Alisa Molotova MSci, MRes
http://molotoffblog.wordpress.com (personal home page)
The tissue extracellular matrix (ECM) provides the resident progenitor cells with both biochemical and physical cues, which regulate stem cell fate. During ageing the brain ECM is dynamically altered leading to an imbalance in the tissue homeostasis, which has been linked to a decrease in remyelination efficiency. Chronically demyelinated axons are susceptible to atrophy leading to age-related neurodegeneration and eventual decline in several cognitive functions. In the CNS remyelination is carried out by oligodendrocytes produced from a population of stem/progenitor cells called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). While OPC numbers remain constant into old age, this cell type portrays a significantly reduced regeneration efficiency. In my PhD project, I aim to identify the ECM components, which contribute to the changes in brain mechanics with ageing as well as identify the molecular circuitry behind the reduced OPC regenerative capacity in response to external triggers.
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