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    Uterine & pregnancy diseases: Maternal-fetal interface and pregnancy outcomes

    Project leader

    +33 144412319

    Research topics

    Maintenance of maternal-fetal tolerance is a requisite for pregnancy completion. Maternal-fetal interface comprises placenta and fetal membranes with chorion leaf intermingled with maternal decidual stromal and immune cells. Trophoblasts are the only extraembryonic cells in contact with maternal cells. We aim to decipher the dialogues between trophoblasts and maternal immune cells within the chorion throughout human pregnancy and hypothesize that loss or perturbation of this dialogue will influence pregnancy outcomes.



    Céline Méhats, Principal investigator (CR1, INSERM)
    Léa Chicoisne (M2 student)


    Scientific questions

    The mechanisms at the origin of delivery are unknown in Humans. This lack of knowledge is partly due to the specificities of human gestation and delivery where local, paracrine and autocrine regulations take place at the feto-maternal interface, out of reach of conventional investigations. We aim to a better understanding of these mechanisms in order to propose novel avenues in the prevention and/or the management of premature or postmature labours and deliveries. Especially, we are currently evaluating the role and the functions of the fetal membranes (amnion and chorion) at the maternal-fetal interface along two main axes: Physiological delivery and Pathophysiological delivery (following for instance a bacterial infection) using cell models and high-throughput technologies.

    Selected publications

    Méhats C, Marcellin L, Schmitz T. [Immune cell activation at the maternal-fetal interface precedes human parturition]. Med Sci (Paris). 2018 Mar;34(3):208-210.

    Dravet-Gounot P, Morin C, Jacques S, Dumont F, Ely-Marius F, Vaiman D, Jarreau PH, Méhats C, Zana-Taïeb E. Lung microRNA deregulation associated with impaired alveolarization in rats after intrauterine growth restriction. PLoS One 2017 29;12(12):e0190445.

    Marcellin L, Schmitz T, Messaoudene M, Chader D, Parizot C, Jacques S, Delaire J, Gogusev J, Schmitt A, Lesaffre C, Breuiller-Fouché M, Caignard A, Vaiman D, Goffinet F, Cabrol D, Gorochov G, Méhats C. Immune Modifications in Fetal Membranes Overlying the Cervix Precede Parturition in Humans. J Immunol. 2017 Feb 1;198(3):1345-1356

    Marcellin L, Santulli P, Gogusev J, Lesaffre C, Jacques S, Chapron C, Goffinet F, Vaiman D, Méhats C. Endometriosis also affects the decidua in contact with the fetal membranes during pregnancy. Hum Reprod. 2015 Feb;30(2):392-405.

    Santulli P, Marcellin L, Noël JC, Borghese B, Fayt I, Vaiman D, Chapron C, Méhats C. Sphingosine pathway deregulation in endometriotic tissues. Fertil Steril. 2012 Apr;97(4):904-11.

    Méhats C, Schmitz T, Marcellin L, Breuiller-Fouché M. [Biochemistry of fetal membranes rupture]. Gynecol Obstet Fertil. 2011 Jun;39(6):365-9.

    Gillaux C, Méhats C, Vaiman D, Cabrol D, Breuiller-Fouché M. Functional screening of TLRs in human amniotic epithelial cells. J Immunol. 2011 Sep 1;187(5):2766-74.



    Pride Guigoz DHU Risks in Pregnancy