Epigenome and stress pathways
Environmental stress during development has profound impact at the cellular and molecular levels. The brain is particularly sensitive to different stressors because its developmental period is extremely long; starting in utero, its maturation is only achieved at the adolescent age. Exposure to stressors during this whole period might thus have consequences on the adult brain functioning with behavioral consequences.
We aim to unravel the impact of the stress pathways at specific prenatal stages of brain development and to identify the most stress-vulnerable neural cell types or subpopulations. Ultimately, we want to evaluate the impact of these stressors on adult brain functioning.
- We focus on two types of prenatal stressors: neuroinflammation (as triggered by bacterial or viral infections) and alcohol exposure. Both types of prenatal exposure compromise brain development and are major causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). We use models mimicking these stress and post-trauma in close partnership with our collaborators at Hospital Robert Debré (UMR1141 NeuroDiderot, INSERM/Université Paris Cité, Paris), in the context of the Fédération Hospitalo-Universitaire (FHU I2D2).
- We perform epigenomic and transcriptomic investigations in neural cells, at bulk and single-cell levels (sc-nuclear) RNA-Seq and ATAC-Seq; ChIP-Seq and CUT&RUN approaches).
- We develop bio-informatic tools in collaboration with biostatistician in order to analyze the epigenomic stress imprinting and its transcriptional consequences.
Paris Cité University published a review on our study using brain organoids to better understand neurodevelopmental disease. Catch a glimpse of the article here. © News, Université Paris Cité Read more
"CNRS Le Journal" and "Le Monde" published a video article describing the new technical advances in the field of neurobiology, the preparation of human brain organoïds. They visited the Mezger laboratory to have a look at their experimental set up using cerebral...
Aurélie De Thonel and the V Mezger lab released a paper in Nature Communications elucidating the relationship between CBP and HSF2 in a neurodevelopmental disorder, CBP-HSF2 structural and functional interplay in Rubinstein-Taybi neurodevelopmental disorder....