OptoPath™ is a platform for innovative experimental research in CNS psychopathologies.
Over 10 years of experience, this platform has been conducted by a group of experts from two research institutes in Neurosciences (Magendie Neurocentre / The Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases) at Bordeaux University.
OptoPath™ combines the expertise of neurobiologists, electrophysiologists and experimental psychologists for the identification of new therapeutic targets against 4 major psychological disorders: addiction, obesity, PTSD/Anxiety-related disorders and memory deficits. For these 4 types of psychopathologies, OptoPath™ uses innovative rodent behavioral models that can be combined with state or the art tools for neurobiological investigations such as multi-sites electrophysiology, optogenetics and deep brain vascular imaging in behaving rodents.
We have developed over the past years innovative rodent behavioral models for 4 major psychological disorders: addiction, obesity, PTSD/Anxiety-related disorders and memory deficits.
For addiction, using complementary procedures of a gold standard model, i.e. intravenous self-administration in rodents, we evaluate the addictive risk of new psychoactive compounds (a legal prerequisite for marketing authorization) as well as the anti-addiction potential of new compounds.
For obesity, we have developed a novel experimental set-up that allows studying animal feeding behavior in conditions resembling the human situation. Thus, the associated phenotypic characterization is expected to shed light on the mechanisms underscoring vulnerability or resistance to obesity, providing critical insight into the physiopathological mechanisms leading to the disease.
For PTSD/Anxiety-related disorders, OptoPath scientists have developed a pertinent behavioral model based on the clinical dimensions of the PTSD precisely defined by the DSM-IV (the reference manual of psychiatry).
For memory deficits, we propose translational models from rodents to humans that allow evaluating the different memory components degrading in aging, i.e. short-term memory maintenance and updating, as well as long-term memory flexibility, and testing the negative and positive effects of new psychoactive compounds on these functions.
Simultaneous extracellular recording of the spiking activity of large numbers of individual neurons along with recordings of local field potentials during different brain state (Awake, slow wave sleep, REM sleep) in different neuronal structures under baseline conditions or in a number of behavioral tests.
Optogenetics combines genetic engineering and optics to observe and control the function of genetically targeted groups of cells in intact animals. It is used:
To delineate the function and plasticity of defined neuronal circuits during behavior, in combination with electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches
Fibred confocal fluorescence microscopy (Cellvizio®) which allows dynamic and functional imaging of neuronal, but also vascular, ensembles in deep brain structures