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Ph D - Lab. de Neurophysiologie, U. Bordeaux2 (2006)
Post doc - University of Otago, New Zealand (2007-2009)
Post doc - CNIC, U. Bordeaux1 (2009-2010)
Assoc. Researcher – INCIA, U. Bordeaux1 (2010-2013)
Post doc - Neurocentre Magendie, U. Bordeaux (2013-2015)
Data consulting - Scilight (2015-2017)

Expertise: Electrophysiology, Neuroscience, Behavior, Optogenetics, Addiction, Learning

16 publication(s) since Juillet 2004:

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

04/2017 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7.2
Memories of Opiate Withdrawal Emotional States Correlate with Specific Gamma Oscillations in the Nucleus Accumbens.
Dejean C, Sitko M, Girardeau P, Bennabi A, Caille S, Cador M, Boraud T, Le Moine C

Affective memories associated with the negative emotional state experienced during opiate withdrawal are central in maintaining drug taking, seeking, and relapse. Nucleus accumbens (NAC) is a key structure for both acute withdrawal and withdrawal memories reactivation, but the NAC neuron coding properties underpinning the expression of these memories remain largely unknown. Here we aimed at deciphering the role of NAC neurons in the encoding and retrieval of opiate withdrawal memory. Chronic single neuron and local field potentials recordings were performed in morphine-dependent rats and placebo controls. Animals were subjected to an unbiased conditioned placed aversion protocol with one compartment (CS+) paired with naloxone-precipitated withdrawal, a second compartment with saline injection (CS-), and a third being neutral (no pairing). After conditioning, animals displayed a typical place aversion for CS+ and developed a preference for CS- characteristic of safety learning. We found that distinct NAC neurons code for CS+ or CS-. Both populations also displayed highly specific oscillatory dynamics, CS+ and CS- neurons, respectively, following 80 Hz (G80) and 60 Hz (G60) local field potential gamma rhythms. Finally, we found that the balance between G60 and G80 rhythms strongly correlated both with the ongoing behavior of the animal and the strength of the conditioning. We demonstrate here that the aversive and preferred environments are underpinned by distinct groups of NAC neurons as well as specific oscillatory dynamics. This suggest that G60/G80 interplay-established through the conditioning process-serves as a robust and versatile mechanism for a fine coding of the environment emotional weight.

21/07/2016 | Nature   IF 43.1
Prefrontal neuronal assemblies temporally control fear behaviour.
Dejean C, Courtin J, Karalis N, Chaudun F, Wurtz H, Bienvenu TC, Herry C

Precise spike timing through the coordination and synchronization of neuronal assemblies is an efficient and flexible coding mechanism for sensory and cognitive processing. In cortical and subcortical areas, the formation of cell assemblies critically depends on neuronal oscillations, which can precisely control the timing of spiking activity. Whereas this form of coding has been described for sensory processing and spatial learning, its role in encoding emotional behaviour remains unknown. Fear behaviour relies on the activation of distributed structures, among which the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is known to be critical for fear memory expression. In the dmPFC, the phasic activation of neurons to threat-predicting cues, a spike-rate coding mechanism, correlates with conditioned fear responses and supports the discrimination between aversive and neutral stimuli. However, this mechanism does not account for freezing observed outside stimuli presentations, and the contribution of a general spike-time coding mechanism for freezing in the dmPFC remains to be established. Here we use a combination of single-unit and local field potential recordings along with optogenetic manipulations to show that, in the dmPFC, expression of conditioned fear is causally related to the organization of neurons into functional assemblies. During fear behaviour, the development of 4 Hz oscillations coincides with the activation of assemblies nested in the ascending phase of the oscillation. The selective optogenetic inhibition of dmPFC neurons during the ascending or descending phases of this oscillation blocks and promotes conditioned fear responses, respectively. These results identify a novel phase-specific coding mechanism, which dynamically regulates the development of dmPFC assemblies to control the precise timing of fear responses.

