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Pierre Trifilieff

Pierre Trifilieff

session, year:
2016 2nd

Former fellow

Receiving laboratory:
Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University

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Mobility project

effect of n-3 PUFA deficiency on neuronal assemblies of the reward system

Limited efficacy and adverse side-effects of conventional medications for psychiatric disorders highlight an urgent need to identify modifiable risk and resilience mechanisms to find novel treatment strategies. In this context, substantial evidence has suggested an implication of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) deficiency in the pathophysiology of different recurrent psychiatric disorders, including major depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. However, these findings are only correlative, and the beneficial effects of n-3 PUFA nutritional supplementation on symptoms are still controversial. Therefore, there is a real need to conduct thorough preclinical studies in order to 1) identify the mechanisms by which n-3 PUFA deficiency can participate to the etiology of psychiatric endophenotypes and 2) determine how n-3 PUFA nutritional supplementation can exert beneficial effects on psychiatric symptoms and treatment efficacy. We obtained strong evidence that n-3 PUFA deficiency in mice leads to neurobiological and behavioral alterations that resemble some endophenotypes of the psychiatric disorders cited above. Deficient animals display impairments in reward processing accompanied by alterations in network activity of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a central structure for reward. The goal of this project is therefore to determine the functional changes of NAc networks induced by n-3 PUFA deficiency using calcium imaging in behaving animals. This study will bring important information for the design of nutritional approaches for the prevention of some psychiatric symptoms.

Biography & research interests

My research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms behind alterations of reward processing in psychiatric disorders. Over the last years, my main focus concerned the implication of alterations in lipid metabolism in some endohenotypes of psychiatric diseases. I obtained my PhD in neuroscience in 2006 at the university of Bordeaux. I then moved to New York City for my postdoctoral training at Columbia University in Eric Kandel lab. In 2010 I became research associate at the Research Foundation for mental Hygiene at Columbia University and started developing a line of research focused around endophenotypes of psychiatric disorders. In 2013 I obtained a permanent position at INRA and moved to the NutriNeuro Institute in Bordeaux, France. There I built an independent group around a new project aiming at unraveling the impact of n-3 PUFA deficiency on the development and functionality of the reward system using a multidisciplinary approach, from biophysics to behavior. The AgreenSkills outgoing program gave me the opportunity to go learn a new approach that I aim at developing in my own research group in the future.

Selected publications

Trifilieff P., Ducrocq F, van der Veldt S and Martinez D., 2017. Blunted dopamine transmission in addiction: potential mechanisms and implications for behavior. Seminars in Nuclear Medicine, 47, 1, 64-74. Doi: 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2016.09.003.

F. Naneix, F. Tantot, C. Glangetas, J. Kaufling, Y. Janthakhin, C. Boitard, V. De Smedt-Peyrusse, J. R. Pape, S. Vancassel, P. Trifilieff, F. Georges, E. Coutureau, G. Ferreira, 2017. Impact of Early Consumption of High-Fat Diet on the Mesolimbic Dopaminergic System. eNeuro. Doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0120-17.2017.

Fioriti L., Myers C., Huang YY., Li X., Stephan J., Trifilieff P., Conalghi L., Kosmidis S., Drisaldi B., Pavlopoulos E. and Kandel ER., 2015. The persistence of memory in the hippocampus requires protein synthesis mediated by the prion-like protein CPEB3. Neuron. 86(6):1433-1448. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2015.05.021.

Frederick AL.*, Yano H.*, Trifilieff P.*, Vishwasrao HD., Biezonski D., Meszaros J., Sibely DR., Kellendonk K., Sonntag K., Graham DL, Colbran RJ., Stanwood GD. and Javitch JA., 2015. Evidence against dopamine D1/D2 receptor heteromers. Molecular Psychiatry, 20(11): 13731385. Doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.166.

Trifilieff P., Feng B, Urizar E, Winiger V, Ward RD, Taylor KM, Martinez D, Moore H, Balsam PD, Simpson EH, and Javitch JA., 2013. Increasing dopamine D2 receptor expression in the nucleus accumbens enhances motivation. Molecular Psychiatry, 18(9):1025-1033. Doi: 10.1038/mp.2013.57.



Awards & patents

2017-2021 Award for Research and mentoring (INRA PEDR)

2017 Agreenskills mobility award.

2014 Idex Bordeaux “Chaire d’installation Junior”

2013 NARSAD (Brain and Behavior Research Foundation) Young Investigator Award

2010 Research Associate award from the ”Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene”, Columbia University

2007 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the “Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale”

2005 Doctoral award from the “Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale” (declined)

2005 Doctoral Fellowship from the “Fondation Jerome Lejeune”


nucleus accumbens, microendoscopy, reward, polyunsaturated fatty acids