The French National Centre for Scientific Research

Peptidergic Control of Emotions

Team leader : Alexandre CHARLET

Our research is focused on the understanding of cellular mechanisms underlying the regulation of emotions, from social interaction to pain and anxiety. Therefore, we do explore how central neuropeptides modulate the neuroglia network in emotion-related structures, such as amygdala. For this purpose we combine ex vivo and in vivo approaches of electrophysiology and calcium imaging to genetic tools.

Team projets


Researchers / Professors / Assistant Professors

Alexandre Charlet
Pascal Darbon
PhD students

Angel Boudon
Etienne Clauss-Creusot
Valentin Grelot
Post-Doctoral Fellows

Olga Lapies
Kai-Yi Wang


Prof. Hibert group understanding the architecture of G-protein coupled receptors, University of Strasbourg, France
Prof. Grinevich group central mechanisms of stress responses, Mannheim University, Germany
Prof. Javier Stern group CNS mechanisms in cardiometabolic diseases, Georgia State University, USA
Prof. Bice Chini group Neurobiology of oxytocin and vasopressin receptors, CNR Neuroscience Institute, Milan, Italy.
Dr. Nathalie Rouach group neuroglial interactions in cerebral physiopathology, Collège de France, Paris, France.
Prof. Marc Landry, Bordeaux, France; Prof Andrew Gundlach, Melbourne, Australia.
Prof. Andrew Gundlach group peptide neurobiology, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Australia.
Prof. Landry group purinergic-mediated neuroinflammation and brain disorders, UMR5293, Bordeaux, France.
Dr. Yalcin group neuroanatomy, pain and psychopathology, UPR3212, Strasbourg, France.
Prof Marcel Hibert, Strasbourg, France; Benephyt startup.
Dr. Simonin group GPCRs, pain and inflammation, UMR7242, Strasbourg, France.
Dr. Bihel group chemogenomic and medicinal chemistry, UMR7200, Strasbourg, France.
Benephyt startup, France.

Selected publications

Wahis J*, Baudon A*, Althammer F*, Kerspern D*, Goyon S, Hagiwara D, Lefèvre A, Barteczko L, Boury-Jamot B, Bellanger B, Abatis M, Silva da Gouveia M, Benusiglio D, Eliava M, Rozov A, Weinsanto I, Knobloch-Bollmann HS, Kirchner MK, Roy RJ, Wang H, Pertin M, Inquimbert P, Pitzer C, Siemens J, Goumon Y, Boutrel B, Lamy CM, Décosterd I, Chatton J-Y, Rouach N, Young SW, Stern JE, Poisbeau P, Stoop R, Darbon P, Grinevich V, Charlet A. Astrocytes mediate the effect of oxytocin in the central amygdala on neuronal activity and affective states in rodents. (Nature Neuroscience, in press).

Tang Y*, Benusiglio D*, Lefevre A*, Hilfiger L*, Althammer F, Bludau A, Hagiwara D, Baudon A, Darbon P, Schimmer J, Kirchner MK, Roy RK, Wang S, Eliava M, Wagner S, Oberhuber M, Conzelmann KK, Schwarz M, Stern JE, Leng G, Neumann ID, Charlet A#, Grinevich V#. Social touch promotes 1 inter-female communication via activation of parvocellular oxytocin 2 neurons. Nature Neuroscience, Nature Neuroscience 23(9):1125-1137.

Hilfiger L, Zhao Q, Kerspern D, Inquimbert P, Andry V, Goumon Y, Darbon P, Hibert M, Charlet A. (2020) A Nonpeptide Oxytocin Receptor Agonist for a Durable Relief of Inflammatory Pain. Scientific Report, Feb 20;10(1):3017.

Hasan MT*, Althammer F*, Silva da Gouveia M*, Goyon S*, Eliava M, Lefevre A, Kerspern D, Schimmer J, Raftogianni A, Wahis J, Knobloch-Bollmann HS, Tang Y, Liu X, Jain A, Chavant V, Goumon Y, Weislogel J-M, Hurlemann R, Herpertz SC, Darbon P, Dogbevia GK, Bertocchi I, Larkum ME, Sprengel R, Bading H, Charlet A#, Grinevich V#. (2019). Fear Memory Engram and its Plasticity in the Hypothalamic Oxytocin System. Neuron, 103(1):133-146.

Charlet A, Grinevich V. Oxytocin Mobilizes Midbrain Dopamine toward Sociality. Neuron. 2017 Jul 19;95(2):235-237.

Eliava M*, Melchior M*, Knobloch-Bollmann HS*, Wahis J*, da Silva Gouveia M, Tang Y, Ciobanu AC, Triana del Rio R, Roth LC, Althammer F, Chavant V, Goumon Y, Gruber T, Petit-Demoulire N, Busnelli M, Chini B, Tan L, Mitre M, Froemke RC, Chao MV, Giese G, Sprengel R, Kuner R, Poisbeau P, Seeburg PH, Stoop R, Charlet A#, Grinevich V#. A new population of parvocellular oxytocin neurons controlling magnocellular neuron activity and acute pain processing. Neuron (2016); 89: 1291-1304 (* co-first author; # co-corresponding and senior author)”


The French National Centre for Scientific Research