Richard Bergeron profile picture

Contact Information

Richard Bergeron, MD, PhD, FRCPC
613-729-0722
rbergeron@ohri.ca

Richard Bergeron

Senior Scientist, Neuroscience Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Cellular and Molecular Medicine
University of Ottawa
Scientist, University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute
Clinical Investigator, Memory Clinic

Research Interests

Research Career: Dr. Bergeron began his career as principal investigator in basic science (Neuroscience) at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in 2002. His laboratory is committed to unraveling the understanding of the role of glutamate in the nervous system, and how this amino acid could play a role in the pathophysiology of some neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Bergeron’s research focus is dedicated in investigating the role of glycine and sigma receptor and how they modulate a subtype of glutamate receptor: NMDA receptor. The NMDA receptor is known to be involved in synaptic transmission and plasticity and has been proposed to play a role in the etiology of dementia, schizophrenia, stroke and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Diseases that are investigated in Dr. Bergeron’s laboratory:
Alzheimer disease and ischemic stroke.

Research Techniques: The laboratory of Dr Bergeron is using a number of research techniques such as: whole-cell patch-clamp technique, sniffer-patch technique; confocal microscopy, 2-Photons, calcium imaging; biochemistry: immunublotting, immunohistochemistry, co-precipitation; molecular biology: mutagenesis, RTPCR, cloning, cell culture; behavior.

Transgenic Mice that are studied in Dr. Bergeron’s lab: Glycine transporter type 1 knockdown (GlyT1+/-), Serine Racemase knockout (SR-/-), Sigma Receptor type 1 knockout (Sig1R-/-), Sigma Receptor type 1 overexpression, 3 x Tg-AD harboring PS1M146V, APPSwe, and tauP301L transgenes.

Brief Biography

Education: Dr. Bergeron is a physician, a psychiatrist and a neuroscientist. He obtained his medical degree (M.D.) from the University of Sherbrooke, Quebec (1986) and certification in the specialty of Psychiatry (FRCPC) from the University of Ottawa, Ontario (1990). He completed a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Neuroscience at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1996) and trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Neuroscience for 5 years at Harvard University, Boston, M.A., USA (2002).

Selected Publications

Lists of Publications in peer-reviewed journals (updated May 17, 2017) H-Index = 30

