Stockholm university

Christian BrobergerProfessor of Neurochemistry



In our laboratory, we are interested in the organization of brain circuits that control innate behaviours, such as aggression, reproduction, feeding as well as sleep. These circuits often originate in the hypothalamus, an evolutionarily old part of the brain, and include the neuroendocrine system, the interface between the brain and the endocrine system. We want to understand how behaviour emerges from the electrical properties of neurons, and the connections they form with each other through classical (chemical) synapses and electrical synapses (gap junctions).


To this end, we employ a range of techniques that allow us to study the central nervous system and its function on many levels, including electrophysiology, histochemistry, voltammetry, optogenetics, cell culture and behavioural paradigms. Questions that we have been intrigued by in recent years include:


  • How does the behaviour of a population of neurons change when the cells are connected by gap junctions?
  • Why do the males of some species express paternal behaviours, while males of other species do not?
  •  Why is aggressive behaviour expressed in stereotyped ways, and can the organization of specialized neurons in the hypothalamus explain why aggression emerges only in some animals under some conditions?
  • What is the role of the nucleobindins, Ca2+-binding proteins that are found in all neurons?
  • How do neurons in the hypothalamus change in the brains of female animals to prepare for pregnancy and motherhood?
  • What is the function of neurons in the deepest layer of the cerebral cortex, the so-called persistent subplate neurons?

We welcome applications from students for longer internships, e.g. MSc projects. Students with a neuroscience background are particularly encouraged to apply. For inquiries, please send an e-mail to


Selected publications:

  1. Stagkourakis S, Smiley KO, Williams P, Kakadellis S, Ziegler K, Bakker J, Brown RSE, Harkany T, Grattan DR, Broberger C, 2020. A Neuro-hormonal Circuit for Paternal Behavior Controlled by a Hypothalamic Network Oscillation. CELL; 182(4):960-975

  2. Thörn Pérez C, Ferraris J, van Lunteren JA, Hellysaz A, Iglesias MJ, Broberger C, 2020. Adaptive Resetting of Tuberoinfundibular Dopamine (TIDA) Network Activity during Lactation in Mice. J. NEUROSCI.; 40(16):3203-3216

  3. Stagkourakis S, Dunevall J, Taleat Z, Ewing A, Broberger C, 2019. Dopamine release dynamics in the tuberoinfundibular dopamine system. J. NEUROSCI. Feb 19. pii: 2339-18
  4. Stagkourakis S, Spigolon G, Williams P, Protzmann J, Fisone G, Broberger C, 2018. A neural network for intermale aggression to establish social hierarchy. NATURE NEUROSCI, 21(6):834-842.
  5. Stagkourakis S, Thörn Pérez C, Hellysaz A, Ammari R, Broberger C, 2018. Network Oscillation Rules Imposed by Species-Specific Electrical Coupling. E-LIFE, May 3;7. pii: e33144.
  6. Case L, Broberger C, 2017. Neurotensin broadly recruits inhibition via white matter neurons in the mouse cerebral cortex: Synaptic mechanisms for decorrelation. CEREBRAL CORTEX, Jun 28:1-14.
  7. Lyons DJ, Ammari R, Hellysaz A, Broberger C, 2016 . Serotonin and Antidepressant SSRIs Inhibit Rat Neuroendocrine Dopamine Neurons: Parallel Actions in the Lactotrophic Axis. J. NEUROSCI., 36(28):7392-406
  8. Stagkourakis S, Kim H, Lyons DJ, Broberger C, 2016. Dopaminergic Autoreceptor Regulation of a Hypothalamic Dopamine Network. CELL REPORTS., 15(4) : 735-747
  9. Tulke S*, Williams P*, Hellysaz A, Ilegems E, Wendel M, Broberger C, 2016. Nucleobindin 1 (NUCB1) is a Golgi-resident marker of neurons. NEUROSCI.; 314:179-88
  10. Lyons DJ, Horjales E, Broberger C, 2010. A slow oscillation in tuberoinfundibular dopamine (TIDA) neurons: Switch to tonic firing via thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). NEURON; 65(2): 217-29.


Group members

Olga Netsyk, Researcher

Arash Hellysaz, Guest Researcher

Jimena Ferraris, Postdoc

Andrea Locarno, Postdoc

Debora Masini, Postdoc

Paul Williams, Postdoc

Roksana Khalid, PhD student

Andriana Mantzafou, PhD student


Research projects