Our laboratory uses C. elegans as a genetic model to study the fundamental principles that govern nervous system function. C. elegans is well suited to explore neuronal cell biology:  neurons are conserved in metazoan evolution and C. elegans has one of the best-characterised nervous systems easily observed through its transparent body. Several approaches are used including forward genetics, -omics, optogenetics, behaviour, and quantitative cell biology.

Over the last years, we generated a molecular atlas of C. elegans nervous system; We identified new and conserved genes controlling its sensory functions, synaptic vesicle recycling and neuropeptide secretion; We observed ciliated sensory neurons release extracellular vesicles from their ciliated endings. In addition, we build a strong interest in understanding how neurons and circuits generate and maintain behaviour over ageing.

Selected Publications

Ectosome uptake by glia sculpts Caenorhabditis elegans sensory cilia.
Razzauti, A. & Laurent, P., eLife (in press), 2021.
doi: 10.7554/eLife.67670

Combining single-cell RNA-sequencing with a molecular atlas unveils new markers for Caenorhabditis elegans neuron classes 
Lorenzo, R., Onizuka, M., Defrance, M., Laurent, P., Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 48(13):7119–7134, 2020.

Deep behavioural phenotyping reveals divergent trajectories of ageing and quantifies health state in C. elegans
Martineau, C.N., Baskaner, B., Seinstra, R.I., Schafer, W.R., Brown, A.E.D, Nollen, E.AA, Laurent, P. PLOS Comp Biol, 2020.

Genetic dissection of neuropeptide cell biology at high and low activity in a defined sensory neuron
Laurent, P., Ch’ng, Q., Jospin, M., Chen, CC., Lorenzo, R., de Bono, M., PNAS 115(29): E6890-E6899, 2018.

IL-17 is a neuromodulator of Caenorhabditis elegans sensory responses
Chen, C.C., Itakura, E., Nelson, G.M, Sheng, M., Laurent, P., Fenk A.L., Butcher, R.A., Hegde, R.S., De Bono, M., Nature 542, 43–48, 2017.

Neuropeptide-Driven Cross-Modal Plasticity following Sensory Loss in Caenorhabditis elegans
Rabinowitch, I., Laurent, P., Zhao, B., Walker, D., Beets, I., Schoofs, L., Bai, J., Schafer, W.R., Treinin, M., PLoS Biol., 14(1), 2016. 
doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002348.

Decoding a neural circuit controlling global animal state in C. elegans
Laurent, P*., Soltesz, Z*., Nelson, G.M., Chen, C., Arellano-Carbajal, F., Levy, E., De Bono M., Elife, 11;4, 2015. shared first author 
doi: 10.7554/eLife.04241.*

Tonic signaling from O₂ sensors sets neural circuit activity and behavioral state
Busch, K. E*., Laurent, P*., Soltesz, Z., Murphy, R. J., Faivre, O., Hedwig, B., Thomas, M., Smith, H. L., & de Bono, M. Nature neuroscience, 15(4), 581-591. *shared first authors Comment in: R. Benton, Nature Neuroscience 15(2012), 501-503, 2012.

Natural variation in a neural globin tunes oxygen sensing in wild Caenorhabditis elegans.
Persson A, Gross E, Laurent P, Busch KE, Bretes H, de Bono M, Nature, 458: 1030-1033, 2009.