Laboratorio de Conectómica Cerebral

Francisco Clascá

Brain networks, localized or brain-wide, exist only at the cellular level, 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. Connectomic 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 light and electron microscope 3D tools for reconstruction and measurement and in vivo and in vitro cellular recordings. Our work is focused in resolving the axonal and synaptic architectures of the projection neurons that bind together the thalamus and cerebral cortex into a highly integrated, scale free functional network. 

Lab researchers

Pablo Rubio-Garrido
Francisco Clascá MD, PhD
Lucia Prensa
Javier Rodriguez
Maria García-Amado
César Porrero
Diana Casas
Enrique Gonzalo-Martín
Mario Rubio-Teves

Technical Assistants

Begoña Rodriguez
Marta Callejo

Selected Publications

Casas-Torremocha D, Porrero C, Rodriguez-Moreno J, García-Amado M, Lübke JHR, Núñez Á, Clascá F. (2019) Posterior thalamic nucleus axon terminals have different structure and functional impact in the motor and somatosensory vibrissal cortices. Brain Struct Funct. 2019 May;224(4):1627-1645.

Araújo Góis Morais PL, García-Amado M, Lima RRM, Córdoba-Claros A, Souza Cavalcante J, Clascá F, Nascimento ES Jr. (2019) Cyto- and Myelo-Architecture of the Amygdaloid Complex of the Common Marmoset Monkey (Callithrix jacchus). Front Neuroanat. 2019 Mar 27;13:36. 

Mayer A, Lewenfus G, Bittencourt-Navarrete RE, Clasca F, Franca JGD. (2019) Thalamic Inputs to Posterior Parietal Cortical Areas Involved in Skilled Forelimb Movement and Tool Use in the Capuchin Monkey. Cereb Cortex. 2019 Mar 19. pii: bhz051.

Mátyás F, Komlósi G, Babiczky A, Kocsis K, Barthó P, Barsy B, Dávid C, Kanti, V, Porrero C, Magyar A, Szűcs I, Clasca F, Acsády L. (2018) A highly collateralized thalamic cell type with arousal-predicting activity serves as a key hub for graded state transitions in the forebrain. Nature Neuroscience,

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. Cerebral Cortex, 28:1882-1897.

Rodriguez Moreno J., J, Rollenhagen A., Arlandis J, Santuy A, Merchán-Pérez A, DeFelipe J, Lubke JHR, Clasca F (2018) Quantitative 3D ultrastructure of thalamocortical synapses from the ‘lemniscal’ ventral posteromedial nucleus in mouse barrel cortex. Cerebral Cortex.

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

Reillo I, De Juan Romero C, Cárdenas A, Clascá F, Martínez-Martinez MA, Borrell V (2017) A complex code of extrinsic influences on cortical progenitor cells of higher mammals. Cerebral Cortex. 27:4586-4606.

Porrero C, Rodríguez-Moreno J, Quetglas J. Smerdou C, Furuta T, Clasca 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. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 18 Mar 2016, 10:110. eCollection 2016

Clasca F, Porrero C, Galazo, M, Rubio-Garrido P, & Evangelio M (2016) Anatomy and Development of Multi-specific Thalamocortical Axons: Implications for cortical dynamics and evolution. In K.S. Rockland, (ed.) Axons and Brain Architecture, Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 69-92. ISBN: 978-0-12-801393-9

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 Frontiers in Neuronatomy 2015 May 19;9:59.

Frangeul L, Porrero C, Garcia-Amado M, Maimone B, Mainglier M, Clascá F, Jabaudon D. (2014) Specific activation of the paralemniscal pathway during nociception. European Journal of Neuroscience. 39:1455-1464

Ramos-Moreno T, Clascá F. (2014) Quantitative mapping of the local and extrinsic sources of GABA and Reelin to the layer Ia neuropil in the adult rat neocortex. Brain Structure and Function. 219:1639-1657