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The ENOR group in Dijon is one of the structures at the origin of the foundation of ENOR by Luigi Iuliano (Roma, Italy) and Gérard Lizard (Dijon, France) in 2010. This group has regular and sustained activities in the biochemistry of lipids, including among others cholesterol, phytosterols and their oxidized derivatives (oxysterols & oxyphytosterols). The different teams of the Burgundy’s group are studied several human pathologies: cardiovascular and ocular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, sarcopenia, chronic inflammatory diseases, and aging.

The ENOR group in Dijon is currently constituted of several teams linked to the University of Burgundy.

1. Prof. David Masson’s team: (Charles Thomas, Louise Ménégaut, Damien Leleu & Jean-Paul Pais de Barros) : INSERM & Université de Bourgogne

The Lipness team (Lipids and Lipid Transfer in sterile and septic inflammation) is interested in the role of lipids and the exchange of lipid molecules in the modulation of both sterile and septic inflammation, whether acute or chronic. In the context of cardiovascular diseases, we are particularly focused on the roles played by various oxysterols present in atheromatous plaques on the metabolic and inflammatory reprogramming of myeloid cells. Specifically, we study the mechanisms involved, whether they are dependent or independent of nuclear receptors. We also evaluate the potential of oxysterols as biomarkers for unstable atheromatous plaques. We are working on several experimental mouse models as well as with cohorts of human subjects in collaboration with the cardiovascular surgery department of the University Hospital of Dijon.


  • Ménégaut L, Laubriet A, Crespy V, Leleu D, Pilot T, Van Dongen K, de Barros JP, Gautier T, Petit JM, Thomas C, Nguyen M, Steinmetz E, Masson D. Cardiovasc Diabetol (IF: 7.33; Q1). 2023 Sep 14;22(1):248. doi: 10.1186/s12933-023-01979-1. PMID: 37710315 Free PMC article.

  • Ménégaut L, Jalil A, Pilot T, van Dongen K, Crespy V, Steinmetz E, Pais de Barros JP, Geissler A, Le Goff W, Venteclef N, Lagrost L, Gautier T, Thomas C, Masson D. Regulation of glycolytic genes in human macrophages by oxysterols: a potential role for liver X receptors. Br J Pharmacol (IF: 8.74; Q1). 2021 Aug;178(16):3124-3139. doi: 10.1111/bph.15358. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

  • Ménégaut L, Thomas C, Jalil A, Julla JB, Magnani C, Ceroi A, Basmaciyan L, Dumont A, Le Goff W, Mathew MJ, Rébé C, Dérangère V, Laubriet A, Crespy V, Pais de Barros JP, Steinmetz E, Venteclef N, Saas P, Lagrost L, Masson D. Interplay between Liver X Receptor and Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1α Potentiates Interleukin-1β Production in Human Macrophages. Cell Rep (IF: 9.42; Q1). 2020 May 19;31(7):107665. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107665.





2. Dr Niyazi Acar's team (Elodie Masson & Lucy Martine); INRAe

The Eye & Nutrition research group is interested in the role of lipids in retina’s health. In particular, we focus on cholesterol, the main sterol of the retina, as well as its bioactive metabolites that are oxysterols. Our work aims to determine how the two major cell types of the retina, neurons and glial cells, cooperate to maintain cholesterol homeostasis, and how oxysterols can play a role in neuron-glia interactions. We also investigate the implication of cholesterol metabolism in age-related retinal diseases such as glaucoma. We rely on strong analytical skills using gas chromatography and use various models that are primary cell cultures, rodent models and human subjects.


  • Masson EAY, Serrano J, Leger-Charnay E, Acar N (2024). Cholesterol and oxysterols in retinal neuron-glia interactions: relevance for glaucoma. Front. Ophthalmol., 3:1303649. doi:10.3389/fopht.2023.1303649

  • Léger-Charnay E, Gambert S, Martine L, Dubus E, Maire MA, Buteau B, Morala T, Gigot V, Bron AM, Bretillon L, Masson EAY (2022). Retinal cholesterol metabolism is perturbated in response to experimental glaucoma in the rat. PLoS One, 17(3):e0264787. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0264787

  • Léger-Charnay E, Masson EAY, Morala T, Martine L, Buteau B, Leclere L, Bretillon L, Gambert S (2019). Is 24(S)-hydroxycholesterol a potent modulator of cholesterol metabolism in Müller cells? An in vitro study about neuron to glia communication in the retina. Exp Eye Res., 189:107857. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2019.107857


Contacts: ;



3. Mixed public/private team (Dr Anne Vejux / Prof. Pierre Jouanny / Dr Gérard Lizard); Université de Bourgogne & INRAe; University Hospital of Dijon (Department of Geriatry); PHYNOHA Consulting, Fontaine-lès-Dijon.

