Neuroscience in Denmark

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General information

Name (center, department, group or other)
Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, UCPH
Contact name
Jean-Francois Perrier
Contact email
Contact title
26. June 2015

Brief description of research activities

During the past ten years, we have developed an expertise in the field of cellular neurophysiology. We are using slice preparations from different areas of the central nervous system such as the spinal cord or the hippocampus.
We have recently discovered the first cellular mechanism responsible for the motor fatigue that occurs in the central nervous system. Motoneurons are the final common output of the central nervous system. Their synaptic activation triggers the contraction of the muscle they innervate. Neurons from the raphe nuclei in the brainstem release serotonin on motoneurons by means of synaptic contacts. Their activation facilitates the activity of motoneurons and thereby muscle contraction. During intense physical activity, serotonin release is increased. A spillover occurs and serotonin reaches extrasynaptic receptors located on the axon initial segment of motoneurons. This inhibits action potential genesis and thereby muscle contraction. In that way serotonin prevents excessive muscle contraction.

We are currently studying the cellular mechanisms underlying
1) the processing of nociceptive information in the spinal cord.
2) the development of epileptic seizures responsible for temporal lobe epilepsy in the hippocampus.

Keywords: electrophysiology, slices, serotonin, calcium imaging, motor control, epilepsy, imaging

Research tools and techniques

electrophysiology (patch clamp, local field potential)
Calcium imaging

Scientific Personnel

No of Associate Professors/Postdocs: 1
No of PhD students: 3
Other: 0

Key references from within the last 5 years

Perrier JF, Cotel F (2015). Serotonergic modulation of spinal motor control. Current Opinion of Neurobiology, 33: 1-7.

Carlsen EM, Perrier JF (2014). Purines released from astrocytes inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission in the ventral horn of the spinal cord. Front. Neural Circuits 8:60.

Christensen RK, Petersen AV, Schmitt N, Perrier JF (2014). Fast detection of extrasynaptic GABA with a whole-cell sniffer. Front. Cell. Neurosci. 8, 133.

Perrier JF (2013) Dual control of motoneuron excitability by serotonin. Médecine Sciences 29-6: 564-566.

Cotel F, Exley R, Cragg SJ, Perrier JF (2013) Serotonin spillover onto the axon initial segment of motoneurons induces central fatigue by inhibiting action potential initiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110:4774-4779.

Perrier JF, Rasmussen HB, Christensen RK, Petersen AV (2013) Modulation of the intrinsic properties of motoneurons by serotonin. Current pharmaceutical design 19: 4371-4384.

Christensen RK, Petersen AV, Perrier JF (2013) How do glial cells contribute to motor control? Current pharmaceutical design 19: 4385-4399.

Munch AS, Smith M, Moldovan M, Perrier JF (2010) Visual patch clamp recording of neurons in thick portions of the adult spinal cord. J Neurosci Methods 190:205-213.

Scherfigsvej 7
2100 Copenhagen Ø
Tel. +45 39 12 80 00
CVR-nr. 11 81 49 13
Nils Axelsen Ralf Hemmingsen Lauritz Holm-Nielsen Ralf Hemmingsen Jens Oddershede Jens Frederik Rehfeld Anders Bjørklund