One of the most important characteristics of the central nervous system is its never-ending plasticity, which allows for continual adaption and storage of novel information. Multiple and dissociable plastic changes in the adult brain involve many levels of organization ranging from molecules to sub-cellular compartments, but until recently it was thought that there was very little plasticity in terms of renewing cells. It is now well established that in most mammals, new neurons are continuously produced throughout life and are incorporated in two restricted brain areas, the hippocampus and the olfactory bulb. The study of this neuron production in the adult is doubly relevant. On the one hand, it helps to understand how, and in which conditions, the adult brain responds to demands from the outside world, or to changes in internal physiological parameters, by continually producing and incorporating new neurons. On the other hand, adult neurogenesis is a model for studying intrinsic or exogenous factors necessary for potential use of endogenous neural stem cells in the brain in the future.
Our lab tackles sequentially these two issues. We intend to unveil how newborn neurons in the olfactory bulb precisely reach their neuronal targets and what functions they bring to the adult host circuits, already functioning. From this basic knowledge, we will then explore the possibility of creating novel neural circuits using endogenous as well as transplanted neurons derived from iPSCs. We envision implanting iPSC-derived neurons into rodent forebrains to unveil the permissive conditions necessary for transplanted neurons to fully integrate into their host circuitry. Collectively, this multi-level approach to study adult neurogenesis will permit us to test circuit function and plasticity by conferring new properties on established neural circuits, as well as by constructing circuits de novo.
5 Selected Publications
Lepousez G., and Lledo P-M. (2013) Dissecting the microcircuit that drives gamma oscillations and long-range synchronisation in the awake mouse olfactory bulb. Neuron., in press.
Pallotto M., Nissant A., Fritschy J-M., Rudolph U., Sassoè-Pognetto M., Panzanelli P. and Lledo P-M. (2012) Early formation of GABAergic synapses governs the development of adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb. J. Neurosci., 32: 9103-9115.
Alonso M., Wagner S., Lepousez G., Gabellec MM., Torquet N. amd Lledo P-M. (2012) Activation of adult-born neurons facilitates learning and memory. Nat. Neurosci., 15: 897-904.
Alonso M., Wagner S., Lepousez G., Gabellec MM., Torquet N. and Lledo P-M.(2012) Activation of adult-born neurons facilitates learning and memory. Nat. Neurosci., 15: 897-904.
Nissant A., Bardy C., Murray K. and Lledo P-M. (2009) Neurogenesis promotes synaptic plasticity in the adult olfactory bulb. Nature Neurosci., 12: 728-730 (selected for Faculty of 1000 Biology).
Fellowships, Awards and Honours
2013 Award “Grand Prix” from the Fondation Prince Louis de Polignac
2012 Award “Grand Prix” from the Saintonge Academy
2012 Award “Mémain-Pelletier” from the French National Academy of Science
2010 Award “Camille Woringer” from the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale
2009 Member of the New York Academy of Sciences
2007 Jaffé Award from the French National Academy of Science
2006 Member of the Academia Europaea
2005 NRJ Award from the French National Academy of Science
2004 First Award of the French National Academy of Medicine
2002 Award from the Schlumberger Foundation for Education & Research
1996 Young Investigator Award from the Ministry of Technology Researches (DRET)
1995 Young Investigator Award from the Paris Academy
1995 CNRS Medal for the Best Junior Scientist
1995 National Science Foundation (NSF) and NIH Fellowships (until 1997)
1991 Welcome Trust Fellowship (until 1992)