1. Bergeron R, Debonnel G and de Montigny C (1993) Modification of the N methyl-D-aspartate response by antidepressant sigma receptor ligands. European Journal of Pharmacology, 240: 319-323. JIF: 2.592, Cited: 64
2. Monnet FP, Debonnel G, Bergeron R, Gronier B and de Montigny C. (1994) The effects of sigma ligands and of neuropeptide Y on N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced neuronal activation of CA3 dorsal hippocampus neurones are differentially affected by pertussin toxin. British Journal of Pharmacology, 112: 709-715. JIF: 5.067, Cited: 56
3. Bergeron R and Blier P. (1994) Cisapride for the treatment of nausea produced by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. American Journal of Psychiatry, 151: 1084-1086. JIF: 14.721, Cited: 48
4. Bergeron R, de Montigny C and Debonnel G. (1995) Biphasic effects of sigma ligands on the neuronal response to N-methyl-D-aspartate. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology, 351: 252-260. JIF: 2.647, Cited: 38
5. Blier P and Bergeron R. (1995) The safety of the concomitant use of sumatriptan and antidepressant treatments. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 15: 106-109. JIF: 5.092, Cited: 33
6. Blier P and Bergeron R. (1995) Effectiveness of pindolol with selected antidepressant drugs in the treatment of major depression. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 15: 217-222. JIF: 5.092, Cited: 306
7. Bouchard P, Monnet F, Bergeron R, Roman F, Junien JL, de Montigny C, Debonnel G and Quirion R. (1995) In vivo modulation of sigma receptor sites by calcitonin gene-related peptide in the mouse and rat hippocampal formation: radioligand binding and electrophysiological studies. European Journal of Neuroscience, 7: 1952-1962. JIF: 3.658, Cited: 18
8. Bergeron R, de Montigny C and Debonnel G. (1996) Potentiation of neuronal NMDA response induced by dehydroepiandrosterone and its suppression by progesterone: effects mediated via sigma receptors. Journal of Neuroscience, 16: 1193-1202. JIF: 7.178, Cited: 242
9. Blier P and Bergeron R. (1996) Sequential administration of augmentation strategies in treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder preliminary findings: International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 11: 37-44. JIF: 3.345, Cited: 47
10. Debonnel G, Bergeron R, Monnet FP and de Montigny C. (1996) Differential effects of sigma ligands on the N-methyl-D-aspartate response in the CA1 and CA3 regions of the dorsal hippocampus: effect of mossy fiber lesioning. Neuroscience, 71: 977-987. JIF: 3.292, Cited: 32
11. Debonnel G, Bergeron R and de Montigny C. (1996) Potentiation by dehydroepiandrosterone of the neuronal response to N-methyl-D-aspartate in the CA3 region of the rat dorsal hippocampus: an effect mediated via sigma receptors. Journal of Endocrinology, 150: S33-S42. JIF: 4.058, Cited: 90
12. Bergeron R, de Montigny C and Blier P. (1997) Potentiation of the antidepressant effect of selected drugs by the antagonism of presynaptic 5-HT1A Receptors. International Academy for Biomedical and Drug Research, 12: 12-25.
13. Bergeron R and Debonnel G. (1997) Effects of low and high doses of sigma ligands: further evidence suggesting the existence of different subtypes of sigma receptors. Psychopharmacology, 129: 215-224. JIF: 4.103, Cited: 32
14. Bergeron R, de Montigny C and Debonnel G. (1997) Effect of short-term and long-term treatments with sigma ligands on the N-methyl-D-aspartate response in the CA3 region of the rat dorsal hippocampus. British Journal of Pharmacology, 120: 1351-1359. JIF: 5.067, Cited: 11
15. Blier P, Bergeron R and de Montigny C. (1997) Selective activation of postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptors induces rapid antidepressant response. Neuropsychopharmacology, 16: 333-338.
JIF: 8.678, Cited: 150
16. Blier P and Bergeron R. (1997) Early onset of therapeutic action in depression and greater efficacy of antidepressant treatments: are they related? International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 12: 21-28. JIF: 3.345, Cited: 22
17. Blier PR, Bergeron R and de Montigny C. (1998) Adjunct treatment for rapid onset of action and greater efficacy in major depres¬sion. In: Antidepressant therapy at the dawn of the third millennium Edited by: Briley M. and Montgomery S., London, Martin Dunitz Ltd., 279-295.
