The use of pluripotent cells is presented as a very interesting strategy
for the repair of nervous tissue lesions, since these cells are the only ones
capable of differentiating into functional neurons. In this sense, our lab has
two distinct lines of research aimed at the recovery of the nervous system.
The first one is related to
Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by loss
of dopaminergic neurons located in a region called substantia nigra of the
midbrain. In this case, the pluripotent stem cells may be a valuable source of
new dopaminergic neurons produced in
vitro, which can be used in a cell replacement therapy. In our laboratory, we aim to evaluate the functional
consequences of stem cell-derived neurons integration in the brain of an animal
model of Parkinson's disease.
The other line of research
concerns the use of human pluripotent cells in an animal model of spinal cord injury.
The objectives are to evaluate the functional
consequences of cell integration in the
injured spinal cord and analyzing the signaling pathways associated with
survival, proliferation and differentiation of these cells either cultured on
static or agitated systems.