Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences

Campus: Camden

Research Groups: Musculoskeletal Biology, CPCS (Research Programme)

Research Centres: MicroCT

Chantal is a Professor in Skeletal Biology in Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Her research is focused on the regulatory and repair mechanisms of bone.

Chantal graduated from Lyon University with a degree in Biochemistry. She conducted her PhD research in Professor Dave Roodman‘s laboratory (San Antonio, TX, USA) on osteoclast differentiation from bone marrow. She then joined Professor Pierre Delmas’s group in Lyon (INSERM Unit 403, Lyon, France) where her work focused on the biochemical and functional characterization of several bone matrix proteins.

She obtained a senior research position with INSERM France in 1991 and started her own research group aimed at investigating the role of the nervous system in the control of bone development and turnover. She moved to the Royal Veterinary College in 2003 and obtained in 2006 a Senior Lectureship position in the department of Veterinary Basic Sciences at the RVC. She was appointed to a Professorship in 2017.

Chantal’s research integrates a range of approaches (animal models, genetic manipulation, in vitro bone  cell culture models) to investigate the mechanisms by which skeletal innervation and angiogenesis regulate bone development, remodelling and repair. Her current research is principally focused on 1) examining the mechanisms driving skeletal pain and aiming to develop strategies to decrease it;  2) determining  the molecular and cellular changes in bone induced by diabetes and anti-diabetic therapies; 3) understanding the mechanisms by which blood vessels and nerves regulate bone turnover and repair. She is part of the "European Training Network on Bone Pain" (,  which aims at deciphering the mechanisms of bone pain and develop new medicines.

Chantal's research is funded by the European Union, Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research UK, Orthopeadic Research UK, Joint Action Research and the Society for Endocrinology (

Chantal has served on the Editorial Board of Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. She is a member of the Editorial board of J of Endocrinology and J of Molecular Endocrinology,  is a board member of the International Society for Fracture Repair ( and is a Review Editor of Frontiers in Bone Research.  .


Gohin S, Javaheri B, Hopkinson M, Pitsillides AA, Arnett TR, Chenu C.
Applied mechanical loading to mouse hindlimb acutely increases skeletal perfusion and chronically enhanced vascular porosity.
J Appl Physiol 2020 Apr 1;128(4):838-846

Ter Heegde, F; Luiz, A P; Santana-Varela, S; Chessell, I P; Welsh, F; Wood, J N; Chenu, C.
Non-invasive mechanical joint loading as an alternative model for osteoarthritic pain.

Ter Heegde F, Luiz AP, Santana-Varela S, Magnúsdóttir R, Hopkinson M, Chang Y, Poulet B, Fowkes RC, Wood JN, Chenu C.
Osteoarthritis-related nociceptive behaviour following mechanical joint loading correlates with cartilage damage.  Osteoarthritis Cartilage.
2020 Mar;28(3):383-395. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2019.12.004

Mabilleau G, Pereira M, Chenu C. Novel mechanisms of action of Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists on the skeleton. J Endocrinol, 2018, Jan;236(1):R29-R42. doi: 10.1530/JOE-17-0278. Epub 2017 Aug 30. Review.

Pereira M, Gohin S, Roux JP, Fisher A, Cleasby ME, Mabilleau G, Chenu C. Exenatide ameliorates the skeletal pathology induced by type 2 diabetes in db/db mice. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2017 Nov 20;8:327. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2017.00327

Pereira M, Gohin S, Lund N, Hvid A, Smitham PJ, Oddy MJ, Reichert I, Farlay, D, Roux JP, Cleasby ME, Chenu C.  Sclerostin does not play a major role in the pathogenesis of skeletal complications in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Osteoporosis Int, 2017, 28(1):309-320

Pereira M, Jeyabalan J, Jørgensen CS, Hopkinson M, Al-Jazzar A, Roux JP, Chavassieux P, Orriss IR, Cleasby ME, Chenu C. Chronic administration of Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists improves trabecular bone mass and architecture in ovariectomised mice. Bone, 2015: 81:459-467

LIM S, MARENZANA M, HOPKINSON  M, LIST E, KOPCHICK J, PEREIRA M, JAVAHERI B, ROUX J, CHAVASSIEUX  P, KORBONITS  M, CHENU C (2015). Excessive growth hormone expression in male GH transgenic mice adversely alters bone architecture and mechanical strength. Endocrinology, Apr;156(4):1362-71. PMID:25646711

SMITHAM P, CROSSFIELD L, HUGHES G, GOODSHIP A, BLUNN G, CHENU C (2014). Low dose of propranolol does not affect rat osteotomy healing and callus strength. J Orthop Res, 32(7): 887-893.  PMID:24710688

JEYABALAN J, VIOLLET B, SMITHAM P, ELLIS SA, ZAMAN G, BARDIN C, GOODSHIP A, ROUX JP, PIERRE M,CHENU C. (2013). The anti-diabetic drug metformin does not affect bone mass in vivo or fracture healing. Osteoporosis International, 24(10):2659-70. PMID:23644877

