Cathy Vaillancourt

Professeur INRS

Training openings for students or interns

Areas of expertise

Pregnancy and Toxicology , Implication of environmental factors on the neuroendocrinology of the human placenta

  • INRS Professor

Phone
450 687-5010 poste 8812

Fax
450 686-5309

E-mail
cathy.vaillancourt@iaf.inrs.ca

Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie Research Centre

531, boulevard des Prairies
Laval (Québec)  H7V 1B7
CANADA

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Interested research topics

Our laboratory is interested in the effects of environmental contaminants and season of pregnancy on placental functions and fetal development. Our research hypothesis is that exposure at certain seasonal and climatic environmental factors, and persistent environmental pollutants, such as metals and organo-chlorides (polycyclic biphenyls and pesticides) during pregnancy could induce important alterations in the mechanisms of regulation of the human placenta and by consequence on fetal development. More specifically our studies focus on placental dopaminergic, serotoninergic and melatoninergic systems.

Our studies are essential to better understand the relationship between low level environmental exposure to ubiquitous toxic chemicals and climatic environmental factors on hormonal changes and placental function during pregnancy in order to insure the best quality for pregnancy and fetal life. The mother-placental-fetal relationships present an original approach to examine the effects of persistent environmental pollutants, which may have long-term consequences on the development of the fetus and subsequently the child. Our ultimate aim is to insure an adequate fetal life and the best quality of life for the newborn all through adult life.

We are also interested in understanding the role and mechanisms of action of the placental dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin receptors. Its important to investigate further these G protein- coupled receptors not only because of their role in normal placenta and fetal physiology but also because we believe that the human placenta could represent a new model to study how receptors are assembled and regulated. The human placenta has enormous potential for studying human metabolic processes in vitro and in vivo without recourse to animal experimentation and without the need for transformation or cloning procedures using non-human cells (e.g. signal transduction studies, drug/receptor interaction, etc.).  

Pr. Cathy Vaillancourt received her B.Sc. degree in biochemistry from the University of Sherbrooke in 1990, and obtained her M.Sc. (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees in biomedical sciences (option obstetrics and gynecology) from the University of Montreal. This was followed by postdoctoral studies at McGill University, in Dr. Patricia Boksa’s laboratory at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre (1997-2000) (www.douglas.qc.ca) and at the University of Reading (Reading, UK) (www.rdg.ac.uk)., in Philip Strange’s laboratory (2000-2001).

She was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Moncton in 2001 (www.umoncton.ca) and is Associate Professor at INRS-Insitut Armand Frappier since June 2005. Pr. Vaillancourt is also an affiliated professor at the University of Sherbrooke (www.usherbrooke.ca/biochimie) and a regular member of the Environmental Health Research Network (RRSE) (www.rrse.ca).

Pr. Vaillancourt’s main research goals are to elucidate the effect of environmental factors, such as pollutants and seasons of pregnancy (luminosity) on placental function and fetal developpment. Her work focuses particularly on placental dopaminergic, serotoninergic and melatoninergic systems.

  • Implications of environmental contaminants and seasons of pregnancy on placental functions and fetal development
  • Characterization of melatonin, serotonin and dopamine systems in human placenta
  • Characterization of the 5-HT 2A serotoninergic receptor in human placenta: implication in cell proliferation and placental development.

The Effects of Environmental Contaminants on pregnant women and fetus development: Placenta is a tool of diagnosis and prevention http://www.elements.nb.ca/theme/childrenshealth/cathy/cathy.htm

Pr. Cathy Vaillancourt received her B.Sc. degree in biochemistry from the University of Sherbrooke in 1990, and obtained her M.Sc. (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees in biomedical sciences (option obstetrics and gynecology) from the University of Montreal. This was followed by postdoctoral studies at McGill University, in Dr. Patricia Boksa’s laboratory at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre (1997-2000) (www.douglas.qc.ca) and at the University of Reading (Reading, UK) (www.rdg.ac.uk)., in Philip Strange’s laboratory (2000-2001).

She was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Moncton in 2001 (www.umoncton.ca) and is Associate Professor at INRS-Insitut Armand Frappier since June 2005. Pr. Vaillancourt is also an affiliated professor at the University of Sherbrooke (www.usherbrooke.ca/biochimie) and a regular member of the Environmental Health Research Network (RRSE) (www.rrse.ca).

Pr. Vaillancourt’s main research goals are to elucidate the effect of environmental factors, such as pollutants and seasons of pregnancy (luminosity) on placental function and fetal developpment. Her work focuses particularly on placental dopaminergic, serotoninergic and melatoninergic systems.

Publications

Fraser, M., Surette, C. and Vaillancourt, C. (2011)
Spatial and temporal distribution of heavy metal concentrations in mussels (Mytilus edulis) from the Baie des Chaleurs, New Brunswick, Canada.
Marine Pollution Bulletin –Baseline paper : 62(6):1345-51.

 

Falcao S, Bisotto S, Michel C, Lacasse AA, Vaillancourt C, Gutkowska J, Lavoie J. (2010)
Exercise training can attenuate preeclampsia-like symptoms in an animal model.
J of Hypertension 28 (12): 2446-2453

 

Charil A, Laplante D.P., Vaillancourt C., King S. (2010).
Prenatal stress and brain development
Brain Res Rev. 65 (1) 59-76.

