MIcroenvironment, Cell differentiation, iMmunology And CAncer (MICA)


Team description

Keywords: B cell differentiation, B lymphoma, microenvironment, stromal cells, myeloïd cells, innovative therapies


Our laboratory investigates non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a group of cancers affecting mature B lymphocytes. Follicular lymphoma (FL) is the most frequent indolent lymphoma and results from the malignant transformation of germinal center (GC) B cells. FL is characterized by a strong dependence on a specialized cell microenvironment mimicking normal GC organization. The aggressive counterpart of FL is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) a disease with bad prognosis and therapeutic and prognostic unmet needs.


Recent genetics mapping and histology characterizations have stressed that lymphomagenesis is a complex multi-stage process including early recurrent chromosomal translocations, additional genetic damages, and strong interactions with a specialized microenvironment evolving dynamically during tumor progression.


Our work specifically investigates the host / tumor crosstalk within tumor niches in lymph nodes and bone marrow through molecular and functional approaches. This project is possible thanks to a close collaboration between biologists and clinicians and the availability of a lymphoma tumor bank fed by an optimized network for tumor recruitment.


The overall interest of the team is to investigate the mechanisms by which the nonmalignant cell microenvironment favors the growth of malignant B cells, with a specific interest for stromal cells, follicular helper T cells (TFH), and macrophages. We have in particular developed a recognized expertise in the molecular, phenotypic, and functional characterization of stromal cells obtained from invaded bone marrow and lymph nodes from FL patients, aiming to decipher how they contribute directly to tumor cell growth and how they organize the whole malignant cell niche. We are also exploring normal B cell behavior during interaction with lymphoid microenvironment through an in vitro model of naïve B-cell differentiation. Finally, we have developed a specific interest for the identification of prognostic and predictive circulating biomarkers reflecting host/tumor interactions.

Expertises / technical competence

  • Flow cytometry
  • Fluorescence microscocopy
  • Bulk and single cell transcriptomic analyses
  • Western blot
  • Epigenetic
  • In vitro immunological functional assays (on cell lines as well as primary cultures)
  • Access to the sample collection of the CRB
  • Mouse models



- Michel Cogné, UMR 7276, Limoges

- Philippe Gaulard, IMRB, Créteil

- Françoise Pflumio, CEA, Fontenay-aux-Roses

- Luc Sensebé, Stromalab, Toulouse

- Fatima Mechta-Grigoriou, Institut Curie - Inserm U830

- Marc Bajénoff, CIML, Marseille



- Mark Coles, York, UK

- Mauro Krampera, Verona, Italy

- Hans-Guido Wendel, NY, US

- Francesca Barone, UK

Place - Find us


Campus Santé - Bât 2 - 1er étage

2 Avenue du Pr Léon Bernard

35043 Rennes