Glia-Glia and Glia-Neuron Interactions in Neurophysiopathology Group


Research center

45 rue des Saints Pères
75006 Paris
Florian Maszac


Université Paris Descartes
Université Paris Descartes


UFR Biomédicale
Phone: +33 (0) 1 42 86 40 08
Fax: + 33 (0) 1 42 86 41 51
Institut Neuroscience et Cognition


synaptic transmission
GPCR signaling
neuron-glia interactions in physiology of the central nervous system
neuron-astrocyte interactions
glia in memory and sleep
glia in psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseasess


Agulhon C, Sun MY, Murphy T, Myers T, Lauderdale K, Fiacco TA. Calcium signaling and gliotransmission in normal versus reactive astrocytes, Frontiers in Neuropharmacology. 3:139, 2012

Agulhon C, Fiacco TA, McCarthy KD , Hippocampal short- and long-term plasticity are not modulated by astrocyte Ca2+ signaling, Science.327:1250-4, 2010.

Fiacco TA, Agulhon C, McCarthy KD. Sorting out astrocyte physiology from pharmacology, Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 49:151-174 2009.

Agulhon C, Petravicz J, McMullen AB, Sweger EJ, Minton SK, Taves SR, Casper KB, Fiacco TA, McCarthy KD. What is the role of astrocyte calcium in neurophysiology?, Neuron. 59:932-946, 2008.

Fiacco TA, Agulhon C, Taves S, Petravicz J, Casper K, Dong Xinzhong, Chen J, McCarthy KD. Selective stimulation of astrocyte calcium in situ does not affect neuronal excitatory synaptic activity, Neuron. 54:611-626, 2007.

Fields of research

Neurophysiology / systems neuroscience

Research Theme

We are interested in understanding the role of glial cells in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS) and the mechanisms by which glial cells and neurons interact to support normal communication in the CNS.

We are developing and using a set of interdisciplinary and complementary tools and approaches (electrophysiology, pharmacogenetics and optogenetics, 2-photon Ca2+ imaging) to selectively manipulate glial cell signaling and investigate its effects in synaptic transmission and plasticity ex vivo and in vivo in different contexts (during sensory-activated synaptic transmission, sleep, development and stress).

Collaborations with physicists also located in the Paris Descartes University will provide the 2-photon microscopy systems and optic expertise necessary to our projects. From these studies, we hope to resolve some glial cell functions, and open up entirely new areas of investigation and potential treatments of diseases, e.g. glioblastoma, epilepsy, or memory, sleep, and stress disorders.

Team members


Lab rotation

Investigating the role of astrocytic signaling in visual memory

Team leader: 



April 2, 2018 - June 29, 2018

Application deadline: 

June 29, 2018


~April-June 2018


There is accumulating evidence that implicates astrocyte in various aspects of physiopathology in the central nervous system. Based on recent literature, we hypothesize that activation of astrocytic signaling cascade in adult primary visual cortex (V1) triggers the release of (i) glutamate, (ii) pro-inflammatory molecules and/or (iii) synaptogenic, maturation or pruning factors to affect excitatory synaptic transmission, plasticity, cortical network activity and circuit formation. These would lead to the modulation of excitatory synaptic plasticity and visual memories. The rotation student will be involved in a project directly testing this hypothesis in vivo using the rodent  V1 as well as novel powerful chemogenetic tools that we pioneered in astrocytes combined with, immunohistochemistry, biochemistry, electrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging, sensory behavior tests, and modeling.  


Fédération de Recherche en Neurosciences – 45, rue des Saints Pères 75006 Paris - +33 1 42 86 40 08 -