 

Lanoix D, Vaillancourt C. (2010)
Cell Culture Media Formulation And Supplementation Affect Villous Trophoblast hCG Release.
Letter to the editor. Placenta. 31: 558-559

 

Oufkir T, Arsenault M, Sanderson JT, Vaillancourt C. (2010)
The 5-HT2A serotonin receptor enhances cell viability, affects cell cycle progression and activates MEK–ERK1/2 and JAK2–STAT3 signalling pathways in human choriocarcinoma cell lines.
Placenta 31 : 439-447

 

Viau M, Lafond J., Vaillancourt C (2009)
Expression of placental serotonin transporter and 5-HT2A-receptor in normal and gestational diabetes mellitus pregnancies
Reproductive BioMedecine Online19 (2) 207-215

 

Vaillancourt C, LeBellego F, Lanoix D, Daoud G, Lafond J. (2009)
Role of trophoblast differentiation during pregnancy and fetal development.
Mini Rev Med Chem. 9(8):962-973.

 

Lanoix D, Beghdadi H, Lafond J, Vaillancourt C. (2008)
Human placental trophoblasts synthesize melatonin and express its receptors.
J Pineal Res 45: 50-60.

 

Lanoix D, Ouellette RJ., Vaillancourt C. (2006)
Expression of melatoninergic receptors in human placenta and choriocarcinoma cells
Human Reprod. 21(8) : 1981-1989.

 

Sonier B, Arseneault M, Lavigne C, Ouellette RJ, Vaillancourt C. (2006)
The 5-HT2A serotoninergic receptor is expressed in the MCF-7 cell line and reveals a mitogenic effect of serotonin in breast cancer.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun.  343 (4): 1053-1059.

 

Sonier, S., C. Lavigne, M. Arseneault, R.J. Ouellette, and C. Vaillancourt (2005)
Expression of 5-HT2 A serotoninergic receptor in human placenta and choriocarcinoma cells, JEG-3 ET BeWo : Mitogenic implications of serotonin.
Placenta 26: 484-490.

 

Lafond, J., A. Hamel, L.Takser, C. Vaillancourt, and D. Mergler (2004) Low environmental contamination by lead in pregnant women: effect on calcium transfer in human placental syncytiotrophoblasts.
J. Toxicol. Environ. Health A. 67(14): 1069-1079.

 

Vaillancourt, C., M. Cyr, J. Rochford, P. Boksa, and T. Di Paolo (2002)
Effects of ovariectomy and estradiol on acoustic startle responses in rats.
Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 74(1): 103-109.

 

Vaillancourt, C., andP. Boksa (2000)
Birth insults alters dopamine-mediated behavior in a precocial species, the guinea pig: implications for schizophrenia.
Neuropsychopharmacology 23: 654-666.

 

Berger, N., C.Vaillancourt, and P. Boksa (2000)
Genetic factors modulate effects of C-section birth on dopaminergic function in the rat.
Neuroreport. 11(3):639-643.

 

Berger, N., C. Vaillancourt, and P. Boksa (2000)
Interactive effects of anoxia and general anesthesia during birth on the degree of CNS and systemic hypoxia produced in neonatal rats.
Exp. Brain Res. 131(4): 524-531

 

Vaillancourt, C., N. Berger, and P. Boksa (1999)
Effects of vaginal versus Caesarean section birth with general anesthesia on blood gases and brain energy metabolism in neonatal rats.
Exp. Neurol. 160: 142-150.

 

Vaillancourt, C., and P. Boksa (1998)
Caesarean section birth with general anesthesia increases dopamine-mediated behavior in the adult rat.
Neuroreport. 9(13): 2953-2959.

 

Vaillancourt, C., A. Petit, and S. Bélisle (1998)
Expression of human placental D 2-dopamine receptor during normal and abnormnal pregnancies.
Placenta. 19(1): 73-80.

 

Vaillancourt, C., A. Petit, and S. Bélisle (1997)
Interaction of D 2 -dopamine receptor with two pertussis-toxin sensitive G proteins in human placenta.
Life Sci. 60(16): 1365-1375.

 

Vaillancourt, C., A. Petit, and S. Bélisle (1995)
Inhibition of angiotensine II-stimulated inositol phosphate production by D 2-dopamine receptor is calcium-dependent in trophoblastic cells.
Life Sci. 57(9): 847-854.

 

Vaillancourt, C., A. Petit, N. Gallo-Payet, D. Bellabarba, J-G. Lehoux, and S. Bélisle (1994)
Two classes of [ 3H]-spiperone binding sites in human trophoblastic cells: D 2 receptors and 5-HT 2 receptors.
J. Recept. Res. 14(1): 11-22.

 

Vaillancourt, C., A. Petit, and S. Bélisle (1994)
D 2-dopaminergic agonists inhibit adenosine 3’ : 5’-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) in human term trophosblastic cells.
Life Sci. 55(20): 1545-1552.

 

Petit, A., N. Gallo-Payet, C. Vaillancourt, D. Bellabarba, J-G. Lehoux, and S. Bélisle (1993)
A role for extracellular calcium in the regulation of placental lactogen release in human term trophoblastic cells.
J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 77 : 670-676.

 

Petit, A., C. Vaillancourt, D. Bellabarba, J-G. Lehoux, N. Gallo-Payet, and S. Bélisle (1990)
Presence of D 2-dopamine receptors in human term placenta.
J. Recept. Res. 10: 205-215.