Cells and Tissues

Exploring normal skin biology and cutaneous pathology

Principal Investigator

Prof. Yves Poumay

UNamur, Department of medicine, Molecular Physiology Research Unit (URPhyM), Cell and Tissue Laboratory (LabCeTi)

Research portal UNamur  |  ORCID  |  ResearchGate  |  LinkedIn

Expertise and research interests

Current expertise covers cultures of keratinocytes grown as autocrine monolayers or cultured for in vitro reconstruction of human epidermis on polycarbonate filter. Our laboratory works on the development of in vitro models devoted to mimic/analyze epidermal pathologies in 3D cultures, using either RNA interference, CRISPR-Cas9 technology, alterations of membrane composition and structure, exposure to inflammatory cytokines, infection with pathogens (fungi), or using keratinocytes isolated from patients with inherited defect(s). The objective is to better understand disease pathogenesis and to potentially screen new curative or preventive treatments. These skin models can also serve as alternative methods for toxicological testing.

The main directions of research are

  1. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in normal skin physiology, especially the function of hyaluronan in the epidermis
  2. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying skin physiopathology, in malignant and nonmalignant skin diseases, i.e. atopic dermatitis and dermatophytosis
  3. Understanding cellular senescence in the skin

Group members

Scientific collaborator: Dr. Catherine Lambert de Rouvroit 

Postdoc researchers: Dr. Emilie Faway

PhD students: Audrey Progneaux and Bastien Tirtiaux

Research projects

  • ONGOING Human epidermal infection by commensal and pathogenic fungi: role of extracellular vesicles in microbe-host cell interactions. Ongoing PhD thesis by Bastien Tirtiaux. Under the supervision of Prof. Yves Poumay, UNamur, NARILIS.
  • ONGOING Analyzing the role of multiple receptors of interleukins 4 and 13 in atopic dermatitis. Ongoing PhD thesis by Audrey Progneaux. Under the supervision of Prof. Yves Poumay, UNamur, NARILIS. In collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Almirall.
  • ONGOING Surface analysis of reconstructed human epidermis, with a focus on Atopic Dermatitis inflammatory condition. Ongoing PhD thesis by Xavier Delvaux. Under co-supervision by Prof. Laurent Houssiau, UNamur, NISM (promoter) and Prof. Yves Poumay, UNamur, NARILIS (co-promoter).
  • Co-culture of reconstructed human epidermis in the presence of Th2 lymphocytes & Alternative receptors to IL-4 and IL-13 in atopic dermatitis. Finished. Postdoctoral research by Evelyne De Vuyst. Under the supervision by Prof. Yves Poumay, UNamur, NARILIS.

Selected publications

Faway E, Staerck C, Danzelle C, Vroomen S, Courtain C, Mignon B, Poumay Y. Towards a Standardized Procedure for the Production of Infective Spores to Study the Pathogenesis of Dermatophytosis. J Fungi (Basel). 2021 Nov 30;7(12):1029.

Evrard C, Faway E, De Vuyst E, Svensek O, De Glas V, Bergerat D, Salmon M, De Backer O, Flamion B, Le-Buanec H, Lambert de Rouvroit C, Poumay Y. Deletion of TNFAIP6 Gene in Human Keratinocytes Demonstrates a Role for TSG-6 to Retain Hyaluronan Inside Epidermis. JID Innov. 2021 Aug 23;1(4):100054.

Hennies HC, Poumay Y. Skin Disease Models In Vitro and Inflammatory Mechanisms: Predictability for Drug Development. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2021;265:187-218.

Faway É, Cambier L, De Vuyst E, Evrard C, Thiry M, Lambert de Rouvroit C, Mignon B, Poumay Y. Responses of reconstructed human epidermis to Trichophyton rubrum infection and impairment of infection by the inhibitor PD169316. J Invest Dermatol. 2019 Apr 12.

Mound A, Lozanova V, Warnon C, Hermant M, Robic J, Guere C, Vie K, Lambert de Rouvroit C, Tyteca D, Debacq-Chainiaux F, Poumay Y. Non-senescent keratinocytes organize in plasma membrane submicrometric lipid domains enriched in sphingomyelin and involved in re-epithelialization. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 Sep;1862(9):958-971.

De Vuyst E, Giltaire S, Lambert de Rouvroit C, Malaisse J, Mound A, Bourtembourg M, Nikkels AF, Chrétien A, Salmon M, Poumay Y. MβCD concurs with IL-4, IL-13 and IL-25 to induce alterations reminiscent of atopic dermatitis in reconstructed human epidermis. Exp Dermatol. 2016 Jun 15.

Malaisse J, Evrard C, Feret D, Colombaro V, Dogné S, Haftek M, de Rouvroit CL, Flamion B, Poumay Y. Hyaluronidase-1 is Mainly Functional in the Upper Granular Layer, Close to the Epidermal Barrier. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Dec;135(12):3189-92.

Contact

yves.poumay@unamur.be