, once the identity of a neuron has been established, its fate is maintained throughout life. Here, we show that network activity dynamically modulates the properties of fast-spiking (FS) interneurons through the postmitotic expression of the transcriptional regulator Er81. In the adult cortex, Er81 protein levels define a spectrum of FS basket cells with different properties, whose relative proportions are, however, continuously adjusted in response to neuronal activity. Our findings therefore suggest that interneuron properties are malleable in the adult cortex, at least to a certain extent.

09/2015 | brain behav   IF 2.1
Genetic deletion of the Histone Deacetylase 6 exacerbates selected behavioral deficits in the R6/1 mouse model for Huntington's disease.
Ragot A, Pietropaolo S, Vincent J, Delage P, Zhang H, Allinquant B, Leinekugel X, Fischer A, Cho YH

INTRODUCTION: The inhibition of the Histone Deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) increases tubulin acetylation, thus stimulating intracellular vesicle trafficking and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release, that is, cellular processes markedly reduced in Huntington's disease (HD). METHODS: We therefore tested that reducing HDAC6 levels by genetic manipulation would attenuate early cognitive and behavioral deficits in R6/1 mice, a mouse model which develops progressive HD-related phenotypes. RESULTS: In contrast to our initial hypothesis, the genetic deletion of HDAC6 did not reduce the weight loss or the deficits in cognitive abilities and nest-building behavior shown by R6/1 mice, and even worsened their social impairments, hypolocomotion in the Y-maze, and reduced ultrasonic vocalizations. CONCLUSIONS: These results weaken the validity of HDAC6 reduction as a possible therapeutic strategy for HD. The data are discussed in terms of additional cellular consequences and anatomical specificity of HDAC6 that could explain these unexpected effects.