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实验室

11:00-12:00, Friday, June 29, 2018

Speaker: Ting Xie, Ph.D.

Investigator

Stowers Institute for Medical Research, USA

Topic: From Adult Stem Cell Development to Glaucoma

Host: Rongwen Xi , Ph.D.

Abstract

Stem cells maintain adult animal tissue homeostasis through continuous production of differentiated functional cells. Drosophila ovarian germline stem cells (GSCs) are an effective system for studying self-renewal and differentiation because of powerful genetics and exceptional cell biology. Two decades ago, we demonstrated, for the first time, that GSC self-renewal is controlled by the niche, which has been proven to be a general mechanism for mammalian stem cells. We have also revealed that the niche works with various intrinsic factors to promote self-renewal by preventing differentiation. Based on our recent findings, we have proposed that GSC progeny differentiation is controlled by a separate niche known as the differentiation niche. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that different compartments of the differentiation niche gradually program stem cell progeny to terminal phenotypes by working with intrinsic factors. The differentiation niche is likely a common feature for mammalian stem cells. Thus, we proposed that two niches coordinately control stem cell self-renewal and differentiation in various adult tissues. Recently, we have explored the possibility of using stem cells in treating retinal degenerative diseases, including glaucoma and photoreceptor degeneration. In addition, glaucoma is the second leading cause of human blindness in the world, but still lacks effective treatments.  We have recently developed a mouse model for uncovering the critical molecular mechanisms underlying glaucoma pathogenesis. In my presentation, I will summarize our current understanding of adult stem cell regulation and glaucoma pathogenesis.