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    The Cutaneous Biology team joined the Institut Cochin in October 2019

    The “Cutaneous Biology” team led by Sélim Aractingi (PU-PH, Department of Dermatology at Cochin Hospital)

    joined the Development, Reproduction, Cancer department of the Institut Cochin in early October 2019.


    The "Cutaneous Biology" team combines fundamental and translational approaches in order to better understand the homeostasis of the skinand also three associated severe skin diseases: wound healing delay, carcinogenesis and adnexal inflammation (hidrosadenitis suppurativa and acne). To carry out these studies, the team uses different classic animal models and human samples, as well as a new rare rodent model, the naked-mole rat. Indeed, the naked-mole rat has an exceptionally long lifespan, without signs of aging, it does not develop cancer, and is a very good model for studying skin aging.


    What are the team's recent contributions?

    Delayed skin healing and fetal stem cells:

    Fetal cells enter the maternal circulation during pregnancy and persist for decades after childbirth. In the event of maternal skin lesion, fetal cells migrate to the affected sites where they participate in the healing of tissues. The “Cutaneous Biology” team recently discovered that the chemokine Ccl2 electively triggers the mobilization of a peculiar population of fetal stem cells. Its objective is therefore to further explore the therapeutic potential of Ccl2 in delayed wound healing, to draw up a complete profile of the signaling pathways which recruit these fetal cells and to study the heterogeneity and hierarchy of these cells.

    Skin carcinogenesis:

    Congenital Melanocytic Nevi (CMN) are tumors that present a risk of malignant transformation into melanoma. The team showed that a single mutation in the NRAS gene was sufficient to induce CMN, and that a subpopulation of clonogenic melanocyte cells maintained these lesions when they cooperated with keratinocytes. The objectives are to target specific signaling pathways downstream of NRAS in preclinical models of CMN, and to study the role of keratinocyte-melanocyte interactions in the development of CMN.

    Adnexal inflammation:

    The study of the relationships between pathogenic bacteria and the skin has allowed to identify two surface proteins of the opportunistic bacteria P. Acnes: CAMP1, and DsA1, as cutaneous fibrinogen-binding proteins. The team is studying the roles of DsA1 and CAMP1 during the inflammatory process and wishes to further characterize the structure and properties of DsA1.


    The “Cutaneous Biology” team obtained in 2019 an ANR funding for the analysis of fetal stem cells involved in wound healing, and is part of a RHU (Success) for the study of a new device using the fetal cell secretome to treat child burns. Romain Fontaine obtained an IDEX Emergence for his project on skin aging in the naked mole rat model. Bénédicte Oules became “Chef de Clinique” Inserm/Bettencourt Foundation, which will allow her to obtain financial support for her work on suppurative hidrosadenitis.

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