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28/04/2021 10h00
Emma MESGUICH from Marsicano's lab will give a presentation entitled 'Role of the endocannabinoid system in exercise-related activity of midbrain dopaminergic neurons' Link:

22/04/2021 13h00
13th “Nutrition-Neuroscience meeting”

Meeting room: online

The 13th edition of nutrition-neuroscience meeting will take place online , Thursday 22 April 2021.

Imane Hurel from Marsicano team (Neurocentre Magendie, Bordeaux Neurocampus) will present:
Choosing between exercise and food in a closed economy setting: role of CB1 receptors

Free registration required at :

Be careful to watch the conference on Chrome.
Be careful: it is mandatory to register in two steps, for each session. From 12:30 and from 15:30.

31/03/2021 10h00
Urszula SKUPIO from Marsicano's lab will give a presentation entitled 'Role of endocannabinoid system in stress-induced amnesia'. Please join using

24/02/2021 10h45
Ana COVELO from Marsicano's lab will give a presentation entitled "Role of CB1 in synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens core"

25/11/2020 10h45
Alvaro MORENO from Marsicano's lab will give a presentation entitled "Endocannabinoid regulation of astroglial cell function in multiple sclerosis".

28/10/2020 10h45
Alex Fletcher-Jones from Marsicano's lab will give a presentation entitled "Mitochondrial trafficking of CB1: Finding mitoCB1"

Exercise craving potentiates excitatory inputs to ventral tegmental area dopaminergic neurons
Maria‐Carmen Medrano, Imane Hurel, Emma Mesguich, Bastien Redon, Christopher Stevens, François Georges, Miriam Melis, Giovanni Marsicano, Francis Chaouloff
Addiction Biology. 2020-10-05; :

Physical exercise, which can be addictogenic on its own, is considered a therapeutic alternative for drug craving. Exercise might thus share with drugs the ability to strengthen excitatory synapses onto ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopaminergic neurones, as assessed by the ratio of AMPA receptor (AMPAR)-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) to NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated EPSCs. As did acute cocaine, amphetamine, or Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) pretreatments, an acute 1-h wheel-running session increased the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio in VTA dopaminergic neurones. To dissect the respective influences of wheel-running seeking and performance, mice went through an operant protocol wherein wheel-running was conditioned by nose poking under fixed ratio schedules of reinforcement. Conditioned wheel-running increased the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio to a higher extent than free wheel-running, doing so although running performance was lower in the former paradigm than in the latter. Thus, the cue-reward association, rather than reward consumption, played a major role in this increase. The AMPAR/NMDAR ratio returned to baseline levels in mice that had extinguished the cued-running motivated task, but it increased after a cue-induced reinstatement session. The amplitude of this increase correlated with the intensity of exercise craving, as assessed by individual nose poke scores. Finally, cue-induced reinstatement of running seeking proved insensitive to acute cocaine or THC pretreatments. Our study reveals for the first time that the drive for exercise bears synaptic influences on VTA dopaminergic neurones which are reminiscent of drug actions. Whether these influences play a role in the therapeutic effects of exercise in human drug craving remains to be established.

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