Bioenergetics for brain function #BBF

February 28 to March 18 (2022)

The brain is one of the most energy-consuming organs of the body. Indeed, one could say that the main difference between the brain and a computer is the plug: once plugged, energy is not an issue for the computer, but it is a constant burden for each cell of the brain. As such, energy metabolism in the brain is not just a mere housekeeping and survival service, but it constitutes an essential element directly participating in signaling, computation and behavior. This course will address the different ways by which energy metabolism participates to high-order brain functions and the underlying cellular, molecular and circuit mechanisms.

Course director & co-directors

  • Juan Pedro Bolaños (University of Salamanca, Spain)
  • Giovanni Marsicano (University of Bordeaux, France)
  • Anne-Karine Bouzier-Sore (University of Bordeaux, France)

February 28 – 11:00am
Juan Pedro Bolaños (University of Salamanca, Spain)
Metabolic shapes of brain cells and functional consequences

March 1 – 9:00am
Giovanni Marsicano (University of Bordeaux, France)
Cannabinoid receptors in brain metabolism

March 3 – 9:00am
Luc Pellerin (University of Poitiers, France)

March 3 – 11:00am
Aude Panatier (University of Bordeaux, France)

March 5 – 9:00am
Gilles Bonvento (François Jacob Institute of Biology – MIRCen, France)
Astrocyte-neuron metabolic cooperation shapes brain activity in health and disease

March 7 – 9:00am
Carmen Sandi (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL, Switzerland)
Neural circuits and  metabolic pathways on the link between stress, anxiety and motivation

March 7 – 11:00am
Felipe Barros (Center for Scientific Studies – CECs, Chile)
Metabolic imaging with genetically-encoded fluorescent sensors

March 11 – 9:00am
Stephanie Fulton (University of Montreal, Canada)
Neural fatty acid metabolism: Implications for energy balance and motivation

March 11 – 11:00am
Jaime De Juan-Sanz (Paris Brain Institute, France)

March 14 – 9:00am
Anne-Karine Bouzier-Sore (University of Bordeaux, France)

March 15 – 9:00am
Daniela Cota (University of Bordeaux, France)

March 17 – 9:00am
Ralf Jockers (Cochin Institute, France)

Felipe Baeza-Lehnert (University of Leipzig, Germany)
Jérôme Baufreton (University of Bordeaux, France)
Luigi Bellocchio (University of Bordeaux, France)
Giovanni Bénard (Rare Diseases Genetics and Metabolism laboratory – MRGM, France)
Abel Eraso Pichot (University of Bordeaux, France)
Ignacio Fernandez-Moncada (University of Bordeaux, France)
Marina Garcia Macia (University of Salamanca, Spain)
Anna Hadjichambi (King’s College Hospital, UK)
Morgane Jego (University of Bordeaux, France)
Daniel Jimenez (University of Salamanca, Spain)
Christos Konstantinou (King’s College Hospital, UK)
Rodrigo Lerchundi (François Jacob Institute of biology – MIRCen, France)
Shingo Nakajima (University of Montreal, Canada)
Antonio Pagano-Zottola (University of Bordeaux, France)
Sandrine Pouvreau (University of Bordeaux, France)
Rubén Quintana-Cabrera (University of Salamanca, Spain)

The following techniques will be covered during the course:

  • Cultures of mouse primary astrocytes and neurons
  • Bioenergetic profiles in mouse primary astrocytes and neurons using the Seahorse equipment
  • Isolation of neurons and astrocytes from adult mice using immunomagnetic approach
  • Flow cytometric analysis of mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial ROS production in cultured primary brain cells and in acute immunomagnetically isolated brain cells
  • Purification of mitochondrial fraction using differential centrifugation and immunomagnetic mitochondrial isolation approach
  • Analysis of the mitochondrial respiratory chain organization using blue native gel electrophoresis from mitochondria isolated from either cultured cells, acutely isolated brain cells and brain-specific regions
  • Study of real-time changes in mitochondrial membrane potential using confocal microscopy in cells expressing genetic ATP and ROS probes
  • Classical techniques for the determination of common energy metabolites and enzyme activities in including the MRC complexes
  • Glucose and lactate metabolism in neurons: comparison of [1-13C]glucose and [3-13C]lactate metabolism in neuronal cultures, followed by 13C-NMR spectroscopy
  • Glucose and lactate metabolism in astrocytes : comparison of [1-13C]glucose and [3-13C]lactate metabolism in astrocytic cultures, followed by 13C-NMR spectroscopy
  • Metabolic changes during brain activity: in vivo functional MRI and MRS during whisker stimulation: visualisation of the barrel cortex and quantification of the lactate increase during brain activity in rat
  • Impact of metabolism for neuroprotection: longitudinal study (diffusion MRI) to follow brain lesions and regression following different injected substrates (pyruvate, glucose, lactate etc…)
  • Electrophysiology of hippocampal and cortical slices: comparison of population spike amplitudes and duration of activity with different substrates (glucose, ketone bodies, lactate, glucose+lactate…)
  • Analysis of mitochondrial respiration in ex vivo brain areas using the Oroboros technology
  • Mitochondrial calcium analysis by in vitro and in vivo imaging using Fiber photometry
  • Use of metabolic biosensors by in vitro and in vivo imaging using Fiber photometry
  • Impact of modulation of brain mitochondrial metabolism on behavior in mouse
  • Investigation of mitochondrial proteins trafficking using unconventional genetic tools
  • Impact of brain mitochondrial activity on whole-body energy balance

Keynote speakers

Felipe Barros (Center for Scientific Studies – CECs, Chile)
Gilles Bonvento (François Jacob Institute of biology – MIRCen, France)
Daniela Cota (University of Bordeaux, France)
Jaime De Juan-Sanz (Paris Brain Institute, France)
Stephanie Fulton (University of Montreal, Canada)
Ralf Jockers (Cochin Institute, France)
Aude Panatier (University of Bordeaux, France)
Luc Pellerin (University of Poitiers, France)
Carmen Sandi (
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL, Switzerland)