Myelin Maintenance and Peripheral Neuropathies (MMNP)
EA 6309


Franck STURZ – Director
Tel. : + 33 (0)5 55 05 80 82

Adress :
2 rue du Dr Marcland

Administrative Supervision : Université de Limoges

Parent Institute : GEIST

Doctoral School : ED 524 Bio-Santé

Key figures (31/12/2015)

Professors : 10
Other researchers : 3
Accreditated to direct research (HDR) : 8
Doctoral Students : 6
Engineers, Technicians, administratif staff : 4

Scientific Publication (2011-2014)

Peer reviewed journal : 88
: 5
Thesis defended
: 4
Conference presentations
: 25


Economic Added Value (2011-2014)

Number of industrial or research agreements with major organizations : 2

National conferences, seminars organized : 4


The first area of research that our team focuses on is the understanding of the mechanisms that maintain the peripheral myelin sheath, taking into account its physiological and pathological aspects. We work on deciphering the maintenance effectors – by taking three aspects that play a role here into account: (i) Schwann cells, peripheral nerve myelinating cells, (ii) relationships between Schwann cells and axons, and (iii) relationships between Schwann cells and the extracellular matrix – and also on characterizing process dysfunction under pathological conditions (genetically-determined neuropathies and acquired neuropathies, in particular inflammatory) on ill individuals and in animal models.

We also work on a second research area that focuses on therapeutics in peripheral neuropathies. This includes developing peripheral neuropathies models (in particular cellular models) which will be used for testing different therapeutic approaches, such as using hydrogels for the sustained release of bioactive molecules, and screening drug candidates. A second theme deals with small fiber peripheral neuropathies. Various approaches, on animal models and on humans, are currently developed on these frequently painful types of neuropathies, which are highly prevalent among the general population.

Research themes

Study of the mechanisms that maintain the myelin sheath of the peripheral nerves Pathophysiology and therapeutics of the various types of peripheral neuropathies (demyelinating, axonal and small fibre neuropathy


Peripheral Neuropathies ; Pathophysiology ; Genetics ; Microscopy ; Cellular and Animal Models ; Therapeutics


Pr Jean-Michel Vallat – Corresponding member of the French National Academy of Medicine

Equipment / Technical resources

PCR, real-time PCR, sequencing Sanger and NGS ; optical, confocal, fluorescence, electronic microscopy ; cell culture, transient/stable transfections.


Active National University Partnerships : UMR INSERM1024-CNRS8197, Biology Institute of the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris: development of the peripheral nervous system. UMR Inserm694, Angers: mitochondrial dysfunction cell models Max Mousseron Biomolecules Institute, CNRS, Montpellier: new methods for delivering bioactive molecules Current International University Partnerships : Mustafa University Hospital, Ben Aknoun Specialized Hospital, Algiers, Algeria; Institute for Neuromuscular Research, University of Sydney, Australia. National Industrial Partnerships : MedinCell SA, Montpellier, France

Industrial applications

Development of innovative treatments for peripheral neuropathies (new molecules and/or new delivery modes)