Meeting "Stress, barriers & neurological disorders"

November 25, 2021

Strasbourg (France)


There is increasing evidence of a role of the microbiota gut brain axis in psychiatric, neurodevelopmental, age-related and neurodegenerative disorders. The existence of many common signaling molecules supports some reciprocal dialog between the gut, microbiota and brain. Nevertheless, compartmentalization of brain, systemic circulation and gut is required in order to maintain homeostasis of the host. Thus, specialized barriers such as the blood brain & blood CSF barrier isolate vulnerable neurons and brain cells from potential toxins and immune cells carried by systemic circulation. On the other hand, a gut barrier prevents the entry of potential pathogens and ingested toxins into systemic circulation. Could the breakdown or increased permeability of barriers be a critical step in the onset of some neurological diseases? Indeed, dysfunctions of the gut barrier are increasingly suggested to play a role in psychiatric disorders, such as depression or anxiety, to cite only a few, while a breakdown of the BBB is central to the inflammatory component of neurological diseases such as MS or stroke, for example.

Are indeed these barriers so -anatomically and structurally- different? Could their comparison highlight some common pathways of vulnerability? The gut immune barrier and BBB may be compromised by many means, including chemical and psychological stress, while inflammation plays a deleterious role.

Understanding the mechanisms that control the formation, function and vulnerability of each barrier, as well as their interrelationship should provide some invaluable insights into key pathophysiological pathways.




09.40—09.50 Introduction Piguet Pascale Neurex, University of Basel (Switzerland)

09.50—10.30 Rodriguez Aburto Maria — University College Cork (Ireland) " Role of early-life microbiota in the development of brain barriers"

10.30—11.10 Vandenbroucke Roosmarijn — Ghent University (Belgium) " The choroid plexus: an often neglected blood-brain interface that plays a central role in neuroinflammation" Picto Visio

11.10—11.40 coffee break

11.40—12.20 Calabrese Pasquale — University of Basel (Switzerland) " Stress and the Social brain" Picto Visio

12.20—13.00 Yossan Var-Tan — University of Rouen (France) " Bypassing the blood-brain barrier: AAV nano technology, P2X7 receptors and murine models of multiple sclerosis"

13.00—14.20 lunch break (not provided)

14.20—15.00 Rochellys Diaz Heijtz — Karolinska Institute, Stockholm (Sweden) " Release of bacterial peptidoglycans and their diffusion through gastrointestinal walls as direct and indirect signals to the nervous system"

15.00—15.40 Jean-Eric Ghia — University of Manitoba (Canada) "Impact of central and neuroimmune alterations on healthy and pathological colonic conditions"

15.40—16.10 coffee break

16.10—16.50 Theoharides Theoharis — Tufts University, Boston (USA) " Stress and mast cells regulate the blood-brain barrier: Implications for autism spectrum disorder and Long-COVID" Picto Visio

16.50—17.30 James A. Waschek — UCLA, Los Angeles (USA) " VIP/PACAP neuropeptides: Gatekeepers of immune cell traffic into the brain, intestine and placenta" Picto Visio

17.30—17.40 Closing remarks Vincent Lelièvre


Organizers : Vincent Lelièvre & Pascale Piguet




Date: Nov. 25th, 2021


Le Nouveau Patio

20A Rue René Descartes

67000 Strasbourg - France

The meeting is not a virtual meeting. It will be held on-site.

Important: please bring your sanitary pass to access the conference room & coffee breaks.

Note that the Lunch is not provided.


Neurex workshops are part of the cycle B5 of the University of Basel. They allow students to gain Credit Points from attending workshops/meetings.

This specific workshop will give rise to the attribution of 1/2 CP.

Important: Full rules & how to proceed available here.