Réseau LARC - Neurosciences

The Thirteenth Annuel Meeting of the LARC-Neuroscience Network will be held at the Abbaye-aux-Dames, Caen, Friday October 30, 2009.

Organizers: Pr. François Dauphin and Pr. Pierre Denise.

The plenary speakers of the 13th Annual Meeting of the LARC-Neuroscience Network are:

  • Markers and models of synapse remodelling in the adult brain

    Prof. Ciaran M. Regan, PhD, DSc, MRIA
    School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science
    UCD Conway Institute, Belfield, Dublin 4, IRL

    Over a century ago, Santiago Ramon y Cajal proposed that neuronal connections were not definitive and immutable but could remain or be destroyed according to indeterminate circumstances.  In essence this conjecture posits that experience leaves a trace in our brain, that traces can be inscribed and linked, vanish and change throughout life, that they are a form of plasticity.  Such traces have been considered to underpin memory and learning and, more recently, the developmental emergence of mental illness.  This paper will review experimental data that provides a dynamic molecular basis for plasticity accompanying eventual consolidation of provisional associations of experience in animal models of learning and disease.

  • Sur ‘(sur)vivre’ by urocortin 1 - an untraditional look at ‘(mal) adaptation’ to stress

    Prof. Eric Roubos and Tamás Kozicz
    Department of Cellular Animal Physiology, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Email: roubos@science.ru.nl

    To live and survive, every organism, small or large, human not excluded, must adapt itself to permanently changing environmental conditions. This 'coping with stress' is normally under control of the nervous and neuroendocrine system, with a particular role for the hypothalamo-hypophyseal-adrenal axis. This HPA-axis reacts to stressors by secreting CORT (corticosterone; cortisol in human and fish), which regulates energy expenditure for adaptive reactions such as fight, flight and fright (FFF-reaction). However, in some individuals (but not in all) prolonged, severe stress leads to malfunctioning of the HPA-axis, with improper CORT secretion and consequent disorders of body and mind (e.g., anxiety, depression and suicidal behaviour) as a result. This raises the question as to the control of the HPA-axis itself. Our laboratory has gained extensive evidence that this regulation is at least in part effectuated by the midbrain non-preganglionic Edinger-Westphal nucleus, which releases urocortin 1, a neuropeptide belonging to the corticotropin-releasing factor family. Evidence will be presented that this nucleus controls the activity of the HPA-axis during chronic stress, and that deregulation of urocortin 1 release may cause brain disorders like major depression.

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