Neuronal Circuit Development Group


Research center

26 rue d'Ulm
75005 Paris
Geneviève Almouzni


Institut Curie
Université Pierre et Marie Curie


Edith Heard
Phone: 01 56 24 68 29
U934 - UMR3215
Labex DEEP

Mots clefs

neural circuits
Available to host a PhD student


Dunn, T. W., Gebhardt, C., Naumann, E. A., Riegler, C., Ahrens, M. B., Engert, F., and Del Bene, F. Neural Circuits Underlying Visually Evoked Escapes in Larval Zebrafish. Neuron (2016)

Di Donato, V., De Santis, F., Auer, T. O., Testa, N., Sanchez-Iranzo, H., Mercader, N., Concordet, J. P., and Del Bene, F.  2C-Cas9: a versatile tool for clonal analysis of gene function. Genome research (2016)

Auer, T. O., Xiao, T., Bercier, V., Gebhardt, C., Duroure, K., Concordet, J. P., Wyart, C., Suster, M., Kawakami, K., Wittbrodt, J., Baier, H., and Del Bene, F. Deletion of a kinesin I motor unmasks a mechanism of homeostatic branching control by neurotrophin-3. eLife (2015)

Auer, T. O., Duroure, K., Concordet, J. P., and Del Bene, F. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated conversion of eGFP- into Gal4-transgenic lines in zebrafish. Nature protocols (2014)

Auer, T. O., Duroure, K., De Cian, A., Concordet, J. P., and Del Bene, F.  Highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in in zebrafish by homology-independent DNA repair. Genome research (2014)


Fields of research

Neurogenetics / neurodevelopment

Research Theme

The optic tectum has emerged as a tractable visuomotor transformer, in which anatomical and functional studies can allow a better understanding of how behavior is controlled by neuronal circuits. We are examining the formation and function of the visual system in zebrafish larvae using in vivo time-lapse microscopy and state-of-the-art “connectomic” and “optogenetic” approaches to monitor and perturb neuronal activity. We apply complementary cellular and molecular analyses to dissect this circuit and identify the neuronal substrate of visual behaviors. We are analyzing the function, development and connectivity of a newly characterized class of inhibitory interneurons located in the superficial part of the tectal neuropil named SINs (superficial inhibitory interneurons) that I have previously identified. Our work based on functional imaging has placed SINs at the center of a tectal micro-circuit for size tuning of visual stimuli. We are dissecting this working model by analysing the physiological properties of SINs. We also are investigating their development and connectivity at the level of single synapses by imaging these cells in vivo using fluorescent reporters in transgenic animals. We are interested in how SINs migrate to their final position in the superficial tectum away from the zone where they are initially generated and how their processes direct tectal synaptic lamina formation. Our multidisciplinary approach aims to describe in great detail the formation and function of a neuronal circuit crucial for visual function, establishing this model for neural circuits studies in vertebrates.

Etudiants ENP


Membres de l'équipe

Karine Duroure
Thomas Auer
Christoph Gebhardt
Vincenzo Di Donato
Flavia De Santis
Celine Revenu
Shahad Albadri
Noe Testa

Lab rotation

Meteorin role in neuronal development

Chercheur responsable: 

DEL BENE Filippo


2 January 2018 - 30 March 2018

Date limite de candidature: 

30 March 2018


~ Jan-March 2018


Meteorin and Meteorin-like are newly discovered secreted proteins involved in both glia and neuronal cell differentiation. More recently, they have also been implicated in axonal growth in in vitro systems. We have cloned the zebrafish orthologous gene (Meteorin, Metrnl1 and Metrnl2) and determined their expression during CNS development in larval zebrafish. We have created null alleles of all three genes via CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Although the mutant fish are viable they show very penetrant and specific axonal growth defect. Preliminary work has demonstrated that these axons fail to innervate the proper brain areas and establish the correct synaptic connectivity. The student will characterize in detail these defects in trigeminal ganglion neuron axons using transgenic lines, in vivo imaging and immunohistochemical analysis. He/she will as well analyze double and triple mutants for these genes that have already been generated, to unmask new phenotypes, including abnormalities in commissural axon crossing and visual perception defects via calcium imaging of behaving animals.


Institut Curie - 26 rue d’Ulm 75005 Paris +33 1 56 24 65 52 -