Valérie Pineau Noël

Position : Master student in Biophotonics, Laval University, Québec, Canada

Academia : Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, Laval University, Québec, Canada

email :


Keywords : Brain-gut-microbiome axis, neuronal activity, HiLo microscopy, zebrafish

The brain-gut-microbiome axis is a way the central nervous system (CNS), the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) and the gut microbiota communicate with each other via biochemical signaling. Indeed, it has been shown by preclinical and clinical studies that there is a circular communication loop amid the brain, the gut and the gut microbiome. Any perturbation can propagate dysregulation throughout the circuit and affect molecule secretion, gene expression, molecule interaction and more; a simple physiological stress can compromise the equilibrium of the floral ecosystem of the gut, which can influence the development of the CNS. Those changes in the metabolism can then affect entirely the mental health of an individual. Although the influence of the microbiota on its host, particularly on the host’s brain, is still misunderstood and more research needs to be done.
A wide-field imaging technique, called HiLo microscopy, is built and optimize in my project to obtain an incomparable and fast optically sectioned imaging of GCaMP transgenic zebrafishes’ brain for the study of the brain-gut-microbiota axis. Indeed, HiLo microscopy has been proven to acquire images as fast as confocal microscopy, but the simplicity, robustness and versality of HiLo microscopy makes it an interesting technique for obtaining information of in vivo thick samples.
Also, in collaboration with other research groups, the acquisitions done with the HiLo microscope need to be properly analyze using machine learning. We want to find a way to quantify as precise as possible the neuronal activity of the zebrafish brain according to numerous conditions of the intestinal microbiota. Then statistical analysis can be used to distinguish significant differences between microbial conditions.
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Daniel Côté's laboratory at Neurophotonics Center, Centre de Recherche de l'Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Québec