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Skeletal cell metabolism during bone development
Belgium (BeMSA) - KU Leuven, Leuven
Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Clinical & Experimental Endocrinology
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
The development and longitudinal growth of the long bones of our body mainly depend on endochondral ossification. This process is characterized by proliferation of the chondrocytes in the growth plate and the deposition of an extracellular matrix by these cells, which is later replaced by bone. Chondrocytes are thus highly anabolic cells (e.g. proliferation, matrix formation), although the growth plate is an avascular structure. The delivery of several nutrients may, therefore, be limited. Little is known about how chondrocytes adapt to this situation and on the details of chondrocyte metabolism. Recent research performed in our lab has elucidated some of the most important pathways supporting chondrocyte function and survival. In the present project, we will study chondrocyte metabolism in more details to try and elucidate the exact role of different pathways in chondrocyte fate and function.
What is the aim of the project?
Characterize chondrocyte metabolism during bone development.
What techniques and methods are used?
Isolation of mouse primary chondrocytes, cell culture, flow cytometry, DNA isolation, DNA quantification, RNA and protein isolation, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, western blot analysis, lentiviral transduction, in vivo genetic mouse models, genotyping
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- If the project includes “lab work”
- the student will take active part in the practical aspect of the project
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will be trained to perform some of the techniques used in the host lab. Practical work will be learned under supervision and independent lab work is possible. The student will gather results on his/her own project and will be coached on how to analyze and interpret these results. At the end of his/her stay, the student will write a report and give a presentation at the host lab to show and discuss the obtained results during his/her research stay. This way the student can demonstrate that he/she has understood the subject.
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 presentation - 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 student is expected to be interested in basic research and in lab work. The student should be motivated about the research stay and show interest and initiative during his/her stay.
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) - Pre-Medical students from the American-British system - Students in biomedical fields
- van Gastel; N. et al. Engineering vascularized bone: Osteogenic and proangiogenic potential of murine periosteal cells. Stem Cells 30; 2460–2471 (2012).
- van Gastel; N. et al. Expansion of murine periosteal progenitor cells with fibroblast growth factor 2 reveals an intrinsic endochondral ossification program mediated by bone morphogenetic protein 2. Stem Cells 32; 2407–2418 (2014).
- Stegen; S.; van Gastel; N. & Carmeliet; G. Bringing new life to damaged bone: The importance of angiogenesis in bone repair and regeneration. Bone 70; 19–27 (2015).
- Stegen; S. et al. HIF-1α promotes glutamine-mediated redox homeostasis and glycogen-dependent bioenergetics to support postimplantation bone cell survival. Cell Metab. 23; 265–279 (2016).
- Stegen; S. et al. HIF-1α metabolically controls collagen synthesis and modification in chondrocytes. Nature 565; 511-515 (2019).
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