Team : Lymphocyte activation and immunological synapse
Team leaders : Alain TRAUTMANN - Georges BISMUTH
We are studying the cell-cell communication in the immune system, in particular events that take place at the interface between two cells of this system, when they form conjugates. We study the structure and the functioning of the immunological synapse, particularly the one formed between T cells and dendritic cells (DCs). The importance of this synapse is considerable; the DCs are the only antigen-presenting cells able, after they capture the antigen in the periphery of the organism, to migrate into secondary lymphoid organs, to activate the naïve T cells and to trigger a primary immune response. They are, for these reasons, a potent immunotherapy tool to set up and/or to reinforce a defective acquired immunity, observed in certain pathologies, particularly the cancer process.
We make an extensive use of cellular imaging methods with high spatial and temporal resolution and a set of multiple fluorescent probes (Ca probes, kinase activity probes, chimeric proteins with GFP) in order to analyse signaling cascades, from initial enzymes and adaptors activation to the activation of transcription factors. Besides 4D fluorescence imagery, we also use electronic microscopy.
For the main research themes of the team, see “Main topics”.