Professor Bernard Poulain Laboratory Physiology of Neural Networks, INCI,UPR 3212, – The European Neuroscience Institute at Strasbourg

Poulain Bernard

Communication and Networks in the Nervous System

Team Lead

About Professor Bernard Poulain

Overall, the main interest of the team (co-headed by Philippe Isope and Bernard Poulain) is the understanding of the mechanisms of neurotransmission (with a special focus on pre- and postsynaptic plasticity mechanisms) and functional organization of the neuronal network in the cerebellum.

We have addressed presynaptic mechanisms using an electrophysiological approach (quantitative biology approach, home-made analytical algorithmic), and the molecular aspects, in an integrated view. Using optogenetic tools developed by Philippe Isope, current experimental approaches combine light stimulation of specific subset of neurons and electrophysiological recordings.

During the past 5 years, we have identified a novel form of synaptic plasticity based on the switching on-off of the functional state of release sites. We are currently investigating how synapses in the cerebellum can maintain their synaptic efficacy at various frequencies (low frequency, high frequency bursts). Large part of the team effort is aimed at analyzing how the neuronal network in cerebellar cortex defines functional modules.

 In addition, since for more 25 years decades BP has paid a substantial effort in deciphering the mechanisms by which bacterial neurotoxins acts on neural cells and how they can be used in a rational way in therapeuthics.

Please also see: http://inci.u-strasbg.fr/en/equ2/presentation.html

Selected Publications

Popoff MR., Mazuet C., Poulain B. (2013) Botulism and Tetanus, in: The Prokaryotes, 4th Edition (vol. 5: Human Microbiology) Eugene Rosenberg, Edward F. DeLong, Fabiano Thompson, Stephen Lory, Erko Stackebrandt (Eds). Springer Berlin Heidelberg pp 247-290, ISBN: 978-3-642-30143-8 (Print), 978-3-642-30144-5 (Online).

Chaumont J, Guyon N, Valera AM, Dugué GP, Popa D, Marcaggi P, Gautheron V, Reibel-Foisset S, Dieudonné S, Stephan A, Barrot M, Cassel JC, Dupont JL, Doussau F, Poulain B, Selimi F, Léna C, Isope P. (2013) Clusters of cerebellar Purkinje cells control their afferent climbing fiber discharge. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.,110(40):16223-8.

Valera A., Doussau F., Poulain B., Barbour B., Isope P. (2012) Adaptation of granule cell to Purkinje cell synapses to high-frequency transmission. J. Neurosci. , 32 (9): 3267–80.

Doussau F., Humeau Y., Benfenati F., Poulain B. (2010) A Novel Form of Presynaptic Plasticity Based on the Fast Reactivation of Release Sites Switched Off during Low-Frequency Depression. J. Neurosci ., 30 (49) : 16679-91.

Fourcaudot E., Gambino F., Casassus G., Poulain B., Humeau Y., Lüthi A. (2009)  L-type voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels mediate expression of presynaptic LTP in amygdala. Nat. Neurosci ., 12 (9): 1093-5.

Fourcaudot E., Gambino F., Humeau Y., Casassus G., Shaban H., Poulain B., Lüthi A. (2008). cAMP/PKA signaling and RIM1alpha mediate presynaptic LTP in the lateral amygdala. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA , 105 (39): 15130-34.

Humeau Y, Vitale N, Chasserot-Golaz S, Dupont JL, Du G, Frohman MA, Bader MF, Poulain B. (2001) A role for phospholipase D1 in neurotransmitter release. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ., 98(26):15300-5.

Schiavo, G., Benfenati, F., Poulain, B., Polverino de Laureto, P., DasGupta, B.R. & Montecucco, C. Tetanus and botulinum-B neurotoxins block neurotransmitter release by proteolytic cleavage of synaptobrevin. Nature 359, 832-835 (1992).

 Fellowships, Awards and Honours

1993            Young Researcher Prize from DRET
1992            Bronze Medal CNRS

Technical Expertise

  • Quantal Aspects of Neurotransmission
  • Presynaptic Forms of Synaptic Plasticity
  • Bacterial Toxins Mechanism
  • Variance-to-Mean Analysis