Research Group

  • Dr Sophie Brouard, Principal Investigator
  • Prof. Magali Giral, Collaborator
  • Dr Nicolas Degauque, Collaborator
  • Ms Mélanie Chesneau, PhD Student
  • Ms Annaick Pallier, Collaborator
  • Mr Faouzi Braza, PhD Student
  • Prof. Jean-Paul Soulillou, Collaborator
  • Dr Sophie Conchon, Collaborator
  • Ms Laure Michel, PhD Student


  • ITUN, CHU Jean Monnet - INSERM U1064, Nantes, France


  • B Cells in Tolerance in the Clinic

Organ transplantation is the treatment of choice for life sustaining in case of terminal organ insufficiency. Nevertheless, prevention of rejection requires life-long non-specific immunosuppression, which not only increases the risk of complications related to immunosuppression such as infections and malignancies, but also has specific side effects such as renal toxicity. Moreover, immunosuppression poorly influences chronic rejection, the main cause of graft loss in the long-term. Thus, a major goal in transplantation is to understand and induce tolerance. Tolerance to allografts was first described more than 50 years ago by Billingham et al. in the neonate of a rodent model. In humans, we and others have reported on some cases of long-term acceptation of mismatched kidney allografts after immunosuppressive drug withdrawal following kidney transplantation. The mechanism of this state of drug-free long-term graft function still remains unknown. Among various and sometime disappointing attempts to identify a cellular function and molecular characterization of this tolerance state, we recently showed that these patients were characterized by a higher number of peripheral CD5+ B cells whereas they display a lack of CD19+CD38+CD138+CD20- plasma cells. As drug-free patients only rarely develop an allo-immune response and may not display an “optimal” response to allo-antigens, we hypothesize that regulation and/or control of this response may take place in these patients and that B cells could be involved in this tolerance state.

Progress Report

Final Report