Lüscher Lab publications

  • Harada M, Pascoli V, Hiver A, Flakowski J, Lüscher C. Corticostriatal Activity Driving Compulsive Reward Seeking. Biol Psychiatry. 2021 90:808-818. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.08.018.


  • van Zessen R, Li Y, Marion-Poll L, Hulo N, Flakowski J, Lüscher C. Dynamic dichotomy of accumbal population activity underlies cocaine sensitization. Elife. 2021 10:e66048. doi: 10.7554/eLife.66048


  • Li Y, Simmler LD, Van Zessen R, Flakowski J , Wan J-Xn, Deng F, Li Y-L, Nautiyal KM, Pascoli V, Lüscher C. Synaptic mechanism underlying serotonin modulation of transition to cocaine addiction. 2021 Science 373:1252-56. doi: 10.1126/science.abi9086


  • Lüscher C., Janak PConsolidating the Circuit Model for Addiction. Annual Review of Neuroscience. 2021 Mar.


  • Lüscher C, Robbins TW, Everitt BJ. The transition to compulsion in addiction. Nature Reviews. 2020 May 20. doi.org/10.1038/ s41583-020-0289-z


  • Bellone C, Loureiro M, Lüscher C. Drug-Evoked Synaptic Plasticity of Excitatory Transmission in the Ventral Tegmental Area. CSHL Press.2020 Apr 28. 

     CSHL - CB2020

  • Thoeni S, Loureiro M, O'Connor EC, Lüscher C. Depression of Accumbal to Lateral Hypothalamic Synapses Gates Overeating. Neuron. 2020 Apr 15. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2020.03.029.


  • Hadjas LC, Lüscher C, Simmler LD. Aberrant habit formation in the Sapap3-knockout mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Scientific Reports. 2019 Aug 19;9(1):12061. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48637-9


  • Loureiro M, Achargui R, Flakowski J, Van Zessen R, Stefanelli T, Pascoli V, Lüscher C. Social transmission of food safety depends on synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex. Science. 2019 Jun 7;364(6444):991-995. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw5842.


  • Nestler E., Lüscher C. The molecular basis of drug addiction: linking epigenetic to synaptic and circuit mechanismsNeuron. 2019 Apr 3;102(1):48-59


  • Pascoli V, Hiver A, Van Zessen R, Loureiro M, Achargui R, Harada M, Flakowski J, Lüscher C. Stochastic synaptic plasticity underlying compulsion in a model of addictionNature. 2018 Dec;564(7736):366-371. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0789-4. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

  • Corre J, van Zessen R, Loureiro M, Patriarchi T, Tian L, Pascoli V, Lüscher C,. Dopamine neurons projecting to medial shell of the nucleus accumbens drive heroin reinforcementElife. 2018 Oct 30;7. pii: e39945. doi: 10.7554/eLife.39945.

  • Mendez P, Stefanelli T, Flores CE, Muller D, Lüscher C. Homeostatic Plasticity in the Hippocampus Facilitates Memory Extinction. Cell Rep. 2018 Feb 6;22(6):1451-1461.

  • Ntamati NR, Creed M, Achargui R, Lüscher C. Periaqueductal efferents to dopamine and GABA neurons of the VTA. PLoS One. 2018 Jan 5;13(1):e0190297

  • Bouthour W, Krack P, Luscher C. A deeply superficial brain stimulation. Movement Disorders 2017;32(9):1326.

  • Terrier J, Pascoli V and Lüscher C.  Cell-Type Specific Insertion of GluA2-Lacking AMPARs with Cocaine Exposure Leading to Sensitization, Cue-Induced Seeking, and Incubation of Craving. Neuropsychopharmacology 2016;41(7):1779-89.

  • Creed M, Ntamati Rwaka N, Chandra R, Lobo MK, Luscher C. Convergence of Reinforcing and Anhedonic Cocaine Effects in the Ventral Pallidum. Neuron 2016;92(1):214-226..

  • Stefanelli T, Bertollini C, Luscher C, Muller D, Mendez Garcia P. Hippocampal Somatostatin Interneurons Control the Size of Neuronal Memory Ensembles. Neuron 2016;89(5):1074-1085.

  • Luscher C, Pollak P. Optogenetically inspired deep brain stimulation: linking basic with clinical research. Swiss Medical Weekly 2016;146:w14278.

  • Luscher C. The Emergence of a Circuit Model for Addiction. Annual Review of Neuroscience 2016;39:257-276.

