Institut de Neurosciences Cognitives et Intégratives d'Aquitaine (UMR5287)

Aquitaine Institute for Cognitive and Integrative Neuroscience

Université de Bordeaux

Zone nord Bat 2 2ème étage
146, rue Léo Saignat
33076 Bordeaux cedex


Supervisory authorities

CNRS Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes Université de Bordeaux

Our partners

Neurocampus Unitéde Formation de Biologie


GDR Robotique GDR Mémoire GDR Multi-électrodes


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Coordinations and Plasticities of Spinal Generators

Our project aims to study mammalian spinal neural networks involved in motor functions. Two major themes emerge from this project. Firstly, we investigate the cellular and synaptic mechanisms which allow the various neuronal networks engaged in rhythmic (such as locomotion and respiration) and non-rhythmic (such as posture) motor activities to operate independently or together as they necessarily do during normal behavior. In this context, we seek to determine i) the key elements of neural networks responsible for generating or modulating locomotor output patterns, and ii), the mechanisms involved in locomotor-postural control and locomotor-respiratory couplings. Second, we explore the plastic capabilities of the ventral spinal cord that contains the neural circuitry responsible for posture and locomotion under both physiological and pathological conditions. To this end, we investigate the activity-dependent plasticity of excitatory and inhibitory synapses onto lumbar motoneurons during normal development and following spinal cord injury. A combination of in vitro and in vivo experimental approaches are employed mainly in rodents (neonatal, juvenile and adult rat and mouse), and a part of our project is conducted on humans.

List of team members:

  1. Sandrine Bertrand (CR1 CNRS, HDR)
  2. Didier Morin (PR, Univ. Bordeaux, IUT HSE dept, HDR)
  3. Jean-René Cazalets (DR1 CNRS, HDR)
  4. Grégory Barrière (CR1 CNRS)
  5. Imad Ghorayeb (MCU-PH Université de Bordeaux)
  6. Laurent Juvin (MCU, Univ. Bordeaux, ADT)
  7. Etienne Guillaud (IR CNRS)
  8. Emma Bestaven (IR CNRS)
  9. Anne-Emile Allain (plateforme PhyCell)
  10. Emile Doat (T Université de Bordeaux )
  11. Guy Simonnet (Professeur Emerite)


  1. Sighild Lemarchant (2017-present)

Graduate Students:

  1. Tamara Ceschin (MSc student 2016)
  2. Cyril Simonnet (MSc student 2016)
  3. Camille Quilgars (PhD student 2017 present)
  4. Eloïse Colnot (PhD student 2018- Present)
  5. Théo Mille (PhD student 2017- Present)

Past team members:

  1. Zied Oueghlani (PhD student 2015-present)
  2. Angelo Nicolosi (PhD student 2014-2017)
  3. Justine Debatisse (MSc student 2015)
  4. Paul Irubetagoyena (MSc student 2015)
  5. Léa Milan (PhD student 2012-2014)
  6. Laurianne Beliez (PhD student 2012-2014)
  7. Du Zhuowei (PhD student 2012-2014)
  8. Loïc Renault (MSc student 2015)
  9. Jean-Patrick Le Gal (PhD student 2011-2013)
  10. Anna Tchenio (MSc student 2013)
  11. Magali Cabanas (MSc student 2013)
  12. Charline Kambrun (MSc student 2012)
  13. Sabrina Delattre (MSc student 2012)
  14. Mélissa Sourioux (PhD student 2014-2018)

Publications: (2011-present)


  • Le Gal JP, Juvin L, Cardoit L & Morin D (2016) Bimodal Respiratory-Locomotor Neurons in the Neonatal Rat Spinal Cord. Journal of Neuroscience 36:926-37


  • de Sèze MP, Guillaud E, Slugacz L & Cazalets J (2014) An examination of camptocormia assessment by dynamic quantification of sagittal posture. In presse Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. Journal of Rehabiltation Medicine
  • Ghorayeb I, Dupouy S, Tison F & Meissner WG (2014) Restless legs syndrome in multiple system atrophy. J Neural Transm
  • Hyacinthe C, Barraud Q, Tison F, Bezard E & Ghorayeb I (2014) D1 receptor agonist improves sleep-wake parameters in experimental parkinsonism. Neurobiol Dis 63, 20-4.
  • Hyacinthe C & Ghorayeb I (2014) Wake up with a new brain! Mov Disord 29, 33.
  • Laboureyras E, Aubrun F, Monsaingeon M, Corcuff JB, Laulin JP & Simonnet G (2014) Differences in long-lasting pain sensitivity changes induced by both exogenous and endogenous opioids in various rat strains. Pain Res Manag
  • Le Gal JP, Juvin L, Cardoit L, Thoby-Brisson M & Morin D (2014) Remote control of respiratory neural network by spinal locomotor generators. PLoS One 9, e89670.
  • Meissner WG, Flabeau O, Perez P, Taillard J, Marquant F, Dupouy S, Tison F, Philip P & Ghorayeb I (2014) Accuracy of portable polygraphy for the diagnosis of sleep apnea in multiple system atrophy. Sleep Med 15, 476-9.
  • Milan L, Barrière G, De Deurwaerdere P, Cazalets J & Bertrand S (2014) Monoaminergic control of spinal locomotor networks in SOD1G93A newborn mice. Frontiers in Neural Circuits


