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    Team: Biology of Phagocytes, Infection and Immunity

    Team leader

    CV Aviesan

    Phagocytosis is the mechanism of capture and degradation of pathogens or debris that is performed by professional cells of the immune system. In certain circumstances, this process is impaired, which can lead to the development of opportunistic pathogens or chronic inflammation. We study the mechanims of capture and degradation by phagocytic cells, their impact on immune responses and their alterations by viral infections, in the context of the development of bacterial co-infections or more recently in the cross-talk between microglia and neurons.



    Professional phagocytes play a major role in innate and adaptive immune responses. Phagocytosis and degradation of invading microorganisms or debris is crucial for bacterial clearance and resolution of inflammation. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms of phagocytosis, especially of cell debris or microorganisms.

    Our first goal is to dissect the mechanisms used by phagocytes, in particular the coordinated activities of signaling pathways, membrane trafficking and cytoskeleton dynamics, and their effect on the outcome of immune responses with a special focus on the interferon-beta response. Second, we analyze how viruses, including HIV-1 infection or respiratory viruses associated with lung inflammation, impair the phagocytic and clearance functions. Third, we study the interferon -beta response and microglia phagocytosis in neuronal response to viral infection. Finally, we explore how dendritic cells regurgitate non-degraded material to activate B cells in order to manipulate the humoral immune response.

    Main publications :

    Jubrail, J., Africano-Gomez, K., Herit, F., Mularski, A., Bourdoncle, P., Oberg, L, Israelsson, E., Burgel, P-R., Mayer, G., Mootoosamy Cunoosamy, D., Kurian, N., and Niedergang F. Arpin is critical for phagocytosis in macrophages and is targeted by human rhinovirus. EMBO Rep. (2019). e47963. doi: 10.15252/embr.201947963

    Boncompain G, Herit F, Tessier S, […], Brelot A, Niedergang F, Perez F. Differential screening identifies molecules specifically inhibiting CCR5 transport to the cell surface and HIV infection. bioRxiv. Science Advances (2019); 5: eaax0821. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aax0821

    Niedergang F. Dendritic cells mature to resist lamin degradation and herpes virus release. J. Cell Biol. (2019). 4;218(2):387-388. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201812051.

    Jubrail, J., Africano-Gomez, K., Herit, F., Baturcam, E., Mayer, E., Mootoosamy Cunoosamy, D., Kurian, N., and Niedergang, F. HRV16 impairs macrophages cytokine response to a secondary bacterial trigger. Front. Immunol. (2018) 9:2908

    Lê-Bury G and Niedergang F Defective phagocytic properties of HIV-infected macrophages: how might they be implicated in the development of invasive Salmonella Typhimurium ? Front. Immunol. (2018) 9:531

    Niedergang, F. and Grinstein, S. How to build a phagosome: new concepts for an old process. Curr Op Cell Biol  (2018) 50:57-63

    Jubrail, J., Kurian, N. and Niedergang, F. Macrophage phagocytosis cracking the defect code in COPD. Biomedical J. (2017) 40 : 305-312

    Marie-Anaïs F, Mazzolini J, Herit F and Niedergang F. Dynamin-actin cross-talk contributes to phagosome formation and closure. Traffic (2016) 17 : 487-499.

    Dumas A, Lê‑Bury G, Marie‑Anaïs F, Herit F, Mazzolini J, Guilbert T, Bourdoncle P., Russell DG, Benichou S,  Zahraoui A,  and Niedergang F. The HIV-1 protein Vpr impairs phagosome maturation by controlling microtubule-dependent trafficking.
    J. Cell Biol. (2015) 211 : 359-372


    Team's news

    • Florence Niedergang is the only French invited speaker at the « Cell Dynamics Host pathogen Interface next May 2020 in Surrey, UK!
    •  The lab will participate to the 2019 “Fête de la Science” event for class visits and for general public to discuss “How sentinel immune cells are hijacked by microbes”)
    • Juliana Felix de Melo (professor at the Universidade Federal do Piaui, Bresil) has joined the lab as a post-doctoral researcher : Welcome !
    • Mariano Alonso Bivou (PhD student) supported by a Saint-Exupery award (joint support by French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Argentinian Ministry for Culture, Science and Technology) to join the lab for 4 months: welcome!
    • Two manuscripts to be out soon (first authors former PhD student Gabrielle Lê Bury and post-doc Jamil Jubrail)!
    •  Fatah Ouaaz and Florence Niedergang will organize the 10th Institut Cochin Miltenyi symposium on « B Cell Odyssey» next November 29, 2019
    •  Florence Niedergang was selected as visiting scientist in Argentina in 2019, hosted by Maria-Teresa Damiani in Mendoza: trip planned in October 2019!
    • Eliette Bonnefoy, Sylvie Souès and Zeyni Mansuroglu joined the team in February 2019 : new viruses and more interferon in the lab !
    • Anna Mularski attended her first ASCB / EMBO meeting in San Diego last December, supported by a travel grant from ITMO BCDE : congratulations !
    • Jamil Jubrail was awarded 1st prize for his presentation in a competition with other post-docs at the British Association of Lung Research Summer Meeting 2018, Birmingham, UK in September: congratulations!