General informations
          Show the web article Link     Afficher le PDF

Venue: Bordeaux School of Neuroscience

The normal aging process is associated with reduced performance on cognitive tasks that require one to quickly process or transform information to make a decision, including measures of speed of processing, executive cognitive function, working and relational memories. Structural and functional alterations in the brain correlate with these age-related cognitive changes, such as loss of synapses, and dysfunction of neuronal networks. It is crucial to develop new approaches that consider the whole neuroanatomical, endocrine, immunological, vascular and cellular changes impacting on cognition.

This 3-week course will cover the fundamentals of cognitive aging -including inter-individual differences, cognitive and brain reserve and risk factors- and highlight the newest functional imaging methods to study human brain function. The Faculty will share the state-of-the-art molecular, optical, computational, electrophysiological, behavioural and epidemiological approaches available for studying the aging brain in diverse model systems. The Students will learn the potential and limitations of these methods, through practical experience in a combination of lectures addressing aging in both humans and animal models and hands-on-projects. They will acquire sufficient practical experience to model, design and interpret experiments and brainstorm on novel technologies and hypotheses to explore the aging of the brain using more integrative and creative approaches.

Keynote speakers:
Hélène Amieva - University of Bordeaux
Adam Antebi - MPI for Biology of Ageing
Carol Barnes - University of Arizona
LucBuée-Centrede Recherche Jean-Pierre Aubert
Gwenaëlle Catheline - University of Bordeaux
Maria Llorens-Martin - Centro de Biologia
Molecular Severo Ochoa
Aline Marighetto - University of Bordeaux
Lars Nyberg - Umeå University
Laure Rondi-Reig - Sorbonne University
Yaakov Stern - Columbia University
Tony Wyss-Coray - Stanford University

Course director: Luísa Lopes
Co-directors: Cheryl Grady and Nora Abrous

Application deadline: 25 May 2020
Stipends are available

Fee : 3.500 € (includes tuition fee, accommodation and meals)

The CAJAL programme offers 4 stipends per course (waived registration fee, not including travel expenses). Please apply through the course online application form. In order to identify candidates in real need of a stipend, any grant applicant is encouraged to first request funds from their lab, institution or government.

Kindly note that if you benefited from a Cajal stipend in the past, you are no longer eligible to receive this kind of funding. However other types of funding (such as partial travel grants from sponsors) might be made available after the participants selection process, depending on the course.

For enquiries, please contact:

Luigi Bellocchio (Marsicano team) and al. in eLife

Cannabis is the most common illicit drug of abuse in the US and globally. In addition, many states in the US, as well as several countries in the world, have legalized the medical and/or recreational use of cannabis. In this rapidly expanding landscape of cannabis use, huge efforts are made to find innovative interventions reducing potential cannabis-evoked harms. Here, we investigated the possible relation between cannabinoids and autophagy, the process of programmed cell “self-digestion”, and asked whether it could be related to the control of motor coordination behavior, one of the best established neurobiological processes impacted by cannabinoids.

We showed that Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, impairs autophagy and accumulates P62 protein in neurons of the striatum, a brain area that plays a key role in the control of motor coordination. Second, we demonstrate that boosting autophagy, either by pharmacological manipulation (with the FDA-approved mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor temsirolimus) or by dietary intervention (with the natural, non-toxic disaccharide trehalose), rescues the Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced impairment of striatal autophagy and motor coordination in mice. Furthermore, we provide evidence that cannabinoid CB1 receptors located on neurons of the striatal direct (stratonigral) pathway, by coupling to mammalian target of rapamycin activation and autophagy inhibition, are indispensable for the motor dyscoordinating activity of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol in mice.

Last but not least, using viral mediated genetic manipulation of striatonigral neurons we confirmed that disrupting mammalian target of rapamycin pathway, as well as boosting P62 accumulation in these cells, completely prevents Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-induced impairment of striatal autophagy and motor dyscoordination in mice.

Taken together, these findings identify impairment of autophagy as an unprecedented mechanistic link between cannabinoids and motor dyscoordination, and suggest that activators of autophagy might be considered as promising therapeutic tools to treat certain cannabinoid-evoked behavioral alterations.


