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Capturing human axial progenitors in vitro

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Caroline Newnham.

Hosts: Alfonso Martinez-Arias & Shlomit Edri

Axis elongation in amniote embryos is mediated, to a large extent, by Neuromesodermal Progenitors (NMPs), a bipotent precursor population which gives rise to both the posterior spinal cord neurectoderm and paraxial mesoderm. NMPs reside in the late primitive streak (PS)/tailbud, sites which exhibit high WNT /FGF signalling, and are marked by the co-expression of the transcription factors (TFs) Brachyury (T(BRA)) and SOX2 , which are indicative of a mesodermal and neural character respectively. Apart from an excellent model for studying the mechanisms underlying cell fate (neuroectoderm vs mesoderm) decision making, NMPs also comprise an attractive source of clinically relevant spinal cord and paraxial mesoderm derivatives such as posterior motor neurons and skeletal muscle. However, the limited availability of micro-dissected embryonic NMPs has been a major obstacle to the study of both their biology and the molecular events driving their differentiation. In my talk, I will describe our work on establishing protocols for the efficient in vitro production of NMP -like cells from human and mouse pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) and I will present recent unpublished data focusing on the molecular characterisation of these cultures as well as the efficient generation of their downstream derivatives.

This talk is part of the Genetics Seminar series.

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