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Serge Rivest"Bone marrow stem cells to the rescue of brain diseases"

Abstract :

Microglia are the immune cells of the central nervous system.
They patrol the brain environment with their ramifications and they respond quickly in presence of pathogens and brain damages. Others and we have recently reported the existence of two different types of microglia, the resident and the newly differentiated microglia that derive from the bone marrow stem cells. Of great interest is the fact that blood-derived microglial cells are associated with amyloid plaques and these cells are able to prevent the formation or eliminate the presence of amyloid deposits in mice that develop the major hallmark of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). These cells are also recruited in the brain of other mouse models of brain diseases (e.g., ALS) and acute injuries. They represent therefore a fantastic new vehicle for delivering key molecules to improve recovery, repair and elimination of toxic proteins. However recent studies have challenged this concept and raised concerns regarding the physiological relevance of bone marrow-derived microglia. This lecture will present both sides of the story and why the models used to follow the phenotypic fate of these cells are so critical to reach the proper conclusion. Blood-derived progenitors have the ability to populate the CNS, especially during injuries and chronic diseases. However they do not do it in an efficient manner and such a lack of proper recruitment may explain the delay in recovery and repair after acute damages and accumulation of toxic proteins in chronic brain diseases. We will show new data regarding the very effective molecular strategies for modifying genetically microglial progenitors to be used as a cure for brain diseases.

Selected publications

Effects of Myeloablation, Peripheral Chimerism and Whole Body Irradiation on the Entry of Bone Marrow-Derived Cells Into the Brain.Lampron A, Lessard M, Rivest S.Cell Transplant. 2011 Sep 22. doi: . [Epub ahead of print]

Filali M, Lalonde R, Rivest S. Subchronic memantine administration on spatial learning, exploratory activity, and nest-building in an APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Neuropharmacology, 2011. 60: 930-6

Naert G, Rivest S. The role of microglial cell subsets in Alzheimer's disease. Current Alzheimer research, 2011. 8: 151-5 Zheng H, Dominguez Punaro MC, Segura M, Lachance C, Rivest S, Xu J, Houde M, Gottschalk M.

Toll-like receptor 2 is partially involved in the activation of murine astrocytes by Streptococcus suis, an important zoonotic agent of meningitis. Journal of neuroimmunology, 2011. Epub

Scientific focus :

Scientist, supervise a lab with 20 persons working on the role of the innate immune response and bone marrow stem cells in brain diseases.
Member of numerous peer review committees, including NIH, CIHR, France ANR, ...
Published more than 170 papers in journals such as Cell, Neuron, Nature Med, Immunity, ...
President of animal ethic committee and other committees for the evaluation of science in different institutes.
Invited speakers for numerous international meeting and seminars across the world.