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PhD à l'Institut Max-Planck de Munich (1997-2001)
Post-Doc, Institut Max-Planck, Munich (2001-2004)
CR1 Neurocentre Magendie, Bordeaux (2007)

112 publication(s) since Mars 2003:

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

2016 | f1000res   IF 1.1
Cannabinoid receptor type-1: breaking the dogmas.
Busquets Garcia A, Soria-Gomez E, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is abundantly expressed in the brain. This system regulates a plethora of physiological functions and is composed of cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands (endocannabinoids), and the enzymes involved in the metabolism of endocannabinoids. In this review, we highlight the new advances in cannabinoid signaling, focusing on a key component of the ECS, the type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB 1). In recent years, the development of new imaging and molecular tools has demonstrated that this receptor can be distributed in many cell types (e.g., neuronal or glial cells) and intracellular compartments (e.g., mitochondria). Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects are differentially mediated by CB 1 receptors according to their specific localization (e.g., glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons). Moreover, this receptor is expressed in the periphery, where it can modulate periphery-brain connections. Finally, the better understanding of the CB 1 receptor structure led researchers to propose interesting and new allosteric modulators. Thus, the advances and the new directions of the CB 1 receptor field will provide new insights and better approaches to profit from its interesting therapeutic profile.

27/11/2015 | Neuropsychopharmacology   IF 7.2
Differential Control of Cocaine Self-Administration by GABAergic and Glutamatergic CB1 Cannabinoid Receptors.
Martin-Garcia E, Bourgoin L, Cathala A, Kasanetz F, Mondesir M, Gutierrez-Rodriguez A, Reguero L, Fiancette JF, Grandes P, Spampinato U, Maldonado R, Piazza PV, Marsicano G, Deroche-Gamonet V

The type 1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1) modulates numerous neurobehavioral processes and is therefore explored as a target for the treatment of several mental and neurological diseases. However, previous studies have investigated CB1 by targeting it globally, regardless of its two main neuronal localizations on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. In the context of cocaine addiction this lack of selectivity is critical since glutamatergic and GABAergic neuronal transmission is involved in different aspects of the disease. To determine whether CB1 exerts different control on cocaine-seeking according to its two main neuronal localizations, we used mutant mice with deleted CB1 in cortical glutamatergic neurons (Glu-CB1) or in forebrain GABAergic neurons (GABA-CB1). In Glu-CB1, gene deletion concerns the dorsal telencephalon, including neocortex, paleocortex, archicortex, hippocampal formation and the cortical portions of the amygdala. In GABA-CB1, it concerns several cortical and non-cortical areas including the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, thalamic and hypothalamic nuclei. We tested complementary components of cocaine self-administration, separating the influence of primary and conditioned effects. Mechanisms underlying each phenotype were explored using in vivo microdialysis and ex vivo electrophysiology. We show that CB1 expression in forebrain GABAergic neurons controls mouse sensitivity to cocaine, while CB1 expression in cortical glutamatergic neurons controls associative learning processes. In accordance, in the nucleus accumbens, GABA-CB1 receptors control cocaine-induced dopamine release and Glu-CB1 receptors control AMPAR/NMDAR ratio; a marker of synaptic plasticity. Our findings demonstrate a critical distinction of the altered balance of Glu-CB1 and GABA-CB1 activity that could participate in the vulnerability to cocaine abuse and addiction. Moreover, these novel insights advance our understanding of CB1 neuropathophysiology.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 27 November 2015. doi:10.1038/npp.2015.351.

25/11/2015 | Hippocampus   IF 3.3
Running per se stimulates the dendritic arbor of newborn dentate granule cells in mouse hippocampus in a duration-dependent manner.
Dostes S, Dubreucq S, Ladeveze E, Marsicano G, Abrous DN, Chaouloff F, Koehl M

Laboratory rodents provided chronic unlimited access to running wheels display increased neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. In addition, recent studies indicate that such an access to wheels stimulates dendritic arborization in newly formed neurons. However, (i) the presence of the running wheel in the housing environment might also bear intrinsic influences on the number and shape of new neurons and (ii) the dendritic arborization of new neurons might be insensitive to moderate daily running activity (i.e. several hours). In keeping with these uncertainties, we have examined neurogenesis and dendritic arborization in newly formed granular cells in adult C57Bl/6N male mice housed for 3 weeks under standard conditions, with a locked wheel, with a running wheel set free 3 h/day, or with a running wheel set permanently free. The results indicate that the presence of a blocked wheel in the home cage increased cell proliferation, but not the number of new neurons while running increased in a duration-dependent manner the number of newborn neurons, as assessed by DCX labeling. Morphological analyses of the dendritic tree of newborn neurons, as identified by BrdU-DCX co-staining, revealed that although the presence of the wheel stimulated their dendritic architecture, the amplitude of this effect was lower than that elicited by running activity, and was found to be running duration-dependent. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

