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Séminaire - Michèle StuderMolecular, cellular and activity-dependent mechanisms controlling arealization and cell-type specification in the developing mouse neocortex

Abstract :

Just a little note to remind you the conference of Michelle Studer tomorrow, at 11:30 in the conference room of the Magendie Institute.

She will present us her contribution to the problem of arealization (how the different brain areas separate and get specialized during development
 through the time-dependent expression of molecular cues regulating neuronal migration and differenciation).

In case one would be interested in meeting Michelle during the afternoon, or having lunch with us after her talk, please don't hesitate to let me know so that I can organize a tentative schedule. Best regards, and enjoy the talk!
Xavier Leinekugel

The timing and proper formation of the neocortex is genetically programmed during development and can be profoundly altered by a number of abnormal genes that control regionalization, proliferation, differentiation and cell migration. In addition, thalamocortical inputs are important in shaping area-specific functional properties, possibly through activity-dependent mechanisms.

The lab is interested in understanding how regional identity, once established at progenitors level, is maintained in differentiated cortical pyramidal neurons during corticogenesis, and whether specific neuronal sub-populations or cortical circuits are peculiar of distinct functional neocortical areas. We are interested in a family of transcription factors, the COUP-TF family, which are involved in regional and cell-type specification of the dorsal and ventral telencephalon during development. Our recent data illustrate that COUP-TFI regulates different phases of cortical development in generating specific cell types in each brain region according to precise time schedules and to its region- and temporal-specific expression gradient.

By using a series of mouse mutants, I will be presenting how COUP-TFI influences, at progenitor and post-mitotic levels, the size of motor and somatosensory areas, subcortical connectivity, neuronal migration, cell-type specification and sensorimotor behaviour. I will also illustrate some molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying cell-type specificity and morphological maturation across cortical areas, with particular emphasis on layer V projection neurons. Finally, I will speculate on how spontaneous neural activity could participate in setting up area-dependent neuronal circuits in the immature neocortex.

Selected publications

1. Chou S.J. *, Babot Z.*, Leingartner A., Studer M., Nakagawa Y., and O’Leary D.D.M. Geniculocortical thalamic axon input drives genetic distinctions that differentiate primary and higher order visual cortical areas. Science, 2013, Jun 7;340(6137):1239-42.

2. Alfano C. and Studer M. Neocortical arealization: evolution, mechanisms and open questions. Dev Neurobiol., 2013 Jun;73(6):411-47.

3. Alfano C., Kawssar H., Magrinelli E. and Studer M. COUP-TFs: A long lasting experience in forebrain assembly. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Mar 23.

4. Alfano C., Viola L., Heng J.I.T., Pirozzi M., Clarkson M., Flore G., De Maio A., Schedl A., Guillemot F. and Studer M. COUP-TFI promotes radial migration and proper morphology of callosal neurons by repressing Rnd2 expression. Development, 2011, 138: 4685-4697(with COVER).

5. Lodato S., Tomassy Srubek G., De Leonibus E., Uzcategui Y.G., Andolfi G., Armentano M., Touzot A., Gaztelu J. M., Arlotta P., Menendez de la Prida L. and Studer M. Loss of COUP-TFI alters the balance between caudal ganglionic eminence- and medial ganglionic eminence-derived interneurons and results in resistance to epilepsy. Journal of Neuroscience, 2011, 31(12): 4650-4662.

6. Lodato S., Rouaux C., Quast K.B., Jantrachotechatchawan C., Studer M., Hensch T. K. and Arlotta P. Excitatory Projection Neuron Subtypes Differentially Control the Distribution of Local Inhibitory Interneurons in the Cerebral Cortex. Neuron, 2011, 69: 1-17.

7. Tomassy Srubek G., De Leonibus E., Jabaudon D., Lodato S., Alfano C., Mele A., Macklis J.D. and Studer M. Area-specific temporal control of corticospinal motor neuron differentiation by COUP-TFI. PNAS, 2010, 107(8): 3576-81.

8. Armentano M., Chou S. J., Srubek Tomassy G., Leingärtner A., O’Leary D.D.M. and Studer M. COUP-TFI regulates the balance of cortical patterning between frontal/motor and sensory areas. Nature Neuroscience, 10, 2007, 1277-1286 (with COVER).

Xavier Leinkugel (xavier @


Michèle Studer
Group Leader
iBV - Institute of Biology Valrose
CNRS UMR7277, Inserm U1091, UNS Université Nice Sophia Antipolis
Theme : Genetics of mouse brain development

Michèle Studer est titulaire d'une "Chaire d'Excellence" depuis 2009" à l'Université Sophia Antipolis.