  • Bertrand SS & Cazalets JR (2013) Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity in spinal motor networks. Curr Pharm Des 19, 4498-508.
  • Brossaud J, Gosse P, Gatta B, Tabarin A, Simonnet G & Corcuff JB (2013) Phasing-in plasma metanephrines determination. Eur J Endocrinol 169, 163-70.
  • Falgairolle M, Ceccato JC, Seze M, Herbin M & Cazalets JR (2013) Metachronal propagation of motor activity. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed) 18, 820-37.
  • Le Roy C, Laboureyras E, Laulin JP & Simonnet G (2013) A polyamine-deficient diet opposes hyperalgesia, tolerance and the increased anxiety-like behavior associated with heroin withdrawal in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 103, 510-9.
  • Pawlowski SA, Gaillard S, Ghorayeb I, Ribeiro-da-Silva A, Schlichter R & Cordero-Erausquin M (2013) A novel population of cholinergic neurons in the macaque spinal dorsal horn of potential clinical relevance for pain therapy. J Neurosci 33, 3727-37.
  • Simoneau M, Guillaud E & Blouin J (2013) Effects of underestimating the kinematics of trunk rotation on simultaneous reaching movements: predictions of a biomechanical model. J Neuroeng Rehabil 10, 54.


  • Bessiere B, Laboureyras E, Ben Boujema M, Laulin JP & Simonnet G (2012) A high-dose of fentanyl induced delayed anxiety-like behavior in rats. Prevention by a NMDA receptor antagonist and nitrous oxide (N(2)O). Pharmacol Biochem Behav 102, 562-8.
  • Bestaven E, Guillaud E & Cazalets JR (2012) Is "circling" behavior in humans related to postural asymmetry? PLoS One 7, e43861.
  • Gealageas R, Schneider S, Humbert JP, Bertin I, Schmitt M, Laboureyras E, Dugave C, Mollereau C, Simonnet G, Bourguignon JJ, Simonin F & Bihel F (2012) Development of sub-nanomolar dipeptidic ligands of neuropeptide FF receptors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 22, 7471-4.
  • Ghorayeb I, Benard A, Vivot A, Tison F & Burbaud P (2012) A phase II, open-label, non-comparative study of Botulinum toxin in Restless Legs Syndrome. Sleep Med 13, 1313-6.
  • Ghorayeb I & Bezard E (2012) Toward an animal model of restless legs syndrome? Mov Disord 27, 337-8.
  • Giraudin A, Le Bon-Jego M, Cabirol MJ, Simmers J & Morin D (2012) Spinal and pontine relay pathways mediating respiratory rhythm entrainment by limb proprioceptive inputs in the neonatal rat. J Neurosci 32, 11841-53.
  • Juvin L, Le Gal JP, Simmers J & Morin D (2012) Cervicolumbar coordination in mammalian quadrupedal locomotion: role of spinal thoracic circuitry and limb sensory inputs. J Neurosci 32, 953-65.
  • Krismer F, Seppi K, Tison F, Sampaio C, Zangerl A, Peralta C, Yekhlef F, Ghorayeb I, Ory-Magne F, Galitzky M, Bozi M, Scaravilli T, Colosimo C, Geser F, Rascol O, Poewe W, Quinn NP & Wenning GK (2012) The Unified Multiple System Atrophy Rating Scale: intrarater reliability. Mov Disord 27, 1683-5.
  • Manconi M, Ulfberg J, Berger K, Ghorayeb I, Wesstrom J, Fulda S, Allen RP & Pollmacher T (2012) When gender matters: restless legs syndrome. Report of the "RLS and woman" workshop endorsed by the European RLS Study Group. Sleep Med Rev 16, 297-307.


  • Antri M, Mellen N & Cazalets JR (2011) Functional organization of locomotor interneurons in the ventral lumbar spinal cord of the newborn rat. PLoS One 6, e20529.
  • Bertrand SS & Cazalets JR (2011) Cholinergic partition cells and lamina x neurons induce a muscarinic-dependent short-term potentiation of commissural glutamatergic inputs in lumbar motoneurons. Front Neural Circuits 5, 15.
  • Guillaud E, Simoneau M & Blouin J (2011) Prediction of the body rotation-induced torques on the arm during reaching movements: evidence from a proprioceptively deafferented subject. Neuropsychologia 49, 2055-9.
  • Le Ray D, Juvin L, Ryczko D & Dubuc R (2011) Chapter 4—supraspinal control of locomotion: the mesencephalic locomotor region. Prog Brain Res 188, 51-70.
  • Le Roy C, Laboureyras E, Gavello-Baudy S, Chateauraynaud J, Laulin JP & Simonnet G (2011) Endogenous opioids released during non-nociceptive environmental stress induce latent pain sensitization Via a NMDA-dependent process. J Pain 12, 1069-79.