Université de Strasbourg

Tsvetan Serchov

Biography - Tsvetan Serchov

University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany & USIAS Fellow at the Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neuroscience (INCI), University of Strasbourg and CNRS

Tsvetan Serchov, USIAS Fellow 2020Dr. Tsvetan Serchov graduated with a PhD in neuroscience in 2007, as a fellow of the International Graduate School of Neuroscience (Ruhr University Bochum, Germany). As a graduate student, he conducted research on the molecular mechanism of regulation of circadian clock and mouse rhythmic behavior. Dr. Serchov spent his first post-doctoral period at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC), Strasbourg. In 2010, he joined the laboratory of Professor Dietrich van Calker (University Medical Center Freiburg, Germany), known for his discovery of the different adenosine receptor types. During this period, Dr. Serchov generated a new transgenic mouse with conditional expression of adenosine A1 receptors, representing a model to study the mechanism of action of sleep deprivation in mood disorders. He moreover identified the induction of the homeostatic synaptic protein Homer1a, as a novel common pathway mediating the effects of several different antidepressant treatments (Serchov et al., 2015, Neuron).

In 2016, Dr. Serchov obtained a grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and established an independent research group that focused on revealing the molecular and cellular mechanisms of antidepressant therapy. His recent research findings show that the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation depend on enhanced glutamatergic signaling. Furthermore, the Serchov laboratory has introduced a new approach utilising peripheral administration of cell-penetrable TAT-peptides, which elicit rapid antidepressant effects, as potential novel therapeutic strategy (Holz et al., 2019, Neuron).

The aim of the current research of Dr. Serchov’s team is to understand the mechanism of action of different non-pharmacological treatments of depression, including chronotherapies and deep brain stimulation.

Dr. Michel Barrot will welcome Tsvetan Serchov at the Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neuroscience (INCI) during his fellowship.

Project - Investigation of the impact of adenosine A1 receptor as mediator of the detrimental effects of chronic sleep loss in the development of depression

01/10/2020 - 30/09/2022

Major depressive disorder is among those disabling mental diseases that are most commonly diagnosed. Dysregulations of sleep and circadian rhythm are associated with its development. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the interaction between sleep disruption and mood regulation remain poorly understood. Acute sleep deprivation (SD) is known to elicit rapid antidepressant effects, whereas chronic sleep loss is considered as a risk factor for depression. However, both acute and chronic SD upregulate adenosine A1 receptor (A1R) expression in various brain regions in rodents and humans. A1R is implicated in the control of sleep and circadian rhythms. While the role of A1R in the antidepressant action of acute SD is now widely appreciated, little is known about its potential role in the detrimental effects of chronic sleep loss.

The Serchov group have developed a transgenic mouse line with inducible upregulation of A1R, which will serve as a valuable model to mimic and explore the effects of chronic sleep loss. The aim is to investigate the hypothesis that enhanced A1R signaling mediates the detrimental effects of chronic sleep restriction on mood. The objective of the USIAS project is to test this hypothesis by studying the effects of chronic sleep restriction and experimental upregulation of A1R function on rhythmic behaviour, sleep regulation and depression-like behaviour; as well as on region-specific circadian gene oscillations and synaptic expression of AMPA receptors, as potential underlying mechanisms.

In this project, the team will combine a wide range of techniques including in vivo brain region-specific viral expression and knockout, sleep EEG recordings and evaluation, investigation of synaptic alterations and glutamatergic signaling, and complex behavioral characterisation by classical tests, as well as by utilising complex experimental paradigms and automatic behavioral analyses in IntelliCage (TSE systems). This project will provide valuable information regarding the molecular and cellular factors implicated in the neurobiology of depression and the effects of sleep loss. Thus, improving our understanding of the role of A1R and the impact of sleep and biological clock in the development of depression may lead to increase of the efficacy of existing treatments and/or to the development of new therapies and preventive strategies for mood and sleep disorders.

Investissements d'Avenir