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Currently Research Director at CNRS, I am a neuroscientist expert in behavioral psychopharmacology, reward processes and social behavior in mice.
I defended a State Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2000, while I was pursuing a PhD in Neurosciences and Pharmacology from 1997-2002 in the lab of Robert Jaffard (University of Bordeaux), under the supervision of Pierre Cazala. During my PhD, I explored the role of mu opioid receptors in interfacing learning, anxiety and motivation in the septum. In 2003, I started a first post-doctoral position at the University of Sussex (UK), under the supervision of Dai Stephens, where I investigated plastic and behavioural consequences of alcohol withdrawal and conditioning to drug and food cues. In 2006, I joined the lab of Brigitte Kieffer at IGBMC (Strasbourg). There, I characterized the long-term behavioral and transcriptional consequences of drug exposure and explored the functional roles of mu and delta opioid receptors using knockout mouse models. I notably validated the mu opioid receptor null mice as a model of autism, and identified for the first time the mGlu4 receptor as a promising therapeutic target to relieve autistic symptoms.
I was recruited as a research Associate at CNRS in 2014 and established my team in co-direction with Jerome Becker, molecular biologist and pharmacologist, at PRC (INRA, CNRS, University of Tours). We focused our research on identifying the neurobiological underpinnings of social behaviour under physiological and pathological (autism) conditions and developing novel therapeutic strategies to relieve autistic symptoms across multiple mouse models. We have implemented various complementary approaches to achieve these goals, from in vitro pharmacology and transcriptome analysis to behavioural pharmacology, local gene knockdown and optopharmacology. These fruitful years of research have confirmed our strong interest in neuropsychiatric disorders and we are now joining the team “Neuro-functional Psychiatry” at iBrain, Inserm U1253, University of Tours.

Journal articles11 documents

  • Cécile Derieux, Audrey Léauté, Agathe Brugoux, Déborah Jaccaz, Claire Terrier, et al.. Chronic sodium bromide treatment relieves autistic-like behavioral deficits in three mouse models of autism. Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 47 (9), pp.1680-1692. ⟨10.1038/s41386-022-01317-1⟩. ⟨hal-03647444⟩
  • Jiyong Meng, Chanjuan Xu, Pierre-André Lafon, Salomé Roux, Michaël Mathieu, et al.. Nanobody-based sensors reveal a high proportion of mGlu heterodimers in the brain. Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Publishing Group, 2022, 18, pp.894-903. ⟨10.1038/s41589-022-01050-2⟩. ⟨hal-03699580⟩
  • Thibaut Laboute, Jorge Gandía, Lucie P. Pellissier, Yannick Corde, Florian Rebeillard, et al.. The orphan receptor GPR88 blunts the signaling of opioid receptors and multiple striatal GPCRs. eLife, eLife Sciences Publication, 2020, 9, ⟨10.7554/eLife.50519⟩. ⟨hal-02898979⟩
  • Jérôme Aj Becker, Lucie P. Pellissier, Yannick Corde, Thibaut Laboute, Audrey Léauté, et al.. Facilitating mGluR4 activity reverses the long-term deleterious consequences of chronic morphine exposure in male mice. Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, pp.1-13. ⟨10.1038/s41386-020-00927-x⟩. ⟨hal-03140299v2⟩
  • Antoine Leboucher, Didier Pisani, Laura Martinez-Gili, Julien Chilloux, Patricia Bermudez-Martin, et al.. The translational regulator FMRP controls lipid and glucose metabolism in mice and humans. Molecular metabolism, Elsevier, 2019, 21, pp.22-35. ⟨10.1016/j.molmet.2019.01.002⟩. ⟨hal-02266400⟩
  • Jérôme Aj Becker, Daniel Clesse, Coralie Spiegelhalter, Yannick Schwab, Julie Le Merrer, et al.. Autistic-Like Syndrome in Mu Opioid Receptor Null Mice is Relieved by Facilitated mGluR4 Activity. Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, 2014, 39 (9), pp.2049-2060. ⟨10.1038/npp.2014.59⟩. ⟨hal-02266436⟩
  • Julie Le Merrer, Xavier Rezai, Grégory Scherrer, Jérôme a J Becker, Brigitte L. Kieffer. Impaired Hippocampus-Dependent and Facilitated Striatum-Dependent Behaviors in Mice Lacking the Delta Opioid Receptor. Neuropsychopharmacology, Nature Publishing Group, 2013, 38 (6), pp.1050-1059. ⟨10.1038/npp.2013.1⟩. ⟨hal-02266437⟩
  • Julie Le Merrer, Lauren Faget, Audrey Matifas, Brigitte L. Kieffer. Cues predicting drug or food reward restore morphine-induced place conditioning in mice lacking delta opioid receptors. Psychopharmacology, Springer Verlag, 2012, 223 (1), pp.99-106. ⟨10.1007/s00213-012-2693-1⟩. ⟨hal-02266441⟩
  • Julie Le Merrer, Jérôme A. J. Becker, Katia Befort, Brigitte L. Kieffer. Reward processing by the opioid system in the brain.. Physiological Reviews, American Physiological Society, 2009, 89 (4), pp.1379-412. ⟨10.1152/physrev.00005.2009⟩. ⟨inserm-00438654⟩
  • Stéphanie Gavello-Baudy, Julie Le Merrer, Laurence Decorte, Vincent David, Pierre Cazala. Self-administration of the GABA(A) agonist muscimol into the medial septum: dependence on dopaminergic mechanisms.. Psychopharmacology, Springer Verlag, 2008, 201 (2), pp.219-28. ⟨10.1007/s00213-008-1263-z⟩. ⟨inserm-00350880⟩
  • Françoise Gofflot, Nathalie Chartoire, Laurent Vasseur, Sami Heikkinen, Doulaye Dembélé, et al.. Systematic gene expression mapping clusters nuclear receptors according to their function in the brain.. Cell, Elsevier, 2007, 131 (2), pp.405-18. ⟨10.1016/j.cell.2007.09.012⟩. ⟨hal-00187825⟩

Poster communications2 documents

  • Elodie Chaillou, Mélanie Kraemer, Céline Parias, Mathieu Fonteneau, Jérôme Becker, et al.. Phénotypage de la maturation hypophysaire. Impact de l'allaitement artificiel. Journées d’animation scientifiques du Département Physiologie Animale et Systèmes d’Elevage, May 2022, Poitiers, France. ⟨hal-03752742⟩
  • Lucie P. Pellissier, Jorge Gandía, Mohammed Akli Ayoub, B.L. Kieffer, Julie Le Merrer, et al.. Effect of orphan GPR88 on delta opioid signaling in vitro and in vivo. 3. Agreenskills Annual Meeting, Oct 2015, Barcelone, Spain. 1 p., 2015. ⟨hal-02801043⟩

Preprints, Working Papers, ...1 document

  • Cécile Derieux, Audrey Léauté, Agathe Brugoux, Déborah Jacaz, Jean-Philippe Pin, et al.. Chronic sodium bromide treatment relieves autistic-like behavioral deficits in three mouse models of autism. 2021. ⟨hal-03379576⟩