ERANET-NEURON JTC funding for Muriel Koehl

Muriel Koehl, Inserm researcher in Nora Abrous’ team (Neurocentre Magendie), has obtained a JTC (Joint Transnational Calls) funding for a project with two European partners.

Nora Abrous & Emilie Pacary are also involved in the project


– Parkitna Jan Rodriguez, Department of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Maj Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland

– Hayder Amin, Biohybrid Neuroelectronics Group, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Dresden, Germany

PROJECT : ResiPreS (Neurobiological basis of resilience/vulnerability to prenatal stress in mice)

When mothers experience stress during pregnancy, known as prenatal stress (PS), it may increase their offspring’s risk of developing stress-induced mental diseases such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, not everyone develops this pathological behavior after stress exposure, pointing to the existence of resilience factors that need exploration. We found that PS in mice is associated with behavioral disturbances such as PTSD-like memory issues or depression-like behavior in some, but not all individuals. This discrepancy mimics human behavior, making it a valuable model for understanding the mechanisms underlying resilience / vulnerability to stress.

Our mechanistic target is a brain region called the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus, which is crucial for emotional memory control and is characterized by a continuous neurogenic development, leading to the existence of temporally distinct neuronal populations. Our hypothesis is that these distinct neuronal populations may present different responsiveness to PS, thus leading to the establishment of the individual’s resilience or vulnerability to stress.

Using cutting-edge techniques, our aim is thus to investigate these neurons’ anatomo-functional properties, their gene expression patterns, and their contribution to hippocampal network activity. Once we have identified specific cells or genes involved, we will test their direct impact in resilience /vulnerability to stress.

Overall, by studying the mechanisms that decide why some people develop stress-induced pathologies and others do not, we hope to highlight new therapeutic targets and better, more effective, treatments for conditions that develop in individuals exposed to deleterious life events.



Publication: 25/01/24
Last update 25/01/24