Julie Lafond 

Professeure titulaire

Directrice du Centre de recherché BioMed


Sciences biologiques

C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre ville, Montréal, QC, H3C 3P8

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Telephone : 514-987-3000 poste 7857

Fax: 514-987-4647

Research interests:

  • Placenta
  • Mother-fetus relationship
  • lipids
  • calcium
  • preeclampsia
  • diabetes
  • obesity

Recent results:

My laboratory developed two research programs, a first on the placental calcium transport, specifically on the placental calcium mechanisms, cell differentiation and the related modulation in normal and pathologic (ex: preeclampsia, growth retardation…) patterns, including the study of cell differentiation and signaling. We are the first team to make a direct link between maternal profile and the modulation of placental proteins and RNA. The second concerns the effect of various lipid maternal profiles (gestational weight gain, body mass index, obesity...) on the biology / biochemistry of the placenta and their influence on fetal and neonatal development,

Lab members:



Email Address

Evemie Dubé


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Leboucher Mareva


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Publications (since 2008):

*Marseille-Tremblay, C., Forest, JC, Giguère, Y, MASSE, A., MOUNIER, C. and Lafond, J. 2008 Impact of maternal cholesterol in pregnancy and gestational diabetes mellitus on placental cholesterol and lipid metabolism at term, Mol. Reprod. Develop. 6:1054-62

*Vargas, A., Moreau, J., Le Bellego, F., Lafond, J., and Barbeau, B.  2008 Induction of trophoblast cell fusion by a protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor.  Placenta 29:170-4

*DAOUD, G. and LAFOND, J. 2008 PP2 regulates human trophoblast CELLS differentiation by activating p38 and ERK1/2 and inhibiting FAK activation. Placenta 29 : 862–870

*Ethier-Chiasson, M., Forest, JC, Giguère, Y, Masse, A. and Lafond, J. 2008 Modulation of placental protein Expression of Lectin-like oxidized Low density lipoprotein receptor-1 (LOX-1): implication in pregnancy-related disorders or pathologies. Reproduction 136(4):491-502.

*LANOIX, D., BEGHDADI, H., LAFOND, J. and VAILLANCOURT, C. 2008 Human Placental trophoblasts synthesize Melatonin and express its expression. Journal of Pineal Research 45(1):50-60.

Ravid Z, Bendayan M, Delvin E, Sané AT, Elchebly M, Lafond J, Lambert M, Mailhot G, Levy E 2008 Modulation of intestinal cholesterol absorption by high glucose levels: impact on cholesterol transporters, regulatory enzymes and transcription factors. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 295: G873-885

*Chen, L., Lafond, J. and Pelletier RM  2009. A Novel Technical Approach for the Measurement of Individual ACAT-1 and ACAT-2 Enzymatic Activity in the Testis. Methods Mol Biol. ;550:169-77

Mounier, C., Barbeau, B., Vaillancourt, C. and Lafond J. 2009 Endocrinology and cell signaling in human villous trophoblast. Methods Mol Biol. ;550:89-102

*Le Bellego, F., Vaillancourt, C., and Lafond J. 2009 Isolation and culture of term human cytotrophoblast cells and in vitro methods for studying human cytotrophoblast cells' calcium uptake. Methods Mol Biol. 550:73-87

Vaillancourt, C. and Lafond, J. 2009 Human embryogenesis: overview. Methods Mol Biol. 550:3-7

VAILLANCOURT, C., LANOIX, D., Le Bellego, F., Daoud, G. and Lafond, J. 2009 Regulation of Human Placental Trophoblast Differentiation. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 9(8):962-73 (under editor invitation)

*VIAU, M., LAFOND, J. And VAILLANVCOURT, C. 2009 Expression of placental serotonin transporter and 5-HT2A-receptor in normal and by gestational diabetes mellitus pregnancies. Reproductive BioMedicine Online 19: 207-215

*Vargas, A., Moreau, J., Landry, S., LeBellego, F., Toufaily, C., Rassart, E., Lafond, J. and Barbeau, B. 2009 Syncytin-2 plays an important role in the fusion of human trophoblast cells. J. Mol. Biol 392: 301-318.

*DoCARMO, S., FOREST, JC., GIGUÈRE, Y, MASSE, A and LAFOND J and RASSART, É., 2009 Modulation of ApoD levels in human pregnancy and association with weight gain. Human Reprod. 7: 92- (* Equal corresponding authors)

GIGUÈRE, Y., CHARLAND, M., BUJOLD, E., BERNARD, N., GRENIER, S., ROUSSEAU, F., LAFOND, J., LÉGARÉ, F., and FOREST, JC. 2010 Combining ultrasonographic and biochemical markers in predicting preeclampsia: A systematic review. Clin. Chem. (3):361-75.

