Pr. Christophe LEFEBVRE


Laboratoire PRISM - Unité Inserm 1192
Université de Lille - Campus Cité Scientifique
Faculté des Sciences et Technologies
Département de Biologie
Avenue Paul Langevin - Bâtiment SN3 - 1er étage - Porte 117
59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex

Tel: +33 (0)3 20 43 41 27
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Soulaimane Perso


  • 2014, Professor, Lille 1 University
  • 2012, HDR in Life Sciences, Lille 1 University
  • 2004-2014, Associate Professor (MCF), Lille 1 University
  • 2003-2004, Temporary assistant professor (ATER) position, Lille 1 University, CNRS-UMR 8017, Pr. M. Salzet
  • 2002-2003, Post-doctoral Research Fellow (NIH grant) at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver), Biological Sciences, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Director: Pr. Carl Lowenberger. Characterization of new molecules, in the mosquitoe Aedes aegypti, involved in the immune response against the agent of Malaria, Plasmodium gallinaceum
  • July 2002, PhD in Life Sciences (MESR grant), Lille 1 University, CNRS-UMR 8017, supervised by Dr. C. Cocquerelle and Pr. M. Salzet. Study of the immune response in the leech Theromyzon tessulatum: differential approaches

Research Activity

The aim of our project is based on the study of microglial cells in the leech Hirudo medicinalis. The neuro-inflammatory processes, in the leech, are considered as unusual since the natural repair of the nerve cord has been observed. Four weeks following a CNS section, the animal is able to restore the lost locomotive functions of the region which is innervated by damaged neurons. In this regeneration of the injured nerve cord, the microglial cells are rapidly recruited to the lesion site through an important chemotactic mechanism. Their accumulation is essential to the axon growth leading to the new synaptic connections. In the context of the innate nerve repair in the medicinal leech, the « Microglial Activation » group is studying (i) the different chemotactic factors which contribute to the microglial accumulation and (ii) the crosstalk between activated microglia and damaged neurons through the Extracellular Vesicle (EV) production.


  • Coordinator of ANR JC, SVSE4 (Neurosciences) for the MIMIC project (Microglial implication in the modulation of inflammation in the leech CNS) (2012-2015)
  • Coordinator of a BQR grant (Lille 1 University) in 2012 and 2015

Professional Activities

  • Supervisor of the « Leech Microglial Activation » group
  • Teacher (lectures and lab. work) in Neurosciences, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology and Zoology
  • Member of the selection committee for assistant professor position in the University of Lille 1 (CNU, section 68)
  • Director of 4 PhD Thesis (Tahtouh Muriel 2008-2010; Bocquet-Garçon Annelise 2009-2012; Raffo Romero Antonella 2015-; Lemaire Quentin 2016- )
  • Supervisor of Master students (Dely Virginie 2007; Tahtouh Muriel 2007; Bocquet-Garçon Annelise 2008; Virtuose David 2012; Mouajjah Dounia 2013; Raffo Romero Antonella 2014; Lemaire Quentin 2015)
  • Examinator in PhD/HDR committee (Tahtouh Muriel; Meriaux Céline; Bocquet-Garçon Annelise; Olivier Morales; Laurissa Ouaguia; Mustapha Rami)
  • Reviewer in the journal Glia
  • Editorial Board member of Advances in Biology (Hindawi)

Recent publications

Lefebvre C, Vandenbulcke F, Bocquet B, Tasiemski A, Desmons A, Verstraete M, Salzet M, Cocquerelle C: Cathepsin L and cystatin B gene expression discriminates immune coelomic cells in the leech Theromyzon tessulatum. Dev Comp Immunol 2008, 32:795-807.

Tahtouh M, Croq F, Vizioli J, van Camp C, Salzet M, Daha M, Lefebvre C, Pestel J: A C1q domain containing factor evidenced in the leech nerve cord expressed a chemotactic activity on microglial cells. Mol Immunol 2008, 45:4141-4141.

Tahtouh M, Croq F, Lefebvre C, Pestel J: Is complement good, bad, or both? New functions of the complement factors associated with inflammation mechanisms in the central nervous system. Eur Cytokine Netw 2009, 20:95-100.

Tahtouh M, Croq F, Vizioli J, Sautiere PE, Van Camp C, Salzet M, Daha MR, Pestel J, Lefebvre C: Evidence for a novel chemotactic C1q domain-containing factor in the leech nerve cord. Mol Immunol 2009, 46:523-531.

Croq F, Vizioli J, Tuzova M, Tahtouh M, Sautiere PE, Van Camp C, Salzet M, Cruikshank WW, Pestel J, Lefebvre C: A homologous form of human interleukin 16 is implicated in microglia recruitment following nervous system injury in leech Hirudo medicinalis. Glia 2010, 58:1649-1662.