18. Blier P and Bergeron R. (1998) The use of pindolol to potentiate antidepressant medication. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 59: 16-23. JIF: 5.218, Cited: 92
19. Blier P, Pineyro G, el Mansari M, Bergeron R and de Montigny C. (1998) Role of somatodendritic 5-HT autoreceptors in modulating 5-HT neurotransmission. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 861: 204-216. JIF: 2.780, Cited: 155
20. Bergeron R, Meyer TM, Coyle JT and Greene RW. (1998) Modulation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function by glycine transport. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95: 15730-15734. JIF: 9.737, Cited: 297
21. Bergeron R, de Montigny C and Debonnel G. (1999) Pregnancy reduces brain sigma receptor function. British Journal of Pharmacology, 127: 1769-1776. JIF: 5.067, Cited: 27
22. Greene R, Bergeron R, McCarley R, Coyle JT and Grunze H. (2000) Short-term and long-term effects of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor hypofunction. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57: 1180-1181. JIF: 16.433, Cited: 8
23. Bergeron R, Ravindran AV, Chaput Y, Goldner E, Swinson R, van Ameringen MA, Austin C and Hadrava V. (2001) Sertraline and fluoxetine treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder: results of a double-blind, 6-month treatment study. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 22: 148-154. JIF: 5.092, Cited: 41
24. Halbreich U, Bergeron R, Yonkers KA, Freeman E, Stout AL and Cohen L. (2002) Efficacy of intermittent, luteal phase sertraline treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 100: 1219-1229. JIF: 4.798, Cited: 85
25. Martina M, Krasteniakov N. and Bergeron R. (2003) D-serine differently modulates NMDA receptor function in rat CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells and interneurons. Journal of Physiology, 548.2: 411-423. JIF: 4.580, Cited: 53
26. Martina M, Gorfinkel Y, Halman S, Lowe JA, Periyalwar P, Schmidt CJ, and Bergeron R. (2004) Glycine transporter type 1 blockade changes NMDA receptor-mediated responses and LTP in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells by altering extracellular glycine levels. Journal of Physiology, 557.2: 489-500. JIF: 4.580, Cited: 115
27. Rainnie DG, Bergeron R, Sajdyk TJ, Patil M, Gehlert DR and Shekhar A. (2004) Corticotrophin releasing factor-induced synaptic plasticity in the amygdala translates stress into emotional disorders. Journal of Neuroscience, 24: 3471-3479. JIF: 7.178, Cited: 185
28. Krasteniakov NV, Martina M and Bergeron R. (2004). Subthreshold contribution of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to long-term potentiation induced by low-frequency pairing in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells. Neuroscience, 126: 83-94. JIF: 3.292, Cited: 9
29. Tsai G, Ralph-Williams RJ, Martina M, Bergeron R, Berger-Sweeney J, Dunham KS, Jiang Z, Caine SB and Coyle JT. (2004) Gene knockout of glycine transporter 1: characterization of behavioral phenotype. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101: 8485-8490. JIF: 9.737, Cited: 141
30. Bergeron R, Coyle JT, Tsai G and Greene RW. (2005) NAAG reduces NMDA receptor current in CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons of acute slices and dissociated neuron. Neuropsychopharmacology, 30: 7-16. JIF: 8.678, Cited: 46
31. Martina M, B-Turcotte ME, Halman S, Tsai G, Tiberi M, Coyle JT and Bergeron R. (2005) Reduced glycine transporter type 1 expression leads to major changes in glutamatergic neurotransmission of CA1 hippocampal neurons in mice. Journal of Physiology, 563. 777-793. JIF: 4.580, Cited: 38
32. Krasteniakov NV, Martina M and Bergeron R. (2005) Role of the glycine site of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in synaptic plasticity induced by pairing. European Journal of Neuroscience, 21: 2782-2792. JIF: 3.418, Cited: 10
33. Steiner M, Hirschberg AL, Bergeron R, Holland F, Gee MD and Van Erp E. (2005) Luteal phase dosing with paroxetine controlled release (CR) in the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. American Journal Obstetric Gynecology, 193: 352-360. JIF: 3.278, Cited: 39