Inhibition of striatonigral autophagy as a link between cannabinoid intoxication and impairment of motor coordination. Cristina Blázquez, Andrea Ruiz-Calvo, Raquel Bajo-Grañeras, Jérôme M Baufreton, Eva Resel, Marjorie Varilh, Antonio C Pagano Zottola, Yamuna Mariani, Astrid Cannich, José A Rodríguez-Navarro, Giovanni Marsicano, Ismael Galve-Roperh, Luigi Bellocchio, Manuel Guzmán ; eLife 2020;9:e56811 doi: 10.7554/eLife.56811

Andreas Frick (Neurocentre Magendie) has received a Research Award from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

His project:
Atypical sensory experience is a core feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and may be strongly determinant of other core symptoms of the disorder. Atypical sensory information processing, and associated behavioral symptoms related to the perception of touch, are very common in ASD and exert a strong negative influence on day-to-day life. Nonetheless, there is a surprising paucity of neurobiological studies addressing this aspect of ASD pathology, or specifically attempting to target this symptom for therapeutic rescue. In collaboration with Prof. S. Heinemann (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena), they are exploring a novel therapeutic strategy for treating sensory symptoms in ASD.

General informations
Congratulations to Dana for a successful mid-term thesis defense!!

Dana's virtual mid-term committee took place this Friday 07/24. Professor Mickaël Naassila, Dr Jean-Michel Gaulier and Dr Daniel Choquet were impressed by Dana's excellent communication skills and scientific proficiency!

Congratulations to Fiona and Guillaume, each in their own category, for winning the Inserm professional selection exam. They are promoted to the grades of TCE and TCS respectively. Magendie thus obtained 2 promotions out of the 35 possible promotions, i.e. 5.7% of the possibilities, whereas our Inserm statutory ITA staff represents 1.4% of the national staff. Another great performance! Congratulations to our staff and to all those who supported them in their preparations.

The administrative staff are numerous: about fifty persons within the research units of Bordeaux Neurocampus. Their missions? Financial management, IT, event management, secretarial work… all essential jobs but little is said about them. We give the floor to one of them, Sylvie San Segundo, who works at the Neurocentre Magendie.

What are your missions at the Neurocentre Magendie?

In this research unit, the missions of research support are dissociated by poles: there is a logistics pole, a budget pole, a mission pole, a human resources pole, and an IT support pole. The logistics pole where I work carries out all the purchasing actions within the Neurocentre. My missions are therefore very varied, and include in particular expenses that can be related to scientific publications. These days, there are more than usually because the researchers have been able to devote time to it, with the confinement.

At first, the research environment was unfamiliar to me: I obtained a literary bachelor’s degree, and for 20 years I worked in a travel agency. After a professional reconversion in the small business assistance, I assisted my husband in his company, and later I applied to the Neurocentre Magendie. I had already heard of INSERM, which is the supervisory body of our unit and whose regional delegation shares the same building.

Over the years, I took on responsibilities. At the beginning there were two of us, and today there are almost three of us; I have taken over the logistics pole, dividing up the tasks, being in charge of public procurement as well as animation and communication for purchasing. Our role in supporting research is to help scientists with the administrative aspect so that they can devote themselves to fundamental research more serenely. I also have a mission as a prevention assistant: risks are often associated with laboratories, whereas there are also psychosocial risks and musculoskeletal disorders which also affect administrative staff, and for which there are prevention missions.

Finally, I also have a role in the Neurocentre’s network of prevention assistants to coordinate all curative and preventive maintenance actions related to equipment in the laboratories. This is an important range. I draw up the contracts and negotiate them within the framework of competitive bidding in order to find the best suppliers. I am therefore aware of the purely scientific aspect and the needs of the platforms and research teams.

So your day-to-day work is varied!

Yes, it does. But there are also a lot of recurring tasks: every morning I check my e-mails, the orders that come in, because we have eleven research teams, five technical platforms, so there are a lot of needs, but every day is different. When we are not teleworking, the doors of our office are always open, we exchange with the researchers, technicians, live agents.

Besides diversity, what do you particularly like about your work?

What I like most is the teamwork with my colleagues and the interaction with the other poles. This is fundamental for me. With my twenty years’ experience in a travel agency, I was particularly interested in the relationship with the public, being able to interact, providing a service, and I found it here. I have the same relationship with the agents as I had with my clients in the past. I have to be able to listen to them, relieve them of all administrative constraints, accompany them.

I also like to coordinate or participate in group actions. The network of prevention assistants is the ideal terrain for this. With the first phase of deconfinement that we went through, the network was very effective; we set up working groups to divide up the tasks among ourselves, at the site level. The network has found its full meaning in this context. That’s also what I like about my work: being able to work with other people, in good understanding, and thus in this case to participate in the advancement of research. At the beginning of the deconfinement, when I went to the office once a week, the site was empty, so I was sad (laughs). Since we have returned to face-to-face work, even partially, and by making sure that the barrier gestures are respected, it’s nice to be able to talk to my colleagues, to have a little coffee from time to time: I missed that.