We have to talk about

...Metabolism, ...Reproduction, ...Tanycytes

research topics

blood brain barrier

How peripheral signals are able to bypass the "gateway" of the brain, signaling the metabolic status of the organism, modifying behavioural and physiological activity

Infertility

Disorders affecting our ability to reproduce can cause severe emotional and psychological issues and often have tight association to metabolic syndromes

neurogenesis

How the birth of new hypothalamic neurons and glia may contribute to the regulation of metabolic and reproductive control networks

Obesity & Diabetes

Even though there have been many advances in understanding how body weight is regulated, translating this knowledge into effective treatment strategies has so far proven ineffective

Puberty

How neuronal networks that impinge on GnRH neurons control GnRH release, timing the onset of puberty and the maintenance of reproductive capacity

aging

As populations live longer, it becomes more important for us to understand how common disorders such as obesity contribute to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease

Interactions between hypothalamic neuroendocrine systems and peripheral hormones are increasingly thought to play a fundamental role in postnatal brain development, the impairment of which lies at the origin of several major neurological and psychiatric disorders.

 

In addition, over the last few years, evidence has been accumulating for the involvement of central neurohormone imbalances in both the pathophysiology of cognitive disorders, such as certain early-onset dementias, and in the pathophysiology of metabolic and reproductive disorders such as obesity and infertility.

Abbreviations:

ARH/me: arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus/médian eminence; GnRH: gonadotropin releasing hormone; POA: preoptic region; PVH: Periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus; DMH: dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus; LHA: lateral hypothalamic area; AMH: anti-Mullerian hormone

Our laboratory examines how chemotropic factors and peripheral hormones (estrogen, leptin, AMH…) impact hypothalamic development and function, as well as the importance of non-neuronal cells (tanycytes, astrocytes and endothelial cells) in this dialogue between the periphery and the central nervous system.

It also aims to evaluate how pathological conditions (obesity, diabetes etc.) affect these neurobiological events and, conversely, how the impairment of communication between the brain and the periphery renders the organism prone to developing such conditions (obesity, diabetes, precocious and/or delayed puberty and infertility).

Our laboratory brings together in a single setting a wide range of theoretical knowledge and technical expertise in its fields of research and is able to investigate physiological and pathological processes from the molecular and genetic/epigenetic levels to that of human patients, thanks to the close interaction between basic scientists and clinicians.

For the excellence of our work, our laboratory has been classified as “remarkable” (the highest “grade” attributed to French research laboratories) by our evaluating bodies in 2014.

mission statement

"France, and Lille in particular has always been a World leader in research into the hypothalamic control of fertility and we are proud to continue evolving our approaches, utilizing cutting edge techniques to help better understand our physiology"
Jean-Claude Beauvillain (Ex-Chef d'équipe)

Our Lab is also actively involved in several Local (FHU 1000 days for Health, DN2M), National (Société de Neuroendocrinologie (SNE), GDR repro, Société des neurosciences, Club de cellules gliales) and International research networks including LARC-Neurosciences, GnRH network, and FENS.

Platforms

Hormonal Profiling

Measuring reproductive hormones allows us to decipher how endocrine feedback loops are regulated

Electrophysiology

Understanding the electrical activity of neurons and non-neuronal cells gives insight into how networks are formed and co-ordinated to regulate downstream outcomes

Metabolic Phenotyping

Often seemingly simple phenotypes such as obesity may be caused by complex changes in metabolic parameters that we assess using metabolic cages

Immunolabelling & Tissue Clearing

Using ISH and IF allows an appreciation of the spatial expression of genes and proteins, enhanced by the use of tissue clearing and light sheet microscopy techniques

In VIvo Surgery

From gonadectomies to stereotaxic virus delivery, precise manipulations of experimental models can allow us to answer complex questions

Behavioral Tests

Beyond neuronal signals and hormonal changes, physiological and behavioral changes occur from changes in reproductive attitudes to olfactory behavior