Lines of investigation
Research interests: Our research focuses on determining cellular- and circuit-based mechanisms by which higher-order brain regions such as the hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex relay cognitive information to the hypothalamus in order to modulate innate motivated behaviors (sociability, aggression, mating). As alterations in higher brain regions contribute to neuropsychiatric diseases associated with disordered social behaviors, insight into both the normal and abnormal functions of these circuits is of critical importance. In addition, I am investigating how neuronal plasticity rules, mostly described ex vivo in brain slices, can support learning-related behaviors in vivo.
Techniques: immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, viral tracing of neural circuits, patch-clamp in acute slices with optogenetic, fiber-photometry, miniature endoscopes, opto- and chemogenetic in freely behaving animals. Behavioral assays of social interactions.
- A direct lateral entorhinal cortex to hippocampal CA2 circuit conveys social information required for social memory. Lopez-Rojas J, de Solis CA, Leroy F, Kandel ER, Siegelbaum SA Neuron 2022 110 (9), pp. 1559-1572.e4 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2022.01.028
- Enkephalin release from VIP interneurons in the hippocampal CA2/3a region mediates heterosynaptic plasticity and social memory. Leroy F, de Solis CA, Boyle LM, Bock T, Lofaro OM, Buss EW, Asok A, Kandel ER, Siegelbaum SA Mol Psychiatry. 2022 27 (6): 2879-2900 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01124-y
- Hippocampal CA2 sharp-wave ripples reactivate and promote social memory Azahara Oliva, Antonio Fernández-Ruiz, Felix Leroy & Steven A. Siegelbaum Nature 2020 587: 264 http://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2758-y
- Molecular Mechanisms of the Memory Trace Asok A,Leroy F, Rayman J and Kandel ER Trends in Neuroscience 2019 42(1): 14 http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2018.10.005
- A circuit from hippocampal CA2 to lateral septum disinhibits social aggression Leroy F,Park J, Asok A, Brann DH, Meira T, Boyle LM, Buss EW, Kandel ER and Siegelbaum SA Nature 2018 564(7735): 213 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0772-0