Graduate Seminar Series: Cell and Tissue Stream
Graduate Seminar Series for the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (BME). This day is for cell and tissue stream presenters.
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Presentation Title: The role of neural precursor cells in metformin-mediated recovery following spinal cord injury.
Abstract: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a common cause of death, paralysis, and other debilitating conditions. Although SCI begins as a traumatic event, damage to the spinal cord (SC) continues in the following weeks in the form of neuronal cell death and demyelination, the loss of oligodendrocytes. Currently, there are limited therapeutic interventions aimed at promoting cellular repair, however we have previously found that treatment with metformin, a common Type II diabetes drug, results in improved functional outcomes in mice. Correlated with these results, we also observed 1) enhanced proliferation of endogenous neural precursor populations like the Sox2+ neural stem & progenitor cells (NSPCs) and the NG2+ oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), as well as 2) increased oligodendrogenesis following metformin treatment. Here, we explore whether NSPCs or OPCs (and both their roles in oligodendrogenesis) are required for metformin-mediated recovery. We hypothesize that NSPCs are required for metformin-mediated recovery, and OPC are not. Using a Sox2TK ablation model, we first propose to explore whether proliferating NSPCs are required for metformin-mediated recovery. Next, using Sox2- and NG2- specific knockout models of Myrf (a transcription factor essential for oligodendrogenesis), we propose to test whether OPC- or NSPC-derived oligodendrogenesis is required for metformin-mediated recovery. Presently we have generated these models and validated them using both and in vitro and in vivo approaches. Notably, preliminary results from our Sox2TK ablation model indicate that in the absence of proliferating NPSCs metformin-mediated recovery is lost. Together with ongoing Myrf knockout studies, these findings will begin to elucidate the cellular basis for metformin-mediated recovery and help establish it as a therapeutic intervention aimed at promoting cellular repair.
Supervisor Name: Dr. Cindi Morshead
Year of Study: 2
Program of Study: MASc
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89610372821?pwd=azd4SCtYVWtreVovaGNPV1c2NGY2Zz09
Meeting ID: 896 1037 2821
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