Manaf Bouchentouf

Laval University, Québec, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (16)60.95 Total impact

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    B F Benabdallah · M Bouchentouf · J Rousseau · J P Tremblay
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    ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is caused by the absence of functional dystrophin, leading to the myofiber membrane instability and progressive muscle atrophy. Myoblast transplantation in dystrophic muscles is a potential therapy, as it permits the long-term restoration of dystrophin expression in transplanted muscles. However, the success of this approach is limited by the short period of muscle repair following myoblast transplantation. Myostatin, a powerful inhibitor of muscle growth, is involved in terminating the period of muscle repair following injury by reducing myoblast proliferation and differentiation. Follistatin forms a complex with myostatin, preventing its interaction with its receptor and thus blocking the myostatin signal. Here, we used a lentivirus to overexpress the follistatin protein in normal myoblasts to block the myostatin signaling. We measured the potential of transduced myoblasts to proliferate and to form multinucleated myotubes in vitro. And finally, we considered the engraftment success of those transduced myoblasts in comparison with control cells in vivo within SCID mice TA muscle. Our results first confirmed the overexpression of follistatin into lentivirus transduced myoblasts, and second showed that the overexpression of the follistatin in normal human myoblasts improved in vitro their proliferation rate by about 1.5-fold after 96 h and also their differentiation rate by about 1.6- and 1.8-fold, respectively, in the absence and in the presence of recombinant myostatin. Finally, our data demonstrated that the engraftment of human normal myoblasts overexpressing the follistatin protein into SCID mouse muscles was enhanced by twofold.
    Cell Transplantation 05/2009; 18(7):709-18. DOI:10.3727/096368909X470865 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    M Bouchentouf · B F Benabdallah · P Bigey · T M Yau · D Scherman · J P Tremblay
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    ABSTRACT: Muscle precursor cell (myoblasts) transplantation is considered as a potential approach to restore dystrophin expression in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients. The study purpose was to verify the implication of hypoxia in the myoblast death observed after their transplantation and also to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) overexpression on myoblast engraftment in a murine model. Pimonidazole hydrochloride (hypoxyprobe-1) was used to mark selectively myoblasts to evaluate their hypoxia in vivo. In vitro, hypoxia was induced by culturing human myoblasts in hypoxic environment. In vitro effects of VEGF(165) on survival of human cells was assessed by Hoescht-PI labeling. Tibialis anterior (TA) female mouse muscles were electroporated with a plasmid containing the VEGF(165) or with an empty vector. Circulating VEGF concentration was assessed by ELISA. After 2 weeks of electroporation, severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice were transplanted with 800 000 human male myoblasts labeled with radioactive thymidine. Mouse muscles were harvested 2 and 4 days later and myoblast survival and proliferation were evaluated by scintigraphy and Y chromosome quantitative PCR. The long-term graft success was evaluated using gamma-radiograph imaging and by counting the dystrophin positive muscle fibers. Hypoxyprobe labeling has shown that most of the transplanted myoblasts were hypoxic. The transplantation of radioactive male myoblasts in female mice electroporated with the VEGF(165) plasmid demonstrated that VEGF reduced their death by 10% but did not improve their proliferation. VEGF(165) enhanced human myoblast survival in vitro under hypoxic conditions. Electroporation of TA muscles of SCID mouse with the vector coding for VEGF(165) promoted angiogenesis and improved by 1.5-fold the success of myoblast transplantation in comparison with the control mice that were electroporated with the empty vector. These results indicate that hypoxia is partially responsible for the death of the transplanted myoblasts. VEGF can be used to improve myoblast survival and the graft success.
