Grupos y Lneas de Investigacin

Laboratorio de Conectómica Cerebral

Francisco Clascá

Brain networks, localized or brain-wide, exist only at the cellular level, i.e: between specific pre- and postsynaptic neurons which are connected through functionally diverse synapses located at specific points of their cell membranes. “Connectomics” is an emerging neuroscience field explicitly aimed at elucidating with cellular resolution and a quantified accuracy the wiring of brain networks. Such data are indispensable for realistic modeling of brain circuitry and function. Because of the submicron caliber, 3D complexity and high packing density of somas, dendrites and synapses, as well as the fact that axons frequently extend over long distances to make synapses in remote brain regions, creating connectomic maps is technically challenging and requires innovative, multi-scale approaches.

In our laboratory, we combine state-of-the-art neuron labeling techniques with optical and electron microscope 3D tools for reconstruction and measurement. Our work is focused in elucidanting the wiring architectures of the projection neurons that bind the thalamus and cerebral cortex into a cohesive, highly integrated functional network. 


Francisco Clascá, MD, PhD, 

Pablo Rubio, MD, PhD, 

Lucía Prensa, DMV, PhD,

María García-Amado PhD,

Cesar Porrero PhD, 

Javier Rodríguez-Moreno PhD,

Diana Casas Torremocha PhD,


Graduate students:

Mario Rubio Teves,

Kike Gonzalo Martin,


Past Lab Members (Current Affiliations)

  • Felipe Fiuza (Universidade Federlal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brasil)
  • Marian Evangelio Chanzá
  • Angelica Córdoba Claros, Novartis Clinical Research, Spain
  • Expedito Silva de Nascimento (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brasil)
  • Ruthnaldo Rodrigues Melo de Lima (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, Brasil)
  • Melquisedec Santana (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte; Natal, Brasil)
  • Flor Pérez de Manzo (Univ. Simón Bolíver, Barranquilla, Colombia) 
  • Tania Ramos-Moreno (Lund University, Sweden)
  • Maria José Galazo (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA)

    Technical Assistants:

    Begoña Rodríguez Menéndez

    Marta Callejo Móstoles

Evangelio M, García-Amado M, Clascá F. (2018) Thalamocortical Projection Neuron and Interneuron Numbers in the Visual Thalamic Nuclei of the Adult C57BL/6 Mouse.Front Neuroanat. 12:27.

Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Hayashi S, Upton L, Nolan Z, Casas-Torremocha D, Grant E, Viswanathan S, Kanold PO, Clasca F, Kim Y, Molnár Z. (2018) Subset of Cortical Layer 6b Neurons Selectively Innervates Higher Order Thalamic Nuclei in Mice. Cereb Cortex. 28:1882-1897.

Casas-Torremocha D, Clascá F, Núñez Á. (2017) Posterior Thalamic Nucleus Modulation of Tactile Stimuli Processing in Rat Motor and Primary Somatosensory Cortices. Front Neural Circuits. 11:69

 Rodriguez Moreno J., J, Rollengaen A., Arlandis J, Santuy A, Merchán-Pérez A, DeFelipe J, Lubke JHR, Clasca F (2017) Quantitative 3D ultrastructure of thalamocortical synapses from the ‘lemniscal’ ventral posteromedial nucleus in mouse barrel cortex. Cerebral Cortex.

Reillo I, De Juan Romero C, Cárdenas A, Clasca F, Martínez-Martinez MA, Borrell V (2017) A complex code of extrinsic influences on cortical progenitor cells of higher mammals. Cerebral Cortex. in press. doi/10.1093/cercor/bhx171

Rodríguez-López C, Clascá F, Prensa L (2017) The Mesoaccumbens Pathway: A Retrograde Labeling and Single-Cell Axon Tracing Analysis in the Mouse. Front. Neuroanat. 11:25. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2017.00025

Cazemier, L, Clascá F, Tiesinga PHE (2016) Connectomic Analysis of Brain Networks: Novel Techniques and Future Directions. Front. Neuroanat. 09 Nov 2016/ doi:10.3389/fnana.2016.00110

Porrero C, Rodríguez-Moreno J, Quetglas JI, Smerdou C, Furuta T, Clascá F.  2016. A Simple and Efficient In Vivo Non-viral RNA Transfection Method for Labeling the Whole Axonal Tree of Individual Adult Long-Range Projection Neurons. Front Neuroanat. 10:27. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2016.00027. eCollection 2016.

Clascá F, Porrero C, Galazo MJ, Rubio-Garrido P, Evangelio M. 2016. Anatomy and development of multispecific thalamocortical axons: implications for cortical dynamic and evolution. In: Rockland KS, Axons And Brain Architecture. Academic Press 

Aransay A, Rodríguez-López C, García-Amado M, Clascá F, Prensa L. 2015. Long-range projection neurons of the mouse ventral tegmental area: a single-cell axon tracing analysis. Front Neuroanat. 9:59. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2015.00059. eCollection 2015.

Frangeul L, Porrero C, Garcia-Amado M, Maimone B, Maniglier M, Clascá F, Jabaudon D. 2014, Specific activation of the paralemniscal pathway during nociception. Eur J Neurosci.  39:1455-64. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12524.

Ramos-Moreno T, Clascá F. 2013. Quantitative mapping of the local and extrinsic sources of GABA and Reelin to the layer Ia neuropil in the adult rat neocortex.Brain Struct Funct. 2013 Jul 2.

Clascá F, Rubio-Garrido P, Jabaudon D. 2012. Unveiling the diversity of thalamocortical neuron subtypes. Eur J Neurosci. 2012 May;35(10):1524-32. Review.

Clascá F, Rubio-Garrido P, Jabaudon D. Unveiling the diversity of thalamocortical neuron subtypes. Eur J Neurosci. 35:1524-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2012.08033.x

Porrero C, Rubio-Garrido P, Avendaño C, Clascá F. Mapping of fluorescent protein-expressing neurons and axon pathways in adult and developing Thy1-eYFP-H transgenic mice.  Brain Res 23;1345:59-72.

Galazo MJ, Martinez-Cerdeño V, Porrero C, Clascá F (2009). Thalamic Input to Distal Apical Dendrites in Neocortical Layer 1 Is Massive and Highly Convergent. Cerebral Cortex  9 :2380-2395  doi:10.1093/cercor/bhn259. 

Galazo MJ, Martinez-Cerdeño V, Porrero C, Clascá F (2008). Embryonic and Postnatal Development of the Layer I-Directed ("Matrix") Thalamocortical System in the Rat. Cerebral Cortex. 18:344-363 .