Our group is investigating neuron-glia interactions with a particular interest for the tripartite synapse that considers astrocytes as active partners of chemical synapses.
The ability of astrocytes to ensure neurotransmitter uptake and to release gliotransmitters and their impact on synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity has raised a lot of attention, identifying astroglial cells as possible targets to generate new and effective therapeutic strategies for brain diseases.
The general objective of our current research projects is to enhance our understanding of glial functions in healthy and diseased nervous system. We aim at characterize the impact of astrocytes on synaptic functions in physiological conditions as well as in the context of different pathologies like Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and addiction. To investigate glia-neurons interactions, we are using different physiological and pathological models in combination with the multidisciplinary approach available in our team like in vitro electrophysiology, morphological analysis, biochemical assays, state-of-the-art cell imaging and MRI.
More specifically, we are interested in deciphering the cellular mechanisms underlying gliotrasmission from detecting synaptic activity, identifying intracellular 2nd messenger pathways and defining independent domains of activity within individual astrocytes. We are also interested in analyzing fine anatomical morphological changes as well as monitoring membrane trafficking of key proteins. All these different glial-dependent process are investigated in regards of their impact onto synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, neuronal excitability, network activity and behaviour.
Astrocytes constantly adapt their ramified morphology in order to support brain cell assemblies. Such plasticity is partly mediated by ion and water fluxes, which rely on the water channel aquaporin-4
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Astrocyte reactivity and neuroinflammation are hallmarks of CNS pathological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. However, the specific role of reactive astrocytes is still debated. This controvers
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Mitochondrial dysfunction in the spinal cord is a hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but the neurometabolic alterations during early stages of the disease remain unknown. Here, we invest