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UMRS-1160 Écotaxie, micro-environnement et développement lymphocytaire

 Directeur : Antoine Toubert / antoine.toubert@univ-paris-diderot.fr

Antoine Toubert (ORCID: 0000-0002-7308-7317), MD, PhD, is Professor of Immunology at the University of Paris and Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris since 2002. He is the Head of Inserm Unit U1160 since 2014. He participated to several collaborative research programs from the European Community (EUROCORD, EUROBANK, ALLOSTEM, ERA-NET TRANSCAN). He published more than 190 peer-reviewed articles (Sci Transl Med., J Clin Invest, Blood, PNAS, Gastroenterology, J Immunol). One main current focus of his team is the study of human thymic function in physiology (partner of Labex Milieu Intérieur, partner of ANR PRC 2019 RANKL-Thym) and diseases, i.e. HSCT and in aging (partner of ANR PRTS 2014 program PriCelAge). 


Unit description and scientific interests

The 3 constitutive teams of INSERM U.1160 “Microenvironment, lymphocyte development and homing” share the common objective to tackle the mechanisms governing the temporal and spatial organization of specialized « niches » in a bidirectional crosstalk  driving not only the homing and seeding of immune populations but also their differentiation and functional regulation.


- Team 1 “Homeostatic and Pathological Chemokine-Regulated Interplays between Lymphocytes and their Microenvironment” (K. Balabanian, M. Espéli). This team studies how bone marrow (BM) specialized niches interplay at various stages of lymphoid differentiation with a special focus on chemokine signaling in the BM. This will be addressed at steady-state, after vaccination, during immunodeficiencies (WHIM syndrome) and in hematological malignancies. One original hypothesis that the team’s expertises will address is that niches in malignancies may divert the normal development of lymphoid cells (B cells, NK cells) thereby participating to tumor evasion from the immune system.  


Team 2 “Thymic function and development” (A. Toubert, K. Benlagha) bridges basic knowledge in thymopoiesis, especially iNKT development (K. Benlagha), and in thymic function in human health and disease (A. Toubert). Based on ongoing recent data, this team will decipher mechanisms of the genetic control of human thymopoiesis with potentially broad impacts in aging and diseases (immunodeficiencies, vaccines, autoimmunity). 


-   Team 3 “Intestinal Immunity in Inflammation and Cancer” (M. Allez, A. Caignard) is built from the expertise of the groups of M. Allez in inflammatory bowel diseases with a strong interest in Crohn’s disease and of A. Caignard in Oncoimmunology, especially in the study in innate lymphoid cells (NK, ILC) in cancer (melanoma, breast cancer, colon cancer). 


Administrative platform

Patricia Rosinel / patricia.rosinel@inserm.fr

Myriam Sahnoun / myriam.sahnoun@inserm.fr