Karine Fenelon

Assistant Professor

Photograph of First Last
N233 Life Sciences Laboratories

B.S., McGill University, 1999 M.Sc., Universite de Sherbrooke, 2002 Ph.D., Universite de Montreal, 2008


Postdoctoral Columbia University Medical Center, 2008-2013

Research Interests: 

Synaptic Transmission and Neural Circuits Underlying Sensory Information Filtering

Our brain is constantly exposed to a myriad of sensory information coming from the ears, eyes, nose, mouth, skin, muscles, joints and internal organs. To avoid brain overload, a pre-attentive neuronal filtering mechanism allows only the most salient information to be processed. Hallmark of schizophrenia, abnormal sensory filtering is also seen in many psychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases associated with cognitive and behavioral deficits. Our research program focuses on better understanding the neural elements and circuits underlying sensory information filtering. We are particularly interested in how the caudal pontine reticular nucleus (PnC), brainstem structure at the core of the filtering circuitry, is activated. To do so, we use anatomical, immunohistochemical, electrophysiological, genetic, and behavioral techniques/approaches in rodents, including disease models. Our overall goal is to provide a better understanding of the physiological dysfunction in patients suffering from sensory information filtering and identify potential targets for therapeutic interventions.

Representative Publications: 

Diamantopoulou, A., Sun, Z., Mukai, J., Xu, B., Fénelon, K., Karayiorgou, M., Gogos, J.A. 2017. Loss-of-function mutation in Mirta22/Emc10 rescues specific schizophrenia-related phenotypes in a mouse model of the 22q11.2 deletion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 114(30): E6127-E6136. PMID: 28696314

Crabtree, G.W., Sun. Z., Kvajo, M., Broek, J.A., Fénelon, K., McKellar, H., Xiao, L., Xu, B., Bahn, S., O'Donnell, J.M., Gogos, J.A. 2017. Alteration of Neuronal Excitability and Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex of a Mouse Model of Mental Illness. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(15): 4158-4180. PMID: 28283561

Kabiraj, P., Valenzuela, C.A., Marin, J.E., Ramirez, D.A., Mendez, L., Hwang, M.S., Varela-Ramirez, A., Fénelon, K., Narayan, M., Skouta, R. 2015. The Neuroprotective Role of Ferrostatin-1 Under Rotenone-Induced Oxidative Stress in Dopaminergic Neuroblastoma Cells. Protein J., 34(5): 349-58. PMID: 26385697

Mukai, J., Tamura, M., Fénelon, K., Rosen, A.M., Spellman, T.J., Kang, R., MacDermott, A.B., Karayiorgou, M., Gordon, J.A., Gogos, J.A. 2015. Molecular substrates of altered axonal growth and brain connectivity in a mouse model of schizophrenia. Neuron, 86(3): 680-695. PMID: 25913858

Fénelon, K., Xu, B., Lai, C.S., Mukai, J., Markx, S., Stark, K.L., Hsu, P.K., Gan, W.B., Fischbach, G.D., MacDermott, A.B., Karayiorgou, M., Gogos, J.A. 2013. The pattern of cortical dysfunction in a mouse model of a schizophrenia-related microdeletion. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(37): 14825-14839. PMCID:PMC3771024

Fénelon, K., Lamboley, C.R.H., Carrier, N., and Pape, P.C. 2012. Calcium buffering properties of the sarcoplasmic reticulum and calcium-induced Ca2+ release during the quasi-steady level of release in twitch fibers from frog skeletal muscle. Journal of General Physiology, 140(4): 403-419. PMCID:PMC3457687

Drew, L.J., Stark, K.L., Fénelon, K., Karayiorgou, M., Macdermott, A.B., Gogos, J.A. 2011. Evidence for altered hippocampal function in a mouse model of the human 22q11.2 microdeletion. Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences, 47(4): 293-305. PMCID:PMC3539311

Fénelon, K., Mukai, J., Xu, B., Hsu, P.K., Drew, L.J., Karayiorgou, M., Fischbach, G.D., Macdermott, A.B., Gogos, J.A. 2011. Deficiency of Dgcr8, a gene disrupted by the 22q11.2 microdeletion, results in altered short-term plasticity in the prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 108(11): 4447-4452. PMCID:PMC3060227

Drew, L.J., Crabtree, G.W., Markx, S., Stark, K.L., Chaverneff, F., Xu, B., Mukai, J., Fénelon, K., Hsu, P.K., Gogos, J.A., Karayiorgou, M. 2011. The 22q11.2 microdeletion: fifteen years of insights into the genetic and neural complexity of psychiatric disorders. International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 29(3): 259-281. PMCID:PMC3074020

Brocard, F., Ryczko, D., Fénelon, K., Hatem, R., Gonzales, D., Auclair, F., Dubuc, R. 2010.The transformation of a unilateral locomotor command into a symmetrical bilateral activation in the brainstem. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(2): 523-533. PMID:20071515

*Antri, M., *Fénelon, K., and Dubuc, R. 2009. Synaptic modulation of sustained depolarizations in reticulospinal neurons. (* = equal contribution). Journal of Neuroscience, 29(4): 1140-1151. PMID:19176823

Dubuc, R., Brocard, F., Antri, M., Fénelon, K., Gariépy, J.F., Smetana R., Ménard, A., Le Ray, D., Viana Di Prisco, G., Pearlstein, E., Sirota, M.G., Derjean, D., St-Pierre, M., Zielinski, B., Auclair, F., Veilleux, D. 2008. Initiation of locomotion in lampreys. Brain Research Reviews, 57(1): 172-182. PMID:17916380

Pape, P.C. and Fénelon, K. 2008. The relatively high Ca2+ flux in Ca2+ sparks could be due to the Ca-binding protein calsequestrin in the sarcoplasmic reticulum. Physiology News, 71(Summer 2008):31-33. PMID Not available.

Frigon, A, Barrière, G., Fénelon, K., and Yakovenko, S. 2007. Conceptualizing the mammalian locomotor central pattern generator with modeling. Journal of Physiology, 580(2): 363-364. PMCID:PMC2075548

Pape, P.C., Fénelon, K., Lamboley, C.R.H., and Stachura, D. 2007. Role of calsequestrin from changes in free and total calcium concentrations in the sarcoplasmic reticulum of frog cut skeletal muscle fibres. Journal of Physiology, 581(1): 319-367. PMCID:PMC2075213

Fénelon, K., and Pape, P.C. 2002. Recruitment of Ca2+ release channels by Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release does not appear to occur in isolated Ca2+ release sites in frog skeletal muscle. Journal of Physiology, 544(3): 777-791. PMCID:PMC2290617

Pape, P.C., Fénelon, K., and Carrier N. 2002. Extra activation component of calcium release in frog muscle fibres. Journal of Physiology, 542(3): 867-886. PMCID:PMC2290450

Fénelon, K., Seifer,t E..L, and Mortola, J.P. 2000. Hypoxic depression of circadian oscillations in sino-aortic denervated rats. Respiration Physiology, 122(1): 61-69. PMID:10936601