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Role of mechanotransduction in skeletal and cardiac muscle cell physiology
Greece (HelMSIC) - National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens
Prof. Michael Koutsilieris
Ass. Prof .A. Philippou
English and Greek
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The maintenance of muscle mass is achieved by a dynamic equilibrium between signals inducing muscle growth and muscle atrophy. Skeletal muscle atrophy is a consequence of multiple conditions and pathologies including aging and chronic diseases, such as cancer, chronic heart failure (CHF) and cytokine-induced inflammation. It is characterized by muscle cell autophagy and apoptosis and muscle protein turnover impairment, resulting in the reduction of muscle protein content, cross-sectional area, mass and strength and in serious impairment of the functional capacity of the patients. Protection against loss of muscle mass requires enhancement of pro-growth signals induced by mechanical loading and growth factors, to counter the drive toward atrophy. The aim of the project is to characterize the responses of mechanoresponsive transduction pathways and genes associated with muscle cell growth and survival to different mechanical loading protocols in various muscle atrophy/hypertrophy -inducing conditions. The techniques used are based on an in vitro cell loading apparatus available in our Department (Experimental Physiology, Faculty of Medicine). By applying tensile strains to skeletal and cardiac muscle cells cultured in vitro we will investigate molecular responses of muscle cells derived from various atrophy/hypertrophy models and cultured in a mechanically active environment. RT- PCR and Western blot analyses will be also utilized to examine the aforementioned cellular responses.
What is the aim of the project?
What techniques and methods are used?
What is the role of the student?
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
- If the project is clinical
- the student will be allowed to work with patients
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
Assist in the Lab Work of the projec
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
The knowledge of the theoretical basis of cell cultures, as well as the RT-PCR and Western blot methods is required. Previous lab experience is desirable. Although it would be preferable to know these methods, however, it is not a prerequisite. There are no legal limitations in the student
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Graduated students (less than 6 months)
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- Anderson JE; Wozniak AC. 2004. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 82: 300-10
- Birukov KG . 2009. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 11; 1651?1667.
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