34. Martina M, B-Turcotte ME, Halman S, and Bergeron R. (2006) The sigma-1 receptor modulates NMDA receptor transmission and plasticity via SK channels. Journal of Physiology, 578: 143-157. JIF: 4.580, Cited: 87
35. Blier P, Ward HE, Tremblay, P and Bergeron R. (2007) Serotonin-norepinephrine interactions in the antidepressant response: Electrophysiological and clinical results. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 9: 86-S86. JIF: 4.874, Cited:
36. Blier P, et al… Bergeron R. (2008) Neurobiological and clinical effects of combining two antidepressant medications from the start. Conference Information: 26th Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum Congress (CINP), JUL 13-17, 2008 Munich, Germany International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology Volume: 11 Pages: 9-10 Supplement: Suppl. 1 JIF: 4.874,
37. Bergeron R, Imamura Y, Frangiono JV, Greene RW and Coyle JT. (2007) Endogenous N-acetylaspartylglutamate reduces NMDA receptor-dependent current in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. Journal of Neurochemistry, 100: 346-357. JIF: 2.376, Cited: 28
38. Imamura Y, Ma CL, Pabba. M and Bergeron R. (2008) Sustained saturating level of endogenous glycine induces displacement of NMDA receptor containing-NR2B subunit from synaptic to extra-synaptic area of CA1 pyramidal neurons. Journal of Neurochemistry, 105: 2454-2465. JIF: 4.451, Cited: 19
39. Abedini MR, Muller EJ, Brun J, Bergeron R, Gray DA, Tsang BK. (2008) Cisplatin induces p53-dependent FLICE-like inhibitory protein (FLIP) ubiquitination in ovarian cancer cells. Cancer Research, 68: 4511-4517. JIF: 7.543, Cited: 44
40. Martina M, and Bergeron R. (2008) D1 and D4 dopaminergic receptor interplay mediates G protein-independent and dependent regulation of glutamate NMDA receptors in lateral amygdala. Journal of Neurochemistry, 106: 2421-2435. JIF: 3.999, Cited: 21
41. Basu AC, Tsai GE, Ma CL, Ehmsen J, Mustafa A, Han L, Jiang ZI., Benneyworth M.A., Froimowitz M., Lange N., Snyder S.H., Bergeron R and Coyle J.T. (2009) Targeted disruption of serine racemase affects glutamatergic neurotransmission and behavior. Molecular Psychiatry. 14: 7, 719-727. JIF: 15.049, Cited: 131
42. Abedini MR, Muller EJ, Bergeron R, Gray DA and Tsang BK. (2010). Akt promotes chemoresistance in human ovarian cancer cells by modulating cisplatin-induced, p53-dependent ubiquitination of FLICE-like inhibitory protein. Oncogene. 7: 11-25. JIF: 7.135, Cited: 60
43. Blier P, Ward HE, Tremblay P, Laberge L, Hebert C, Bergeron R. (2010) Combination of antidepressant medications from treatment initiation for major depressive disorder: a double-blind randomized study. American Journal of Psychiatry. 167: 281-288. JIF: 12.522, Cite: 130
44. Potter MC, Elmer GI, Bergeron R, Albuquerque EX, Guidetti P, Wu HQ and Schwarcz R. (2010) Reduction of endogenous kynurenic acid formation enhances extracellular glutamate, hippocampal plasticity, and cognitive behavior. Neuropsychopharmacology. 35: 1734-1742. JIF: 8.678, Cited: 34
45. Al-Bahlani S, Fraser M, Wong AYC, Sayan BS, Bergeron R, Melino G, Tsang BK. (2011) P73 regulates cisplatin-induced apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells via a calcium/calpain-dependent mechanism. Oncogene. Oct 13; 30: 4219-30. JIF: 7.135, Cited: 54
46. Bakkar W, Ma CL, Pabba M, Khacho P, Zhang YL, Muller E, Martina M, and Bergeron R. (2011) Chronically saturating levels of endogenous glycine disrupt glutamatergic neurotransmission and enhance synaptogenesis in the CA1 region of mouse hippocampus. Synapse. 65:1181-95. JIF: 2.56, Cited: 4
47. Bergeron R, Coyle JT. (2012) NAAG, NMDA Receptor and Psychosis. Curr Med Chem. 19(9):1360-4, Epub ahead of print Feb 3. JIF: 4.63, Cited: 12
48. Amini M, Ma C, Farazifard R, Zhu G, Zhang Y, Vanderluit J, Zoltewicz JS, Hage F, Savitt J, Lagace D, Slack R, Beique JC, Baudry M, Greer P, Bergeron R, Park D. (2013) Conditional disruption of calpain in the CNS alters dendrite morphology, impairs LTP, and promotes neuronal survival following injury. Journal of Neuroscience. Mar 27;33(13):5773-84. JIF: 7.178 Cited: 31
