Biomedical research institute
     

    Presentation

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    Our team explores the role of cytokines and chemokines locally produced as a consequence of mucosal viral infections in several natural and experimental models of acute infections, in both humans and animal models. Our projects aim at identifying the physiopathological mechanisms implicated during this phase of infection and at defining molecules capable of specifically stimulate mucosal immune responses. We explore more particularly the functions of IL-7, an essential cytokine regulating the homeostasis of the immune system. Indeed, we evidenced the implication of IL-7 in immune cells addressing to mucosae. We also explore the involvement of type I interferons (IFN), major cytokines implicated in antiviral response, in the establishment of immunodeficiency triggered by AIDS viruses.

    Through our projects, we seek to understand how IL-7 induces the migration of these cells to and within mucosae and to use this function to stimulate local immunity in mucosal immunization protocols. In collaboration with the Cytheris SA, we explored the impact of IL-7 injections in HIV infected patients. We are also exploring the production of different IFN-α subtypes in the organs of SIV-infected monkey to better understand their impact on viral control during the acute phase of SIV infection and the pathophysiological consequences of these expressions in tissues. Finally, we study the importance of cellular immune responses in the control of oncogenic HPV infection  in patients with vulvar and anal HPV-induced lesions.

     

    Our team is also involved in many collaborative projects with both French and foreign teams. So, we are providing the community with our expertise in quantifying thymic function in humans. We explored the importance of this function in patients after transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells, bone marrow or thymus, in children thymectomized, presenting chronic granulomatous disease or congenital immunodeficiency (FOXN1-deficiency, DiGeorge syndrome) and in HIV-1 or HIV- 2 infected patients.

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