Gilles A. Benichou

Gilles A. Benichou

Associate Professor of Surgery
Gilles A.  Benichou

Scientists currently in my laboratory:

Dr. Claire Guinier - Postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Bruno Gonzalez - Postdoctoral Fellow
Mr. Hyshem Lancia – PHD student
Ms. Natacha Carnel – PHD student

Our laboratory is studying the role of different pathways of antigen recognition by T cells in allorecognition and alloresponse to tissue and organ transplants. In addition, we are designing new protocols for immune tolerance of allogeneic transplants in mouse and non-human primates.

Studies using mouse models:

Pathways of allorecognition by T cells: We are studying the contribution of direct, indirect, and semi-direct allorecognition by T cells to the alloresponses involved in rejection and tolerance of allogeneic transplants.

Recently, we showed the presence of recipient antigen presenting cells displaying donor major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules (acquired via donor extracellular vesicles) after transplantation and are currently investigating the contribution of this phenomenon in the initiation and perpetuation of alloimmunity and rejection after skin and organ transplantation.

Contribution of “natural” and acquired memory T cells to rejection and tolerance resistance in transplantation: We have recently identified two distinct subtypes of memory T cells (cells induced after vaccination) called “natural” and “induced” memory T cells. We are currently studying their functional properties and their contribution to transplant rejection and tolerance resistance using different mouse models.

Studies using non-human primate models:

Mechanisms underlying T and B cell responses to allogeneic transplants: In collaboration with transplant surgeons at MGH, we study the immune mechanisms underlying the rejection or tolerance of kidney, heart, lung, and pancreatic islet allografts in non-human primates. 

Role of memory T and B cells to tolerance resistance in non-human primates: We have recently shown that the presence of memory T cells represents a major barrier tolerance to allogeneic transplants in non-human primates. We are currently studying the mechanisms by which memory T cells prevent tolerance to heart, lung, kidney and, pancreatic islet allografts in cynomolgus monkeys. In addition, we are attempting to design novel strategies to prevent or suppress selectively the activation of donor-specific memory T cells after transplantation and/or tolerance induction in primates.

Recent publications

1.            Marino, J., M. H. Babiker-Mohamed, P. Crosby-Bertorini, J. T. Paster, C. LeGuern, S. Germana, R. Abdi, M. Uehara, J. I. Kim, J. F. Markmann, G. Tocco, and G. Benichou. 2016. Donor exosomes rather than passenger leukocytes initiate alloreactive T cell responses after transplantation. Sci Immunol 1.

2.            Gonzalez-Nolasco, B., M. Wang, A. Prunevieille, and G. Benichou. 2018. Emerging role of exosomes in allorecognition and allograft rejection. Curr Opin Organ Transplant 23: 22-27.

3.            Robinson, K. A., W. Orent, J. C. Madsen, and G. Benichou. 2018. Maintaining T cell tolerance of alloantigens: Lessons from animal studies. Am J Transplant 18: 1843-1856.

4.            Marino, J., B. Gonzalez-Nolasco, X. Wang, W. Orent, and G. Benichou. 2020. Contrasting effects of B cell depletion on CD4(+) and CD8(+) memory T cell responses generated after transplantation. Am J Transplant 20: 2551-2558.

5.            Prunevieille, A., M. H. Babiker-Mohamed, C. Aslami, B. Gonzalez-Nolasco, N. Mooney, and G. Benichou. 2021. T cell antigenicity and immunogenicity of allogeneic exosomes. Am J Transplant 21: 2583-2589.

Contact Information

Massachusetts General Hospital
Dept. of Surgery, Thier 807
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
p: 617-724-4206