My laboratory is interested in studying the neural circuits underlying social and cognitive functions. More specifically we aim at examining the genetic and environmental factors regulating the development of these circuits. In particular we investigate how genetic modifications and early environmental conditions affect these circuits and lead to altered social and cognitive functions and in some case to disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
To this purpose, we use various behavioral techniques in transgenic and non-transgenic mice such as behavioral manipulations during specific windows of vulnerability and behavioral testing of social and cognitive functions. We also use pharmacological approaches (systemic and central administration of drugs) to determine the contribution of various neurotransmitters to higher behavioral functions. Finally, we use optogenetic to modify gene expression transiently and locally in awake and behaving mice. In addition to in vivo techniques, we use molecular biology in brain tissue to assess gene and protein expression in particular regions (hippocampus, prefrontal cortex).
Shepard R, Coutellier L. (2017) Changes in the prefrontal glutamatergic and parvalbumin systems of mice following unpredictable chronic stress. Molecular Neurobiology. In press.
Shepard R, Heslin K, Coutellier L. (2016) The transcription factor Npas4 contributes to adolescent development of prefrontal inhibitory circuits, and to cognitive and emotional functions: implications for neuropsychiatric disorders. Neurobiology of Disease. 99:36-46
Shepard R, Page CE, Coutellier L (2016) Sensitivity of the prefrontal GABAergic system to chronic stress in male and female mice: relevance for sex differences in stress-related disorders. Neuroscience. 332:1-12
Coutellier L, Gilbert V, Shepard R (2015) Npas4 deficiency increases vulnerability to juvenile stress in mice. Behavioral Brain Research. 295: 17-25
L.Coutellier, Ardestani PM., Shamloo, M. (2014) β1-adrenergic receptor activation enhances memory in Alzheimer's disease model. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. 1(5): 348-360
Stephan AH, Madison DV, Mateos JM, Fraser DA, Lovelett EA, Coutellier L, Kim L, Tsai HH, Huang EJ, Rowitch DH, Berns DS, Tenner AJ, Shamloo M, Barres BA. (2013) A dramatic increase of C1q protein in the CNS during normal aging. Journal of Neuroscience. 33(33):13460-74
L. Coutellier (2013) Adaptive regulations in developing rodents following neonatal challenges. In G. Laviola and S. Macri. (Eds) (Mal)adaptive aspects of developmental stress. Springer Neurotoxicity Book Series.
L.Coutellier, Beraki S., Ardestani P.M., Saw N.L., Shamloo M. (2012) Npas4: a neuronal transcription factor with a key role in social and cognitive functions relevant for developmental disorders. Plos One. 7(9):e46604.
L.Coutellier (2012) Rodent models of early environment effects on offspring development and susceptibility to neurological diseases in adulthood. Translational Neuroscience. 3 (3): 258-262.
L.Coutellier, Logemann A., Rusnak, M and Usdin T. (2011) Maternal absence of the parathyroid-hormone 2 (PTH2) receptor affects postnatal pup development. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. 23(7): 612-619.
L.Coutellier and Usdin T. (2011) Enhanced long-term fear memory and increased anxiety and depression-like behavior after exposure to an aversive event in mice lacking TIP39 signaling. Behavioural Brain Research. 222(1): 265-269.
L.Coutellier, Logemann A. Kuo, J., Rusnak, M. and Usdin T. (2011) TIP39 modulates effects of novelty induced arousal on memory. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 10 (1): 90-99.
L.Coutellier and Würbel H. (2009) Early environmental cues affect object recognition memory in adult female but not male C57BL/6 mice. Behavioral Brain Research. 203: 312-315.
L.Coutellier, Friedrich, A.C., Failing, K., Marashi, V. and Würbel, H. (2009) Effects of variations in foraging demand on maternal behaviour and adult offspring anxiety and stress response in C57BL/6 mice. Behavioral Brain Research. 196 (2): 192-199.
L.Coutellier, Friedrich, A.C., Failing, K., Marashi, V. and Würbel, H. (2008) Effects of rat odour and shelter on maternal behaviour in C57BL/6 dams and on fear and stress responses in their adult offspring. Physiology and Behavior, 94: 393-404.
L.Coutellier, Friedrich, A.C., Failing, K. and Würbel, H. (2008) Variation of postnatal maternal environment in mice: effects on maternal behaviour and behavioural and endocrine responses in the adult offspring. Physiology and Behavior, 93: 395-407.