Pablo Chamero

Decoding the molecular mechanisms that control social behavior

Decoding sensory perception

Our goal is to define molecular, cellular and endocrine mechanisms that control complex mammalian behavior such as aggression, fear, mating and kin recognition, mainly using the mouse as a model organism. Pheromones released from the other animals act through the vomeronasal organ (VNO) to ensure that appropriate social interactions, including sexual behavior and aggression. The identification of pheromones and the signalling events that enable sensory transduction permit us to characterize the neural coding that regulates social behavior. We use mouse molecular genetic tools, electrophysiological, calcium imaging and behavioral analysis to address which neuronal circuits activate a specific social behavior.

Selected Publications

Trouillet A-C, Keller M, Weiss J, Leinders-Zufall T, Birnbaumer L, Zufall F, Chamero P (2019) Central role of G protein Gαi2 and Gαi2+ vomeronasal neurons in balancing territorial and infant-directed aggression of male mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, pii: 201821492.

Dey S, Chamero P, Pru JK, Chien MS, Ibarra-Soria X, Spencer KR, Logan DW, Matsunami H, Peluso JJ, Stowers L (2015) Cyclic regulation of sensory perception by a female hormone alters behavior. Cell 161, 1334-44.

Pérez-Gómez A, Bleymehl K, Stein B, Pyrski M, Birnbaumer L, Munger SD, Leinders-Zufall T, Zufall F, Chamero P (2015) Innate predator odor aversion driven by parallel olfactory subsystems that converge in the ventromedial hypothalamus. Curr Biol 25, 1340-6.

Chamero P, Katsoulidou V, Hendrix P, Bufe B, Roberts R, Matsunami H, Abramowitz J, Birnbaumer L, Zufall F, Leinders-Zufall T (2011) G protein Gαo is essential for vomeronasal function and aggressive behavior in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108, 12898-12903.

Chamero P, Marton TF, Logan DW, Flanagan K, Cruz JR, Saghatelian A, Cravatt BF, Stowers L (2007) Identification of protein pheromones that promote aggressive behaviour. Nature 450, 899-902.