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Team "Synchronization and Modulation of Neural Networks in Epilepsy" (SyMoNNE)


Director : Antoine Depaulis

Using the complementarities of experimental and clinical approaches to characterize the neuronal networks involved in the initiation of epileptic seizures and to understand how these networks develop during epileptogenesis.


Epileptogenesis, ictogenesis, seizures, oscillations, astrocytes, microglia, dopamine, cortex.

Research themes

Epilepsies are neurological diseases that affect up to 1% of the population worldwide and are characterized by seizures with very different electroclinical features. These seizures result from excessive synchronization of neural networks that affect different regions of the brain depending on the type of epilepsy.

The goal of our team is to understand how an epileptic neural circuit is built and how it can switch between a physiological and a pathological activity. For this purpose, we use animal models of epilepsy in rodents and we carry out clinical studies with patients who suffer from epilepsy.

To characterize the progressive development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) and / or to understand the mechanisms involved in the occurrence of a seizure (ictogenesis), our team aims to provide answers to the following questions:

  • How does epileptogenesis develop in genetic epilepsies or after a brain injury? From an anatomical and functional point of view, how is a neural circuit built to gradually generate epileptic seizures, especially during brain maturation?

  • What is the link between the specific pathological oscillations recorded by deep electrodes and the tissue modifications of the epileptic network? How the electroencephalographic (EEG) signal collected in patients who are candidate for respective surgery correlate with anatomical and neurochemical data obtained from the resected tissue.

Techniques used :

  • Animal models of chronic epilepsy: GAERS rats (Generalized Absence Epilepsy Rats from Strasbourg), KA-MTLE mice (intrahippocampal kainate);
  • Functional Exploration: Video / EEG (scalp, deep electrodes, high resolution) in patients and animal models, local multichannel field potentials, signal analysis, in vivo calcium imaging, neurostimulation, synchrotron microbeam irradiation, viral transfection.
  • Structural exploration: immunohistochemistry on brain sections in animals and humans, connection tracing, confocal and biphotonic microscopy.

Partners :  



Imaging the seizure onset zone with stereoelectro-encephalography. David O, Blauwblomme T, Job AS, Chabardès S, Hoffmann D, Minotti L, Kahane P (2011). Brain. 134 : 2898-2911.

Synchrotron X-ray microtransections: a non invasive approach for epileptic seizures arising from eloquent cortical areas. Pouyatos B, Nemoz C, Chabrol T, Potez M, Bräuer E, Renaud L, Pernet-Gallay K, Estève F, David O, Kahane P, Laissue JA, Depaulis A, Serduc R (2016). Sci Rep 6:27250.

Temporal plus epilepsy is a major determinant of temporal lobe surgery failures. Barba C, Rheims S, Minotti L, Guénot M, Hoffmann D, Chabardès S, Isnard J, Kahane P, Ryvlin P (2016). Brain. 139:444-451.

The genetic absence epilepsy rat from Strasbourg as a model to decipher the neuronal and network mechanisms of generalized idiopathic epilepsies. Depaulis A, David O, Charpier S (2016) J Neurosci Methods 260:159–174 (2016).

Building Up Absence Seizures in the Somatosensory Cortex: From Network to Cellular Epileptogenic Processes. Jarre G*, Altwegg-Boussac T*, Williams MS, Studer F, Chipaux M, David O, Charpier S, Depaulis A, Mahon S*, Guillemain I* (2017). Cerebral Cortex. 27:4607–4623.



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