Research subject

Our lab examines the neuronal mechanisms that control the synaptic and cellular function of the « extended basal ganglia network » (EBG). The EBG neuronal network is composed of an assembly of interconnected limbic and motor nuclei that are crucial for physiological functions (voluntary movements, associative learning, natural seeking and stress) and neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, addiction and anxiety. The brain structures, which compose the EBG, regulate dopamine neurons or use dopamine as a neurotransmitter. The circuit includes the dopamine-containing neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta, the basal ganglia, the motor cortex, the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), the tail of the VTA and the ventral subiculum.

The goal of our research is to provide the foundation for the rational development of therapies to treat the symptoms of dopamine-associated neurological and psychiatric disorders. We especially study how synaptic transmission and plasticity are controlled by dopamine within the EBG. Our research is developed around two aims:

  • To examine the neuronal mechanisms that controls the synaptic and cellular function of dopamine neurons.
  • To determine how dopamine changes the rules of neuronal communication in physiological and pathological conditions.

We study these cellular and circuit processes using multiple experimental approaches including ex vivo and in vivo electrophysiology combined with single-cell labeling, immunohistochemistry and neuronal tracing, neuropharmacology and viral mediated gene delivery including optogenetics.

Over the past, we identified cellular and synaptic alterations related to dopamine in the basal ganglia network and dysregulation of dopamine neurons excitability related to adaptations in the limbic circuit. Our group has recently contributed to demonstrate that:

  • other basal nuclei, in addition of the striatum, receive a functional dopaminergic innervation, suggesting that dopamine-dependent alterations within the extra-striatal network could also contribute to Parkinson’s disease.
  • in vivo homeostatic plasticity in the BNST triggers hyperactivity in midbrain dopamine neuron and facilitates behavioral effect of cocaine. Thus, we have significantly contributed to demonstrate synaptic dysfunction in the basal ganglia and limbic network, in Parkinson’s disease and drug addiction.

Research axes

  • Characterization of the anatomical organization and the molecular and neuronal diversity in the extended basal ganglia network.
  • Identification of the neuronal assemblies and the cellular mechanisms that control the intrinsic and synaptic properties of dopamine neurons.
  • Studying how dopamine controls neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity and network oscillation within the extended basal ganglia network.
  • Definition of the cellular and molecular bases involved in deep brain stimulation therapeutic action.

 

Complete bibliography >>>

Latest publications

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Criteria : Author : "Jerome,Baufreton; François,Georges", Publication type : "('ART')"
Number of occurrences founded : 68.

titre
A non-canonical GABAergic pathway to the VTA promotes unconditioned freezing
auteur
Loïc Broussot, Thomas Contesse, Renan Costa-Campos, Christelle Glangetas, Léa Royon, Hugo Fofo, Thomas Lorivel, François Georges, Sebastian Fernandez, Jacques Barik
article
Molecular Psychiatry, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, ⟨10.1038/s41380-022-01765-7⟩
identifiant
hal-03806243
titre
Locus coeruleus activation during environmental novelty gates cocaine-induced long-term hyperactivity of dopamine neurons
auteur
Giulia Fois, Karl Bosque-Cordero, Rafael Vazquez-Torres, Cristina Miliano, Xavier Nogues, Carlos Jimenez-Rivera, Stéphanie Caille, François Georges
article
iScience, Elsevier, 2022, 25 (4), pp.104154. ⟨10.1016/j.isci.2022.104154⟩
identifiant
hal-03806295
titre
Locus coeruleus activation during environmental novelty gates cocaine-induced long-term hyperactivity of dopamine neurons
auteur
Giulia Fois, Karl Bosque-Cordero, Rafael Vazquez-Torres, Cristina Miliano, Xavier Nogues, Carlos Jimenez-Rivera, Stéphanie Caille, François Georges
article
iScience, Elsevier, 2022, 25 (4), pp.104154. ⟨10.1016/j.isci.2022.104154⟩
identifiant
hal-03805047
titre
Dopamine D4 Receptor Is a Regulator of Morphine-Induced Plasticity in the Rat Dorsal Striatum
auteur
Alicia Rivera, Diana Suárez-Boomgaard, Cristina Miguelez, Alejandra Valderrama-Carvajal, Jérôme Baufreton, Kirill Shumilov, Anne Taupignon, Belén Gago, M. Ángeles Real
article
Cells, MDPI, 2022, 11 (1), pp.31. ⟨10.3390/cells11010031⟩
identifiant
hal-03766477
titre
Dopaminergic modulation of primary motor cortex: From cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying motor learning to cognitive symptoms in Parkinson’s disease
auteur
Jérémy Cousineau, Valentin Plateau, Jérôme Baufreton, Morgane Le Bon-Jégo
article
Neurobiology of Disease, Elsevier, 2022, 167, pp.105674. ⟨10.1016/j.nbd.2022.105674⟩
identifiant
hal-03766480