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1996-2000: Thèse de Neurosciences et Neuropharmacologie(BXI)
1995-1996: DEA de Neurosciences et Neuropharmacologie (BXI)
1994-1995: *Maîtrise de Psychologie et *Licence de Sciences Cognitives (BX2)

Expertise: mémoire, émotion, peur conditionnée, hippocampe, amygdale, souris

Partant de situations comportementales qui dissocient des opérations cognitives, nous combinons des approches corrélatives et interventionnelles pour déterminer à l’échelle moléculaire, régionale et systémique, les mécanismes neurobiologiques sous-jacents à différentes formes de mémoire émotionnelle et à leur altération dans un contexte pathologique spécifique.
-Etude de la mémoire émotionnelle normale via l’analyse des processus d’acquisition, de consolidation et d’extinction de conditionnements aversifs élémentaire et contextuel
-Mémoire émotionnelle pathologique : élaboration d’un modèle neuropsychologique du syndrome de stress post-traumatique.

22 publication(s) since Janvier 1998:

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

12/11/2016 | Brain Behav Immun   IF 6.2
Selective dentate gyrus disruption causes memory impairment at the early stage of experimental multiple sclerosis.
Planche V, Panatier A, Hiba B, Ducourneau EG, Raffard G, Dubourdieu N, Maitre M, Leste-Lasserre T, Brochet B, Dousset V, Desmedt A, Oliet SH, Tourdias T

Memory impairment is an early and disabling manifestation of multiple sclerosis whose anatomical and biological substrates are still poorly understood. We thus investigated whether memory impairment encountered at the early stage of the disease could be explained by a differential vulnerability of particular hippocampal subfields. By using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, we identified that early memory impairment was associated with selective alteration of the dentate gyrus as pinpointed in vivo with diffusion-tensor-imaging (DTI). Neuromorphometric analyses and electrophysiological recordings confirmed dendritic degeneration, alteration in glutamatergic synaptic transmission and impaired long-term synaptic potentiation selectively in the dentate gyrus, but not in CA1, together with a more severe pattern of microglial activation in this subfield. Systemic injections of the microglial inhibitor minocycline prevented DTI, morphological, electrophysiological and behavioral impairments in EAE-mice. Furthermore, daily infusions of minocycline specifically within the dentate gyrus were sufficient to prevent memory impairment in EAE-mice while infusions of minocycline within CA1 were inefficient. We conclude that early memory impairment in EAE is due to a selective disruption of the dentate gyrus associated with microglia activation. These results open new pathophysiological, imaging, and therapeutic perspectives for memory impairment in multiple sclerosis.

01/09/2015 | Biol Psychiatry   IF 11.5
Abnormal Fear Memory as a Model for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Desmedt A, Marighetto A, Piazza PV

For over a century, clinicians have consistently described the paradoxical co-existence in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) of sensory intrusive hypermnesia and declarative amnesia for the same traumatic event. Although this amnesia is considered as a critical etiological factor of the development and/or persistence of PTSD, most current animal models in basic neuroscience have focused exclusively on the hypermnesia, i.e., the persistence of a strong fear memory, neglecting the qualitative alteration of fear memory. The latest is characterized by an underrepresentation of the trauma in the context-based declarative memory system in favor of its overrepresentation in a cue-based sensory/emotional memory system. Combining psychological and neurobiological data as well as theoretical hypotheses, this review supports the idea that contextual amnesia is at the core of PTSD and its persistence and that altered hippocampal-amygdalar interaction may contribute to such pathologic memory. In a first attempt to unveil the neurobiological alterations underlying PTSD-related hypermnesia/amnesia, we describe a recent animal model mimicking in mice some critical aspects of such abnormal fear memory. Finally, this line of argument emphasizes the pressing need for a systematic comparison between normal/adaptive versus abnormal/maladaptive fear memory to identify biomarkers of PTSD while distinguishing them from general stress-related, potentially adaptive, neurobiological alterations.

11/08/2015 | stress   IF 2.2
Adaptive emotional memory: the key hippocampal-amygdalar interaction.
Desmedt A, Marighetto A, Richter-Levin G, Calandreau L

For centuries philosophical and clinical studies have emphasized a fundamental dichotomy between emotion and cognition, as, for instance, between behavioral/emotional memory and explicit/representative memory. However, the last few decades cognitive neuroscience have highlighted data indicating that emotion and cognition, as well as their underlying neural networks, are in fact in close interaction. First, it turns out that emotion can serve cognition, as exemplified by its critical contribution to decision-making or to the enhancement of episodic memory. Second, it is also observed that reciprocally cognitive processes as reasoning, conscious appraisal or explicit representation of events can modulate emotional responses, like promoting or reducing fear. Third, neurobiological data indicate that reciprocal amygdalar-hippocampal influences underlie such mutual regulation of emotion and cognition. While supporting this view, the present review discusses experimental data, obtained in rodents, indicating that the hippocampal and amygdalar systems not only regulate each other and their functional outcomes, but also qualify specific emotional memory representations through specific activations and interactions. Specifically, we review consistent behavioral, electrophysiological, pharmacological, biochemical and imaging data unveiling a direct contribution of both the amygdala and hippocampal-septal system to the identification of the predictor of a threat in different situations of fear conditioning. Our suggestion is that these two brain systems and their interplay determine the selection of relevant emotional stimuli, thereby contributing to the adaptive value of emotional memory. Hence, beyond the mutual quantitative regulation of these two brain systems described so far, we develop the idea that different activations of the hippocampus and amygdala, leading to specific configurations of neural activity, qualitatively impact the formation of emotional memory representations, thereby producing either adaptive or maladaptive fear memories.

