ORIGIN, DIFFERENTIATION AND HANDLING OF STEM CELLS
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objective of this course is to give students notions on the origin of sexual reproduction, sex determination and on the cytological and molecular aspects of oogenesis, spermatogenesis, fertilisation, premplantation development and of the embryonic stem cells.
Also, the course will allow the acquisition of competences on:
Techniques for farm animal transgenesis and cloning. Biomedical applications: animals as bioreactors, animals as model for human diseases. Functional foods and animal biotechnology. Agricultural applications: modification of milk and meat composition; improvement of farm animal growth curve and resistance to diseases. Animal transgenesis and reproduction. Cloned and transgenic animals welfare. Genetically modified animals and food production.
-Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC): in-vivo and in-vitro biology. Application in veterinary medicine
-Induced pluripotent cells (IPS): biology and therapeutic potential
-Laboratory practice: isolation and characterization of MSC from adipose tissue
Course contents summary
The course is divided into two modules.
Module A: prof. Maurizio Zuccotti and prof. Prisco Mirandola
The recent research in the field of reproductive biology has laid the conceptual bases for a better understanding of the processes of gametogenesis, fertilisation and preimplantation development, hus opening novel possible applications in the biomedical field. The objective of this course is to give students notions on the origin of sexual reproduction, sex determination and on the cytological and molecular aspects of oogenesis, spermatogenesis, fertilisation, preimplantation development and of the embryonic stem cells. Frontal lessons will be followed by practical insights.
Module B: prof. Stefano Grolli
The course will be addressed to two main area of cell/animal manipulation and their implications in veterinary medicine.
The main objective of the course is the acquisition of a solid knowledge about transgenesis and cloning of farm animal. With this aim the different approaches to animal genome modification will be evaluated both from the methodological and the scientific point of view. Finally, biomedical and agricultural applications of transgenic and cloned livestock, animal welfare, and food safety and quality issues will be addressed.
In the second part of the course, the basic principles of regenerative medicine and its application in veterinary medicine will be described. In particular, the biological characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells and of induced pluripotent cells will be focussed. Furthermore, examples of their applications in veterinary medicine will be illustrated with a critical discussion of the clinical outcomes.
The course will describe the fundamental aspects of:
- Origin of sexual reproduction and sex determination
- Cell cycle and meiosis
- Cytological and molecular aspects of spermatogenesis
- Cytological and molecular aspects of oogenesis
- Acquisition of the oocyte developmental competence
- Cytological and molecular aspects of fertilisation
- Engineering the ovarian follicle
- Cytological and molecular aspects of preimplantation development
- Micromanipulation of the preimplantation embryo
- Origin of stemness
- Sources of stem cells
- Markers of embryonic stem cells
- Pathways and stability of embryonic stem cells
- Genome stability, plasticity and reprogramming
- Differentiation and clinical use of embryonic stem cells
- Farm animal transgenesis and cloning: biological background, history, techniques.
- Biomedical applications: animal as bioreactors; animal as models of human and mammalian diseases; genetically modified animals and xenotrasplantation.
- Zootechnical application of genome transgenesis and cloning: animal growth modification; milk and body composition modification; disease resistance modification; reproductive performances modification.
- Social and economic implications of genome manipulation: animal welfare; food safety issues related to genetically modified foods; functional foods.
- Stem cell biology. Mesenchymal stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells: biology and clinical applications. Perspectives and limits.
The students will be given articles and the slides used by the teachers.
Assessment methods and criteria