49. Muller E, Bakkar W, Martina M, SokolvskiA, Wong AYC, Legendre P, Bergeron R. (2013) Vesicular storage of glycine in glutamatergic terminals in mouse hippocampus. Neuroscience 242:110-127 JIF: 3.327, Cited: 6
50. Wong AYC, Borduas JF, Clarke S, Lee K, Beique JC, and Bergeron R. (2013) Calcium influx via N-type channels and activation of SK and TRP channels regulates tonic firing of neurons in the rat paraventricular thalamus. J Neurophysiol (2013) 110:2450-2464 JIF: 3.041, Cited: 6
51. Pabba M, Wong AY, Ahlskog N, Hristova E, Biscaro D, Nassrallah W, Ngsee JK, Snyder M, Beique JC, Bergeron R. (2014) NMDA receptors are upregulated and trafficked to the plasma membrane after sigma-1 receptor activation in the rat hippocampus J Neurosci. Aug 20;34(34):11325-38 JIF: 6.747, Cited: 30
52. Khacho M, Tarabay M, Patten D, Khacho P, MacLaurin JG, Guadagno J, Bergeron R, Cregan SP, Harper ME, Park DS, Slack RS. (2014) Acidosis overrides oxygen deprivation to maintain mitochondrial function and cell survival. Nat Commun. Apr 1;5:3550. JIF: 10.742, Cited: 16
53. Stewart JW, McGrath PJ, Blondeau C, Deliyannides DA, Hellerstein D, Norris S, Amat J, Pilowsky DJ, Tessier P, Laberge L, O'Shea D, Chen Y, Withers A, Bergeron R, Blier P. (2014) Combination antidepressant therapy for major depressive disorder: speed and probability of remission. J Psychiatr Res. May;52:7-14. JIF: 4.092, Cited: 10
54. Geddes SD, Assadzada S, Sokolovski A, Bergeron R, Haj-Dahmane S, Béïque JC. (2015). Time-dependent modulation of glutamate synapses onto 5-HT neurons by antidepressant treatment. Neuropharmacology. Mar 5;95:130-143. JIF: 5.106, Cited: 5
55. Khacho P, Wang B, Ahlskog N, Hristova E, Bergeron R.
(2015)Differential effects of N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate on synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptors are subunit- and pH-dependent in the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. Neurobiology Of Disease Oct 5;82;580-592. JIF: 5.078, Cited: 6
56.Tasse, L. A.; Chudalayandi, P.; Ahlskog, N.; Abraham, M. J.; Ferguson, K. L.; Ngsee, J.; Wong, A. Y.; Bergeron, R. (2016) Impaired recovery from ER stress in Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts lacking the Sigma-1 receptor. Molecular Biology, Dec 2016, 27. Abstract
57. Ahlskog, N.; Tasse, L. A.; Abraham, M. J.; Chudalayandi, P.; Wong, A. Y.; Ngsee, J. K.; Bergeron, R. (2016) Sigma 1 Receptors Modulate Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response to Tunicamycin Treatment. Molecular Biology, Dec 2016, 27. Abstract
58. Geddes SD, Assadzada S, Lemelin D, Sokolovski A, Bergeron R, Haj-Dahmane S, Béïque JC. (2016) Target-specific modulation of the descending prefrontal cortex inputs to the dorsal raphe nucleus by cannabinoids. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA May 10;113(19):5429-34. . JIF: 9.423, Cited: 3
59. Snyder MA, McCann K, Lalande MJ, Thivierge JP, Bergeron R. Sigma receptor type 1-knockout mice show a mild deficit in plasticity but no significant change in synaptic transmission in the CA1 region of the hippocampus.
J Neurochem. 2016 Sep;138(5):700-9. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13695. Epub 2016 Jul 18.
60. Khacho P, Wang B, Bergeron R. The Good and Bad sides of NAAG. Adv Pharmacol. 2016;76:311-49. doi: 10.1016/bs.apha.2016.01.003. Epub 2016 Mar 2.
61. Wong AY, Hristova E, Ahlskog N, Tasse LA, Ngsee J, Chudalayandi P, Bergeron R. Aberrant Subcellular Dynamics Of Sigma-1 Receptor Mutants Underlying Neuromuscular Diseases. Mol Pharmacol. 2016 Sep;90(3):238-53. doi: 10.1124/mol.116.104018
62. Garcia-Santos D, Schranzhofer M, Bergeron R, Sheftel AD, Ponka P. (2017)Extracellular glycine is necessary for optimal hemoglobinization of erythroid cells. Haematologica. 2017 May 11. pii: haematol.2016.155671. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2016.155671. [Epub ahead of print]
63. Zhong H, Tong L, Gu N, Gao F, Lu Y, Xie RG, Liu J, Li X, Bergeron R, Pomeranz LE, Mackie K, Wang F, Luo CX, Ren Y, Wu SX, Xie Z, Xu L, Li J, Dong H, Xiong L, Zhang X.Endocannabinoid signaling in hypothalamic circuits regulates arousal from general anesthesia in mice. J Clin Invest. 2017 Jun 1;127(6):2295-2309. doi: 10.1172/JCI91038. Epub 2017 May 2.


Diseases, conditions and populations of interest


Alzheimer's; Stroke



Research and clinical approaches


Imaging