Dr. Clémence Belleannée, Ph.D., is a researcher at the CHU Research Centre of Quebec-Laval University and Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproduction since 2014. After obtaining her doctorate at the Université François Rabelais de Tours in France, Dr. Belleannée completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at Laval University and the other at Harvard Medical School / Massachussets General Hospital, where she received the 2009 Epithelial Transport Group Young Investigator award. Two of her publications have received a special mention from the Faculty of 1000 (F1000), for their application in Andrology.

Nowadays, one in ten couples face fertility problems, half of which are associated with male factors. The work done by Dr. Belleannée’s team focuses on the study of biological mechanisms that are at the origin of male infertility. This work aims to improve diagnosis and develop new therapeutic tools in the face of this major public health issue.

1- Decoding the intercellular signals that govern spermatic maturation

The epididymis is a long and unique tubule of the male reproductive system whose dysfunction causes problems in male fertility. During their transit in this organ, testicular spermatozoa will acquire their motility and capacity to recognize and fertilize an oocyte. In humans, this maturation process lasts 4 to 6 days, depending on the somatic cells of the epididymal epithelium. With these cells communicating in a well orchestrated manner, Dr. Belleannée’s laboratory studies the intercellular mechanisms governing spermatic maturation, in which the extracellular vesicles and their molecular cargo (microRNA) play a mediating role. NSERC Grant.

2- Identify the dynamics of epigenetic marks during sperm maturation

Since the first baby born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1978, breakthroughs in assisted reproduction techniques have allowed infertile couples to access effective treatments. However, how these techniques relate to one another– more specifically intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) -, the epigenetic profile of male gametes, as well as the development and health of offspring, is still questioned. Our goal is to 1) define the epigenetic signature of spermatozoa collected at different stages of maturation (testicular vs. epididymal vs. ejaculated spermatozoa) and used in different contexts of infertility treatment, and 2) to evaluate, from murine models, the influence of this signature on the development of offspring. Our long-term goal is to develop strategies, in collaboration with fertility clinics, to limit the risks associated with techniques that are commonly used in fertility clinics. Sick Kids Foundation / CIHR Grant.

CHUL
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Québec, Québec
Canada G1V 4G2
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Chen H, Alves MBR, Belleannée C

Contribution of epididymal epithelial cell functions to sperm epigenetic changes and the health of progeny.

Journal Article

Hum Reprod Update, 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Melki I, Allaeys I, Tessandier N, Levesque T, Cloutier N, Laroche A, Vernoux N, Becker Y, Benk-Fortin H, Zufferey A, Rollet-Labelle E, Pouliot M, Poirier G, Patey N, Belleannee C, Soulet D, McKenzie SE, Brisson A, Tremblay ME, Lood C, Fortin PR, Boilard E

Platelets release mitochondrial antigens in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Journal Article

Sci Transl Med, 13 (581), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Plante-Dube M, Picard C, Gilbert I, Robert C, Fievez V, Vlaeminck B, Belleannee C, Gervais R, Chouinard PY

Effects of a dietary supplement enriched in palmitoleic acid on fatty acid composition of follicular fluid, granulosa cell metabolism, and oocyte developmental capacity in early lactation dairy cows.

Journal Article

J Dairy Sci, 104 (3), 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Campolina-Silva GH, Barata MC, Werneck-Gomes H, Maria BT, Mahecha GAB, Belleannée C, Oliveira CA

Altered expression of the vitamin D metabolizing enzymes CYP27B1 and CYP24A1 under the context of prostate aging and pathologies.

Journal Article

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 209 , 2021.

Abstract | Links:

Alves MBR, Celeghini ECC, Belleannee C

From Sperm Motility to Sperm-Borne microRNA Signatures: New Approaches to Predict Male Fertility Potential.

Journal Article

Front Cell Dev Biol, 8 , 2020.

Abstract | Links:

Girardet L, Bernet A, Calvo E, Soulet D, Joly-Beauparlant C, Droit A, Cyr DG, Belleannee C

Hedgehog signaling pathway regulates gene expression profile of epididymal principal cells through the primary cilium.

Journal Article

FASEB J, 34 (6), 2020.

Abstract | Links:

Girardet L, Augiere C, Asselin MP, Belleannee C

Primary cilia: biosensors of the male reproductive tract.

Journal Article

Andrology, 7 (5), 2019.

Abstract | Links:

Alves MBR, de Arruda RP, De Bem THC, Florez-Rodriguez SA, Sa Filho MF, Belleannee C, Meirelles FV, da Silveira JC, Perecin F, Celeghini ECC

Sperm-borne miR-216b modulates cell proliferation during early embryo development via K-RAS.

Journal Article

Sci Rep, 9 (1), 2019.

Abstract | Links:

Becker Y, Loignon RC, Julien AS, Marcoux G, Allaeys I, Levesque T, Rollet-Labelle E, Benk-Fortin H, Cloutier N, Melki I, Eder L, Wagner E, Pelletier M, Hajj HE, Tremblay ME, Belleannee C, Hebert MJ, Dieude M, Rauch J, Fortin PR, Boilard E

Anti-mitochondrial autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus and their association with disease manifestations.

Journal Article

Sci Rep, 9 (1), 2019.

Abstract | Links:

Bernet A, Bastien A, Soulet D, Jerczynski O, Roy C, Bianchi Rodrigues Alves M, Lecours C, Tremblay ME, Bailey JL, Robert C, Belleannee C

Cell-lineage specificity of primary cilia during postnatal epididymal development.

Journal Article

Hum Reprod, 33 (10), 2018.

Abstract | Links:

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Active projects

  • Computer-Aided Sperm Analysis (CASA) of sperm motility and hyperactivation, from 2021-04-01 to 2022-03-31
  • Deciphering extracellular microRNA communication system., from 2015-04-01 to 2022-03-31
  • Impact of the sperm epigenome on the progeny outcome born by assisted reproductive technology, from 2016-07-01 to 2021-12-31
  • P.R.I.A.P.E*: Programme de Recherche sur l'Infertilité mAsculine et Physiologie de l'Epididyme, from 2020-07-01 to 2024-06-30
  • Platelets and neutrophils: the two culprits mediating pain in inflammatory arthritis, from 2020-04-01 to 2025-03-31
  • Platelets and neutrophils: the two culprits mediating pain in inflammatory arthritis, from 2020-01-01 to 2022-12-31
  • Réseau Québécois en Reproduction (RQR), from 2017-04-01 to 2023-03-31
  • Rôle novateur du récepteur pro-inflammtoire P2RY14 en reproduction masculine, from 2020-11-01 to 2022-04-30
  • Unravelling the role of primary cilia in the control of male fertility, from 2018-10-01 to 2023-03-31

Recently finished projects

  • Communication extracellulaire dans les systèmes reproducteurs mâles et femelles., from 2016-07-01 to 2020-06-30
  • Impact of environmental pollutants on epididymal primary cilia and consequences on the Hedgehog pathway - a prospective study, from 2020-02-01 to 2021-03-31
Data provided by the Université Laval research projects registery