Immune cell activation (M. Nguyen-Chi)


Immune cell activation
Mai Nguyen-Chi / Georges Lutfalla

Innate immunity is at the front line to thwart microorganism invasion. The zebrafish has proven particularly suitable for studying immune response to infections and injury. Thanks to the genetic amenability and transparency of its larvae and embryos, it provides an outstanding opportunity to decipher the dynamics of immune cell activation in infected and damaged tissues. 
Our group uses the zebrafish larvae to unravel how phagocytes differentiate and fight microbes.
Research axes

Axis 1 : Defence mechanisms of phagocytes in response to notochord infections in zebrafish larvae

Recently, we developed a system in which bacteria are inaccessible to immune cells. When injected in the notochord, the axial structure of the developing embryo and larva, bacteria cannot physically interact with phagocytes nor be engulfed, probably due to the thick collagen membrane of the notochord that forms a barrier. We are investigating the molecular mechanisms deployed by phagocytes to control the infection.

Figure 1: Macrophage (red) and neutrophil (green) recruitment to the notochord of zebrafish larvae following Escherichia coli infection. The role of the different phagocyte populations was investigated using fluorescent reporter lines. Transection view of the notochord.

Axis 2 : Dynamique d'activation des macrophages en réponse aux blessures et aux infections chez la larve de zebrafish

Macrophages play a central role during inflammation, immune defense, and participate to tissue repair. Macrophages have the ability to adopt a wide range of phenotypes and functions depending on their environment. This process is called polarized activation. We investigate the dynamics of macrophage polarized activation during wound healing and bacterial infections in the zebrafish.

Figure 2: Macrophages recruitment to the wound following caudal fin transection in zebrafish larvae. Transgenic reporters allow the visualization of activated macrophages using different fluorescent proteins using confocale microscopy.

Logo ImageInLife

European Project ImageInLife
EU Horizon 2020 MSCA-ITN
Team members involved in the project
Selected Publications

Theme leaders

Mai Nguyen-Chi
Research Associate (CR) CNRS
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Georges Lutfalla

Research Director (DR1) CNRS

LPHI  Laboratory of Pathogen Host Interactions
UMR 5235 - Université Montpellier
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34095 Montpellier cedex 5

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