Publications sélectionnées

Breathing-driven prefrontal oscillations regulate maintenance of conditioned-fear evoked freezing independently of initiation
Sophie Bagur*, Julie M Lefort*, Marie M Lacroix, Gaëtan de Lavilléon, Cyril Herry, Mathilde Chouvaeff, Clara Billand, Hélène Geoffroy, Karim Benchenane (2021)
Nat. Communications 12(1):2605


Brain-body interactions are thought to be essential in emotions but their physiological basis remains poorly understood. In mice, regular 4 Hz breathing appears during freezing after cue-fear conditioning. Here we show that the olfactory bulb (OB) transmits this rhythm to the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) where it organizes neural activity. Reduction of the respiratory-related 4 Hz oscillation, via bulbectomy or optogenetic perturbation of the OB, reduces freezing. Behavioural modelling shows that this is due to a specific reduction in freezing maintenance without impacting its initiation, thus dissociating these two phenomena. dmPFC LFP and firing patterns support the region’s specific function in freezing maintenance. In particular, population analysis reveals that network activity tracks 4 Hz power dynamics during freezing and reaches a stable state at 4 Hz peak that lasts until freezing termination. These results provide a potential mechanism and a functional role for bodily feedback in emotions and therefore shed light on the historical James-Cannon debate.

Explicit memory creation during sleep demonstrates a causal role of place cells in navigation
Gaetan de Lavilléon, Marie Masako Lacroix, Laure Rondi-Reig, Karim Benchenane. (2015)
Nat. Neurosci. 18(4):493-5


Hippocampal place cells assemblies are believed to support the cognitive map, and their reactivations during sleep are thought to be involved in spatial memory consolidation. By triggering intracranial rewarding stimulations by place cell spikes during sleep, we induced an explicit memory trace, leading to a goal-directed behavior toward the place field. This demonstrates that place cells’ activity during sleep still conveys relevant spatial information and that this activity is functionally significant for navigation.

Glucose Induces Slow-Wave Sleep by Exciting the Sleep-Promoting Neurons in the Ventrolateral Preoptic Nucleus : A New Link between Sleep and Metabolism
Varin C, Rancillac A, Geoffroy H, Arthaud S, Fort P, Gallopin T.
J Neurosci. 2015 Jul 8 ;35(27):9900-11


Sleep-active neurons located in the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) play a crucial role in the induction and maintenance of slow-wave sleep (SWS). However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for their activation at sleep onset remain poorly understood. Here, we test the hypothesis that a rise in extracellular glucose concentration in the VLPO can promote sleep by increasing the activity of sleep-promoting VLPO neurons. We find that infusion of a glucose concentration into the VLPO of mice promotes SWS and increases the density of c-Fos-labeled neurons selectively in the VLPO. Moreover, we show in patch-clamp recordings from brain slices that VLPO neurons exhibiting properties of sleep-promoting neurons are selectively excited by glucose within physiological range. This glucose-induced excitation implies the catabolism of glucose, leading to a closure of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels. The extracellular glucose concentration monitors the gating of KATP channels of sleep-promoting neurons, highlighting that these neurons can adapt their excitability according to the extracellular energy status. Together, these results provide evidence that glucose may participate in the mechanisms of SWS promotion and/or consolidation.
Significance Statement
Although the brain circuitry underlying vigilance states is well described, the molecular mechanisms responsible for sleep onset remain largely unknown. Combining in vitro and in vivo experiments, we demonstrate that glucose likely contributes to sleep onset facilitation by increasing the excitability of sleep-promoting neurons in the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO). We find here that these neurons integrate energetic signals such as ambient glucose directly to regulate vigilance states accordingly. Glucose-induced excitation of sleep-promoting VLPO neurons should therefore be involved in the drowsiness that one feels after a high-sugar meal. This novel mechanism regulating the activity of VLPO neurons reinforces the fundamental and intimate link between sleep and metabolism.

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