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

Last update: May 2021

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Physiology of Lactation

Some activities of the Lactation team

Context and ambition

Dairy and swine farms have to cope with the fluctuating demand for milk and with changing constraints related to resources, environment, animal welfare, farmer workload and hardness, European regulations, consumer health, etc. 

Our ambition is to acquire knowledge on the biological mechanisms of milk production to promote rearing systems to control milk yield and milk composition while preserving production efficiency and the animal’s milk production potential.  Special attention is paid to examining the plasticity of the mammary gland in response to rearing practices to understand the mechanisms of adaptation and adaptability of lactating females in changing production systems.


  • Determine the response of lactating females to rearing practices
  • Understand the physiological and metabolic regulations that are at the origin of the variation in milk or colostrum production to control the production potential of the mammary gland and to control the synthesis of milk / colostrum components

Expertise and skills

The complementary expertise of the Lactation team members involves various disciplines including physiology, nutrition, amino acid and energy metabolism, and ranges from experimental in vivo models to cellular approaches, modelling and meta-analysis.

Methodological skills
  • Gene and protein expression
  • Hormone and metabolite quantification
  • Cell apoptosis and proliferation, and cell culture
  • Mammary net balance technique
  • Milking management


Team leader Lactation
Hélène Quesnel

Leader of the "Physiology of Lactation" team

Phone: 02 23 48 56 49
Mail: Hélène Quesnel


Marion Boutinaud
Éric Chanat (cv Hal)
Jocelyne Flament
Vanessa Lollivier
Hélène Quesnel


Perrine Debournoux-Poton
Laurence Finot (subject of thesis)
Sabrina Philau
Jacques Portanguen
Sandra Wiart-Letort


Angélique Corset
Auxane Hamon
Antoine Leduc

Formers members :
Magdalena Arevalo Turrubiarte (PhD defended in 2016)
Moufida Atigui (PhD defended in 2014)
Clémentine Charton (subject of thesis ; PhD defended in 2017))
Lucile Hervé (subject of thesis ; PhD defended in 2017)
Pierre-Guy Marnet
Henri Rulquin