    Gene therapy 04/2008; 15(6):404-14. DOI:10.1038/ · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a recessive disease due to a mutation in the dystrophin gene. Myoblast transplantation permits to introduce the dystrophin gene in dystrophic muscle fibers. However, the success of this approach is reduced by the short duration of the regeneration following the transplantation, which reduces the number of hybrid fibers. Our aim was to verify whether the success of the myoblast transplantation is enhanced by blocking the myostatin signal with an antagonist, follistatin. Three different approaches were studied to overexpress follistatin in the muscles of mdx mice transplanted with myoblasts. First, transgenic follistatin/mdx mice were generated; second, a follistatin plasmid was electroporated in mdx muscles, and finally, follistatin was induced in mdx mice muscles by a treatment with a histone deacetylase inhibitor. The three approaches improved the success of the myoblast transplantation. Moreover, fiber hypertrophy was also observed in all muscles, demonstrating that myostatin inhibition by follistatin is a good method to improve myoblast transplantation and muscle function. Myostatin inhibition by follistatin in combination with myoblast transplantation is thus a promising novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of muscle wasting in diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
    Cell Transplantation 03/2008; 17(3):337-50. DOI:10.3727/096368908784153913 · 3.13 Impact Factor
  • Manaf Bouchentouf · Daniel Skuk · Jacques P Tremblay
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review: Myoblast transplantation is a potential approach to repair damaged muscle in several myopathies. This approach is limited by the early and massive death of transplanted myoblasts. The purpose of the review is to report the major factors responsible for this phenomenon and possible ways to overcome them. Recent findings: Several factors are proposed to be responsible for the death of transplanted myoblasts. To date, researchers have mainly concentrated on the role of the inflammatory reaction. Recent data suggest that ischemia, hypoxia and anoikis are also implicated. Several solutions have been investigated to prevent the death of transplanted myoblasts. These approaches are mainly based on genetic modification of injected cells to make them express antiapoptotic or prosurvival proteins, and on the use of antiinflammatory proteins. Summary: We review the role of the inflammatory reaction, physical stress, anoikis, and ischemia in the early and massive death of transplanted myoblasts and we propose approaches to overcome these complications. Reducing the number of myoblasts that die following transplantation into skeletal muscle would improve graft success.
    Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation 11/2007; 12(6):664-667. DOI:10.1097/MOT.0b013e3282f19f20 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myogenic precursor cell (MPC) transplantation is a good strategy to introduce dystrophin expression in muscles of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) promotes MPC activities, such as survival, proliferation, migration and differentiation, which could enhance the success of their transplantation. Alternative splicing of the IGF-1 mRNA produces different muscle isoforms. The mechano growth factor (MGF) is an isoform, especially expressed after a mechanical stress. A 24 amino acids peptide corresponding to the C-terminal part of the MGF E domain (MGF-Ct24E peptide) was synthesized. This peptide had been shown to enhance the proliferation and delay the terminal differentiation of C(2)C(12) myoblasts. The present study showed that the MGF-Ct24E peptide improved human MPC transplantation by modulating their proliferation and differentiation. Indeed, intramuscular or systemic delivery of this synthetic peptide significantly promoted engraftment of human MPCs in mice. In vitro experiments demonstrated that the MGF-Ct24E peptide enhanced MPC proliferation by a different mechanism than the binding to the IGF-1 receptor. Moreover, MGF-Ct24E peptide delayed human MPC differentiation while having no outcome on survival. Those combined effects are probably responsible for the enhanced transplantation success. Thus, the MGF-Ct24E peptide is an interesting agent to increase MPC transplantation success in DMD patients.
    American Journal of Transplantation 11/2007; 7(10):2247-59. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.01927.x · 5.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seventy-five percent of the myoblasts transplanted in the mouse muscle die during the first 4 days following transplantation. The purpose of this study was to determine if anoikis plays a role in this phenomenon. Survival and proliferation of myoblasts in vitro were determined by Hoescht-PI labeling and cell counts respectively. In vivo cell survival and proliferation were quantified by injecting human male myoblasts labeled with (14)C-thymidine in SCID mouse muscles. Survival and proliferation of the transplanted myoblasts were evaluated by scintigraphy and quantitative PCR of human Y chromosomal DNA. Inclusion of the extracellular matrix protein fibronectin enhanced transplanted myoblast survival by 1.7-fold while vitronectin improved their proliferation by 1.8-fold. Reductions in FADD and Bit1 expression reduced anoikis in vitro and improved the injected myoblast survival in vivo. Ectopic expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 completely abolished myoblast anoikis in vitro and enhanced cell survival by 3.1-fold in vivo. Cell death following transplantation appears to me mediated in part by anoikis. Inclusion of extracellular matrix proteins enhanced both survival and proliferation. Reduced expression of the proapoptotic proteins Bit1 and FADD or overexpression of Bcl-2 improved myoblast survival.