JEYABALAN J, SHAH M, VIOLLET B, CHENU C (2011). AMP-activated protein kinase pathway and bone metabolism. J Endocrinol,  211:1-14. PMID:21903861

SHAH M, KOLA B, BATAVELJIC A, ARNETT T, VIOLLET B, SAXON L, KORBONITS M & CHENU C. (2010) AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation regulates in vitro bone formation and bone mass. Bone, I47: 309-319. PMID:20399918

MARENZANA, M. & CHENU, C. (2008) Sympathetic nervous system and bone adaptive response to its mechanical environment. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact 8, 111-120. PubMed ID 18622080

MARENZANA, M., DE SOUZA, R. L. & CHENU, C. (2007) Blockade of beta-adrenergic signaling does not influence the bone mechano-adaptive response in mice. Bone 41, 206-215. PubMed ID 17543595

BLIZIOTES, M., ESHLEMAN, A., BURT-PICHAT, B., ZHANG, X. W., HASHIMOTO, J., WIREN, K. & CHENU, C. (2006) Serotonin transporter and receptor expression in osteocytic MLO-Y4 cells. Bone 39, 1313-1321. PubMed ID 16884969

GOMEZ, C., BURT-PICHAT, B., MALLEIN-GERIN, F., MERLE, B., DELMAS, P. D., SKERRY, T. M., VICO, L., MALAVAL, L. & CHENU, C. (2005) Expression of Semaphorin-3A and its receptors in endochondral ossification: potential role in skeletal development and innervation. Dev Dyn 234, 393-403.PubMed ID 16145665

DE SOUZA, R. L., PITSILLIDES, A. A., LANYON, L. E., SKERRY, T. M. & CHENU, C. (2005) Sympathetic nervous system does not mediate the load-induced cortical new bone formation. J Bone Miner Res 20, 2159-2168. PubMed ID 16294269

BURT-PICHAT, B., LAFAGE-PROUST, M. H., DUBOEUF, F., LAROCHE, N., ITZSTEIN, C., VICO, L., DELMAS, P. D. & CHENU, C. (2005) Dramatic decrease of innervation density in bone after ovariectomy. Endocrinology 146, 503-510. PubMed ID 15498888

MERLE, B., ITZSTEIN, C., DELMAS, P. D. & CHENU, C. (2003) NMDA glutamate receptors are expressed by osteoclast precursors and involved in the regulation of osteoclastogenesis. J Cell Biochem 90, 424-436. PubMed ID 14505357

ESPINOSA, L., PARET, L., OJEDA, C., TOURNEUR, Y., DELMAS, P. D. & CHENU, C. (2002) Osteoclast spreading kinetics are correlated with an oscillatory activation of a calcium-dependent potassium current. J Cell Sci 115, 3837-3848. PubMed ID 12235294

SERRE, C. M., FARLAY, D., DELMAS, P. D. & CHENU, C. (1999) Evidence for a dense and intimate innervation of the bone tissue, including glutamate-containing fibers. Bone 25, 623-629. PubMed ID 10593406

CHENU, C., SERRE, C. M., RAYNAL, C., BURT-PICHAT, B. & DELMAS, P. D. (1998) Glutamate receptors are expressed by bone cells and are involved in bone resorption. Bone 22, 295-299. PubMed ID 9556127

RAYNAL, C., DELMAS, P. D. & CHENU, C. (1996) Bone sialoprotein stimulates in vitro bone resorption. Endocrinology 137, 2347-2354. PubMed ID 8641185

CHENU, C., IBARAKI, K., GEHRON ROBEY, P., DELMAS, P. D. & YOUNG, M. F. (1994) Cloning and sequence analysis of bovine bone sialoprotein cDNA: conservation of acidic domains, tyrosine sulfation consensus repeats, and RGD cell attachment domain. J Bone Miner Res 9, 417-421. PubMed ID 7514841

CHENU, C., COLUCCI, S., GRANO, M., ZIGRINO, P., BARATTOLO, R., ZAMBONIN, G., BALDINI, N., VERGNAUD, P., DELMAS, P. D. & ZALLONE, A. Z. (1994) Osteocalcin induces chemotaxis, secretion of matrix proteins, and calcium-mediated intracellular signaling in human osteoclast-like cells. J Cell Biol 127, 1149-1158. PubMed ID 7962073

Chantal plays an active teaching role within the college lecturing on BSc Bioveterinary Science and Graduate & Transfer courses. She also teaches at the Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science at UCL.

She is the Chair of the Research Degrees Committee at the RVC.

Since 2015, Chantal  is a Senior Editor of Journal of Endocrinology  and Journal of Molecular Endocrinology.

She is also a Board member of the International Society for Fracture Repair (Section of the Orthopaedic Research Society )

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