Our laboratory investigates how alterations in serotonin neurotransmission during early life in the hippocampus impact the connectivity and function of the adult brain with a focus on mood and cognitive disorders.
Building synaptic networks in the grey matter and long-range connections in the white matter of the cerebral cortex follow specific developmental processes, all of which are modulated by serotonin:
• Cellular migration
• Neurite outgrowth
• Synapse formation and pruning.
They span from embryonic to adult life and involve interactions between genetic and cellular mechanisms as well as epigenetic regulations.
In the hippocampus we investigate the connectivity of the CA1 pyramidal neurons and alterations to this connectivity in animals depleted of the receptor 5-HT1a.
In collaboration with Dr Cécile Lebrand we are also investigating the fate of ventral pallium progenitors (interneurons, glial cells, polydendrocytes) during commissural connection formation, with a focus on the corpus callosum and the vascular network.