John Apergis-Schoute



In nature the critical need to achieve energy homeostasis produces a fascinating repertoire of complex behaviour performed by insects, fish, birds, and mammals. For meeting these energetic needs a multitude of neural systems are required to act cooperatively influencing one another’s activity for effective foraging behaviour. Through controlled laboratory work we have been able to begin to bridge the gaps in our understanding on how the anatomy of the nervous system functions for orchestrating the activity of sensorimotor, memory, reward, fear, and decision making circuits for producing such rich and biologically-crucial behaviour. Much experimental work has revealed how primary feeding circuits of the hypothalamus respond and drive feeding behaviour through bottom-up processing. It has been shown that the hypothalamus in many ways acts as a “sixth” sensory system responding to peripheral energy-related cues and interoceptive signals (i.e. glucose, insulin) for guiding appropriate feeding behaviour for meeting the animal’s energy demands. These primary energy-sensing signals are distributed to cognitive, emotional, and motivational brain systems by projections from distinct hypothalamic cell groups. The lab is currently implementing advanced tools in circuit analysis for determining how synaptic connections between energy-sensing systems and higher-order brain systems can influence decisions and memory as they relate to food choices.


Recent publications:


E Svensson, Apergis-Schoute, G Burnstock, MP Nusbaum, D Parker, ... (2018) General principles of neuronal cotransmission: insights from multiple model systems E Svensson, J Frontiers in neural circuits 12, 117

Aitta-aho, T., Hay, Y.A., Phillips, B.U., Saksida, L.M., Bussey, T.J., Paulsen, O. and Apergis-Schoute, J. (2018) Basal forebrain and brainstem cholinergic neurons differentially impact amygdala circuits and learning-related behavior. Current Biology, 28:2557-2569.


Cotel, F., Fletcher, L.N., Kalita-de Croft, S., Apergis-Schoute, J. and Williams, S.R. (2017) Cell class-dependent intracortical connectivity and output dynamics of layer 6 projection neurons of the rat primary visual cortex. Cerebral Cortex 28:2340-2350.

Aitta-Aho, T., Phillips, B.U., Pappa, E., Hay, Y.A., Harnischfeger, F., Heath, C.J., Saksida, L.M., Bussey, T.J. and Apergis-Schoute, J. (2017) Accumbal cholinergic interneurons differentially influence motivation related to satiety signaling. eNeuro, ENEURO-0328.


Aitta-aho T, Pappa E, Tateyama K, Apergis-Schoute J. Activation of hypothalamic orexin/hypocretin circuits and their impact on memory formation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 136:183-188


Garcia AP, Aita-Aho T, Schaaf L, Heeley N, Heuschmid L, Bai Y, Barrantes FJ, Apergis-Schoute J. (2015) Nicotinic α4 receptor-mediated cholinergic influences on food intake and activity patterns in hypothalamic circuits. PLOS ONE 10:e0133327

Apergis-Schoute J, Iordanidou P, Faure C, Jego S, Schöne C, Aitta-Aho T, Adamantidis A, Burdakov D. (2015) Optogenetic evidence for inhibitory signalling from orexin to melanin-concentrating-hormone neurons via local microcircuits. Journal Neuroscience 35:5435-41.


Shipton OA, El-Gaby M, Apergis-Schoute J, Deisseroth K, Bannerman DM, Paulsen O, Kohl MM. (2014) Left-right double dissociation of hippocampal memory processes in mice. PNAS 111:15238-43.

Schöne C, Apergis-Schoute J, Sakurai T, Adamantidis A, Burdakov D. (2014) Functional logic for excitatory co-transmission in a mammalian brain circuit. Cell Reports 7:697-704.

Previous Publications:

Schöne C, Cao ZF, Apergis-Schoute J, Adamantidis A, Sakurai T, Burdakov D. (2012) Optogenetic probing of fast glutamatergic transmission from hypocretin/orexin to histamine neurons in situ. Journal of Neuroscience 32:12437-43.

Karnani MM, Apergis-Schoute J, Adamantidis A, Jensen LT, de Luca L, Fugger L, Burdakov D. (2011) Activation of central orexin/hypocretin neurons by dietary amino- acids. Neuron 72:616-29.

Unal G*, Apergis-Schoute J*, Paré D. (2011) Associative properties of the perirhinal cortex. Cerebral Cortex 22:1318-32. * contributed equally to this work

Saleem AB, Chadderton P, Apergis-Schoute J, Kenneth D Harris KD, Schultz SR. (2010) Methods for predicting cortical UP and DOWN states from the phase of deep layer local field potentials. Journal of Computational Neuroscience 29:49-6.

Likhtik E, Popa D, Apergis-Schoute J, Fidacaro GA, Paré D. (2008) Amygdala intercalated neurons are required for expression of fear extinction. Nature 31:642-5.

Apergis-Schoute J, Pinto A, Paré D. (2007) Muscarinic control of long-range feedforward inhibition in the rhinal cortices. Journal of Neuroscience 27, 4061-71.

Apergis-Schoute J, Pinto A, Paré D. (2006) Ultrastructural organization of medial prefrontal inputs to the rhinal cortices. European Journal of Neuroscience 24:135-44.

Pelletier JG, Apergis-Schoute J, Paré D. (2005) Interaction between amygdala and neocortical inputs in the perirhinal cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology 94:1837-48.

Sullivan GM, Apergis J, Bush DEA, Johnson LR, Hou M, LeDoux JE. (2004) Lesions in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis disrupt corticosterone and freezing responses elicited by a contextual but not by a specific cue conditioned fear stimulus. Neuroscience 128:7-14.

Pelletier JG, Apergis J, Paré D. (2004) Low-probability transmission of neocortical and entorhinal impulses through the perirhinal cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology 91:2079-89.

Sullivan GM, Apergis J, Gorman JM, LeDoux JE. (2003) Rodent doxapram model of panic: behavioral effects and c-Fos immunoreactivity in the amygdala. Biological Psychiatry 53:863-70.

Repa JC, Muller J, Apergis J, Desrochers TM, Zhou Y, LeDoux JE. (2001) Two different lateral amygdala cell populations contribute to the initiation and storage of memory. Nature Neuroscience 4:724-3.

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Dr. John Apergis-Schoute
Room 327
Maurice Shock Medical Sciences Building
University of Leicester
Lancaster Road
Leicester  LE1 7RH

t: +44 (0) 116 252 3089

Contact the Department

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
University of Leicester
University Road

T: +44 (0)116 252 2922


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