CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS, IMMUNITY AND INFLAMMATION

Cells implicated in immunity and inflammation such as macrophages constitute major targets of environmental chemicals, potentially implicated in their carcinogenic, cardiovascular and/or pulmonary deleterious effects. However, cellular and molecular effects of these chemicals remain yet in a major part unknown, especially in human cells. The major aim of the team project is therefore to characterize these effects in human T lymphocytes, macrophages and myeloid dendritic cells, especially with respect to differentiation processes, functional properties, regulation of target genes, interactions with endogenous metabolic pathways and activation of transduction ways.

Effects of environmental contaminants on dendritic cell physiology. We analyze the immunosuppressive effects of arsenic in myeloid dendritic cells with emphasis on the molecular targets of arsenic, especially those linked to signaling pathways.

Effects of environmental contaminants on macrophages. We determine the effects of various chemical pollutants, including aromatic hydrocarbons, dusts, phtalates and chemical mixtures, on differentiation and physiological functions of macrophage subtypes. Furthermore, we investigate the relationships between inflammatory and lung diseases, especially farming-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Effects of environmental contaminants on activated T lymphocytes. We focus on the effects of aromatic hydrocarbons on lymphocyte T differentiation, in relation with the regulation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor.Identification of target genes which may represent exposure biomarkers, is being done via pangenomic transcriptomic studies.