15/02/2016 | Nat Neurosci   IF 21.1
4-Hz oscillations synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits during fear behavior.
Karalis N, Dejean C, Chaudun F, Khoder S, Rozeske RR, Wurtz H, Bagur S, Benchenane K, Sirota A, Courtin J, Herry C

Fear expression relies on the coordinated activity of prefrontal and amygdala circuits, yet the mechanisms allowing long-range network synchronization during fear remain unknown. Using a combination of extracellular recordings, pharmacological and optogenetic manipulations, we found that freezing, a behavioral expression of fear, temporally coincided with the development of sustained, internally generated 4-Hz oscillations in prefrontal-amygdala circuits. 4-Hz oscillations predict freezing onset and offset and synchronize prefrontal-amygdala circuits. Optogenetic induction of prefrontal 4-Hz oscillations coordinates prefrontal-amygdala activity and elicits fear behavior. These results unravel a sustained oscillatory mechanism mediating prefrontal-amygdala coupling during fear behavior.

01/09/2015 | Biol Psychiatry   IF 11.5
Neuronal Circuits for Fear Expression and Recovery: Recent Advances and Potential Therapeutic Strategies.
Dejean C, Courtin J, Rozeske RR, Bonnet MC, Dousset V, Michelet T, Herry C

Recent technological developments, such as single unit recordings coupled to optogenetic approaches, have provided unprecedented knowledge about the precise neuronal circuits contributing to the expression and recovery of conditioned fear behavior. These data have provided an understanding of the contributions of distinct brain regions such as the amygdala, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and periaqueductal gray matter to the control of conditioned fear behavior. Notably, the precise manipulation and identification of specific cell types by optogenetic techniques have provided novel avenues to establish causal links between changes in neuronal activity that develop in dedicated neuronal structures and the short and long-lasting expression of conditioned fear memories. In this review, we provide an update on the key neuronal circuits and cell types mediating conditioned fear expression and recovery and how these new discoveries might refine therapeutic approaches for psychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder.

11/2014 | Med Sci (Paris)   IF 0.4
[Prefrontal parvalbumin-expressing interneurons control fear behavior].
Courtin J, Dejean C, Herry C


11/2013 | Neurobiol Dis   IF 5.2
Opiate dependence induces network state shifts in the limbic system.
Dejean C , Boraud T , Le Moine C

Among current theories of addiction, hedonic homeostasis dysregulation predicts that the brain reward systems, particularly the mesolimbic dopamine system, switch from a physiological state to a new 'set point.' In opiate addiction, evidence show that the dopamine system principal targets, prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAC) and basolateral amygdala complex (BLA) also adapt to repeated drug stimulation. Here we investigated the impact of chronic morphine on the dynamics of the network of these three interconnected structures. For that purpose we performed simultaneous electrophysiological recordings in freely-moving rats subcutaneously implanted with continuous-release morphine pellets. Chronic morphine produced a shift in the network state underpinned by changes in Delta and Gamma oscillations in the LFP of PFC, NAC and BLA, in correlation to behavioral changes. However despite continuous stimulation by the drug, an apparent normalization of the network activity and state occurred after 2 days indicating large scale adaptations. Blockade of mu opioid receptors was nonetheless sufficient to disrupt this acquired new stability in morphine-dependent animals. In line with the homeostatic dysregulation theory of addiction, our study provides original direct evidence that the PFC-NAC-BLA network of the dependent brain is characterized by a de novo balance for which the drug of abuse becomes the main contributor.

