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Physiology of Domestic Animals Unit

Main research themes

1) Mammary stem cells in farm animals. The aim is to identify surface molecules that permit to easily identify and sort mammary cells with stem properties and to understand molecular mechanisms underlying the properties of the different mammary compartments (stem, luminal, basal). Finally, by using genetically reprogrammed stem cells, we are trying to repopulate a mammary gland in order to drive the expression of the reprogrammed factor.

2) IPSc (Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells): the laboratory is interested in obtaining bovine IPSc by reprogramming cultured cells obtained in different tissues and manipulating these differentiated cells with the appropriate transcription factors.

3) Mammary gland biology and morphogenesis: the aim is to provide new clues on genes essential for normal mammary development. Those factors often play an important role in disease progression of the same organ. Understanding normal development of the mammary gland is thus instrumental for understanding cancer and for developing new therapeutics.

4) Skeletal muscle hypertrophy is defined as an increase in muscle mass, which in the adult animal comes as a result of an increase in size of skeletal muscle fibers. The aim of the laboratory is to understand and unravel new mediators causative in muscle hypertrophy (postratcriptional regulators, miRNAs, etc). These molecules might be of great interest as selection markers to improve muscular hypertrophy of livestock.

5) Behaviour and welfare; reproductive physiology: the aim is to identify and quantify ethological, physiological and biochemical indicators of welfare in small animals, in livestock animals in different housing conditions and also in animals employed in Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). The laboratory is also interested in the eco-ethological, physiological and endocrine evaluation of reproductive biology and welfare in wild species.

 Staff of the Unit

Mario BARATTA Full Professor mario.baratta@unito.it
Paolo ACCORNERO Associate Professor paolo.accornero@unito.it
Elisabetta MACCHI Assistant Professor elisabetta.macchi@unito.it
Eugenio MARTIGNANI Assistant Professor eugenio.martignani@unito.it
Silvia MIRETTI Assistant Professor silvia.miretti@unito.it
Cristina CECERE Technician cristina.cecere@unito.it


Last update: 07/08/2015 10:28
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