09/2014 | Mol Psychiatry   IF 12
BDNF-TrkB signaling through Erk1/2 MAPK phosphorylation mediates the enhancement of fear memory induced by glucocorticoids.
Revest JM, Le Roux A, Roullot-Lacarriere V, Kaouane N, Vallee M, Kasanetz F, Rouge-Pont F, Tronche F, Desmedt A, Piazza PV

Activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) by glucocorticoid hormones (GC) enhances contextual fear memories through the activation of the Erk1/2(MAPK) signaling pathway. However, the molecular mechanism mediating this effect of GC remains unknown. Here we used complementary molecular and behavioral approaches in mice and rats and in genetically modified mice in which the GR was conditionally deleted (GR(NesCre)). We identified the tPA-BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway as the upstream molecular effectors of GR-mediated phosphorylation of Erk1/2(MAPK) responsible for the enhancement of contextual fear memory. These findings complete our knowledge of the molecular cascade through which GC enhance contextual fear memory and highlight the role of tPA-BDNF-TrkB-Erk1/2(MAPK) signaling pathways as one of the core effectors of stress-related effects of GC.

09/2014 | stress   IF 2.2
Long-term effects of controllability or the lack of it on coping abilities and stress resilience in the rat.
Lucas M, Ilin Y, Anunu R, Kehat O, Xu L, Desmedt A, Richter-Levin G

Abstract Findings suggest that stress-induced impaired learning and coping abilities may be attributed more to the psychological nature of the stressor, rather than its physical properties. It has been proposed that establishing controllability over stressors can ameliorate some of its effects on cognition and behavior. Gaining controllability was suggested to be associated with the development of stress resilience. Based on repeated exposure to the two-way shuttle avoidance task, we previously developed and validated a behavioral task that leads to a strict dissociation between gaining controllability (to the level that the associated fear is significantly reduced) and a fearful state of uncontrollability. Employing this protocol, we investigated here the impact of gaining or failing to gain emotional controllability on indices of anxiety and depression and on subsequent abilities to cope with positively or negatively reinforcing learning experiences. In agreement with previous studies, rats exposed to the uncontrollable protocol demonstrated high concentration of sera corticosterone, increased immobility, reduced duration of struggling in the forced swim test and impaired ability to acquire subsequent learning tasks. Achieving emotional controllability resulted in resilience to stress as was indicated by longer duration of struggling in the forced swim test, and enhanced learning abilities. Our prolonged training protocol, with the demonstrated ability of rats to gain emotional controllability, is proposed as a useful tool to study the neurobiological mechanisms of stress resilience.

23/02/2012 | Science   IF 41
Glucocorticoids Can Induce PTSD-Like Memory Impairments in Mice.
Kaouane N, Porte Y, Vallee M, Brayda-Bruno L, Mons N, Calandreau L, Marighetto A, Piazza PV, Desmedt A

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by a hypermnesia of the trauma and by a memory impairment that decreases the ability to restrict fear to the appropriate context. Infusion of glucocorticoids in the hippocampus after fear conditioning induces PTSD-like memory impairments and an altered pattern of neural activation in the hippocampal-amygdalar circuit. Mice become unable to identify the context as the right predictor of the threat and show fear responses for a discrete cue non-predicting the threat in normal conditions. These data demonstrate PTSD-like memory impairments in rodents and identify a potential pathophysiological mechanism of this condition.

02/02/2011 | Behav Brain Res   IF 2.8
Effect of one week of stress on emotional reactivity and learning and memory
Calandreau L, Bertin A, Boissy A, Arnould C, Constantin P, Desmedt A, Guemene D, Nowak R, Leterrier C

Chronic stress is known to induce long term alterations of emotional behaviours

12/2010 | Mol Psychiatry   IF 12
The enhancement of stress-related memory by glucocorticoids depends on
Revest JM, Kaouane N, Mondin M, Le Roux A, Rouge-Pont F, Vallee M, Barik J, Tronche F, Desmedt A, Piazza PV

The activation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) by glucocorticoids increases

2010 | Learn Mem   IF 2.4
Switching from contextual to tone fear conditioning and vice versa: the key role
Calandreau L, Desgranges B, Jaffard R, Desmedt A

The aim of the present experiment was to directly assess the role of the

INTRODUCTION: The comparative effects of a newly described specific alpha7 nAChR partial agonist, S 24795, and a cholinesterase inhibitor, donepezil, currently used as a symptomatic Alzheimer's disease treatment were studied in two mouse models of aging-related memory deficits. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We employed radial arm-maze paradigms assessing short-term working memory (STWM, experiment A) and mnemonic flexibility, a cardinal property of long-term declarative (LTDM, experiment B). Both compounds were administered daily at 0.3 and 1 mg/kg subcutaneously (~3 weeks). RESULTS: In the STWM experiment, vehicle-treated aged mice displayed a severe and persistent deficit in the retention of successive arm visits in comparison to younger controls. S 24795 at 1 mg/kg (trends at 0.3 mg/kg) and donepezil at 0.3 mg/kg (but not 1 mg/kg) exerted beneficial effects on this deficit: The performance of aged mice treated with these drugs remarkably increased across the testing days and almost reached young adult performance level. In the critical test trials of memory flexibility (i.e., LTDM), in experiment B, S 24795 at 1 mg/kg (trends at 0.3 mg/kg) and donepezil at the dose of 1 mg/kg (but not 0.3 mg/kg) improved aged mice performance. CONCLUSION: This preclinical demonstration that S 24795 restored specific age-related memory deficits with as much efficacy as donepezil adds to recent literature in highlighting the potential interest of an alpha7 nAChR drug as a symptomatic AD therapeutic.