Biology of the neuromuscular system
Organization chart of the team
Access map to the Faculty of Medicine (Créteil campus)
Access map to the Ecole nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort (EnvA campus)
Muscle stem cells in the forefront of myogenesis
We have a long-standing interest in understanding the regulatory networks of developmental and adult myogenesis, with a specific focus on muscle stem cells (termed satellite cells). Through large-scale screens we have identified the transcriptional and epigenetic shift that is manifested at the quiescence-to-activation switch. We are following up on several factors and pathways that regulate quiescence, activation, differentiation, self-renewal, and the epigenetic landscape of satellite cells. Furthermore, we are investigating the adaptive response of satellite cells to environmental stress. Finally, we have developed a novel protocol that permits the isolation of truly quiescent satellite cells, avoiding the artefacts introduced by current isolation protocols. Using this protocol we are launching a series of high throughput and single cells experiments to uncover the major players of the quiescence and activation networks.
Elucidating the networks that command satellite cell quiescence and activation is a major challenge and a requirement to comprehend the remarkable regenerative capacity that muscle displays.
Interactions of stem cells with their environment
We seek to address how muscle stem cells are controlled by their niche, the specialized microenvironment that signals to them affecting their homeostasis and activation. In terms of cellular input, we focus on perivascular cells (e.g. endothelial cells, pericytes) and inflammatory cells (e.g. macrophages) that influence postnatal muscle growth and regeneration. Following up on our findings about coordinated myo-angiogenesis, we aim to address the effect of hypoxia in orchestrating these processes. Our studies on the non-cellular nature of the niche focus on secreted growth factors and the extracellular matrix. We recently unveiled a Notch/COLV/CALCR cascade that cell-autonomously maintains the satellite cell quiescent state.
Identifying diverse factors of the niche and their modes of interaction is a prerequisite for the use of muscle stem cells in regenerative medicine.
Pathogenesis and therapy of neuromuscular disorders
Our prime biomedical goal is to understand and treat neuromuscular disorders, notably Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and congenital myopathies. Our capacity to bring new therapies to the market is conditioned by the rate of successful therapy translation from animal models to human patients. Thus, a strong transversal objective for our team is to characterize spontaneous dog models or to establish novel and accurate preclinical rodent models. We confirm the relevance of these models by deep phenotyping (natural history, histology, inter-disciplinary functional evaluation) before integrating them in innovative genome-editing or pharmacological therapeutic schemes.
The use of spontaneous and engineered preclinical models in fundamental myology provides a valuable tool for the exploratory steps from proof-of-principle to clinical applications in human.
Neural crest cell plasticity, migration and fate
We develop a multidisciplinary research program, integrating molecular genetics, cell and developmental biology, and mechano-biology to understand the molecular and cellular bases of neural crest cell development in normal and pathological conditions. Neural crest cells (NCC) originating from the neuro-ectoderm in the early vertebrate embryo through an epithelium to mesenchyme transition are endowed with remarkable stem, proliferative and migratory properties. They contribute to a multiplicity of cell types and provide large contingents of stem cells in adult tissues. We have characterized the role of adhesion molecules and their crosstalk with soluble factors and transcription factors at the onset of the NCC delamination and during the enteric nervous system development, and demonstrated the importance of the coupling between adhesiveness and cellular mechanics. We demonstrated that SDF1/CXCR4 signalling pathway regulates the spatial segregation of cardiac NCC from enteric NCC and their chemotaxis toward the heart. Our current work aims to understand how NCC adapt to the metabolic, mechanical and biochemical constraints imposed by their micro environment to regulate their plasticity, migration and cell differentiation during development.
Understanding the relationship between biomechanics, energy metabolism and soluble factors is of critical interest for cancers, congenital disorders and SC therapies.
Stem cells in musculoskeletal development, regeneration and diseases
Our research concentrates on the biology of skeletal stem cells that are the basis for the high regenerative capacities of skeletal tissues and that are potentially deficient in various musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. We aim to elucidate the mechanisms of stem cell activation in their complex tissue environment in development, disease and repair employing genetic mouse models, genomics and cellular approaches. We focus on the periosteum, the tissue at the outer surface of bone and skeletal muscle adjacent to bone, that also plays essential roles in bone regeneration.
For more information on this topic, please visit the Colnot group website.
=> download a full list of publications by members of the teamUpdate in February 2020
*** HERE BELOW, A SELECTION OF RECENT ARTICLES ***
PAX3 confers functional heterogeneity in skeletal muscle stem cell responses to environmental stress.Cell Stem Cell 2019, by Der Vartanian et al.
Automated image-analysis method for the quantification of fiber morphometry and fiber type population in human skeletal muscle.Skeletal Muscle 2019, by Reyes-Fernandez, Periou et al.
Notch/CollagenV/CalcR reciprocal signalling retains muscle stem cells in their niche.
Necroptosis mediates myofibre death in dystrophin-deficient mice.Nat Commun 2018, by Morgan et al.
Stem cell therapy in early post-traumatic talus osteonecrosis.Int Orthop 2018, by Hernigou et al.
