Lallemend Lab - research and activities

We are interested in understanding how the sensory signals are processed to initiate behavioral responses.

Collage of two illustrations.
Left: Modified cross section through a crista ampullaris of the vestibular system (Image: Laura Fontanet). Right: Cross section through dorsal root ganglia showing molecular types of neurons (Image: Haohao Wu).

Research focus

Our research addresses the development, organization and function of the neuronal circuits that underlie auditory perception and proprioception (or the sense of body position).

The sensation and processing of sensory information are necessary for almost every activity that we perform and affect our behavior. In this context, research in my lab is focusing on understanding the organization principles, function and plasticity of the sensory circuits. We leverage advanced single cell transcriptomics and circuit-interrogation technology to identify the structurally- and molecularly-defined neuronal elements for auditory perception and proprioception, in physiological and pathological conditions. We are also exploring the mechanisms by which experience-driven neuronal activity shapes the developing mammalian sensory systems. We are very interested in understanding whether such neuronal plasticity is retained in adult and if its modulation can lead to a gain of sensory function or to its deterioration during disorders or with aging.  

To this end, we have worked to identify and characterize the various cell types constituting the primary neurons of the peripheral auditory system, also called the sensory neurons of the cochlea, and of the proprioceptive system, i.e. the proprioceptive neurons located in the sensory ganglia along the spinal cord. The cochlear neurons encode sound signals and convey the auditory information to the central nervous system via the auditory nerve. The proprioceptive neurons are activated by muscle activity and provide sensory feedback to the spinal cord and higher brain center. Proprioception is mostly an unconscious sense, yet it is necessary for coordinating all our movements. To address the role of each individual type of sensory cells in processing auditory and proprioceptive sensation, we are using a combination of high precision micro-surgery and advanced viral-based trans-synaptic tract tracing techniques. State-of the art reconstruction of the brain connectivity can then disentangle the circuitry down to the cellular level. Eventually, identified circuits elements are functionally tested using intersectional mouse genetics and behavioral assessments of motor coordination as well as auditory measurements.

Eventually, we aim at increasing our understanding of how the brain receives and integrates information from several modalities to initiate appropriate behavioral response.

Group members

Selected publications

Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis of the developing mouse inner ear identifies molecular logic of auditory neuron diversification.
Petitpré C, Faure L, Uhl P, Fontanet P, Filova I, Pavlinkova G, Adameyko I, Hadjab S, Lallemend F
Nat Commun 2022 Jul;13(1):3878

Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies 48 risk variants and highlights the role of the stria vascularis in hearing loss.
Trpchevska N, Freidin MB, Broer L, Oosterloo BC, Yao S, Zhou Y, Vona B, Bishop C, Bizaki-Vallaskangas A, Canlon B, Castellana F, Chasman DI, Cherny S, Christensen K, Concas MP, Correa A, Elkon R, , Mengel-From J, Gao Y, Giersch ABS, Girotto G, Gudjonsson A, Gudnason V, Heard-Costa NL, Hertzano R, Hjelmborg JVB, Hjerling-Leffler J, Hoffman HJ, Kaprio J, Kettunen J, Krebs K, Kähler AK, Lallemend F, Launer LJ, Lee IM, Leonard H, Li CM, Lowenheim H, Magnusson PKE, van Meurs J, Milani L, Morton CC, Mäkitie A, Nalls MA, Nardone GG, Nygaard M, Palviainen T, Pratt S, Quaranta N, Rämö J, Saarentaus E, Sardone R, Satizabal CL, Schweinfurth JM, Seshadri S, Shiroma E, Shulman E, Simonsick E, Spankovich C, Tropitzsch A, Lauschke VM, Sullivan PF, Goedegebure A, Cederroth CR, Williams FMK, Nagtegaal AP
Am J Hum Genet 2022 Jun;109(6):1077-1091

Theory of branching morphogenesis by local interactions and global guidance.
Uçar MC, Kamenev D, Sunadome K, Fachet D, Lallemend F, Adameyko I, Hadjab S, Hannezo E
Nat Commun 2021 11;12(1):6830

