Honors & Awards

  • D and M Jaumain Foundation Award, Fonds Leon Fredericq and associated foundations (11/2013)
  • Prix des Amis de l'Universite de Liege Award, ASBL Les Amis de l'Universite de Liege (11/2013)
  • Marie Curie International outgoing Fellowship for Career Development, European Commission (10/2012 - present)
  • ICI 2013 Bursaries to Young Immunologists, 2013 International Congress of Immunology (08/2013)
  • Pr. R. Pauwels Award, Belgian Pneumology Society (12/2012)
  • Marcel Florquin Award, Marcel Florquin Foundation (04/2012)
  • Successful participant of the Winter School on Advanced Immunology, IFReC-SIgN Winter School on advanced Immunology (01/2012)
  • Duesberg Award, University of Liege, Belgium (12/2011)
  • Francqui Fellow of the B.A.E.F., Belgium American Educational Foundation (10/2011 - 09/2012)
  • Annual Inflammatory Airway Disease Award, European Respiratory Society (09/2009)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Universite De L'Etat A Liege (2011)
  • Doctor in Veterinary Medicine, University of Liege (2007)

Stanford Advisors

Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


Journal Articles

  • A Beneficial Role for Immunoglobulin E in Host Defense against Honeybee Venom. Immunity Marichal, T., Starkl, P., Reber, L. L., Kalesnikoff, J., Oettgen, H. C., Tsai, M., Metz, M., Galli, S. J. 2013; 39 (5): 963-975


    Allergies are widely considered to be misdirected type 2 immune responses, in which immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are produced against any of a broad range of seemingly harmless antigens. However, components of insect venoms also can sensitize individuals to develop severe IgE-associated allergic reactions, including fatal anaphylaxis, upon subsequent venom exposure. We found that mice injected with amounts of honeybee venom similar to that which could be delivered in one or two stings developed a specific type 2 immune response that increased their resistance to subsequent challenge with potentially lethal amounts of the venom. Our data indicate that IgE antibodies and the high affinity IgE receptor, FcεRI, were essential for such acquired resistance to honeybee venom. The evidence that IgE-dependent immune responses against venom can enhance survival in mice supports the hypothesis that IgE, which also contributes to allergic disorders, has an important function in protection of the host against noxious substances.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2013.10.005

    View details for PubMedID 24210352

  • DNA released from dying host cells mediates aluminum adjuvant activity NATURE MEDICINE Marichal, T., Ohata, K., Bedoret, D., Mesnil, C., Sabatel, C., Kobiyama, K., Lekeux, P., Coban, C., Akira, S., Ishii, K. J., Bureau, F., Desmet, C. J. 2011; 17 (8): 996-U118


    Aluminum-based adjuvants (aluminum salts or alum) are widely used in human vaccination, although their mechanisms of action are poorly understood. Here we report that, in mice, alum causes cell death and the subsequent release of host cell DNA, which acts as a potent endogenous immunostimulatory signal mediating alum adjuvant activity. Furthermore, we propose that host DNA signaling differentially regulates IgE and IgG1 production after alum-adjuvanted immunization. We suggest that, on the one hand, host DNA induces primary B cell responses, including IgG1 production, through interferon response factor 3 (Irf3)-independent mechanisms. On the other hand, we suggest that host DNA also stimulates 'canonical' T helper type 2 (T(H)2) responses, associated with IgE isotype switching and peripheral effector responses, through Irf3-dependent mechanisms. The finding that host DNA released from dying cells acts as a damage-associated molecular pattern that mediates alum adjuvant activity may increase our understanding of the mechanisms of action of current vaccines and help in the design of new adjuvants.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.2403

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293507400034

    View details for PubMedID 21765404

  • Selective ablation of mast cells or basophils reduces peanut-induced anaphylaxis in mice. journal of allergy and clinical immunology Reber, L. L., Marichal, T., Mukai, K., Kita, Y., Tokuoka, S. M., Roers, A., Hartmann, K., Karasuyama, H., Nadeau, K. C., Tsai, M., Galli, S. J. 2013; 132 (4): 881-888 e11


