In residence at
Dr Sophie Rehault-Godbert
Evolution of Innate Immunity at Biomineralized Barriers
In oviparous animals such as birds, embryonic development occurs in the egg, and after oviposition there is no further possibility of material exchange with the hen to fulfill the needs of the embryo. In such a context, the egg must contain all systems required for proper development of a living organism. Among these, the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is a novel placenta-like structure which is the nexus for many different physiological and metabolic processes including acid-base balance, breathing and calcium solubilisation from the eggshell that is re-allocated to assist bone and tissue formation in the embryo. Moreover, it is believed to play a pivotal role in innate immunity to protect the embryo, in close interaction with the eggshell and the eggshell membranes. The highly vascularized CAM occupies a strategic position, as it forms a lining under the eggshell and totally surrounds the embryo by the end of incubation. To date, the cellular and genetic basis for its protective mechanisms remains to be fully elucidated. Application of cutting-edge transcriptomics, proteomics and microbiology approaches, where the INRA team "Défenses de l’Oeuf, Valorisation, Evolution" is an international centre of excellence, will be a fertile location for the STUDIUM experience of Professor Maxwell Hincke. Given the overlap in the research interests of Hincke with the INRA team, and their remarkable potential to develop a new productive interaction together, there is tremendous potential for synergy and successful outcome of this project. Studying the role and the dynamics of the CAM in interaction with its surrounding tissues/structures throughout embryonic development is an ideal model for identification of novel bio-active molecules for biomedical and other non-food applications. These scientists will decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying innate immunity in the context of a model of decalcification of a biomineralized tissue (eggshell decalcification during embryonic development).