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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Allergy (ALL)


Team membersContext and objectives - Research topics - Methods and Equipment- Publications - News - Some highlighted results

Team members

Team leader: Marie Bodinier

Permanent team members: Marie Bodinier, Grégory Bouchaud, Marion De Carvalho, Sandra Denery, Wieneke Dijk, Colette Larré, Laura Linxe, Emilie Perrin, Marie-Hélène Ropers

Temporary staff members:

Thesis defended recently: Amandine Selle (2021), Olivier Tranquet (2020), Clélia Villemin (2019), Martin Klein (2019), Laure Castan (2017),  Maxime Pérot (2017), Mathilde Claude (2016)

Context and objectives

Allergies are a real public health problem in industrialized countries. It is even estimated that by 2050, half of the population will be allergic. Allergic sensitization may occur by contact (atopic dermatitis), inhalation (rhinitis and asthma), or by ingestion of allergens.

Our diet has undergone profound changes for several decades (industrial processes, food additives, low fiber consumption, presence of traces of pesticides, new sources of vegetable proteins). These changes raise questions about 1) the evolution of the allergic risk of foods and 2) their impact on the actors involved in the physiopathology of food allergies such as the immune system, the microbiota, and the epithelial barriers.
The dysfunctions of these biological actors are sometimes detectable from the first months of life with the skin as a potential route of sensitization to allergens: strategies targeting the mother's and the newborn's diet are therefore judicious to prevent allergies.

Allergies are constantly evolving throughout life. Food allergies are often associated with skin allergies such as atopic dermatitis in children, which can evolve into respiratory allergies such as asthma (atopic walking) in adults. Allergies during their evolution, therefore, involve multiple organs (skin, intestine, and lung) but the relationships between these organs remain very poorly understood.

Thanks to the multidisciplinary skills present in the team (allergens, food/protein biochemistry, and immunology), our team aims at reducing the allergic risk through food by studying :

  •     How does the food induce the allergy?
  •     How can food prevent or treat allergies?

Research topics

To answer these two questions, we are developing three lines of research:

Axis 1: Characterize and evaluate the allergenicity of foods by analyzing the molecular properties of allergens as well as the effects of the structure of food matrices, its constituents, and technological processes on allergenicity.
Axis 2: Understand the impact of allergens and model foods on the mechanisms that orchestrate the development of allergy and its evolution throughout life
Axis 3: Implement strategies for the treatment and prevention of allergies during the first 1000 days of life.

Skills and expertise: Immunochemistry, Immunology, Biochemistry and Physicochemistry of proteins, Proteomics, Cell biology and in vitro models, Digestion, Translational research approaches: preclinical models and clinical studies, Functional exploration of organs


Methods and equipment


  • Purification of allergens (sequential extraction, chromatography)
  • Production of polyclonal, monoclonal and recombinant antibodies - collection of antibodies directed against food allergens (wheat, peas, rapeseed, egg, milk ...)
  • Immunoglobulin detection and measurement by ELISA
  • Characterization of allergens by proteomic (1D, 2D electrophoresis, immunoblotting and mass spectrometry)
  • Identification of epitopes using synthetic peptides (pepscan)
  • Digestive hydrolysis, in vitro study of allergen resistance
  • Molecular biology and production of recombinant proteins
  • Allergen detection (immunochemistry and mass spectrometry)
  • Models for studying allergy mechanisms
    • in vitro : epithelial cells (Caco 2 ...), basophils (humanized RBLs)
    • ex vivo : intestinal biopsy, primary cells (spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes ...)
    • in vivo : preclinical allergy models
  • Analysis of cell populations and receptors by flow cytometry

Specific equipment

  • Pipetting working station
  • Ussing chambers
  • Flow Cytometer (FACSCanto ™ II)
  • Cell culture laboratory
  • Animal house
  • Access to other equipment: BIBS Plateform (mass spectrometry, microscopy)