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Accueil du site > Equipes de recherche > Equipe CMO (N.Ravel, N.Buonviso) > Annuaire > Pages personnelles > Barbara FERRY


par Philippe Litaudon - 14 mai 2014


  • Boisselier L, Gervasoni D, Garcia S, Ferry B, Gervais R. Neuronal dynamics supporting formation and recombination of cross-modal olfactory-tactile association in the rat hippocampal formation. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2018;119(3):1140-1152.
    Résumé : The present study is aimed at describing some aspects of the neural dynamics supporting discrimination of olfactory-tactile paired-associated stimuli during acquisition of new pairs and during recombination of previously learned pairs in the rat. To solve the task, animals have to identify one odor-texture (OT) combination associated with a food reward among three cups with overlapping elements. Previous experiments demonstrated that the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) is involved in the processes underlying OT acquisition, whereas the dorsal hippocampus (DH) is selectively involved in the recombination processes. In the present study, local field potentials were recorded form the anterior piriform cortex (aPC), LEC, and DH in freely moving rats performing these tasks. Signal analysis focused on theta (5-12 Hz)- and beta-band (15-40 Hz) oscillatory activities in terms of both amplitude and synchrony. The results show that cue sampling was associated with a significant increase in the beta-band activity during the choice period in both the aPC and the LEC, and is modulated by level of expertise and the animal's decision. In addition, this increase was significantly higher during the recombination compared with the acquisition of the OT task, specifically when animals had to neglect the odor previously associated with the reward. Finally, a significant decrease in coherence in the theta band between LEC and DH was observed in the recombination but not in the acquisition task. These data point to specific neural signatures of simple and complex cross-modal sensory processing in the LEC-DH complex. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study is the first to describe electrophysiological correlates of cross-modal olfactory-tactile integration in rats. Recordings were sought from the lateral entorhinal cortex and the dorsal hippocampus because previous studies have shown their role in the formation and in the recombination of previously learned associations. We identified specific oscillatory-evoked neural responses in these structures in the theta and beta bands, which characterize acquisition and recombination of cross-modal olfactory-tactile pairs.
    Mots-clés : dorsal hippocampus, lateral entorhinal cortex, olfactory-tactile, rat, theta and beta rhythms.

  • Estrade L, Cassel J-C, Parrot S, Duchamp-Viret P, Ferry B. Microdialysis Unveils the Role of the α2-Adrenergic System in the Basolateral Amygdala during Acquisition of Conditioned Odor Aversion in the Rat. ACS chemical neuroscience. 2018.
    Résumé : Previous work has shown that β-adrenergic and GABAergic systems in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) are involved in the acquisition of conditioned odor aversion (COA) learning. The involvement of α2-adrenoreceptors, however, is poorly documented. In a first experiment, male Long-Evans rats received infusions of 0.1 μg of the selective α2-antagonist dexefaroxan (Dex) in the BLA before being exposed to COA learning. In a second experiment, levels of norepinephrine (NE) were analyzed following Dex retrodialysis into the BLA. While microdialysis data showed a significant enhancement of NE release in the BLA with Dex, behavioral results showed that pre-CS infusion of Dex impaired, rather than facilitated, the acquisition of COA. Our results show that the NE system in the BLA is involved in the acquisition of COA, including a strong α2-receptor modulation until now unsuspected. Supported by the recent literature, the present data suggest moreover that the processes underlying this learning are probably mediated by the balanced effects of NE excitatory/inhibitory signaling in the BLA, in which interneurons are highly involved.
    Mots-clés : acquisition, basolateral amygdala, conditioned odor aversion, memory, microdialysis, norepinephrine, trace conditioning, α2-Adrenoceptors.

  • Villain H, Benkahoul A, Birmes P, Ferry B, Roullet P. Influence of early stress on memory reconsolidation: Implications for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment. PloS One. 2018;13(1):e0191563.
    Résumé : Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common consequence of exposure to a life-threatening event. Currently, pharmacological treatments are limited by high rates of relapse, and novel treatment approaches are needed. We have recently demonstrated that propranolol, a β-adrenergic antagonist, inhibited aversive memory reconsolidation in animals. Following this, in an open-label study 70% of patients with PTSD treated with propranolol during reactivation of traumatic memory exhibited full remission. However, the reason why 30% of these patients did not respond positively to propranolol treatment is still unclear. One of the major candidates as factor of treatment resistance is the patient's early-life traumatic history. To test the role of this factor, mice with pre- or postnatal stress are being tested in fear conditioning and in a new behavioral task, the "city-like", specifically designed as a mouse model of PTSD. After reactivation of the traumatic event, mice received propranolol injection to block the noradrenergic system during memory reconsolidation. Results show that, in the "city-like" test, control mice strongly avoided the shock compartment but also the compartments containing cues associated with the electric shocks. Injection of propranolol after reactivation greatly reduced the memory of the traumatic event, but this effect was not present when mice had received pre- or postnatal stress. Moreover, propranolol produced only a very weak effect in the fear conditioning test, and never changed the corticosterone level whatever the behavioral experiment. Taken together our results suggest that our new behavioural paradigm is well adapted to PTSD study in mice, and that early stress exposure may have an impact on propranolol PTSD treatment outcome. These data are critical to understanding the effect of propranolol treatment, in order to improve the therapeutic protocol currently used in humans.
    Mots-clés : Adrenergic beta-Antagonists, Animals, Conditioning, Classical, Corticosterone, Disease Models, Animal, Fear, Female, Humans, Memory Consolidation, Mice, Pregnancy, Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects, Propranolol, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Stress, Physiological, Stress, Psychological.