11/2013 | Neurobiol Dis   IF 5.2
Why am I lost without dopamine? Effects of 6-OHDA lesion on the encoding of reward and decision process in CA3.
Retailleau A, Dejean C , Fourneaux B , Leinekugel X , Boraud T

There is growing evidence that Parkinson's disease, generally characterized by motor symptoms, also causes cognitive impairment such as spatial disorientation. The hippocampus is a critical structure for spatial navigation and receives sparse but comprehensive dopamine (DA) innervation. DA loss is known to be the cause of Parkinson's disease and therefore it has been hypothesized that the associated spatial disorientation could result from hippocampal dysfunction. Because DA is involved in the prediction of reward expectation, it is possible to infer that spatial disorientation in DA depleted subjects results from the loss of the ability to detect the rewarding features within the environment. Amongst hippocampal formation subdivisions, CA3 properties such as the high liability of its place fields make it a serious candidate for interfacing DA reward system and spatial information encoding. We addressed this issue using multiple electrode recordings of CA3 in normal and dopamine depleted rats performing a spatial learning in a Y-maze. Our data confirm that DA is essential to spatial learning as its depletion results in spatial impairments. The present work also shows that CA3 involvement in the detection of spatial feature contextual significance is under DA control. Finally, it also shows that CA3 contributes to the decision making processes of navigation tasks. The data also reveal a lateralization effect of DA depletion underlined by neural correlates.

16/10/2013 | J Neurosci   IF 6.1
Optic Flow Stimuli Update Anterodorsal Thalamus Head
Direction Neuronal Activity in Rats

Arleo A, Dejean C, Allegraud P, Khamassi M, Zugaro MB, Wiener SI


16/10/2013 | J Neurosci   IF 6.1
Optic flow stimuli update anterodorsal thalamus head direction neuronal activity in rats.
Arleo A, Dejean C, Allegraud P, Khamassi M, Zugaro MB, Wiener SI

Head direction (HD) neurons fire selectively according to head orientation in the yaw plane relative to environmental landmark cues. Head movements provoke optic field flow signals that enter the vestibular nuclei, indicating head velocity, and hence angular displacements. To test whether optic field flow alone affects the directional firing of HD neurons, rats walked about on a circular platform as a spot array was projected onto the surrounding floor-to-ceiling cylindrical black curtain. Directional responses in the anterodorsal thalamus of four rats remained stable as they moved about with the point field but in the absence of landmark cues. Then, the spherical projector was rotated about its yaw axis at 4.5 degrees /s for approximately 90 s. In 27 sessions the mean drift speed of the preferred directions (PDs) was 1.48 degrees /s (SD=0.78 degrees /s; range: 0.15 to 2.88 degrees /s). Thus, optic flow stimulation entrained PDs, albeit at drift speeds slower than the field rotation. This could be due to conflicts with vestibular, motor command, and efferent copy signals. After field rotation ended, 20/27 PDs drifted back to within 45 degrees of the initial values over several minutes, generally following the shortest path to return to the initial value. Poststimulation drifts could change speed and/or direction, with mean speeds of 0.68+/-0.64 degrees /s (range 0 to 1.36 degrees /s). Since the HD cell pathway (containing anterodorsal thalamus) is the only known projection of head direction information to entorhinal grid cells and hippocampal place cells, yaw plane optic flow signals likely influence representations in this spatial reference coordinate system for orientation and navigation.

05/2012 | Neurobiol Dis   IF 5.2
Evolution of the dynamic properties of the cortex-basal ganglia network after dopaminergic depletion in rats.
Dejean C , Nadjar A , Le Moine C , Bioulac B , Gross CE , Boraud T

It is well established that parkinsonian syndrome is associated with alterations of neuronal activity temporal pattern basal ganglia (BG). An increase in synchronized oscillations has been observed in different BG nuclei in Parkinson's disease patients as well as animal models such as 6-hydroxydopamine treated rats. We recently demonstrated that this increase in oscillatory synchronization is present during high-voltage spindles (HVS) probably underpinned by the disorganization of cortex-BG interactions. Here we investigated the time course of both oscillatory and motor alterations. For that purpose we performed daily simultaneous recordings of neuronal activity in motor cortex, striatum and substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr), before and after 6-hydroxydopamine lesion in awake rats. After a brief non-dopamine-specific desynchronization, oscillatory activity first increased during HVS followed by progressive motor impairment and the shortening of SNr activation delay. While the oscillatory firing increase reflects dopaminergic depletion, response alteration in SNr neurons is closely related to motor symptom.