Prof Renaud Du Pasquier
Head of the Neurology Service
Head of the Laboratory of Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis - LNIS
Laboratoire de Neuroimmunologie/Sclérose en plaques
Affiliations: Service of neurology (NLG), Service of immunology and allergy (LIA)
Keywords: Neuroimmunology, Multiple sclerosis, CD8+ T cells, Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), Epstein-Barr virus, HIV
The research of Prof. Renaud Du Pasquier is driven by the willingness to better understand the pathogenesis of inflammation in the brain, in particular in the field multiple sclerosis. Only such an understanding will lead to breakthrough treatments.
Primarily devoted to research in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), our Laboratory studies the interaction between the immune response - with a focus on CD8+ T cells - and environmental factors. In particular, we have investigated the mechanism by which Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) might be implicated in the pathogenesis of MS. We have found that EBV-specific CD8+ T cells are dysregulated in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients. In order to examine whether EBV-specific CD8+ T cells would cross-react with central nervous system (CNS) cells, we have established a program of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). We have thus set up an in vitro human model allowing to study in a fully autologous way the interaction between peripheral immune cells and CNS cells. Thanks to this potent tool, several opportunities opened to us and are leading to fruitful collaborations.
We also have a long-standing interest in the immunopathogenesis of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a disease mediated by the polyomavirus JC (JCV). Our hiPSC model allows to elucidate how JCV spreads from one CNS cell to the other.