  • Ntamati Rwaka N, Luscher C. VTA Projection Neurons Releasing GABA and Glutamate in the Dentate Gyrus. eNeuro 2016;3(4).

  • Pascoli VJ, Terrier J, Luscher C. Mesolimbic dopamine neuron stimulation is sufficient for the progression to addiction. Medecine Sciences 2016;32(8-9):692-696.

  • Pascoli V, Terrier J, Hiver A and Lüscher C. Sufficiency of Mesolimbic Dopamine Neuron Stimulation for the Progression to Addiction. Neuron in press, 2015.
  • O'Connor EC, Kremer Y, Lefort S, Harada M, Pascoli V, Rohner C and Lüscher C. Accumbens D1R projections to lateral hypothalamus authorize feeding. Neuron in press, 2015.

  • Lüscher C, Kiss JZ, Holtmaat A. Dominique Muller (1956–2015). Neuron. 2015 87(1):12-3

  • Adamantidis A, Arber S, Bains JS, Bamberg E, Bonci A, Buzsáki G, Cardin JA, Costa RM, Dan Y, Goda Y, Graybiel AM, Häusser M, Hegemann P, Huguenard JR, Insel TR, Janak PH, Johnston D, Josselyn SA, Koch C, Kreitzer AC, Lüscher C, Malenka RC, Miesenböck G, Nagel G, Roska B, Schnitzer MJ, Shenoy KV, Soltesz I, Sternson SM, Tsien RW, Tsien RY, Turrigiano GG, Tye KM, Wilson RI. Optogenetics: 10 years after ChR2 in neurons-views from the community. Nat Neurosci. 2015 18(9):1202-12.

  • Lüscher C, Pascoli V, Creed M. Optogenetic dissection of neural circuitry: from synaptic causalities to blue prints for novel treatments of behavioral diseases. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 35:95-100

  • Lüscher C, Davoine E, Bellone C. Shining light on translational research in deep brain stimulation. Rev Med Suisse. 2015, 11:987-8, 990-1. French

  • Gajo G, Pollak P, Lüscher C, Benninger D. Non-invasive brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease. Rev Med Suisse. 2015, 11(472):983-4, 986. French

  • Bally J, Lüscher C, Berney A, Mallet L, Pollak P, Santos J. Deep brain stimulation: new targets and new indications. Rev Med Suisse. 2015;11:977-80, 982. French

  • Creed MC, Pascoli V, Lüscher C. Refining deep brain stimulation to emulate optogenetic treatment of synaptic pathology. Science. February 2015. Epub ahead of print

  • Lüthi A, Lüscher C. Pathological circuit function underlying addiction and anxiety disorders. Nat Neurosci. November 2014. Epub ahead of print

  • Cahill E, Pascoli V, Trifilieff P, Savoldi D, Kappès V, Lüscher C, Caboche J, Vanhoutte P. D1R/GluN1 complexes in the striatum integrate dopamine and glutamate signalling to control synaptic plasticity and cocaine-induced responses. Mol Psychiatry. July 2014. Epub ahead of print

  • Pascoli V, Terrier J, Espallergues J, Valjent E, O'Connor EC, Lüscher C. Contrasting forms of cocaine-evoked plasticity control components of relapse. Nature. 2014 09(7501), 459–464

  • Pouchelon G, Gambino F, Bellone C, Telley L, Vitali I, Lüscher C, Holtmaat A, Jabaudon D. Modality-specific thalamocortical inputs instruct the identity of postsynaptic L4 neurons. Nature. 2014 May 14. Epub ahead of print

  • Lalive AL, Munoz MB, Bellone C, Slesinger PA, Lüscher C, Tan KR. Firing modes of dopamine neurons drive bidirectional GIRK channel plasticity. J Neurosci. 2014, 34(15):5107-14

  • Thompson S, Luscher C. The synaptic basis of disease. Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Apr;39(7):1057-8

  • Golding B, Pouchelon G, Bellone C, Murthy S, Di Nardo AA, Govindan S, Ogawa M, Shimogori T, Lüscher C, Dayer A, Jabaudon D. Retinal input directs the recruitment of inhibitory interneurons into thalamic visual circuits. Neuron. 2014 Mar 5;81(5):1057-69

  • Lüscher C. Drug-Evoked Synaptic Plasticity Causing Addictive Behavior. J Neurosci. 2013 Nov 6;33(45):17641-6.

  • Yuan T, Mameli M, O' Connor EC, Dey PN, Verpelli C, Sala C, Perez-Otano I, Lüscher C, Bellone C. Expression of cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity by GluN3A-containing NMDA receptors. Neuron. 2013 Nov 20;80(4):1025-38.

