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Lucie Pellissier

Lucie Pellissier

session, year:
2015 2nd

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
UMR PRC Physiology of Reproduction and Behaviors, Tour

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Mobility project

Single-chain antibody fragments targeting GPCRs to modulate social interactions

Social interaction disorders may result from early psychological trauma, exposure to noxious chemicals or neurodevelopmental abnormalities. The etiology and neurophysiological mechanisms of these disorders remain poorly understood; recent studies evidenced deficient reward processes and altered neuronal connectivity in the striatum. Oxytocin, vasopressin, kisspeptides and opioids, and their associated G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), are key modulators of social behaviors and widely expressed throughout striatal regions. The proposed research project aims at assessing the therapeutic potential of modulating the activity of these GPCRs using small therapeutic single-chain antibodies in vitro and in vivo, in animal models of social interaction disorders.

Biography & research interests

All along my academic cursus, my research interests focused on developing innovative molecular therapies for the central nervous system. I completed my PhD studies at the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle (IGF, Montpellier) where I worked on a serotonin G protein coupled receptor (GPCR), exploring its molecular functions, and evidenced neuroprotective properties. During my first postdoctoral fellowship, at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN, Amsterdam), I developed in vivo strategies and innovative viral tools to relieve retinal blindness. I demonstrated visual benefits of viral vectors in novel mouse models for CRB1 retinal dystrophies. Since February 2015, thanks to an AgreenSkills fellowship, I have joined the team “Deficit of Reward, GPCRs and Sociability” (DRuGS) at the Physiology of Reproduction and behaviours unit (PRC, Nouzilly). I am working at deciphering the role of GPCRs in the control of social behavior. To this aim, I am developing innovative pharmacological tools to modulate the activity of GPCRs, small fragments of antibodies able to relieve behavioral deficits in mouse models of social interaction deficits. I obtained last year, a permanent position as researcher at CNRS.

Selected publications

Tréfier A, Pellissier LP, Musnier A, Reiter E, Guillou F and Crépieux P, 2018. G Protein-Coupled Receptors As Regulators of Localized Translation: The Forgotten Pathway? Front. Endocrinol. 9:17. Doi: 10.3389/fendo.2018.00017

Pellissier LP, Gandía J, Laboute T, Becker JAJ, Le Merrer J., 2017. μ opioid receptor, social behaviour and autism spectrum disorder: reward matters. Br J Pharmacol. Doi: 10.1111/bph.13808.

Meirsman ACC, Le Merrer J, Pellissier LP Diaz J, Clesse D, Kieffer BL, Becker JAJ., 2016. Mice lacking GPR88 show motor deficit, improved spatial learning and low anxiety reversed by delta opioid antagonist. Biol Psy., 79(11): 91727.

Pellissier LP, Quinn PM, Alves CH, Vos RM, Klooster J, Flannery JG, Heimer JA, Wijnholds J., 2015. Gene Therapy into Photoreceptors and Müller Cells Restores Retinal Structure and Function in CRB1 Retinitis Pigmentosa Mouse Models. Hum Mol Genet., 23(14): 3759-71.

Pellissier LP, Lundvig DMS, Tanimoto N, Klooster J, Vos RM, Richard F, Sothilingam V, Garcia Garrido M, Le Bivic A, Seeliger MW, Wijnholds J., 2014. CRB2 acts as a modifying factor of CRB1-related retinal dystrophies in mice. Hum Mol Genet., 23(14): 3759-71.

Awards & patents

International patent PCT/NL2014/050549 (Co-inventor) entitled “Recombinant AAV-Crumbs homologue composition and methods for treating LCA-8 and progressive RP”, published 12.02.2015.

Travel Fellowship from the French Society for Neurosciences for 6th FENS meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (2008).

Erasmus Fellowship for a PhD traineeship in Dr Leonardo Pardo’s laboratory, Barcelona, Spain (2008).

Grant Fellowship from the Dutch Uitzicht (blindness funds) in 2013 (2k €) and 2014 (14k €).

Assistant Professorship from Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier (ENSCM) (2005-2008).

“MNRT" PhD Fellowship from the French Ministry of Education and Research (2005-2008).


single-chain antibody fragments, social interaction disorders, autism spectrum disorders, oxytocin, mu opioid, kisspeptin, GPCRs, nanobodies, biased ligands