23/09/2015 | Neuron   IF 14.4
Habenular CB Receptors Control the Expression of Aversive Memories.
Soria-Gomez E, Busquets-Garcia A, Hu F, Mehidi A, Cannich A, Roux L, Louit I, Alonso L, Wiesner T, Georges F, Verrier D, Vincent P, Ferreira G, Luo M, Marsicano G

Expression of aversive memories is key for survival, but the underlying brain mechanisms are not fully understood. Medial habenular (MHb) axons corelease glutamate and acetylcholine onto target postsynaptic interpeduncular (IPN) neurons, but their role in aversive memories has not been addressed so far. We found that cannabinoid type 1 receptors (CB1R), key regulators of aversive responses, are present at presynaptic terminals of MHb neurons in the IPN. Conditional deletion of CB1R from MHb neurons reduces fear-conditioned freezing and abolishes conditioned odor aversion in mice, without affecting neutral or appetitively motivated memories. Interestingly, local inhibition of nicotinic, but not glutamatergic receptors in the target region IPN before retrieval, rescues these phenotypes. Finally, optogenetic electrophysiological recordings of MHb-to-IPN circuitry revealed that blockade of CB1R specifically enhances cholinergic, but not glutamatergic, neurotransmission. Thus, presynaptic CB1R control expression of aversive memories by selectively modulating cholinergic transmission at MHb synapses in the IPN.

11/08/2015 | bioessays   IF 4.4
Dissecting the cannabinergic control of behavior: The where matters.
Busquets-Garcia A, Desprez T, Metna-Laurent M, Bellocchio L, Marsicano G, Soria-Gomez E

The endocannabinoid system is the target of the main psychoactive component of the plant Cannabis sativa, the Delta9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This system is composed by the cannabinoid receptors, the endogenous ligands, and the enzymes involved in their metabolic processes, which works both centrally and peripherally to regulate a plethora of physiological functions. This review aims at explaining how the site-specific actions of the endocannabinoid system impact on memory and feeding behavior through the cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1 R). Centrally, CB1 R is widely distributed in many brain regions, different cell types (e.g. neuronal or glial cells) and intracellular compartments (e.g. mitochondria). Interestingly, cellular and molecular effects are differentially mediated by CB1 R according to their cell-type localization (e.g. glutamatergic or GABAergic neurons). Thus, understanding the cellular and subcellular function of CB1 R will provide new insights and aid the design of new compounds in cannabinoid-based medicine. Also watch the Video Abstract.

09/05/2015 | Neuroscience   IF 3.2
Astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors (CB): A new player in the tripartite synapse.
Oliveira da Cruz JF, Robin LM, Drago F, Marsicano G, Metna-Laurent M

The endocannabinoid system is an important regulator of physiological functions. In the brain, this control is mainly exerted through the type-1-cannabinoid (CB1) receptors. CB1 receptors are abundant at neuron terminals where their stimulation inhibits neurotransmitter release. However, CB1 receptors are also expressed in astrocytes and recent studies showed that astroglial cannabinoid signalling is a key element of the tripartite synapse. In this review we discuss the different mechanisms by which astroglial CB1 receptors control synaptic transmission and plasticity. The recent involvement of astroglial CB1 receptors in the effects of cannabinoids on memory highlights their key roles in cognitive processes and further indicates that astrocytes are central active elements of high order brain functions.

This study examined the respective influences of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1 ) receptors expressed either in forebrain GABAergic neurons, in cortical glutamatergic neurons or in astrocytes on the turnover rates of the endocannabinoids N-arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), and the non-cannabinoid N-acylethanolamides, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA), in mouse forebrain regions. To this end, conditional mutant mice lacking CB1 receptors from either of these cell types were pretreated systemically with JZL195, a dual inhibitor of fatty acid amide hydrolase, the enzyme degrading AEA, PEA and OEA, and of monoacylglycerol lipase, the main 2-AG-degrading enzyme. The analyses of frontocortical, hippocampal and striatal AEA, 2-AG, PEA and OEA concentrations revealed that their respective baseline concentrations were not influenced by the mouse genotype. On the other hand, the accumulation of frontocortical and/or hippocampal 2-AG levels in JZL195-pretreated mice was dependent on the mouse genotype. Thus, JZL195-induced 2-AG accumulation rates were diminished in the frontal cortex of mice lacking CB1 receptors in glutamatergic neurons whilst their respective values were increased in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of mice lacking these receptors in astrocytes. These genotypic differences occurred with parallel and proportionate changes in the fractional rate constants for degradation of 2-AG, thus providing a mechanism whereby the baseline levels of 2-AG remained constant between genotypes. Besides suggesting a cell-type-specific control of frontocortical and/or hippocampal 2-AG synthesis and degradation rates by CB1 receptors, this study highlights the interest of assessing endocannabinoid turnover rates when questioning the status of the endocannabinoid system. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

