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Last update: May 2021

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Human Nutrition Unit

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée



Email : contact
Tel : +33 (0)4 73 17 82 93

Marine Gueugneau

The world population is constantly increasing, as is meat consumption that has tripled in the last 50 years. However, livestock production requires a lot of resources such as land, water, energy… and is responsible for several environmental impacts. In this context, the production of protein-rich vegetables for human food and the evaluation of their nutritional quality could become major issues in the coming decades.

Ageing of population is a worldwide and inevitable phenomenon. It affects most tissues and physiologic functions, and one of the most affected organs is the skeletal muscle. The progressive decline in muscle mass and function due to ageing, which is also referred to as sarcopenia, contributes to both loss of autonomy, increased prevalence of falls, decreased resistance to metabolic aggression that increases morbidity and mortality.

Resistance to anabolic factors appears with age, particularly resistance to stimulation of muscle protein synthesis by the meal, explaining the wasting of this tissue observed in the elderly, especially when they are malnourished. Therefore, aging is accompanied by increased protein requirements, a control of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol intake and an optimization of micronutrient intake. In this situation, a particular interest appears for vegetables that are low-fat and micronutrients-rich food. Nevertheless, these proteins must have a good nutritional quality and, must be easily and quickly digestible.

Research Activities

Healthy and sustainable food for elderly:

The first objective is to characterize the nutritional qualities of new vegetable protein sources. The essential amino acid composition, the bioavailability as well as the digestibility of these plant-based proteins will then be evaluated in models of aged rats but also in humans. Subsequently, we will evaluate the ability of these protein-rich vegetables to maintain muscle mass during aging. The mechanisms involved in the regulation of muscle mass will be studied.

Beyond its functional and metabolic capabilities, muscle is also a secretory organ capable of releasing various proteins into the circulation called myokines. Given that muscle is the largest organ in the body, analysis of its secretome provides a basis for understanding how this tissue communicates with other organs. Moreover, secreted proteins may also reflect metabolic changes that take place inside muscle cells. The second objective of this project is to characterize the changes of this muscle secretion induced by a diet enriched with vegetable proteins. The identification of differentially secreted biomarkers according to the diet will allow the monitoring of the nutritional status of the muscle in the old people.


  • Barbé C, Bray F, Gueugneau M, Devassine S, Lause P, Tokarski C, Rolando C, Thissen JP. Comparative Proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of follistatin-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy (2017). J Proteome Res. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Gueugneau M, Coudy-Gandilhon C, Meunier B, Combaret L, Taillandier D, Polge C, Attaix D, Picard B, Verney J, Roche F, Féasson L, Béchet D (2016). Lower skeletal muscle capillarization in hypertensive elderly men. Exp Gerontol, 76, 80-8.
  • Gueugneau M, Coudy-Gandilhon, Theron L, Meunier B, Barboiron C, Combaret L, Taillandier D, Polge C, Attaix D, Picard B, Verney J, Roche F, Feasson L, Barthelemy JC, Béchet D. Skeletal muscle lipid content and oxidative activity in relation to muscle fiber type in aging and metabolic syndrome (2015). J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 70(5), 566-76.
  • Gueugneau M, Coudy-Gandilhon C, Gourbeyre O, Chambon C, Combaret L, Taillandier D, Polge C, Attaix D, Friguet B, Andrea B Maier, Butler-Browne G, Béchet D. Proteomics of muscle chronological ageing in post-menopausal women (2014). BMC Genomics, 15(1), 1165.
  • Théron L, Gueugneau M, Coudy C, Viala D, Bijlsma A, Maier A, Béchet D, Chambon C (2014). Label-free quantitative protein profiling of vastus lateralis muscle during human aging. Mol Cell Proteomics, 13(1), 283-294.

Curriculum Vitae

September 2017: Research scientist at INRA, Unit of Human Nutrition, UMR1019, Team: Alimentation et Santé Musculo-Squelettique (Pr Y. Boirie and Dr S. Walrand)

Title: Healthy and sustainable food for elderly


2014-2017: Postdoctoral position at Unit of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition (EDIN), Institute of Experimental and Clinical Research (IREC), Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium (Pr J.P. Thissen)

Title: Characterization of the changes in human skeletal muscle secretome associated with muscle atrophy caused by glucocorticoids


2011- 2014: Ph.D. at INRA in Unit of Human Nutrition, France, Team: Proteolysis (Dr D. Béchet)

Title: Identification of markers of muscle aging with or without metabolic syndrome.