Mechanisms of neural circuit sensitivity to altered nutritional status (FoodCircus)


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The general objective of FoodCircus is to establish causal mechanistic links between nutrients biostatus and behavioral phenotypes/dimensions with symptomatic relevance for neurological and psychiatric disorders, through the identification of the underlying cellular/molecular mechanisms within discrete neuronal circuits.

Investigators of FoodCircus focus on neuronal circuits within two main vulnerable brain systems: the hippocampal and fronto-striatal circuits which control cognitive processes such as mnemonic and executive functions. Nutrient status mainly concern saturated/unsaturated fats and the fat-soluble vitamin A, which have been consistently linked with the etiology of several brain disorders. This multidisciplinary research program is based on the following specific aims:
i) To elucidate the neuronal mechanisms by which obesogenic diet impairs hippocampal-dependent memory.
ii) To identify the mechanisms by which polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin A biostatus impact neuronal circuits modulated by dopamine transmission and related to executive functions.

Beyond the prerequisite for a better understanding of the processes by which nutrients biostatus can alter specific brain functions, the perspectives of such a project are to identify targetable factors for the alleviation or prevention of specific symptomatic dimensions of brain disorders.

Selected publications

Team leader
Guillaume Ferreira

Pierre Trifilieff

Team member(s)

Chercheurs, Praticiens hospitaliers...

Clémentine Bosch-Bouju (University Teacher- Researcher)
Katia Touyarot (University Teacher- Researcher)
Pauline Lafenêtre (University Teacher- Researcher)

Ingénieur(e)s, technicien(ne)s


Eva Ducourneau
Zoé Mazurie


Neuropsychologist(s) and speech therapist(s)

Ingénieur(s) hospitalier(s) et ARC