Lorna Ammer

The impact of dynamic interactions between meningeal immune cells on neurodevelopment

Team: Marie-Pierre Valignat (LAI) and Rejane Rua (CIML)

Her background

October 2023 - present | CENTURI PhD student

2021 - 2023 | Masters in Immunology in luminy faculty, Aix-Marseille university, Marseille, France

2018 - 2021 | Cell biology bachelor degree in luminy faculty, Aix-Marseille university, Marseille, France

About her PhD project

The meninges represent neurotrophic and immunologically active membranes between the surface of the brain and the skull. Recent data show that during neurodevelopment, T cells and macrophages progressively populate the meninges, interact, and are likely to promote brain growth by providing neurotrophic factors. This occurs in parallel to a developmental increase of the intracranial pressure and an increase in extracellular matrix stifness that could promote those neurotrophic interactions. The objective of this project is to understand if the mecanical context of neurodevelopment favors meningeal macrophages (MM) interaction with T cells. To this end, we will combine physical and biological strategies to visualize, manipulate and characterize the interactions between MM and T cells in vitro, under different conditions of pressure and at different developmental times. We will extend our results in vivo in mice models. This pioneering work will help to understand how physical cues guide interactions between neuroimmune cells.