  • Bocklisch C, Pascoli V, Wong JC, House DR, Yvon C, de Roo M, Tan KR, Lüscher C. Cocaine disinhibits dopamine neurons by potentiation of GABA transmission in the ventral tegmental area. Science. 2013 Sep 27;341(6153):1521-5.

  • Creed MC, Lüscher C. Drug-evoked synaptic plasticity: beyond metaplasticity. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Aug;23(4):553-8.

  • De la Rossa A, Bellone C, Golding B, Vitali I, Moss J, Toni N, Lüscher C, Jabaudon D, In vivo reprogramming of circuit connectivity in postmitotic neocortical neurons, Nature Neuroscience, 2013, 6:193-200

  • Brown MT, Tan KR, O'Connor E, Nikonenko I, Muller D. Lüscher C. Ventral tegmental area GABA projections pause accumbal cholinergic interneurons to enhance associative learning. Nature 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11657, Published online November 25, 2012.

  • Nelson AB, Hang GB, Grueter BA, Pascoli V, Lüscher C, Malenka RC, Kreitzer AC. A comparison of striatal-dependant behaviors in wild-type and hemizygous Drd1a and Drd2 BAC transgenic mice. J Neurosci. 2012 Jul 4;32(27):9119-23.

  • Lüscher C, Pascoli V. Optogenetic reversal of cocaine-evoked synaptic potentiation normalizes behavioural sensitization. Med Sci (Paris). 2012 Apr;28(4):353-5. Epub 2012 Apr 25.

  • Bellone C, Lüscher C. Drug-evoked plasticity: do addictive drugs reopen a critical period of postnatal synaptic development? Front Mol Neurosci. 2012 Jun 15;5:75.

  • Lüscher C, Malenka RC. NMDA Receptor-Dependent Long-Term Potentiation and Long-Term Depression (LTP/LTD). Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Apr 18. pii: cshperspect.a005710v1. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a005710. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Tan KR, Yvon C, Turiault M, Mirzabekov JJ, Doehner J, Labouèbe G, Deisseroth K, Tye KM, Lüscher C. GABA neurons of the VTA drive conditioned place aversion. Neuron. 2012 Mar 22;73(6):1173-83. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

  • Claire L. Padgett, Arnaud L. Lalive, Kelly R. Tan, Miho Terunuma, Michaelanne B. Munoz, Menelas N. Pangalos, Jose Martinez-Hernandez, Masahiko Watanabe, Stephen J. Moss, Rafael Lujan, Christian Lüscher and Paul A. Slesinger. Methamphetamine-Evoked Depression of GABA(B) Receptor Signaling in GABA Neurons of the VTA. Neuron. 2012 Mar 8;73(5):978-89.

  • Vincent Pascoli, Marc Turiault, Christian Lüscher. Reversal of cocaine-evoked synaptic potentiation resets drug-induced adaptive behaviour. Nature 2011, doi:10.1038/nature10709, Published online 07 December 2011.

  • Arnaud L. Lalive, Uwe Rudolph, Christian Lüscher, Kelly R. Tan. Is there a way to curb benzodiazepine addiction? Swiss Med Wkly. 2011 Oct 19;141:w13277.

  • Bellone C, Mameli M, Lüscher C. In utero exposure to cocaine delays postnatal synaptic maturation of glutamatergic transmission in the VTA. Nat Neurosci. 2011 Oct 2. doi: 10.1038/nn.2930. [Epub ahead of print]

  • Terrier J, Ort A, Yvon C, Saj A, Vuilleumier P, Lüscher C. Bi-directional effect of increasing doses of baclofen on reinforcement learning. Front Behav Neurosci. 2011;5:40. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

  •  Brown MT, Korn C, Lüscher C. Mimicking synaptic effects of addictive drugs with selective dopamine neuron stimulation. Channels (Austin). 2011 Nov 1;5(6). [Epub ahead of print]

  • Tan KR, Rudolph U,Lüscher C. Hooked on benzodiazepines: GABAA receptor subtypes and addiction. Trends Neurosci. 2011 Apr;34(4):188-97. Epub 2011 Feb 25. Review.

  • Christian Lüscher and Robert C. Malenka. Drug-Evoked Synaptic Plasticity in Addiction: From Molecular Changes to Circuit Remodeling. Neuron 69, February 24, 2011: 650 - 663.

