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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Human Nutrition Unit

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Email : contact
Tel : +33 (0)4

Sarcopenia is a disease recognized by WHO on the international classification of ICD diseases (M62.8). Its prevalence increases with age and associated chronic diseases. Thus it affects about 10% of the over 65s, 50% of the over 80s. Its prevalence is also increased in chronic diseases, affecting 30% of patients with chronic rheumatic diseases. During chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, inflammatory myopathies), changes in body composition related to loss of mobility, inflammation, insulin resistance occur early. Muscle loss associated with increased adipose tissue is observed and defines the sarcopenic adiposity phenotype which contributes to cardiovascular and metabolic comorbidities and increased morbidity and mortality. In chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases, the management of cardio-metabolic comorbidities (sarcopenic adiposity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular risk, osteoporosis) is therefore one of the major challenges. For this reason, the research activity aims to explore sarcopenia, metabolic disorders and associated comorbidities in chronic inflammatory joint and muscle diseases with reduced mobility such rheumatic diseases. Such knowledge is essential for the development of targeted, personalized and multimodal innovative therapeutic and preventive strategies based on biotherapies, nutrition and physical activity.

Research Activities

Characterization of the sarcopenia-associated phenotypes in chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, inflammatory myopathies): changes in muscle mass, body fat, and bone mass, metabolic disorders and associated cardiovascular comorbidities, energy expenditure taking into account the effect of treatments during a longitudinal follow-up.

Identification of mechanisms of sarcopenia and potential therapeutic targets during chronic inflammation: muscle lipotoxicity, impact of cytokine inhibitors and diet, identification of a biological signature in relation to muscle lipotoxicity and sarcopenia.

Development of diagnostic and monitoring tools: validation of sarcopenia biomarker on patients cohort, design predictive algorithms for a personalized prevention and care strategy.

Develop new therapeutic strategies combining targeted biotherapies, nutrition, physical activity.


  • Tournadre A, Pereira B, Dutheil F, Giraud C, Courteix D, Sapin V, Frayssac T, Mathieu S, Malochet-Guinamand S, Soubrier M. Changes in body composition and metabolic profile during interleukin 6 inhibition in rheumatoid arthritis. J  Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2017 Aug;8(4):639-646.
  • Tournadre A, Pereira B, Dubost JJ, Rincheval N, Rat AC, Combe B, Soubrier M. Management of dyslipidaemia in high-risk patients with recent-onset rheumatoid arthritis: targets still not met despite specific recommendations. Results from the ESPOIR cohort during the first five years of follow-up. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2017 Mar-Apr;35(2):296-302.
  • Nourisson C, Soubrier M, Mulliez A, Baillet A, Bardin T, Cantagrel A, Combe B, Dougados M, Flipo RM, Schaeverbeke T, Sibilia J, Vittecoq O, Ravaud P, Gottenberg JE, Mariette X, Tournadre A. Impact of gender on the response and tolerance to abatacept in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: results from the 'ORA' registry. RMD Open. 2017 Nov 1;3(2):e000515.
  • Marouen S, du Cailar G, Audo R, Lukas C, Vial G, Tournadre A, Barrat E, Ribstein J, Combe B, Morel J, Daien CI. Sodium excretion is higher in patients with rheumatoid arthritis than in matched controls. PLoS One. 2017 Oct 13;12(10):e0186157.
  • Malochet-Guinamand S, Pereira B, Tatar Z, Tournadre A, Moltó A, Dougados M, Soubrier M. Prevalence and risk factors of low bone mineral density in spondyloarthritis and prevalence of vertebral fractures. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 Aug 22;18(1):357.

Curriculum Vitae

Current position : Professeur des universités-Praticien hospitalier, Department of rheumatology Hôpital G. Montpied, CHU de Clermont-Ferrand 63003 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex1
Medical Degree Course: Medical Doctor, University of  Clermont-Ferrand (2003) 
Scientific Degree Course:
- Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches / Accreditation to Supervise Research, University of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand  (2015)
- PhD, University of  Claude Bernard LYON I (2010)
- Research fellowship 2001/2002 : Clinical and Molecular Rheumatology Division Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (Pr A. Rosen et Dr K. Nagaraju)
Research Team :
Alimentation Santé MusculoSquelettique, Unité de Nutrition Humaine,  UMR 1019 INRA/Université d’Auvergne
Awards or grants:
- Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique 2004 «Soluble IL-2 receptor: a biomarker for assessing myositis activity.»
- Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique Interregional 2007 «Toll-Like Receptors (TLR) expression, Th1 and Th17 response, in inflammatory myopathiesdans les myopathies inflammatoires »
- Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique Interregional 2013 « Eccentric Exercise and Cachexia in Rheumatoid Arthritis (EECRA) »
- Bourse Sirius UCB 2015-2016 « Lipidomic analysis of HDL in inflammatory rheumatic diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis »
- Bourse Passerelle Pfizer 2017 «Evolution of total energy expenditure and its various components in active rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti-TNF agents and comparison with healthy subjects (EDEn-PRAc)»