Risk factors and molecular determinants of aging-related disease
INSERM 1167 – Lille University – CHU Lille – Institut Pasteur de Lille
Director : Pr Philippe Amouyel
The objective of this unit is to analyze, explore and understand the evolutions and determinants of the main chronic diseases (cardiovascular and neurodegenerative) linked to aging in order to propose new perspectives of prevention and treatment, paving the way for personalized medicine and for an increase in disability-free life expectancy.
This unit is organized around five teams working in close collaboration according to a transdisciplinary approach. Team 1 is interested in public health and the epidemiology of diseases associated with aging. Team 2 investigates the molecular determinants of cardiac remodeling and heart failure, and Team 3 investigates Alzheimer’s disease and related diseases. Team 4 broadens these approaches through the structural analysis of molecules. Team 5 is interested in the impact of chronic inflammation on aging. The unit coordinates the DISTALZ laboratory of excellence dedicated to the development of innovative strategies for a transdisciplinary approach to Alzheimer’s disease.
Over the past ten years, this unit has made significant advances in the understanding of diseases linked to aging, paving the way for concrete preventive procedures and the discovery of new drugs. It has acquired international recognition with a broad opening towards the general public to help us live better, longer.
To tackle aging-related diseases
- Dissecting chronic disease risk factors to improve healthy life expectancy.
This descriptive and analytical epidemiology team is led by Dr Aline Meirhaeghe. She analyzes the role of cardiovascular risk factors in the onset and progression of heart attack and stroke, as well as in intellectual function disorders. This work is based in particular on a permanent epidemiological surveillance of all cases of cardiac and cerebrovascular events occurring in the region of Lille and its surroundings and on population studies.
- Screening for cardiac aging to better anticipate it.
After a heart attack, the heart is often no longer able to eject enough blood to meet the body’s oxygen needs, which is heart failure. The clinical and biological research team headed by Dr Florence Pinet aims to identify early markers of this cardiac aging. In particular, she is developing bedside clinical research protocols identifying blood markers thanks to proteomics and bioinformatics, and characterize their function in cellular and animal models. This work has allowed to discover early biological markers of left ventricular remodeling associated with heart failure, ultimately preventing this accelerated aging of the heart.
- Deciphering the genome to better understand Alzheimer’s disease and fight it more effectively.
Alzheimer’s disease is brain disease that progresses over several decades. The genetic epidemiology and molecular and cellular biology team led by Dr. Jean-Charles Lambert is interested in studying the susceptibility that each of us may have to develop Alzheimer’s disease. This team has thus identified the majority of genes involved in the onset of this disease and is seeking to understand how these genes are implicated in the development of the pathophysiological processes. This research should make it possible to propose new avenues of treatment and prevention.
- Working at the atomic and molecular scale to better understand the mechanisms of diseases related to aging.
This team led by Dr Isabelle Landrieu is targeting its research towards the fundamental understanding of the regulatory mechanisms and deregulation of various pathologies and in particular Alzheimer’s disease. The team mobilizes skills in the field of biophysics and structural biology to dissect the molecular aspects necessary for understanding the pathophysiological processes, in a multidisciplinary and integrated approach. This work uses this fundamental knowledge for the development of new therapeutic targets.
- Controling glycation to better fight aging.
Glycation is a chemical reaction that causes glucose molecules to react with the protein molecular structures that make up our bodies, resulting in inflammation and accelerated aging. The team, led by Prof. Eric Boulanger, identified clinical and biological markers related to this phenomenon. One molecule in particular is the focus of their attention. This is the glycation product receptor (RAGE) at the center of inflammatory processes involved in aging, the “inflammaging”. This team is developing molecules that can inhibit the action of this receptor to discover drugs that could slow down the aging of our organs.
Public health and molecular epidemiology of age-related diseases
Group leader : Aline Meirhaeghe
Molecular determinants of cardiac remodelling and heart failure
Group leader : Florence Pinet
Molecular determinants of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders
Group leader : Jean-Charles Lambert
Integrative structural biology
Group leader : Isabelle Landrieu
Glycation : from inflammation to ageing
Group leader : Eric Boulanger