The NGF System and its interplay with endocannabinoid signalling, from peripheral sensory terminals to the brain: new targets for the development of next generation drugs for neuropathic pain

  • Institute Presentation

    The Neuro Centre Magendie (NCM) is a recently formed (2007) institute of INSERM dedicated to the study of the physiology and physiopathology of the central nervous system. It is one of the most recognized contemporary research centres of Neuroscience in Europe. NCM consists of ten research groups whose multidisciplinary activities touch upon most subfields of Neuroscience, including i) developmental neuronal biology, ii) physiopathology of synaptic plasticity, iii) interactions between neurons and glia, iv) neuronalmechanisms of obesity, v) physiopathology of locomotion, vi) mechanisms of cognition and memory, vii) mechanisms of adult

    neurogenesis, viii) neurobiology of fear memories, ix) physiopathology of addiction and x) endocannabinoids and neuroadaptation. NCM employs ~160 scientists and support staff. NCM is equipped with advanced core facilities, such as transgenic animal facility, genotyping, imaging core (confocal, two-photon, Odyssey scanners), laser-capture microdissection, robot-assisted quantitative PCR, analytical platform (gas chromatography mass spectroscopy, liquid chromatography double mass spectroscopy). NCM’s research-dedicated layout generates > 1,000 m2 common laboratory space –equipped for behavioural analyses and surgical interventions in small animals – dedicated for in vivo studies.

  • Project Staff

    Giovanni Marsicano,

    DVM, PhD, team leader of the “Endocannabinoids and Neuradaptation” group at NCM

    Giovanni Marsicano has more than 15 years of experience in research on the role of cannabinoid receptors in health and disease. His approach links behavioral neuroscience with pharmacological, genetic and molecular biological manipulations. Major achievements of his career involve the genetic dissection of CB1 cannabinoid receptor functions, typifying their roles in various neurotransmitter systems, and linking these to disease conditions. More recently, his work pioneered the study of mitochondrial CB1 cannabinoid receptors. His laboratory of 16 scientists, students and technical personnel, thematically concentrate on the development of transgenic technologies, mitochondrial biochemistry, the study of respiration and enzymes, behavioral analyses of food intake, voluntary exercise, learning and memory, stress, anxiety, pain, and circuit neurophysiology. The inherent strength of this organization is to allow the complementary and comparative analysis of the endocannabinoid system.