    Studies with c-kit mutant mast cell (MC)-deficient mice and antibody-mediated depletion of basophils suggest that both MCs and basophils can contribute to peanut-induced anaphylaxis (PIA). However, interpretation of data obtained by using such approaches is complicated because c-kit mutant mice have several phenotypic abnormalities in addition to MC deficiency and because basophil-depleting antibodies can also react with MCs.We analyzed (1) the changes in the features of PIA in mice after the selective and inducible ablation of MCs or basophils and (2) the possible importance of effector cells other than MCs and basophils in the PIA response.Wild-type and various mutant mice were orally sensitized with peanut extract and cholera toxin weekly for 4 weeks and challenged intraperitoneally with peanut extract 2 weeks later.Peanut-challenged, MC-deficient Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice had reduced immediate hypothermia, as well as a late-phase decrease in body temperature that was abrogated by antibody-mediated depletion of neutrophils. Diphtheria toxin-mediated selective depletion of MCs or basophils in Mcpt5-Cre;iDTR and Mcpt8(DTR) mice, respectively, and treatment of wild-type mice with the basophil-depleting antibody Ba103 significantly reduced peanut-induced hypothermia. Non-c-kit mutant MC- and basophil-deficient Cpa3-Cre;Mcl-1(fl/fl) mice had reduced but still significant responses to peanut.Inducible and selective ablation of MCs or basophils in non-c-kit mutant mice can significantly reduce PIA, but partial responses to peanut can still be observed in the virtual absence of both cell types. The neutrophilia in Kit(W-sh/W-sh) mice might influence the responses of these mice in this PIA model.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.06.008

    View details for PubMedID 23915716

  • PLA2G3 promotes mast cell maturation and function. Nature immunology Starkl, P., Marichal, T., Galli, S. J. 2013; 14 (6): 527-529

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ni.2612

    View details for PubMedID 23685814

  • Resident CD11b(+)Ly6C(-) Lung Dendritic Cells Are Responsible for Allergic Airway Sensitization to House Dust Mite in Mice PLOS ONE Mesnil, C., Sabatel, C. M., Marichal, T., Toussaint, M., Cataldo, D., Drion, P., Lekeux, P., Bureau, F., Desmet, C. J. 2012; 7 (12)


    Conventional dendritic cells (DCs) are considered to be the prime initiators of airway allergy. Yet, it remains unclear whether specific DC subsets are preferentially involved in allergic airway sensitization. Here, we systematically assessed the respective pro-allergic potential of individually sorted lung DC subsets isolated from house dust mite antigen (HDM)-treated donor mice, following transfer to naïve recipients. Transfer of lung CD11c(+)CD11b(+) DCs, but not CD11c(+)CD11b(-)CD103(+) DCs, was sufficient to prime airway allergy. The CD11c(+)CD11b(+) DC subpopulation was composed of CD11c(+)CD11b(+)Ly6C(+) inflammatory monocyte-derived cells, whose numbers increase in the lungs following HDM exposure, and of CD11c(+)CD11b(+)Ly6C(-) DCs, which remain stable. Counterintuitively, only CD11c(+)CD11b(+)Ly6C(-) DCs, and not CD11c(+)CD11b(+)Ly6C(+) DCs, were able to convey antigen to the lymph nodes and induce adaptive T cell responses and subsequent airway allergy. Our results thus support that lung resident non-inflammatory CD11c(+)CD11b(+)Ly6C(-) DCs are the essential inducers of allergic airway sensitization to the common aeroallergen HDM in mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0053242

    View details for Web of Science ID 000313872600073

    View details for PubMedID 23300898

  • New models for analyzing mast cell functions in vivo TRENDS IN IMMUNOLOGY Reber, L. L., Marichal, T., Galli, S. J. 2012; 33 (12): 613-625


    In addition to their well-accepted role as critical effector cells in anaphylaxis and other acute IgE-mediated allergic reactions, mast cells (MCs) have been implicated in a wide variety of processes that contribute to disease or help to maintain health. Although some of these roles were first suggested by analyses of MC products or functions in vitro, it is critical to determine whether, and under which circumstances, such potential roles actually can be performed by MCs in vivo. This review discusses recent advances in the development and analysis of mouse models to investigate the roles of MCs and MC-associated products during biological responses in vivo, and comments on some of the similarities and differences in the results obtained with these newer versus older models of MC deficiency.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/

    View details for Web of Science ID 000312055700005

    View details for PubMedID 23127755

  • Host DNA, an immune system's ally in alun vaccination M S-MEDECINE SCIENCES Marichal, T., Bureau, F., Desmet, C. J. 2012; 28 (1): 31-33

    View details for DOI 10.1051/medsci/2012281011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300036800011

    View details for PubMedID 22289825

  • Sirtuin 1 Promotes Th2 Responses and Airway Allergy by Repressing Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-gamma Activity in Dendritic Cells JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Legutko, A., Marichal, T., Fievez, L., Bedoret, D., Mayer, A., de Vries, H., Klotz, L., Drion, P., Heirman, C., Cataldo, D., Louis, R., Thielemans, K., Andris, F., Leo, O., Lekeux, P., Desmet, C. J., Bureau, F. 2011; 187 (9): 4517-4529


