Professor Christophe Mulle Laboratoire „Physiologie Cellulaire de la Synapse“ UMR CNRS 5091 – The Neuroscience Institute at Bordeaux

  • Steering Committee

Cellular Biology of glutamatergic synaptic transmission

  • Laboratoire „Physiologie Cellulaire de la Synapse“ UMR CNRS 5091
  • [email protected]
  • +33 5 57574086
  • +33 5 57574082
  • France

Team Lead

About Professor Christophe Mulle

Christophe Mulle studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Cachan. He is a cellular neurobiologist expert in electrophysiology of synaptic transmission and glutamate receptors. After a PhD at the Pasteur Institute with Jean-Pierre Changeux and a post-doc at the Salk Institute with Steve Heinemann, he has been guiding a CNRS laboratory in Bordeaux since 1995. His research ambitions to link cell biological mechanisms of protein trafficking to synaptic physiology and to address synaptic dysfunction in models of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. He has contributed to the understanding of the elusive kainate receptors as regulators of neural circuits and provided the first insights into the molecular events that govern their polarized trafficking. In recent years he has investigated the mechanisms of synaptic integration and plasticity in hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells. A unique strength of his team is its ability to implement interdisciplinary studies, bridging molecular and cellular techniques to physiological questions in vitro, and in vivo in the context of episodic memory encoding.


General aims

The projects of the team are centered on the formation, operation and plasticity of cortical circuits involved in rapid memory encoding. The group has two main focuses, 1) the mechanisms underlying the specification and plasticity of synaptic properties in hippocampal pyramidal cells and 2) the operation and plasticity of local cortical circuits (mainly CA3) in the context of episodic-like memory encoding. Great efforts are made to implement these questions at an integrated level in the mouse and to develop methods for interrogating the connectivity and function of local circuits in vivo in behavioural conditions. These studies address control conditions as well as mouse models of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.


The group uses a combination of approaches including the development and application of cell-specific gene targeting, in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, cell biology, live cellular imaging, neural circuit mapping, neurocomputation and behaviour.


  • What are the molecular mechanisms governing synapse specification and subcellular segregation of glutamate receptors in a given neuron?
  • What is the particular role of kainate receptors in hippocampal function and dysfunction?
  • What are the mechanisms of short-term plasticity? 
  • How do mitochondria contribute to synaptic function and plasticity in physiological conditions and in models of Alzheimer's disease?
  • What is the synaptic function of presenilins?
  • How does synaptic plasticity modify information transfer, network activity and contribute to memory encoding?
  • How does synaptic dysfunction cause cognitive disorders, such as mental retardation and Alzheimer's disease?

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A full publication record can be found here