SOXF factors regulate murine satellite cell self-renewal and function through inhibition of β-catenin activity.Elife 2018, by Alonso-Martin et al.
Cellular localization of the cell cycle inhibitor Cdkn1c controls growth arrest of adult skeletal muscle stem cells.
Non-linear dose-response of aluminium hydroxide adjuvant particles: Selective low dose neurotoxicity.Toxicology 2017, by Crépeaux et al.
Progressive Structural Defects in Canine Centronuclear Myopathy Indicate a Role for HACD1 in Maintaining Skeletal Muscle Membrane Systems.Am J Pathol. 2017, by Walmsley et al.
- Responsable : Frédéric Relaix
- Responsable délégué (e) : François-Jérôme Authier, Philippos Mourikis
- Chercheur : Nathalie Chevallier-Mericskay, Céline Colnot, Nathalie Didier, Jean-Loup Duband, Sylvie Dufour, Philippos Mourikis, Maria-Isabel Punzon-Gau, Anne-Marie Rodriguez, Marianne Taurel
- Enseignant-Chercheur : François-Jérôme Authier, Ghita Benchekroun, Stéphane Blot, Romain Bosc, Philippe Bossé, Josette Cadusseau, Lucie Chevallier, Guillemette Crépeaux, Loïc Desquilbet, Sophie Féréol, Alain Fontbonne, Benoit Funalot, Romain Gherardi, Jules Gilet, Philippe Hernigou, Peggy Lafuste, Edoardo Malfatti, Stéphanie Michineau, Frédéric Relaix, Edouard Reyes-Gomez, Hèlène Rouard, Fanny Storck, Laurent Tiret, René Yiou
- Post doctorant : Arpiné Ardzivian, Maximilien Bencze, Matthew Borok, Eleni Chrysostomou, Audrey Der-Vartanian, Yasmine Hachemi, Joana Lima, Despoina Mademtzoglou, Ester Martinez-Sarra, Sergio Perez-Diaz, Alessio Rotini, Tassadit Saidj, Valentina Taglietti
- Doctorant : Nassim-Anis Ahmine, Loïc Angrand, Mehdi Aoun-Sebaïti, Reem Bou-Akar, Christelle Dubois, Perla Geara, Stamatia Gioftsidi, Farida Gorram, Cyrielle Hou, Nahed Khadhraoui, Franceska Kovaci, Jennyfer Levoux, Léo Machado, Jean-Daniel Masson, Busra Mirciloglu, Nioosha Nekooie-Marnany, Teoman Ozturk, Simon Perrin, Guillaume Robiteau, Mathilde Rodrigues, Joseph Touma, Nicolas Van-Caenegem, Aymeline Vandestienne, Mélody Wintrebert, Louai Zaidan
- Ingénieur : Frédéric Aurade, Yasmine Baba-Amer, Juliette Berthier, Nicolas Blanchard-Gutton, Anaïs Bleuzen, Laura Coquelin-Salsac, Bernadette Drayton Libotte, Redouane Fodil, Inès Jouanna-Barthélemy, Kaouthar Kefi, Sylvie Manin, Tiffany Marie, Isabelle Valchera
- Technicien : Patricia Becret, Sophie Berger, Xavier Cauchois, Laurent Guillaud, Erica Kimber, Béatrice Laurent, Youssef Mbarki, Baptiste Périou
- Gestionnaire : Lila Bendameche
- Stagiaire : Sébastien Multon, Sanela Protic, Léa Rivera, Aurélie Schirmann
IMRB – Inserm U955
Biology of neuromuscular system (Team Relaix – groups 1, 2, 3 and Colnot)
Creteil’s health faculty – 5th floor
8, rue du général Sarrail
Bnms – Génétique Médicale Comparée (group 3) and Neurobiologie (group 4)
Bâtiment Auguste Chauveau
Ecole nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort
7, avenue du général de Gaulle
94704 Maisons Alfort Cedex
Unité d’Ingénierie et de Thérapie Cellulaire d’Ile-de-France (group 5)
Etablissement Français du Sang
5, rue Gustave Eiffel
94017 Créteil Cedex
Administrative assistants – Contact
Dr Despoina Mademtzoglou (Project Manager)
Lila Bendameche (administrative manager at Créteil)
Tel. : +33-1 49 81 36 93
Isabelle Valchera (administrative manager at EnvA)
Tel. : +33-1 43 96 70 47
A recent study conducted by Audrey Der Vartanian (post-doctoral researcher) and Marianne Gervais-Taurel (CNRS researcher) in the team of Pr. Frédéric Relaix (Team 10, IMRB) reveals that the transcription factor PAX3 protects a subpopulation of adult skeletal muscle stem cells in response to chronic exposure to an environmental pollutant, dioxin, with harmful effects on health. […]Read more
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, mediated by enzymes of the ADAR family, is a well-known contributor of transcriptomic and, to a lesser extent, proteomic diversity.Read more
The École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort is pleased to welcome within its new research platform, the Auguste Chauveau building, the start-up “Encefa” to develop a promising scientific partnership in terms of innovation and research on neurodegenerative and inflammatory diseases. The start up “Encefa” integrated, in June, the premises of our platform dedicated to research in […]Read more