Welcome to the Laboratory of Immunology and Immunopathology

Presentation of INSERM UMR 1125 Physiopathology, targets and therapies of rheumatoid arthritis

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INSERM UMR 1125 is located in University of Paris 13,  in Bobigny.
It belongs to the Multi-Organizations Thematic Institute (ITMO) “Circulation, métabolism, nutrition”.
For your information, the Alliance for Life and Health’s Sciences (Aviesan) groups ITMOs and other organisms such as INSERM, CNRS, INRA, CEA and universities together.


Research in INSERM UMR 1125 Physiopathology, targets and therapies of rheumatoid arthritis

Studies conducted  in the laboratory are at the cross point of several scientific and medical areas. They concern acute and chronic inflammation, immunopathology of diseases and biotherapies of inflammation, applied to the field of joint diseases.

Our laboratory is specifically focused in rheumatoid arthritis, investigated in a translational way, with a close relationship between patients and research. However, research applications also involve most of the chronic inflammatory diseases.

Among the characteristics of our lab, the use of experimental models of chronic inflammation (and chronic or relapsing arthritis) can parrallel studies in humans regarding the mechanisms involved.
This research strategy is reflected by the skills of the people of thelaboratory’s team, where scientists and doctors work together. The rheumatology department of the Avicenne hospital (Hospital Group Avicenne - Jean Verdier - René Muret, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris) is in close relationship with our UMR, both entities working in a common University Hospital project.


Main achievements of the laboratory in recent years

INSERM UMR1125 is founded on a structure of university Paris 13 (EA 4222), created in 1996.

Since its birth in 1996, twenty PhD theses were defended and about a hundred of articles have been published in international peer reviewed journals on the topics of the laboratory. Among the advances, we can cite some examples:


Cytokines and cellular and molecular protagonists

  • Demonstration of the role of the second receptor of interleukin-1 (IL-1RII) in models of arthritis.
  • Highlighting the role of NKT cells ("natural killer T cells") in the collagen induced arthritis in mice.
  • Highlighting subpopulations of regulatory T cells in rheumatoid arthritis and several experimental models of arthritis.
  • Identification of a functional Toll-like receptor (TLR) 9 expressed at the cell surface of primary neutrophils.
  • Demonstration of the key role of primary neutrophils as a major source of interferon-alpha (IFN-α).

Innovating therapies

  • Definition and implementation of an experimental gene therapy strategy in arthritis models, with plasmid or viral vectors. Feasibility study of an experimental gene therapy in human joint diseases. Early work of cell therapy with vector cells in models of arthritis.
  • Development of active immunotherapy (or vaccination) targeting TNFalpha ("tumor necrosis factor alpha") in models of arthritis, and clinical trials in humans.
  • Development of vaccines using cytokines’ peptides coupled to macromolecules, such as anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and anti-IL-23 (interleukin 23), which some are in preclinical development.
  • Study of the mechanism of action of different biotherapies used in humans.



Research funding

Most research funding of UMR 1125 comes from public organizations, as INSERM and Paris 13 University.

Others research funding are obtained from different organizations through a competitive process. They come from research funding organizations such as INSERM, Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (national consortium CYTOVAC established by our lab), Fondation pour la Recherche Medicale, General Directorate for Armament and associations such as Arthritis-Fondation Courtin and French Society for Rheumatology (“Société Française de Rhumatologie“).  Pharmaceutical industries helps our research under two forms : an industry-university partnerships can be done to develop  together projects or they help our researches with grants. In each case, funding support are mentioned in the congresses or publications whose work have been supported. Recently, the private German foundation Fritz-Thyssen has provided funding to our laboratory. In some cases, individuals have also helped by their donation to charitable associations stating their goal to help the research on rheumatoid arthritis in our lab.

You wish to donate

You are a business and you intend to collaborate or donate; or you are an individual and you intend to donate, you can get all the legal requirements for tax exemption as provided by the texts in force. Depending on the case, the easiest way is to contact the laboratory.

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