Plasticity of neuronal connections
We investigate regulatory mechanisms that control the formation, maintenance and turnover of synaptic connections (structural plasticity), and how this plasticity relates to learning and behavior. We are particularly interested in mechanisms determining the plasticity of defined neuronal circuits, as they may inform us about principles of learning, adaptation, and resilience to disease in the nervous system.
Applying this approach to the hippocampus, a brain structure with a critical role in learning and memory, we investigate how learning and experience specifically influence circuit structure, and how that structure in turn impacts on behavior. We are taking a comprehensive approach to hippocampal and cerebellar circuits, with studies ranging from the specification and assembly of defined microcircuits during development, to the roles of these microcircuits in adult plasticity.
In a second line of research, we investigate mechanisms of disease in neurodegeneration, focusing on mouse models of motoneuron disease. As well as mouse genetics, mouse behavior, neuroanatomy, single cell genomics and live imaging, we use transgenic mice expressing fluorescent chimeric proteins in single neurons to visualize neurons and subcellular components in situ.
Karunakaran S*, Chowdhury A*, Donato F, Quairiaux C, Michel CM, Caroni P (2016) PV plasticity sustained through D1/5 dopamine signaling required for long-term memory consolidationNat Neurosci 19:454-464
* joint first author
Donato F, Chowdhury A, Lahr M, Caroni P (2015) Early- and late-born parvalbumin basket cell subpopulations exhibiting distinct regulation and roles in learning.Neuron 85:770-778
Donato F, Rompani SB, Caroni P (2013) Parvalbumin-expressing basket-cell network plasticity induced by experience regulates adult learningNature, 504:272-276.
Saxena S*, Roselli F*, Singh K, Leptien K, Julien J-P, Gros-Louis F, Caroni P. (2013) Neuroprotection through excitability and mTor required in ALS motoneurons to delay disease and extend survivalNeuron, 80:80-96
Ruediger S, Spirig D, Donato F, Caroni P (2012) Goal-oriented searching mediated by ventral hippocampus early in trial-and-error learningNat Neurosci. 15:1563-71
Caroni P, Donato F, Muller D (2012) Structural plasticity upon learning: regulation and functionsNat Rev Neurosci 13:478-90
Ruediger S, Vittori C, Bednarek E, Genoud C, Strata P, Sacchetti B, Caroni P (2011) Learning-related feedforward inhibitory connectivity growth required for memory precisionNature, 473, 514-518
Bednarek E, and Caroni P (2011) ß-Adducin is required for stable assembly of new synapses and improved memory upon environmental enrichmentNeuron 69:1132-46
Deguchi Y, Donato F, Galimberti I, Cabuy E, Caroni P (2011) Temporally matched subpopulations of selectively interconnected principal neurons in the hippocampusNature Neurosci. 14:495-504
Saxena S, Caroni P (2011) Selective neuronal vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases: from stressor thresholds to degenerationNeuron, 71:35-48.
Galimberti I, Bednarek E, Caroni P. (2010) EphA4 signaling in juveniles establishes topographic specificity of structural plasticity in the hippocampusNeuron 65:627-42
Gogolla N, Caroni P, Lüthi A, Herry C (2009) Perineuronal nets protect fear memories from erasureScience 325:1258-1261
Gogolla N, Galimberti I, Deguchi Y, Caroni P (2009) Wnt signaling mediates experience-related regulation of synapse numbers and mossy fiber connectivities in the adult hippocampusNeuron 62:510-525
Saxena S, Cabuy E, Caroni P (2009) A role for motoneuron subtype-selective ER stress in disease manifestations of FALS miceNature Neurosci 12:627-636
De Paola V, Holtmaat A, Knott G, Song S, Wilbrecht L, Caroni P, Svoboda K (2006) Cell type-specific structural plasticity of axonal branches and boutons in the adult neocortexNeuron 49:861-875
Galimberti I, Gogolla N, Alberi S, Santos AF, Muller D, Caroni P (2006) Long-term rearrangements of hippocampal mossy fiber connectivity in the adult regulated by experienceNeuron 50:749-763
Pun S, Santos AF, Saxena S, Lefler S, Caroni P (2006) CNTF-sensitive selective vulnerability and pruning of phasic motoneuron axons in motoneuron diseaseNature Neurosci 3:408-419