*Haché, S., LeBellego, F., Weiler, H., Leduc, L., Takser, L., Forest, JC., Giguère, Y, Masse, A. and Lafond, J. 2010 Modulation of placental calcium homeostasis during Preeclampsia: Effect on calcium exchange in placenta. J. Cell. Mol. Biol. 15(3):654-667

*da Conceiçãoa, AO., TAKSER, L and LAFOND, J. 2010 Effect of St. John’s wort standardized extract and hypericin on in vitro placental calcium transport. J. Med. Food 13(4):934-42

*Young, MF, Pressman, E, Foehr, ML., McNanley, T, Cooper, E., Guillet, R., Orlando, R., McIntyre, AW., Lafond, J. and O'Brien, K.O. 2010 Impact of Maternal and Neonatal Iron Status on Placental Transferrin Receptor Expression. Placenta 31(11):1010-1014.

*Vargas, A., Toufaïly, C., LeBellego, F., Rassart, E., Lafond, J. and Barbeau, B. 2011 Reduced expression of both Syncytin-1 and Syncytin-2 correlates with severity of pre-eclampsia. Reprod Sci. 2011 Apr 14. [Epub ahead of print]

*da Conceiçãoa, AO., Rossie, MH., Faustino de Oliveira, F., Takser, L. and Lafond, J. 2011 Genipa Americana (Rubiaceae) fruit extract affects MAPK cell pathway in human trophoblast derived BeWo cells: Implication on placental development. J Med Food. 14(5):483-94

GIGUÈRE, Y., CHARLAND, M., BUJOLD, E., BERNARD, N., GRENIER, S., ROUSSEAU, F., LAFOND, J., LÉGARÉ, F., and FOREST, JC. 2011Combining ultrasonographic and biochemical markers in predicting preeclampsia: A systematic review. Ann Biol Clin (Paris) 69(3):257-71

*Vargas, A., LAROCQUE, E., TOUFAILY, Rassart, E., Lafond, J. and Barbeau, B. 2012 A New Luciferase-Based Quantitative Assay for the Evaluation of Human Trophoblast Fusion. Reproductive Sciences 19(4) 374-382

Belkacemi, L., Vaillancourt, C., Dubé, E. and Lafond, J. 2011 Insulin-interfering hormones, nutrient metabolism and transport in placentas from gestational diabetic pregnancies. In book "Gestational Diabetes: Risk Factors, Health Effects and Management". Nova Science Publishers. (under editor invitation)

*da Conceição, AO., de Oliveira, FF, de Oliveira, RA., de J. da S. Junior, A., Takser, L., Reyes-Moreno, C. And Lafond, J. 2012 Lantana macrophylla Schauer (Verbenaceae) ethanolic extract induces activation of ERK1/2 and p38 MAPKs pathway and Ca2+ imbalance in human trophoblasts derived cell lines. Food Chem Toxicol 50: 1001-1012

FOREST, JC., CHARLAND, M., MASSÉ, J., BUJOLD, E., ROUSSEAU, F., LAFOND, J. and GIGUÈRE, Y. 2012 Candidate Biochemical Markers for Early Pregnancy Screening of Preeclampsia. Clin. Chem. Lab. Med. 50, 973

*Leduc, K., Bourassa,V., Asselin,E., Leclerc,P., Lafond, J. and Reyes-Moreno, C. 2012 Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Regulates Trophoblast-like BeWo Cells Differentiation Through the Activation of JAK/STAT and ERK-1/2 MAP Kinase Signaling Pathways. Biol.Reprod. (in press)

GIGUÈRE, Y., CHARLAND, M., THÉRIAULT, S., BUJOLD, E., LAROCHE, M., ROUSSEAU, F., LAFOND, J., and FOREST, JC. 2012 Linking Preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease later in life. Clin. Chem Lab Med. Jun;50(6):985-93.

