SBRI Stem-cell and Brain Research Institute - France (Lyon)

Chronobiology and affective disorders

The research aims of Neurobiological Rhythms and Sleep are focused on the molecular, cellular and behavioral mechanisms of the circadian timing system and the consequences of aging and neurodegenerative disease. Central to our approach is an understanding of the synchronization of circadian rhythms by the external light cycle, the molecular and physiological mechanisms of the endogenous circadian oscillator (SCN), and the regulation of output behavioral and physiological rhythms.

The coding of photic information by retinal photoreceptors (rods, cones, melanopsin ganglion cells) are studied using in vivo electrophysiological recording techniques in anaesthetised and awake, freely moving animals. The effects of light (intensity, duration, spectrum) on SCN neuronal activity and on clock gene expression are also assayed using quantitative RT-PCR, laser dissection and microarray analysis.

In order to understand the consequences of chronobiological disorders, another line of research involves investigation of the mechanisms of synchronisation of central and peripheral oscillators, including the expression of clock genes and rhythmically expressed clock controlled genes in the brain and in different body tissues.

Pathological models investigated in rodents include ocular diseases and Parkinson's disease, and a prosimian primate model of aging. In humans, circadian photoreception and entrainment of the circadian timing system as well as chronobiological disorders related to ocular pathologies, aging and neurodegenerative diseases are studied in the framework of a European integrated project in our clinically based Platform for Research on Human Chronobiology. In order to bridge the gap between cellular-molecular studies in rodent models and clinical studies in humans, the non-human primate is used to study the circadian timing system and sleep wake cycle and, in the framework of the laboratory transversal project, the chronobiological consequences of Parkinson's Disease.


: Chronobiology and affective disorders

Members list

Howard Cooper
Team Leader / DRE

Nasser Haddjeri
Team Leader / CR1

Ouria Dkhissi-Benyahya

Claude Gronfier

Hélène Scarna

Christine Coutanson

Renaud Rovera

Hugo Calligaro
PhD Student

Ines Daguet
PhD Student

Sarah Delcourte
PhD Student

Chaimaa Kinane
PhD Student

Abhishek Prayag
PhD Student

Selected Publications

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