    American Journal of Transplantation 07/2007; 7(6):1491-505. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.01830.x · 5.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human muscle precursor cell (hMPC) transplantation is a potential therapy for severe muscle trauma or myopathies. Some previous studies demonstrated that 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D3 (1,25-D3) acted directly on myoblasts, regulating their proliferation and fusion. 1,25-D3 is also involved in apoptosis modulation of other cell types and may thus contribute to protect the transplanted hMPCs. We have therefore investigated whether 1,25-D3 could improve the hMPC graft success. The 1,25-D3 effects on hMPC proliferation, fusion, and survival were initially monitored in vitro. hMPCs were also grafted in the tibialis anterior of SCID mice treated or not with 1,25-D3 to determine its in vivo effect. Graft success, proliferation, and viability of transplanted hMPCs were evaluated. 1,25-D3 enhanced proliferation and fusion of hMPCs in vitro and in vivo. However, 1,25-D3 did not protect hMPCs from various proapoptotic factors (in vitro) or during the early posttransplantation period. 1,25-D3 enhanced hMPC graft success because the number of muscle fibers expressing human dystrophin was significantly increased in the TA sections of 1,25-D3-treated mice (166.75 +/- 20.64) compared to the control mice (97.5 +/- 16.58). This result could be partly attributed to the improvement of the proliferation and differentiation of hMPCs in the presence of 1,25-D3. Thus, 1,25-D3 administration could improve the clinical potential of hMPC transplantation currently developed for muscle trauma or myopathies.
    Cell Transplantation 02/2007; 16(4):391-402. DOI:10.3727/000000007783464876 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transplantation of normal muscle precursor cells is a potential approach to restore dystrophin expression within dystrophin [deficient] mdx mice, a model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This study aims to evaluate whether exercise could improve graft success and hybrid fiber distribution within mdx muscle. eGFP(+) Muscle precursor cells were transplanted into tibialis anterior muscles of mdx mice using a single injection trajectory. During the following weeks, muscle fiber breaks were induced by making mdx mice swim. To evaluate fiber damage, Evans blue solution was injected intraperitoneally to mice 16h before their sacrifice. Tibialis anterior muscles were then harvested and eGFP, dystrophin and Evans blue labeling were analyzed by fluorescent microscopy. Twenty minutes of exercise (i.e., swimming) were used to induce damage in about 30% of TA muscle fibers. Graft success, evaluated as the percentage of hybrid fibers which are eGFP(+), was improved by 1.9-fold after swimming 3 times per week during 4 weeks and by 1.8-fold after daily swimming. Hybrid muscle fiber transversal and longitudinal distribution were also increased after repeated physical efforts. Exercise induced fiber breaks, which improved MPC recruitment and fusion and increased long-term graft success and also transverse and longitudinal distribution of hybrid fibers.
    Neuromuscular Disorders 09/2006; 16(8):518-29. DOI:10.1016/j.nmd.2006.06.003 · 2.64 Impact Factor
  • J F Lafreniere · P Mills · M Bouchentouf · J P Tremblay
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    ABSTRACT: Different molecules are available to recruit new neighboring myogenic cells to the site of regeneration. Formerly called B cell stimulatory factor-1, IL-4 can now be included in the list of motogenic factors. The present report demonstrates that human IL-4 is not required for fusion between mononucleated myoblasts but is required for myotube maturation. In identifying IL-4 as a pro-migratory agent for myogenic cells, these results provide a mechanism which partly explains IL-4 demonstrated activity during differentiation. Among the different mechanisms by which IL-4 might enhance myoblast migration processes, our results indicate that there are implications of some integrins and of three major components of the fibrinolytic system. Indeed, increases in the amount of active urokinase plasminogen activator and its receptor were observed following an IL-4 treatment, while the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 decreased. Finally, IL-4 did not modify the amount of cell surface alpha5 integrin but increased the presence of beta3 and beta1 integrins. This integrin modulation might favor myogenic cell migration and its interaction with newly formed myotubes. Therefore, IL-4 co-injection with transplanted myoblasts might be an approach to enhance the migration of transplanted cells for the treatment of a damaged myocardium or of a Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy patient.
    Experimental Cell Research 05/2006; 312(7):1127-41. DOI:10.1016/j.yexcr.2006.01.002 · 3.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mixed-chimerism approach is a major goal to circumvent sustained immunosuppression, but most of the proposed protocols need antibody treatment or host irradiation. Another promising experience involves busulfan combined with cyclophosphamide treatment. Additionally, recent publications demonstrated that, differing from busulfan, treosulfan administration does not present severe organ or hemato toxicities. Currently, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients are treated with chronic immunosuppression for muscle precursor cell transplantation (MT). We have developed a safe tolerance approach within this cellular allotransplantation therapy background. Thus, we have conditioned, prior to a donor BALB/c MT, the dystrophic mouse model C57Bl10J mdx/mdx, with our treatment based on a donor-specific transfusion, then a treosulfan treatment combined with single cyclophosphamide dose, and finally a donor bone marrow transplantation (TTCB). A first MT was performed in all mixed chimeric mice resulting from the TTCB treatment in the left tibialis anterior (TA) muscles. A second MT from the same donor strain was performed 100 days later in the right TA without any additional therapy. Results show that all treated mice developed permanent mixed chimerism. Long-lasting donor-positive fibers were present in both TAs of the mice, which received MT after the TTCB treatment. Only a basal level of infiltration was observed around donor fibers and mixed chimeric mice rejected third-party haplotype skin grafts. Thus, mixed chimerism development with this TTCB conditioning regimen promotes donor-specific stable tolerance, avoiding costimulatory blockade antibodies or irradiation use and side effects of sustained immunosuppressive treatments. This protocol could be eventually applied for MT to DMD patients or others tissue transplantations.
