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Group: Bioanalysis and Pharmacology of Bioactive Lipids Research Group, Louvain Drug Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium

Key members: Pr. Giulio G Muccioli (group leader), Dr. Mireille Alhouayek, Dr. Owein Guillemot-Legris



The primary focus of our research is understanding the role of bioactive lipids in inflammation and diseases with an inflammatory component, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, acute lung inflammation, multiple sclerosis and obesity. Oxysterols are among the bioactive lipid families of interest in the lab. We recently developped and validated a sensitive HPLC-MS method to quantify oxysterols along with other lipid families such as ceramides and endocannabinoids from cells, tissues and biological fluids, including human samples. We are currently working on a method to quantify the metabolic pathway of oxysterols, from cholesterol to bile acids and sulfated derivatives.

Our work shows that oxysterol levels are altered during the course of inflammation and that oxysterols are implicated in the inflammatory process. For instance, oxysterol levels are altered in neuroinflammation, including in multiple sclerosis and some oxysterols were shown to modulate glial cell activation. Furthermore, oxysterol levels are altered during obesity and we are currently studying the effect of modulating their levels in this setting.


Key papers related to ENOR

Oxysterol levels and metabolism in the course of neuroinflammation: insights from in vitro and in vivo models. Mutemberezi V, Buisseret B, Masquelier J, Guillemot-Legris O, Alhouayek M, Muccioli GG. J Neuroinflammation. 2018 Mar 9;15(1):74. doi: 10.1186/s12974-018-1114-8.

Oxysterols: From cholesterol metabolites to key mediators. Mutemberezi V, Guillemot-Legris O, Muccioli GG. Prog Lipid Res. 2016 Oct;64:152-169. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2016.09.002. Epub 2016 Sep 26. Review.

Oxysterols in Metabolic Syndrome: From Bystander Molecules to Bioactive Lipids. Guillemot-Legris O, Mutemberezi V, Muccioli GG. Trends Mol Med. 2016 Jul;22(7):594-614. doi:10.1016/j.molmed.2016.05.006. Epub 2016 Jun 7. Review.

Obesity is associated with changes in oxysterol metabolism and levels in mice liver, hypothalamus, adipose tissue and plasma. Guillemot-Legris O, Mutemberezi V, Cani PD, Muccioli GG. Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 22;6:19694. doi: 10.1038/srep19694.

Development and validation of an HPLC-MS method for the simultaneous quantification of key oxysterols, endocannabinoids, and ceramides: variations in metabolic syndrome. Mutemberezi V, Masquelier J, Guillemot-Legris O, Muccioli GG. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2016 Jan;408(3):733-45. doi: 10.1007/s00216-015-9150-z. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

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