*Vargas, A., Thiery, M., Lafond, J., and Barbeau, B.  2012  Transcriptional and functional studies of the HERV EnvV and EnvP(b) proteins in human trophoblasts. Virology. 2012 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print]

*Lanoix, D., St-Pierre, J., Lacasse, AA., Viau, M, Lafond, J and Vaillancourt C. 2012 Stability of reference proteins in human placenta: General protein stains are the benchmark. Placenta. 33 : 151-156

*Lanoix, D., St-Pierre, J., Lacasse, A.A., Viau, M, Lafond, J and Vaillancourt C. 2012 Quantitative PCR Pitfalls: The case of the human placenta. Molecular Biotechnology: Volume 52, Issue 3 : 234-243

*Dubé, E., Gravel, A., Martin, C., Desparois, G., Moussa, I., Ethier-Chiasson, M., Forest3, JC., Giguère, Y., Masse, M and Lafond, J. 2012 Modulation of fatty acid transport and metabolism by obesity in human full term placenta. Biol Reprod 87: 14, 1-11

*Toufaily, C., Vargas, A., Lemire, M., Lafond, J., Rassart, E. and Barbeau, B. 2012 MFSD2a, the Syncytin-2 receptor, is important for trophoblast fusion. Placenta 2013 Jan;34(1):85-8.

Reyes-Moreno, C., Dallagi,A., Girouard,J., Dadzie,R., Mrad,N., Flores Soto,R. and Lafond, J. 2013 Villous trophoblast-derived factors regulate the activating effects of interferon-gamma in monocytes/macrophages through IL10-mediated Stat3 activation and Stat1 inhibition. JBC (submitted)

*Dubé E, Ethier-Chiasson M, Lafond J. 2013Modulation of cholesterol transport by insulin-treated gestational diabetes mellitus in human full-term placenta. Biol Reprod. Jan 17;88(1):16.

*da Conceição, A. von Poser, GL, Barbeau, B. And Lafond, J. Hypericum caprifoliatum and Hypericum connatum affect human trophoblast-like cells differentiation and Ca2+ influx. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 45: 367-373.

*Vargas, A., ÉTHIER-Chiasson, M., Flipo, D., Lafond, J., Gilbert, C. and Barbeau, B. 2014 Syncytin proteins incorporated in placenta exosomes are important for cell uptake and show variation in abundance in serum exosomes from preeclampsia patients. FESEB J.. Aug;28(8):3703-19.

*LACASSE, L., DUBÉ, E., LAFOND, J. AND VAILLANCOURT, C. Linking the alteration of placental melatonin to the loss of the oxidative homeostasis in gestational diabetes mellitus. Placenta (Submitted)

GIGUERE,Y., MASSE, J., THERIAULT, S., BUJOLD, E., LAFOND, J., ROUSSEAU, F AND FOREST JC. 2013. Screening for preeclampsia early in pregnancy: performance of a multivariable model combining clinical characteristics and biochemical markers. BJOG 122: 402-401

*DALLAGI, A., GIROUARD, J., HAMELIN-MORISSETTE, J., DADZIE, R., VAILLANCOURT, C., LAFOND, J. and REYES- MORENO, C. 2014 The activating effects of IFN-ϒ on monocytes/macrophages is regulayed by the LIF-trophoblast-IL10 axis through Stat1 inhibition and Stat3 activation. Cellular and Molecular Immunology july 14 :1-16

 *DESPAROIS, G., DUBE, E., ST-ONGE, P., VAILLANCOURT, C AND LAFOND, J. 2014 The expression of abc proteins is modulated by maternal obesity in the human full-term placenta. Biol Reprod (submitted).

DUBÉ, E., DESPAROIS, G., PERRIER L. and LAFOND, J. 2014 Effect of maternal obesity and hypercholesterolemia on placental apolipoproteins . Placenta (Submitted)


1982-1983       Bourse (studentship) de l'Hôp. Sainte-Justine et du Montreal Children Hosp. (M.Sc.).

1983-1985       Bourse (studentship) de l'Hôp. Sainte-Justine et du Montreal Children Hosp.(M.Sc.-Ph.D.).

1985-1987       Bourse au mérite (studentship) du Fonds de la Recherche en Santé Québec (FRSQ) (Ph.D.).

1987-1989       Bourse au mérite (studentship) de Formation post-doctorale par les FRSQ (post-doc.).

1989-1990       Bourse au mérite (studentship) de Formation post-doctorale du FRSQ (post-doc)(décliné)

1989-1991       Bourse post-doctorale Fellowship) du Cons. Recherche Médicale du Canada (CRM)

1991-1994       Chercheure-Boursier (Scholarship) du Fond de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (décliné)

1991-1996          Chercheure-Boursier (Scholarship) du Conseil de la Recherche Médicale du Canada (CRM).

2001-2003      Chercheure-Boursier Senior (Senior Scholarship) du Fond de la Recherche en Santé du Québec 


Distinctions (since 2003):

2003            Award for the best Communication. Latin-American Symposium on Maternal-Fetal Interaction Placenta-Research and Clinical, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

2007                Y. W. Loke New Investigator Travel Award: International Federation of Placental Associations