    Cell Transplantation 02/2006; 15(8-9):835-46. DOI:10.3727/000000006783981521 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The quantification of the graft success is a key element to evaluate the efficiency of cellular therapies for several pathologies such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This study describes an approach to evaluate the success of myoblast transplantation (i.e., survival of the transplanted cells and the muscle fibers formed) by real-time imaging. C2C12 myoblasts were first transfected with a plasmid containing the human sodium iodide symporter (hNIS) gene. Specific uptake of the radioactive sodium pertechnetate (Na99mTcO4) by the hNIS-positive myoblasts was demonstrated in vitro, while only background level of Na99mTcO4 was observed within the control cells. The cells were then transplanted into the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle of mdx (X-linked dystrophic) mice. Following intraperitoneal administration of Na99mTcO4, scintigraphies were performed to detect hNIS-dependent Na99mTcO4 uptake within the TA. This approach permitted to evaluate the progression of the transplantation and the graft success without having to biopsy the animals during the follow-up period.
    BioTechniques 07/2005; 38(6):937-42. DOI:10.2144/05386IT01 · 2.95 Impact Factor
  • Basma F Benabdallah · Manaf Bouchentouf · Jacques P Tremblay
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    ABSTRACT: : Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by a dystrophin gene mutation. Transplantation of normal myoblasts results in long-term restoration of dystrophin. However, the success of this approach is compromised by the limited time of regeneration following muscle damage. Myostatin is known to be responsible for limiting skeletal muscle regeneration. Our purpose is to verify whether blocking the myostatin signal in mdx host mice or in normal myoblasts transplanted in mdx host mice would increase the extent of muscle repair and thus allow the formation of more dystrophin-positive fibers. : Transgenic mdx mice carrying a dominant negative form of myostatin receptor (dnActRIIB) were used to test the fiber resistance to damage and to act as a host for normal myoblast transplantation. Myoblasts obtained from nondystrophic transgenic mice carrying the dominant negative myostatin receptor were also transplanted in nontransgenic mdx mice. : Transgenic mdx mice carrying the dnActRIIB gene have bigger muscles than mdx mice with the normal gene of ActRIIB. Their fiber resistance to exercise-induced damage was also greatly improved. Moreover, the success of normal myoblast transplantation was significantly enhanced in mdx/dnActRIIB mice. Finally, nondystrophic dnActRIIB myoblasts formed more abundant and bigger dystrophin positive fibers when transplanted in mdx mice. : Blocking the myostatin signal in mdx mice allowed the size of muscle fibers to increase, the fiber resistance to damage induced by exercise to increase, and the success of normal myoblast transplantation to improve. The transplantation in mdx mice of dnActRIIB myoblasts formed more abundant and larger dystrophin positive fibers.
    Transplantation 07/2005; 79(12):1696-702. DOI:10.1097/01.TP.0000167379.27872.2B · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Molecular Therapy (2005) 11, S42|[ndash]|S42; doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2005.06.108 102. Overexpression of the Myostatin Antagonist Follistatin in Normal Myoblasts Genetically Modified with a Lentivirus Basma F. Benabdallah1, Joel Rousseau1, Manaf Bouchentouf1 and Jacques P. Tremblay11Human Genetic, CHUL-CHUQ-Laval University, Sainte Foy, QC, Canada
    Molecular Therapy 04/2005; 11:S42-S42. DOI:10.1016/j.ymthe.2005.06.108 · 6.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The quantification of the graft success is a key element to evaluate the efficiency of cellular therapies for several pathologies such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This study describes a novel approach to evaluate the success of myoblast transplantation (i.e., the survival or the transplanted cells and of the muscle fibers that they have formed) by real-time imaging.Methods: C2C12 myoblasts were first transfected with a plasmid containing the human sodium iodide symporter (hNIS) gene. The specific uptake of 99mTCO4 by the hNIS positive myoblasts was demonstrated in vitro, no accumulation of 99mTCO4 was observed within the control cells. The cells were then transplanted into the Tibialis anterior (TA) muscle of mdx mice. Following intra-peritoneal administration of Na99mTCO4, scintigraphies (g-radiographs) were performed depicting hNIS-dependent 99mTCO4 uptake within the TA.Results: Preliminary experiments have demonstrated that the resolution of the camera used is 2 mm. In vitro the cells expressing the hNIS were able to incorporate the Na99mTCO4 and were also able to form myotubes. In vivo image acquisition of transplanted mice TA revealed that hNIS positive cells were able to incorporate the Na99mTCO4.Conclusions: This approach permitted to evaluate the progression of the transplantation and the graft success without having to biopsy the animals during the follow-up period.
