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Presynaptic plasticity in hippocampal circuits

2 October 2020

Bristol Neuroscience was delighted to welcome Prof Christophe Mulle, Director of Research, School of Neurosciences at the University of Bordeaux as invited speaker for a webinar aired on 1 October 2020.

Christophe Mulle is a cellular neurobiologist with expertise in electrophysiology of synaptic transmission and an international leader in studies on glutamate receptors and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. He was among the first to identify and characterize functional nicotinic receptors in the mammalian brain while working in the laboratory of Jean-Pierre Changeux at the Pasteur Institute. He then generated knock-out mice for KAR subunits at the Salk Institute in the laboratory of Steve Heinemann, which have proven to be instrumental for understanding the function of these elusive glutamate receptors in synaptic function and plasticity.

Since 1995, he has been guiding a CNRS laboratory in Bordeaux which is a dynamic scientific and technical environment to study glutamatergic synapses. The group has provided the first insights into the molecular events that govern the polarized trafficking of KARs, and has greatly contributed to understanding the mechanisms of synaptic integration and plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. The research carried out in the group headed by Christophe Mulle ambitions to link cell biological mechanisms of protein trafficking and function to synaptic physiology and dysfunction. The group has two main focuses, the mechanisms underlying the specification of synaptic properties in CA3 pyramidal cells and the operation and plasticity of local cortical circuits (mainly CA3) in the context of episodic-like memory encoding. Great efforts are made to implement these questions at an integrated level in the mouse and to develop methods for interrogating the connectivity and function of local circuits in vivo in behavioural conditions. These studies address control conditions as well as models of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. A unique strength of the host laboratory is its ability to implement interdisciplinary studies, bridging molecular and cellular techniques to physiological questions, to answer timely issues in neuroscience.

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