Croq F, Garçon-Bocquet A, Vizioli J, VanCamp C, Sautiere PE, Salzet M, Lefebvre C: Microglia Activation: Studies on Leeches to Dissect out the Basic Mechanisms of Neuroinflammation. Glia 2011, 59:S135-S135.

Garçon A, Tahtouh M, Croq F, Nagnan-Le Meillour P, Cruikshank W, Daha MR, Lefebvre C, Pestel J: Molecular and Functional Characterization of New Invertebrate Factors Involved in the Specific Microglial Cell Recruitment. Inflammation Research 2011, 60:212-213.

Vizioli J, Accorsi A, Croq F, Bocquet-Garçon A, Van Camp C, Ziental N, Salzet M, Lefebvre C, Sautiere PE: Neuroinflammation and Microglia Activation Studies: a Novel Strategy Using an Invertebrate Model, the Medicinal Leech. Glia 2011, 59:S153-S153.

Tahtouh M, Garçon-Bocquet A, Croq F, Vizioli J, Sautiere PE, Van Camp C, Salzet M, Nagnan-Le Meillour P, Pestel J, Lefebvre C: Interaction of HmC1q with leech microglial cells: involvement of C1qBP-related molecule in the induction of cell chemotaxis. J Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:37.

Drago F, Accorsi A, Sautiere PE, Le Marrec-Croq F, Lefebvre C, VanCamp C, Vizioli J: Characterization and modulation of HmIba1 as an activation marker for microglia in the invertebrate model, the leech Hirudo medicinalis. Glia 2013, 61:S167-S167.

Fournier I, Franck J, Le Marrec-Croq F, Cizkova D, Lefebvre C, Vizioli J, Sautiere PE, Salzet M: MALDI imaging mass spectrometry: a novel technology for studying neurosciences. Glia 2013, 61:S195-S195.

Lefebvre C, Garcon-Bocquet A, Vizioli J, VanCamp C, Sautiere PE, Drago F, Salzet M, Le Marrec-Croq F: Microglia activation in the leech Hirudo medicinalis: HmC1q promotes the microglial accumulation through the distinct recognition of gC1qR and cC1qR receptors. Glia 2013, 61:S188-S188.

Le Marrec-Croq F, Drago F, Vizioli J, Sautiere PE, Lefebvre C: The leech nervous system: a valuable model to study the microglia involvement in regenerative processes. Clin Dev Immunol 2013;2013:274019.

Le Marrec-Croq F, Garcon-Bocquet A, Vizioli J, VanCamp C, Drago F, Franck J, Wisztorski M, Salzet M, Sautiere PE, Lefebvre C: Calreticulin contributes to C1q-dependent recruitment of microglia in the leech Hirudo medicinalis following a CNS injury. Med Sci Monit 2014 Apr 19;20:644-53.

Cizkova D, Le Marrec-Croq F, Franck J, Slovinska L, Grulova I, Devaux S, Lefebvre C, Fournier I, Salzet M: Microglial cell activation and polarization along the rostro-caudal axis of injured spinal cord. Front Cell Neurosci 2014 Apr 17;8:105.

Drago F, Sautiere PE, Le Marrec-Croq F, Accorsi A, VanCamp C, Salzet M, Lefebvre C, Vizioli J: Microglia of medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) express a specific activation marker homologous to Vertebrate Ionized calcium-Binding Adapter molecule 1 (Iba1/alias Aif-1). Dev Neurobiol 2014 Apr 10. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22179.

Cizkova D, Devaux S, Le Marrec-Croq F, Franck J, Slovinska L, Blasko J, Rosocha J, Spakova T, Lefebvre C, Fournier I, Salzet M: Modulation properties of factors released by bone marrow stromal cells on activated microglia: an in vitro study. Scientific Reports 2014, 4: 7514.

Devaux S, Cizkova D, Slovinska L, Blasko J, Nagyova M, Lefebvre C, Fournier I, Salzet M: Spatio-temporal proteins study of rat spinal cord injury and glial cells involvement. Glia 2015, 63-S1: E414-415.

Drago F, Arab T, Van Camp C, Le Marrec-Croq F, Franck J, Gimeno JP, Salzet M, Sautière PE, Lefebvre C, Vizioli J: Differentially activated microglia release Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) showing specific contents and functions in a model of nerve repair. Glia 2015, 63-S1: E321-322.

Le Marrec-Croq F, Van Camp C, Drago F, Slomianny C, Sautière PE, Prada I, Verderio C, Vizioli J, Lefebvre C: Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) from leech microglia: a tool for understanding the dialog with damaged neurons. Glia 2015, 63-S1: E212-213.

Vizioli J, Drago F, Lefebvre C: Neuroprotection and immunity in medicinal leech: what about microglia? Lessons in Immunity: From Single-cell Organisms to Mammals. Edited by Ballarin L and Cammarata M: Academic Press, 05/2016.