  • Laurent C, Burnouf S, Ferry B, et al. A2A adenosine receptor deletion is protective in a mouse model of Tauopathy. Molecular Psychiatry. 21(1):97-107.
    Résumé : Consumption of caffeine, a non-selective adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) antagonist, reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD) in humans and mitigates both amyloid and Tau burden in transgenic mouse models. However, the impact of selective A2AR blockade on the progressive development of AD-related lesions and associated memory impairments has not been investigated. In the present study, we removed the gene encoding A2AR from THY-Tau22 mice and analysed the subsequent effects on both pathological (Tau phosphorylation and aggregation, neuro-inflammation) and functional impairments (spatial learning and memory, hippocampal plasticity, neurotransmitter profile). We found that deleting A2ARs protect from Tau pathology-induced deficits in terms of spatial memory and hippocampal long-term depression. These effects were concomitant with a normalization of the hippocampal glutamate/gamma-amino butyric acid ratio, together with a global reduction in neuro-inflammatory markers and a decrease in Tau hyperphosphorylation. Additionally, oral therapy using a specific A2AR antagonist (MSX-3) significantly improved memory and reduced Tau hyperphosphorylation in THY-Tau22 mice. By showing that A2AR genetic or pharmacological blockade improves the pathological phenotype in a Tau transgenic mouse model, the present data highlight A2A receptors as important molecular targets to consider against AD and Tauopathies.


  • Ferry B, Parrot S, Marien M, Lazarus C, Cassel J-C, McGaugh JL. Noradrenergic influences in the basolateral amygdala on inhibitory avoidance memory are mediated by an action on α2-adrenoceptors. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 51:68-79.
    Résumé : The role of norepinephrine (NE) in the consolidation of inhibitory avoidance learning (IA) in rats is known to involve α1- and β-adrenoceptor systems in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA). However, the amygdala also contains α2-adrenoceptor subtypes, and local microinfusions of the selective α2-adrenoceptor antagonist idazoxan and agonist UK 14,304 respectively into the BLA enhance and inhibit IA performances when administered before acquisition. The present study investigated whether the effects of idazoxan and UK 14,304 on IA were associated with changes in NE release within the BLA before and after one-trial inhibitory avoidance training. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were unilaterally implanted with a microdialysis probe in the BLA and were administered idazoxan (0.1mM) or UK 14,304 (10 μM) by retrodialysis infusion 15 min before the acquisition of IA. Dialysates were collected every 15 min for analysis of NE. Retrodialysis of idazoxan potentiated the release of NE induced by footshock application, whereas UK 14,304 decreased NE release to the extent that the footshock failed to induce any measurable effect on NE levels. Idazoxan infusion enhanced IA retention tested 24h later and this effect was directly related to the level of NE release in the BLA measured during IA acquisition. In contrast, the infusion of UK 14,304 did not modify IA performances in comparison to control animals, possibly due to compensatory activity of the contralateral BLA. These results are consistent with previous evidence that amygdala NE is involved in modulating memory consolidation, and provide evidence for an involvement of presynaptic α2-autoceptors in the BLA in this process.
    Mots-clés : Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Agonists, Adrenergic alpha-2 Receptor Antagonists, Animals, Avoidance Learning, Basolateral amygdala, Basolateral Nuclear Complex, Brimonidine Tartrate, Idazoxan, Inhibitory avoidance learning, Male, Memory, Memory modulation, Microdialysis, Norepinephrine, Quinoxalines, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Receptors, Adrenergic, alpha-2, Retrodialysis, α(2)-Adrenoceptor.


  • Boisselier L, Ferry B, Gervais R. Involvement of the lateral entorhinal cortex for the formation of cross-modal olfactory-tactile associations in the rat. Hippocampus. 2014;24(7):877-891.
    Résumé : While the olfactory and tactile vibrissal systems have been extensively studied in the rat, the neural basis of these cross-modal associations is still elusive. Here we tested the hypothesis that the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) could be particularly involved. In order to tackle this question, we have developed a new behavioral paradigm which consists in finding one baited cup (+) among three, each of the cups presenting a different and specific odor/texture (OT) combination. During the acquisition of a first task (Task OT1), the three cups were associated with the following OT combination: O1T1 for the baited cup; O2T1 and O1T2 for non-baited ones. Most rats learn this task within three training sessions (20 trials/session). In a second task (Task OT2) animals had to pair another OT combination with the reward using a new set of stimuli (O3T3+, O4T3, and O3T4). Results showed that rats manage to learn Task OT2 within one session only. In a third task (Task OT3) animals had to learn another OT combination based on previously learned items (e.g. O4T4+, O1T4 and O4T1). This task is called the "recombination task." Results showed that control rats solve the recombination task within one session. Animals bilaterally implanted with cannulae in the LEC were microinfused with d-APV (3 µg/0.6 µL) just before the acquisition or the test session of each task. The results showed that NMDA receptor blockade in LEC did not affect recall of Task OT1 but strongly impaired acquisition of both Task OT2 and OT3. Moreover, two control groups of animals infused with d-APV showed no deficit in the acquisition of unimodal olfactory and tactile tasks. Taken together, these data show that the NMDA system in the LEC is involved in the acquisition of association between an olfactory and a tactile stimulus during cross-modal learning task.
    Mots-clés : 2-Amino-5-phosphonovalerate, Animals, cross-modal, Cues, Discrimination (Psychology), Entorhinal Cortex, Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists, Exploratory Behavior, Feeding Behavior, lateral entorhinal cortex, Male, Microinjections, NMDA, Odorants, olfacto-tactile task, rat, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, Smell, Touch.