INSERM U989 at Necker Hospital

The laboratory of intestinal mucosal immunology INSERM U989 at the Medical Faculty René Descartes (Necker-Enfants-Malades) in Paris is specialized in the study of interactions between the intestinal epithelium and the immune system. Directed by Dr Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, a highly recognized scientist in the domain of human mucosal immunology and celiac disease, the laboratory focuses its interest on the mechanisms involved in the control of intestinal homeostasis in response to food and bacterial antigens. Long term collaboration between INRA (MICALIS) and INSERM U989 on microbiota-gut cells interactions led to shared knowledge and means between microbiologists (INRA) and immunologists (INSERM). In the elaboration of CROSS-TALK proposal, the association of N. Cerf-Bensussan team, is an asset for better networking between partners.

Key persons involved

Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, MD, PhD is Research Director grade 1 at INSERM and has been awarded prices for her work in immunology applied to intestinal diseases (Charles Debray price, Rosa Lamarca price). Her work has in particular provided the first description of the CD103 antigen on intraepithelial lymphocytes in rats and in humans and brought recent important new insight into the pathogenesis of celiac disease and of its malignant complications. For the past 6 years, she has developed a new axis of research focusing on the study of the interactions between the host and the intestinal commensal microbiota in gnotobiotic mice.

Valérie Gaboriau, PhD, affiliated to INRA, has developed an excellent expertise in the setting and immunological analysis of gnotobiotic mice and works at the interface between MICALIS and INSERM U989 with the help of an INRA assistant engineer and students. She plays an instrumental role in the development of the axis “interactions host-commensal bacteria” between both research units.

3 key publications

  • Giraud A, Arous S, De Paepe M, Gaboriau-Routhiau V, Bambou JC, Rakotobe S, Lindner AB, Taddei F, Cerf-Bensussan N. (2008) Dissecting the genetic components of adaptation of Escherichia coli to the mouse gut. PLoS Genet. 2008 4(1):e2.[Pubmed]
  • Gaboriau-Routhiau, V., S. Rakotobe, E. Lecuyer, I. Mulder, A. Lan, C. Bridonneau, V. Rochet, A. Pisi, M. De Paepe, G. Brandi, G. Eberl, J. Snel, D. Kelly, and N. Cerf-Bensussan. 2009. The key role of segmented filamentous bacteria in the coordinated maturation of gut helper T cell responses. Immunity 31:677-689 [Pubmed]
  • Cerf-Bensussan, N., and V. Gaboriau-Routhiau. 2010 The immune system and the gut microbiota: friends or foes? Nat Rev Immunol 10:735-744. [Pubmed]