For the public part (Dr Anne Vejux), we are interested in the presence of oxysterols in the brain (with priority given to those from the diet) and their impact on the postprandial inflammatory response. We use computational analyses coupled with biochemical and physiological techniques on primary cultured cell models (microglia), or on animal models. We are also studying oxysterols as biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases in clinical trials.

For the mixed public / private team (Prof. Pierre Jouanny / Dr Gérard Lizard), we are interested in age-related diseases (cardiovascular, eye, and neurodegeneratives diseases as well as sarcopenia) and aging, on the use of oxysterols as biomarkers, on the roles of oxysterols in the pathophysiology of age-related diseases and in the evaluation of new treatments in age-related diseases.



  • Yammine A, Ghzaiel I, Pires V, Zarrouk A, Kharoubi O, Greige-Gerges H, Auezova L, Lizard G, Vejux A. Cytoprotective effects of α-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, oleic acid and α-tocopherol on 7-ketocholesterol - Induced oxiapoptophagy: Major roles of PI3-K / PDK-1 / Akt signaling pathway and glutathione peroxidase activity in cell rescue. Curr Res Toxicol. 2024 Feb 8;6:100153. doi: 10.1016/j.crtox.2024.100153.

  • Ghzaiel I, Zarrouk A, Pires V, de Barros JP, Hammami S, Ksila M, Hammami M, Ghrairi T, Jouanny P, Vejux A, Lizard G. 7β-Hydroxycholesterol and 7-ketocholesterol: New oxidative stress biomarkers of sarcopenia inducing cytotoxic effects on myoblasts and myotubes. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2023 Sep;232:106345. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2023

  • Nury T, Zarrouk A, Yammine A, Mackrill JJ, Vejux A, Lizard G. Oxiapoptophagy: A type of cell death induced by some oxysterols. Br J Pharmacol. 2021 Aug;178(16):3115-3123. doi: 10.1111/bph.15173





4. DiviOmics platform (Dr Jean-Paul Pais de Barros)

The DiviOmics platform is a joint service of the University of Burgundy, a member of UMS 58 BioSAND and attached to INSERM 1231 Center and LabEx LipSTIC. For over 20 years, its services have focused on the targeted determination of small molecules by mass spectrometry (GCMS or LCMS²) including oxysterols, phytosterols, bile acids as well as markers of oxidative stress (oxylipins, tocopherols).

Collaborative publications:

  • Gaillard D, Masson D, Garo E, Souidi M, Pais de Barros JP, Schoonjans K, Grober J, Besnard P, Thomas C. Muricholic Acids Promote Resistance to Hypercholesterolemia in Cholesterol-Fed Mice. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jul 2; 22(13): 7163.

  • Sghaier R, Nury T, Leoni V, Caccia C, Pais De Barros JP, Cherif A, Vejux A, Moreau T, Limem K, Samadi M, Mackrill JJ, Masmoudi AS, Lizard G, Zarrouk A. Dimethyl fumarate and monomethyl fumarate attenuate oxidative stress and mitochondrial alterations leading to oxiapoptophagy in 158N murine oligodendrocytes treated with 7β-hydroxycholesterol. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2019 Nov; 194: 105432.

  • Aires V, Labbé J, Deckert V, Pais de Barros JP, Boidot R, Haumont M, Maquart G, Le Guern N, Masson D, Prost-Camus E, Prost M, Lagrost L. Healthy adiposity and extended lifespan in obese mice fed a diet supplemented with a polyphenol-rich plant extract. Sci Rep. 2019 Jun 24;9(1):9134.


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