STEM CELL MOLECULAR GENITICS
Stem cells are considered an unlimited source of material for cell replacement therapies, thus holding great promise in regenerative medicine.
Our group is interested in the study of spermatogonial stem cells, the adult stem cells responsible for maintaining spermatogenesis through the entire life of an organism. Spermatogonial stem cell lines that can unlimitedly selfrenew in vitro have been derived in the murine model and are a very useful tool to study the molecular mechanisms underlying their stem cell activity. In contrast, in vitro human spermatogonial stem cell lines have not been derived yet, thus it is currently quite challenging to study human spermatogonial stem cell biology.
In our research group we pretend to: i) determine the mechanisms that promote spermatogonial stem cell selfrenewal in the murine and in the human model; ii) identify the culture conditions required to derive human spermatogonial stem cell lines as well as improving the current murine culture conditions and; iii) use these culture conditions to reprogram somatic cells into spermatogonial stem cells.
Therefore, our main goal is to understand the spermatogonial stem cell regulation in normal homeostasis and disease. The knowledge generated from our research will help to design new strategies to treat male infertility due to spermatogonial stem cell malfunction.
Mouse seminiferous tubule in which the spermatogonial stem cells, which are responsible for maintaining spermatogenesis, are shown as GFP-positive.