    Molecular Therapy 04/2005; 11:S267-S267. DOI:10.1016/j.ymthe.2005.07.230 · 6.23 Impact Factor
  • Manaf Bouchentouf · Basma F Benabdallah · Jacques P Tremblay
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    ABSTRACT: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a disease caused by the incapacity to synthesize dystrophin, which is implicated in the maintenance of the sarcolemma integrity. Myoblast transplantation is a potential treatment of this disease. However, most of the transplanted cells die very rapidly after their injection. Heat-shock proteins (HSPs) are over-expressed when cells undergo various types of stresses. Our goal was thus to investigate whether the expression of HSPs (HSP70 in particular) could protect myoblasts from death after intramuscular injection. HSP70 expression was induced by warming the cells at 42 degrees C for 60 minutes. HSP70 over-expression was quantified by Western blot analysis. The in vitro effect of HSPs on cell survival was evaluated by fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis using the Hoescht/propidium iodide-labeling technique, and their in vivo effects were investigated by transplanting TnI-LacZ myoblasts labeled with [methyl-14C] thymidine. Western blots indicated a sevenfold over-expression of the HSP70 after the heat-shock treatment. In vitro, the heat-shock treatment protected 18% of the cells from staurosporine- (1 microM) induced apoptosis. HSPs also protected 10% of the cells from death induced by either tumor necrosis factor-alpha (30 ng/mL) or glucose oxydase (0.1 U/mL). In vivo, the treatment improved the cell survival by twofold 5 days after the graft and increased by fourfold the long-term graft success. The heat-shock treatment is a practical approach for improving the success of myoblast transplantation; in fact, using this kind of treatment, there is no need to genetically modify the cells before their transplantation.
    Transplantation 06/2004; 77(9):1349-56. DOI:10.1097/01.TP.0000121503.01535.F5 · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myoblast transplantation (MT) is a potential therapeutic approach for several muscular dystrophies. A major limiting factor is that only a low percentage of the transplanted myoblasts survives the procedure. Recent advances regarding how and when the myoblasts die indicate that events preceding actual tissue implantation and during the first days after the transplantation are crucial. Myoseverin, a recently identified tri-substituted purine, was shown to induce in vitro the fission of multinucleated myotubes and affect the expression of a variety of growth factors, and immunomodulation, extracellular matrix-remodeling, and stress response genes. Since the effects of myoseverin are consistent with the activation of pathways involved in wound healing and tissue regeneration, we have investigated whether pretreatment and co-injection of myoblasts with Tubulyzine (microtubule lysing triazine), an optimized myoseverin-like molecule recently identified from a triazine library, could reduce myoblast cell death following their transplantation and consequently improves the success of myoblast transplantation. In vitro, using annexin-V labeling, we showed that Tubulyzine (5 microM) prevents normal myoblasts from apoptosis induced by staurosporine (1 microM). In vivo, the pretreatment and co-injection of immortal and normal myoblasts with Tubulyzine reduced significantly cell death (assessed by the radio-labeled thymidine of donor DNA) and increased survival of myoblasts transplanted in Tibialis anterior (TA) muscles of mdx mice, thus giving rise to more hybrid myofibers compared to transplanted untreated cells. Our results suggest that Tubulyzine can be used as an in vivo survival factor to improve the myoblast-mediated gene transfer approach.
    Biochemistry and Cell Biology 05/2003; 81(2):81-90. DOI:10.1139/o03-054 · 2.15 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

332 Citations
60.95 Total Impact Points


  • 2003–2008
    • Laval University
      Québec, Quebec, Canada
  • 2007
    • Institut de Génétique Humaine
      Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • 2006
    • Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM)
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada