Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Scientific result | Methodologies for life sciences
The CEA-iMETI is developing tools and protocols to
facilitate the cross-referencing of experimental results obtained in
animal tissues with results from human tissues. The FlowCyTech facility
provides the same “10 colors” labeling to follow the functioning of
human and monkey cells during immune response characterization studies.
Experimental studies of cells published by the scientific community require
rigorous standardization. The diversity of techniques and methods make it
difficult to compare results, a problem that is accentuated when it comes to
comparing results from human tissues and animal model tissues. The FlowCyTech facility at the CEA-iMETI provides techniques
and protocols that are directly transferable from one to the other. Thus, the
researchers and technicians developed a 10-color labeling to follow 10
parameters in certain cells of the immune system. These labels are the same for
humans and monkeys, allowing the study of cellular mechanisms by flow
cytometry. This technique can sort cells and analyze their functioning, by
labeling the substances they produce with fluorochromes.
This protocol, adapted to the FlowCyTech facility’s flow cytometer, required
one year of development, and it now provides a standardized method for the study
of human and animal cells to the scientific community. With this technique, it
is possible to “freeze” the cells at a particular moment in time, to
permeabilize them (via small holes on their surface) so as to gain access
to their intracellular functions. This work will be followed by the development
of a 30-parameter labeling system with a mass cytometer, recently
integrated into the FlowCyTech facility. Rather than using luminous labeling,
this new system tracks the parameters with heavy metal labels that are
detectable with a mass spectrometer. Theoretically, the researchers could
eventually label 100 different parameters.
Characterization of antigen-responsive macaque and human T-cells.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.