Involvement of Scratch2 in GalR1-mediated depression-like behaviors in the rat ventral periaqueductal gray.
Yang Y, Li Y, Liu B, Li C, Liu Z, Deng J, Luo H, Li X, Wu J, Li H, Wang CY, Zhao M, Wu H, Lallemend F, Svenningsson P, Hökfelt TGM, Xu ZD
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 06;118(24):

Distinct subtypes of proprioceptive dorsal root ganglion neurons regulate adaptive proprioception in mice
Wu H, Petitpré C, Fontanet P, Sharma A, Bellardita C, Quadros RM, Jannig PR, Wang Y, Heimel JA, Cheung KKY, Wanderoy S, Xuan Y, Meletis K, Ruas J, Gurumurthy CB, Kiehn O, Hadjab S, Lallemend F
Nature Communications volume 12, Article number: 1026 (2021)

Genetic and functional diversity of primary auditory afferents
Petitpré C, Bourien J, Wu H, Diuba A, Puel JL, Lallemend F
Current Opinion in Physiology, December 2020; vol 18 (pp 85-94)

Single cell RNA sequencing identifies early diversity of sensory neurons forming via bi-potential intermediates.
Faure L, Wang Y, Kastriti ME, Fontanet P, Cheung KKY, Petitpré C, et al
Nat Commun 2020 08;11(1):4175

Molecular design of hypothalamus development.
Romanov RA, Tretiakov EO, Kastriti ME, Zupancic M, Häring M, Korchynska S, et al
Nature 2020 06;582(7811):246-252

Muscle-selective RUNX3 dependence of sensorimotor circuit development.
Wang Y, Wu H, Zelenin P, Fontanet P, Wanderoy S, Petitpré C, et al
Development 2019 Oct;146(20):

A cell fitness selection model for neuronal survival during development.
Wang Y, Wu H, Fontanet P, Codeluppi S, Akkuratova N, Petitpré C, et al
Nat Commun 2019 09;10(1):4137

PRDM12 Is Required for Initiation of the Nociceptive Neuron Lineage during Neurogenesis.
Bartesaghi L, Wang Y, Fontanet P, Wanderoy S, Berger F, Wu H, et al
Cell Rep 2019 03;26(13):3484-3492.e4

Neuronal heterogeneity and stereotyped connectivity in the auditory afferent system.
Petitpré C, Wu H, Sharma A, Tokarska A, Fontanet P, Wang Y, et al
Nat Commun 2018 09;9(1):3691

Multipotent peripheral glial cells generate neuroendocrine cells of the adrenal medulla.
Furlan A, Dyachuk V, Kastriti ME, Calvo-Enrique L, Abdo H, Hadjab S, et al
Science 2017 07;357(6346):

miR-183 cluster scales mechanical pain sensitivity by regulating basal and neuropathic pain genes.
Peng C, Li L, Zhang MD, Bengtsson Gonzales C, Parisien M, Belfer I, et al
Science 2017 06;356(6343):1168-1171

Contact and visit us

Contact information for the Lallemend Laboratory at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.

Postal address

Karolinska Institutet
Department of Neuroscience
171 77 Stockholm

Visiting address (visitors, couriers, etc.)

Karolinska Institutet
Biomedicum, D7
Solnavägen 9
171 65 Solna

Delivery address (goods, parcels, etc.)

Tomtebodavägen 16
171 65 Solna

Where to find us

Karolinska Institutet, Biomedicum, Solnavägen 9

Work with us

Interested in joining the lab?

Projects for undergraduate students may be available in the lab. Applications for post-doc or PhD positions are very welcomed if the applicant can bring financing.

Otherwise early contacts are encouraged to plan applications for external personal grants. In particular candidates with experience in sensory systems or in systems neuroscience as well as computational biologists.

Send your application to Francois Lallemend

Francois Lallemend

Principal researcher