University of Rome TOR Vergata

Laboratory for the study of mouse primordial germ cells

Prof. Massimo De Felici

Casella di testo: Over the last more than two decades the laboratory has contributed to develop methods for isolation, purification and culture mouse PGCs and to elucidate several aspects of PGC development in the mouse. Carrying out studies started in the early eighty years, at the Mammalian Developmental Unit in London under the guide of Anne McLaren, M. De Felici and his collaborators evidenced the crucial importance of certain cytokines such as LIF and SCF for preventing PGC apoptosis and sustain their survival. They also focused on characterizing adhesion molecules expressed in PGCs and performed the first studies aimed to elucidate their role in PGC migration. The search for compounds able to regulate PGC proliferation, led the laboratory to identify cAMP, retinoic acid and the PACAP neuropeptides as PGC mitogens. These findings served as base for studies that led P. Donovanís and B. Hoganís laboratories to the important discovery that PGCs can be transformed in culture in ES like

Main lab research lines