  • Manuel Mameli, Camilla Bellone, Matthew T.C. Brown & Christian Lüscher. Cocaine inverts rules for synaptic plasticity of glutamate transmission in the ventral tegmental area. Nature Neuroscience, Advance Online Publication, 20 February 2011.

  • Mameli M, Lüscher C. Synaptic plasticity and addiction: learning mechanisms gone awry. Neuropharmacology, Epub: Jan 28 2011.

  • Matthew T.C. Brown, Camilla Bellone, Manuel Mameli, Gwenael Labouèbe, Christina Bocklisch, Bénédicte Balland, Lionel Dahan, Rafael Luján, Karl Deisseroth, Christian Lüscher. Drug-Driven AMPA Receptor Redistribution Mimicked by Selective Dopamine Neuron Stimulation. PLoS ONE, Epub 2010 December 31.

  • Parlato R, Cruz H, Otto C, Murtra P, Parkitna JR, Martin M, Bura SA, Begus-Nahrmann Y, Von Bohlen und Hallbach O, Maldonado R, Schültz G, Lüscher C. Effects of the cell type-specific ablation of the cAMP-responsive transcription factor in noradrenergic neurons on locus coeruleus firing and withdrawal behavior after chronic exposure to morphine. J Neurochem. 2010 Nov;115(3):563-7.

  • Rounak Nassirpour, Laia Bahima, Arnaud L. Lalive, Christian Lüscher, Rafael Lujan, Paul A. Slesinger. Morphine- and CaMKII-Dependent Enhancement of GIRK Channel Signaling in Hippocampal Neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 2010 October 6, 30(40):13419 –13430

  • Christina Bocklisch, Kelly Tan, Chritian Lüscher. Warum Schlafmittel wie Valium süchtig machen. Neurophysiologie, Spectrum der Wissenschaft, Juni 2010.

  • Lüscher C, Slesinger P. Emerging concepts for GIRK channels in health and disease. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 May ; 11(5): 301–315.

  • Lüscher C, Huber K. Group 1 mGluR-dependent long-term depression (mGluR-LTD): mechanism and implications for circuitry and disease. Neuron. 2010 Feb 25;65(4):445-59.

  • Kelly R. Tan, Matthew Brown, Gwenaël Labouèbe, Cédric Yvon, Cyril Creton, Jean-Marc Fritschy, Uwe Rudolph & Christian Lüscher. Neural bases for addictive properties of benzodiazepines. Nature 463, 469-474. Epub 2010 Feb 11.

  • Lüscher C. Drugs of Abuse. In Katzung BG (Ed.) Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. Lange Medical Books/McGraw-Hill (New-York) 11th edition, 2009 and 10th edition, 2007.

  • B. Balland, C. Lüscher. L'addiction: lorsque l'emballement des mécanismes d'apprentissage conduit à la perte du libre arbitre. Addiction from learning to compulsion. Psychiatr. Sci. Hum. Neurosci. (2009) 7:35-42.

  •  Lüscher C.. Against addiction, light at the end of the tunnel? J Physiol. 2009 Aug 1;587(Pt 15):3757.

  • Mameli M, Halbout B, Creton C, Engbloom D, Rodriguez Parkitna J, Spanagel R, Lüscher C. Cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity: persistence in the VTA triggers adaptations in the NAc. Nat Neurosci. 2009 Aug;12(8):1036-41. Epub Jul 13.

  • Lüscher C, Isaac JT. The synapse; center stage for many brain diseases. J Physiol. 2009 Feb 15;587 (Pt 4):727-9. Epub 2008 Dec 15.

  • Lüscher C, Frerking M. NMDAR-LTD, mGluR-LTD. In Squirre, L.(Ed.) Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, 10500p Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-08-045046-9, 2008.
  • Lomazzi M, Slesinger PA, Lüscher C.Addictive drugs modulate GIRK-channel signaling by regulating RGS proteins. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Nov;29(11):544-9. Epub 2008 Sep 12. Review.

  • Bellone C., Lüscher C., Mameli M..Mechanisms of synaptic depression triggered by metabotropic glutamate receptors. Cell. Mol. Life Science 2008 Sep;65(18):2913-23. Review. 

  • Engblom D., Bilbao A., Sanchis-Segura C., Dahan L., Pereau-lenz S., Balland B., Parkitna J.R., Lujan R., Halbout B., Mameli M., Parlato R., Sprengel R., Lüscher C., Schütz G., Spanagel R.. Glutamate receptors on dopamine neurons control the persistence of cocaine-seeking. Neuron 2008 Aug 14; 59(3):497-508. 

