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Marco Capogna

Amygdala-hippocampal-cortical circuits in health and disease

The overarching aim of the research activities is to define the neuronal circuits of the human and rodent cerebral cortex and connected subcortical areas, as they are cellular regulators of cognitive process in health and disease. We wish to define what neuronal circuitry guides emotional-dependent learning and memory, and how it is modified in animal models of fear and anxiety disorders.

To achieve this goal we investigate the structure and the function of various neuron types in the rodent amygdala, hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. Major focus is on GABAergic neuron types because of their critical role in controlling circuits activity and because of their diversity. We also investigate the structure, function, communication and responses to drugs of neurons in the human cerebral cortex, the largest and most frequently affected brain area in disease.

My research group uses an integrated approach combining electrophysiology, neuropharmacology, optogenetic, cellular imaging and high resolution anatomy. Understanding the neural mechanisms controlling cortex-hippocampal-amygdala network activity may eventually lead to novel therapeutic strategies to reverse or ameliorate psychiatric disorders.

Neurogliaform cell in the rodent hippocampus.

Neurogliaform cell in the rodent hippocampus: (a) Unitary inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) recorded in a neurogliaform neuron (lower traces) and evoked by activation of a presynaptic neurogliaform cell (upper trace).(b) Left: reconstruction of a neurogliaform cell (soma and dendrites, red; axon, green) and postsynaptic pyramidal cell (black) of the hippocampus. Right: voltage-clamp recording between the neurogliaform cell and the CA1 pyramidal cell pair shown on the left. Presynaptic action current evokes slow IPSC blocked by gabazine.(c) Left: reconstruction of a neurogliaform cell in the stratum lacunosum area CA1 of hippocampus (soma and dendrites, red; axon, green). Right: firing patterns of an identified hippocampal neurogliaform cell (bottom trace) during spontaneous network oscillations (upper three traces).Theta phase firing probability histogram showing phase-locking of the firing to two theya cycles.

Video: Shedding light on Hippocampus-amygdala communication

Video: THX-31 Large intercalated neuron rat amygdala - Neurolucidal reconstruction


2019.04.08 | People

Welcome to new postdoc Felipe Andres Fredes Tolorza in Marco Capogna's lab

On 1 April, Felipe Fredes Tolorza started as a new PROMEMO postdoc in Marco Capogna’s lab. Felipe is from Chile, but before moving to Denmark, he was working at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST), Vienna, Austria in the lab of Prof Ryuchi Shigemoto (https://ist.ac.at/en/research/life-sciences/shigemoto-group/). His project aims to…

2019.03.13 | People


Alessia Ricci is a new master degree student in Marco Capogna’s lab supported by the Erasmus program. Alessia is Italian and recently graduated in Biological Science. She is currently doing a Master Degree in Neuroscience in Trieste, Italy. In the lab, Alessia will learn basic electrophysiology and optogenetic methods teaming up with current…

2019.03.13 | People


Meike Sieburg is a new postdoctoral fellow in Marco Capogna’s lab supported by Independent Research Fund - Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond for three years. Meike is German and recently awarded a PhD from Sussex Neuroscience. Her project aims to elucidate the role of a specific GABAergic neuron type of the amygdala on behavior in naïve mice and in…

Confocal microscopic image of a biocytin-filled human cortical pyramidal cell in layer 3

2019.01.09 | Marco Capogna

New publication from Marco Capogna in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience

Ligands to metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are potential novel drugs for neurological and psychiatric disorders, but little is known about the effects of these compounds at synapses of the human cerebral cortex. To fill this gap, this paper shows the effects of group II mGluR activation on excitatory synaptic transmission recorded from…

Participants from the course

2018.12.09 | Marco Capogna

Graduate Course: Understanding the Brain through the Hippocampus and other neural systems 2018 organized by Marco Capogna

The four day course (4 December-7 December 2018), held at Aarhus University, has addressed key topics in molecular, cellular and system neuroscience. The vision from which the course is based is that explanation of normal and pathological events in the brain can only come from the rigorous definition of the neuronal circuits that underlie these…

Functional Mapping and Associative-Memory-Related Plasticity of Layer 1 NDNF-Expressing Interneurons

2018.11.08 | Events

New Publication from Marco Capogna's group

The article was published on November 7 in Neuron - Cell Press - “Dendritic Inhibition in Layer 1 Cortex Gates Associative Memory”. Learning-related plasticity is critical for emotional memory. The Neuron preview paper by Wen-Hsien Hou and Marco Capogna discusses novel dynamics mediated by a particular GABAergic neuron type (so-called…

Wen-Hsien Hou presenting his poster at the meeting. 
Emma Louth presenting her poster at the meeting.

2018.10.10 | Marco Capogna

Capogna’s and Yonehara’s groups contributed to the Brain Conference “The necessity of cell types for brain function”, Copenhagen, 7-10 October

Capogna’s and Yonehara’s groups contributed to the scientific program of a recent Brain Conference held in Copenhagen aiming to elucidate the role of various cell types in the brain. The program of the conference included the contribution of several internationally known neuroscientists including Brain Prize winners. Capogna’s lab contributed with…

2018.06.08 | Marco Capogna

Marco Capogna has been awarded DKK 3 mio. from the Lundbeckfonden & NIH BRAIN Initiative

The grant will support a research project on the role GABAergic neurons on sleep and memory.

2018.05.25 | Research news

New publication from Marco Capogna in The Neuroscientist

"Non-invasive stimulation of the human brain: Activation of multiple cortical circuits"

2018.05.02 | Awards

Marco Capogna granted DKK 2.5 million from Independent Research Fund Denmark (Medical and health sciences, Research project 1) to investigate the role of GABAergic neuron types of amygdala and hippocampus on behaviour

Marco Capogna will receive the grant over a 3 year period for a project dedicated to discover the role of GABAergic neuron types of rodent amygdala and hippocampus on behavior. Experiments will be performed by using electrophysiology, optogenetic and high-resolution neuroanatomy on mice in vivo.

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