26/12/2014 | Behav Brain Res   IF 2.8
Duration- and environment-dependent effects of repeated voluntary exercise on anxiety and cued fear in mice.
Dubreucq S, Marsicano G, Chaouloff F

Several studies have indicated that animal models of exercise, such as voluntary wheel running, might be endowed with anxiolytic properties. Using the light/dark test of unconditioned anxiety, we have reported that one confounding factor in the estimation of wheel running impacts on anxiety might be the housing condition of the sedentary controls. The present mouse study analyzed whether the aforementioned observation in the light/dark test (i) could be repeated in the elevated plus-maze and social interaction tests of unconditioned anxiety, (ii) extended to conditioned anxiety, as assessed during cued fear recall tests, and (iii) required unlimited daily access to the running wheel. Housing with a locked wheel or with a free wheel that allowed limited or unlimited running activity triggered anxiolysis in the light/dark test, but not in the elevated plus-maze test, compared to standard housing. In the social interaction test, the duration, but not the number, of social contacts was increased in mice provided unlimited (but not limited) access to a wheel, compared to standard housing or housing with a locked wheel. Lastly, freezing responses to a cue during fear recall tests indicated that the reduction in freezing observed in mice provided limited or unlimited access to the wheels was fully accounted for by housing with a wheel. Besides confirming that the housing condition of the sedentary controls might bias the estimation of the effects of wheel running on anxiety, this study further shows that this estimation is dependent on the test used to assess anxiety.

02/12/2014 | Endocrinology   IF 3.8
Cannabinoid type 1 (CB) receptors on Sim1-expressing neurons regulate energy expenditure in male mice.
Cardinal P, Bellocchio L, Guzman-Quevedo O, Andre C, Clark S, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Gonzales D, Cannich A, Marsicano G, Cota D

The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) regulates energy balance by modulating not only food intake, but also energy expenditure and brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis. To test the hypothesis that cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor in PVN neurons might control these processes, we used the Cre/loxP system to delete CB1 from Single minded 1 (Sim1) neurons, which account for the majority of PVN neurons. On standard chow, mice lacking CB1 receptor in Sim1 neurons (Sim1-CB1-KO) had food intake, body weight, adiposity, glucose metabolism and energy expenditure comparable to wild-type (Sim1-CB1-WT) littermates. However, maintenance on a high-fat diet (HFD) revealed a gene-by-diet interaction whereby Sim1-CB1-KO mice had decreased adiposity, improved insulin sensitivity and increased energy expenditure, while feeding behavior was similar to Sim1-CB1-WT mice. Additionally, HFD-fed Sim1-CB1-KO mice had increased mRNA expression of the beta3-adrenergic receptor, as well as of UCP-1, Cox-IV and Tfam in the BAT, all molecular changes suggestive of increased thermogenesis. Pharmacological studies using beta-blockers suggested that modulation of beta-adrenergic transmission play an important role in determining energy expenditure changes observed in Sim1-CB1-KO. Finally, chemical sympathectomy abolished the obesity-resistant phenotype of Sim1-CB1-KO mice. Altogether, these findings reveal a diet-dependent dissociation in the CB1 receptor control of food intake and energy expenditure, likely mediated by the PVN, where CB1 receptors on Sim1-positive neurons do not impact food intake, but hinder energy expenditure during dietary environmental challenges that promote body weight gain.

10/2014 | Mol Metab   IF 6.2
CB1 cannabinoid receptor in SF1-expressing neurons of the ventromedial hypothalamus determines metabolic responses to diet and leptin.
Cardinal P, Andre C, Quarta C, Bellocchio L, Clark S, Elie M, Leste-Lasserre T, Maitre M, Gonzales D, Cannich A, Pagotto U, Marsicano G, Cota D

Metabolic flexibility allows rapid adaptation to dietary change, however, little is known about the CNS mechanisms regulating this process. Neurons in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMN) participate in energy balance and are the target of the metabolically relevant hormone leptin. Cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors are expressed in VMN neurons, but the specific contribution of endocannabinoid signaling in this neuronal population to energy balance regulation is unknown. Here we demonstrate that VMN CB1 receptors regulate metabolic flexibility and actions of leptin. In chow-fed mice, conditional deletion of CB1 in VMN neurons (expressing the steroidogenic factor 1, SF1) decreases adiposity by increasing sympathetic activity and lipolysis, and facilitates metabolic effects of leptin. Conversely, under high-fat diet, lack of CB1 in VMN neurons produces leptin resistance, blunts peripheral use of lipid substrates and increases adiposity. Thus, CB1 receptors in VMN neurons provide a molecular switch adapting the organism to dietary change.