Pre-clinical Analysis of Effects of Lamin A Overexpression on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation into Myocytes

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
Western Health
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor Damian Myers damianem@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Professor Gustavo Duque gustavo.duque@unimelb.edu.au 03 8395 8121 Personal web page

Project Details

Falls and fractures are highly prevalent in the elderly. Around 20,000 hip fractures cases are reported in Australia every year, and nearly 25% of patients who sustain a hip fracture die within an year. Since a large number of fractures occur due to a fall, decrease in muscle size and strength with age (sarcopenia) seems to relate directly with the incidence of fall-related fractures. Both muscle cells (myocytes) and bone forming cells (osteoblasts) arise from the same precursor (mesenchymal stem cell; MSC), which makes this link biologically significant. MSCs are known to have an altered protein expression profile with age. Lamin A is a nuclear lamina protein associated with translocation of key translational factors affecting the bone formation pathways in MSCs. Lamin A expression is known to decrease with age in MSCs. This leads to the possibility of its role in muscle ageing too. We hypothesize that overexpression of Lamin A in MSCs could reverse age-associated decrease in muscle cells.

We will use both in vitro and in vivo approaches in appropriate models to meet our goals. Students will be involved in in vitro studies involving MSC over-expression of Lamin A, differentiation of transformed MSCs into myocytes/osteoblasts/adipocytes, as well as in vivo tracking of injected MSCs in mice; bone histomorphometry and microCT analysis of mice/rat bones.


School Research Themes

Musculoskeletal



Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Western Health

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