    Sirtuins are a unique class of NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases that regulate diverse biological functions such as aging, metabolism, and stress resistance. Recently, it has been shown that sirtuins may have anti-inflammatory activities by inhibiting proinflammatory transcription factors such as NF-?B. In contrast, we report in this study that pharmacological inhibition of sirtuins dampens adaptive Th2 responses and subsequent allergic inflammation by interfering with lung dendritic cell (DC) function in a mouse model of airway allergy. Using genetic engineering, we demonstrate that sirtuin 1 represses the activity of the nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-? in DCs, thereby favoring their maturation toward a pro-Th2 phenotype. This study reveals a previously unappreciated function of sirtuin 1 in the regulation of DC function and Th2 responses, thus shedding new light on our current knowledge on the regulation of inflammatory processes by sirtuins.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1101493

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296496000018

    View details for PubMedID 21948987

  • Interferon response factor 3 is essential for house dust mite-induced airway allergy JOURNAL OF ALLERGY AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Marichal, T., Bedoret, D., Mesnil, C., Pichavant, M., Goriely, S., Trottein, F., Cataldo, D., Goldman, M., Lekeux, P., Bureau, F., Desmet, C. J. 2010; 126 (4): 836-U262


    Pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) are critically involved in the pathophysiology of airway allergy, yet most of the signaling pathways downstream of PRRs implicated in allergic airway sensitization remain unknown.We sought to study the effects of genetic depletion of interferon response factor (IRF) 3 and IRF7, important transcription factors downstream of various PRRs, in a murine model of house dust mite (HDM)-induced allergic asthma.We compared HDM-induced allergic immune responses in IRF3-deficient (IRF3(-/-)), IRF7(-/-), and wild-type mice.Parameters of airway allergy caused by HDM exposure were strongly attenuated in IRF3(-/-), but not IRF7(-/-), mice compared with those in wild-type mice. Indeed, in HDM-exposed IRF3(-/-) mice HDM-specific T(H)2 cell responses did not develop. This correlated with impaired maturation and migration of IRF3(-/-) lung dendritic cells (DCs) on HDM treatment. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of HDM-loaded DCs indicated that IRF3(-/-) DCs had an intrinsic defect rendering them unable to migrate and to prime HDM-specific T(H)2 responses. Intriguingly, we also show that DC function and allergic airway sensitization in response to HDM were independent of signaling by type I interferons, the main target genes of IRF3.Through its role in DC function, IRF3, mainly known as a central activator of antiviral immunity, is essential for the development of T(H)2-type responses to airway allergens.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.06.009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000282510000023

    View details for PubMedID 20673978

  • Lung interstitial macrophages alter dendritic cell functions to prevent airway allergy in mice JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Bedoret, D., Wallemacq, H., Marichal, T., Desmet, C., Calvo, F. Q., Henry, E., Closset, R., Dewals, B., Thielen, C., Gustin, P., De Leval, L., van Rooijen, N., Le Moine, A., Vanderplasschen, A., Cataldo, D., Drion, P., Moser, M., Lekeux, P., Bureau, F. 2009; 119 (12): 3723-3738


    The respiratory tract is continuously exposed to both innocuous airborne antigens and immunostimulatory molecules of microbial origin, such as LPS. At low concentrations, airborne LPS can induce a lung DC-driven Th2 cell response to harmless inhaled antigens, thereby promoting allergic asthma. However, only a small fraction of people exposed to environmental LPS develop allergic asthma. What prevents most people from mounting a lung DC-driven Th2 response upon exposure to LPS is not understood. Here we have shown that lung interstitial macrophages (IMs), a cell population with no previously described in vivo function, prevent induction of a Th2 response in mice challenged with LPS and an experimental harmless airborne antigen. IMs, but not alveolar macrophages, were found to produce high levels of IL-10 and to inhibit LPS-induced maturation and migration of DCs loaded with the experimental harmless airborne antigen in an IL-10-dependent manner. We further demonstrated that specific in vivo elimination of IMs led to overt asthmatic reactions to innocuous airborne antigens inhaled with low doses of LPS. This study has revealed a crucial role for IMs in maintaining immune homeostasis in the respiratory tract and provides an explanation for the paradox that although airborne LPS has the ability to promote the induction of Th2 responses by lung DCs, it does not provoke airway allergy under normal conditions.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI39717

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272386400021

    View details for PubMedID 19907079

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