Our paper on Parkinson’s disease therapy is in press in EBioMedicine (http://www.ebiomedicine.com/article/S2352-3964(16)30151-7/abstract), a new online journal supported by Cell press and Lancet. A definitive therapy for Parkinson’s disease is not available. In this work, we transplanted hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells into the substantia nigra of brains of two different mouse models of Parkinson’s disease. These transplanted cells fused with neurons and glial cells of the recipient mice. Four weeks after transplantation, the hybrids acquired features of mature astroglia, secreted Wnt1, and functionally ameliorated dopaminergic neuron loss. Current cell therapy approaches are being pursued in the striatum with the aim to increase dopamine levels. Here we show that the loss of dopaminergic neurons can be protected against by direct actions in the substantia nigra.
Altarche-Xifro W, Di Vicino U, Muñoz-Martin MI, Bové J, Vila M and Cosma MP (2016). Functional rescue of dopaminergic neuron loss in Parkinson’s disease mice after transplantation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, EBioMedicine, in press.
In March 2016 I was honored to receive the “Ciutat de Barcelona” award 2015 in Life Science for our work carried out in collaboration with Melike Lakadamyali group. The ceremony took place at the “Saló de Cent de l’Ajuntament de Barcelona”. The event can be seen at : BTV: http://www.btv.cat/alacarta/btv-directe/43673/
Pictures by ©pepherrero
With Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona….
With Maria Aurelia Ricci, the first author of our work published in Cell 2015….
Our work published in Cell last year ( Ricci MA, Manzo C, García-Parajo M, *Lakadamyali M, and *Cosma MP (2015). Chromatin fibers are formed by heterogeneous groups of nucleosomes in vivo. Cell, *co-last authors. Nominated F1000Prime 2015) has been selected to be among the best 8 research in Spain. In collaboration with the group of Melike Lakadamyali using super resolution microscopy we dissected out the nanoscale organisation of the nucleosome assembly in a variety of somatic and stem/ reprogrammed cells. We discovered that nucleosomes are arranged into discrete groups, which we called ‘nucleosome clutches’ (in analogy with egg clutches) and not in a regular hierarchical structure, as it was believed for a long time and is reported in textbooks. Nucleosome median number and clutch compaction correlate closely with cellular state.
Picture by David Airob, La Vanguardia
We studied mechanisms of cell-to-cell fusion (Sottile et al. Cell Reports 2017) and ploidy maintenance (Frade et al. Science Advances 2019). We showed that bone marrow (BM) cells fuse with retinal neurons and Muller glia cells in degenerated mouse retinas. The in-vivo formed hybrids undergo reprogramming and regenerate neurons in drug-induced and genetic models of retinal degeneration (Sanges et al. Cell Reports 2013; J. of Clinical Investigation 2016; Pesaresi et al. eBiomedicine 2018). Furthermore, other key discoveries showed that BM-derived hybrids can functionally rescue dopaminergic neurons in two Parkinson’s disease mouse models (Altarche-Xifro et al., eBiomedicine 2016) and regenerate mouse liver after hepatectomy (Pedone et al., Cell Reports 2017). Finally, we recently identified the released chemokines from damaged human and mouse retina and in turn we defined the chemokine-receptor interactions to enhance migration and integration of transplanted cells into the mouse retina (Pesaresi et al. Molecular Therapy, 2020).