  • Lüscher C, Bellone C. Cocaine-evoked synaptic plasticity: a key to addiction? Nat Neurosci. 2008 Jul;11(7):737-8.

  • Cruz HG, Berton F, Sollini M, Blanchet C, Pravetoni M, Wickman K. & Lüscher C. Absence and rescue of morphine withdrawal in GIRK knockout mice, J Neurosci, 28:4069-77, 2008

  • Balland B, Lüscher C.. Addiction: the dark side of learning. Pediatr Res. 2008 Jan;63(1):1.

  • Ballan B, Lüscher C. L'addiction: une maladie de l'apprentissage et de la mémoire. Dépendances, 4: 18-19, 2007.

  • Labouèbe G, Lomazzi M, Cruz HG, Creton C, Luján R, Li M, Yanagawa Y, Obata K, Watanabe M, Wickman K, Boyer SB, Slesinger PA, Lüscher C. . RGS2 modulates coupling between GABAB receptors and GIRK channels in dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area. Nature Neuroscience 2007 Dec;10(12):1559-68. Epub 2007 Oct 28.

  • Mameli M., Balland B., Lujan R., Lüscher C.. Rapid synthesis and synaptic insertion of GluR2 for mGluR-LTD in the ventral tegmental area. Science. 2007 July; 317(5837):530-3.

  • Lüscher C, Ungless MA. the mechanistic classification of addictive drugs. PLoS Med. 2006 Nov;3(11):e437. Review.

  • Bellone C. & Lüscher C. Cocaine triggered AMPA receptor redistribution is reversed in vivo by m-GluR-dependent long-term depression.Nat Neurosci. 2006 May;9(5):636-41. Epub 2006 Apr 2.

  • Cruz HG, Lüscher C.. Applications of two-photon microscopy in the neurosciences. Front Biosci. 2005 Sep 1 ;10:2263-78.

  • Bellone C, Lüscher C.. mGluRs induce a long-term depression in the ventral tegmental area that involves a switch of the subunit composition of AMPA receptors, Eur. J. Neurosci. 2005 Mar;21(5):1280-8.

  • Mutneja, M, Berton F, Suen KF, Lüscher C, Slesinger PA. Endogenous RGS proteins enhance acute desensitization of GABAB receptor-activated GIRK currents in HEK-293T cells. Pflugers Arch - Euro. J. Physiol. 2005 Apr;450:(1):61-73.

  • Bradaia, A.; Berton, F.; Ferrari, S. & Lüscher, C beta-arrestin2, interacting with phosphodiesterase 4, regulates synaptic release probability and presynaptic inhibition by opioids, PNAS. 2005 Feb 22;102(8):3034-39. Epub 2005 Feb 17.

  • Cruz, H. ; Ivanova, T. ; Lunn, M-L. ; Stoffel,M., Slesinger, P. ; and Lüscher, C. Bi-directional effects of GABAB receptor agonists on the mesolimbic dopamine system, Nat. Neurosci. 2004 Feb;7(2):153-9. Epub Jan 2004.

  • Blanchet, C.; Sollini, M. & Lüscher, C. Two distinct forms of desensitization of GIRK currents evoked by alkaloid and peptide µ-opioid receptor agonist, Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003 Oct;24(2):517-23.

  • Blanchet, C. and Lüscher, C. Agonist induced desensitization of µ-opioid receptors: initiation at the receptor, expression at the effector. PNAS 2002 Apr 2;99(7):4674-9Epub 2002 Mar 26.

  • Lüscher C, Frerking M.. Restless AMPA receptors: implications for synaptic transmission and plasticity. Trends Neurosci. 2001 Nov;24(11):665-70.

  • Schuler V, Lüscher C, Blanchet C, Klix N, Sansig G, Klebs K, Schmutz M, Heid J, Gentry C, Urban L, Fox A, Spooren W, Jaton AL, Vigouret J, Pozza M, Kelly PH, Mosbacher J, Froesti W, Ksslin , Korn R, Bischoff S, Kaupmann K, Van Der Putten H, Bettler B.. Epilepsy, Hyperagesia, impaired memory, and loss of pre- and postsynaptic GABA(B) responses in mice lacking GABA(B(1)). Neuron 2001 jul 19;31(1):47-58.

  • Lüscher C., Nicoll RA, Malenka RC, Muller D. Synaptic plasticity and dynamic modulation of the postsynaptic membrane. Nature Neuroscience 3: 545-50, 2000.