Research activity in the Department of Histology and Embryology is focused on stem and progenitor cells and their role in tissue regeneration. In our laboratories we isolate and culture a relatively broad spectrum of stem cells. We carry out detailed characteristics of their biological properties, we examine their differentiation potential and also introduce models for exploitation of stem cells in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.
We have been engaged in neural cell stem cell isolation since 1995. First we studied the inner structure of neurospheres and distribution of neurospheral cell types that arise from spontaneous differentiation. Nowadays we concentrate on the usage of these cells in the therapy of demyelinating disorders in animal model of EAE (experimental allergic encephalomyelitis; analogy of human multiple sclerosis). To examine neural stem cell plasticity we established the model of chimaeric embryoid bodies by mixing these tissue-specific stem cells with embryonic stem cells and proved their ability to generate non-neural phenotypes that were not created by cell fusion. Other types of tissue-specific stem cells we study in our laboratories include bone marrow stromal (mesenchymal) stem cells, dental pulp stem cells and stem cells of periodontal ligaments. Stem cells are isolated for the purpose of their utilization in cells therapy of disorders that are not curable by contemporary therapeutic approaches or modelling morphological processes leading to formation of primordia of biological structures.
Other research topics are connected with the study of degeneration and regeneration of skeletal muscle, regeneration of nervous tissue after neurotoxic lesion of the striatum (model of Huntington’s chorea), tissue vascularisation (incl. angiogenesis and arteriogenesis) and the cellular and molecular structure of stem cell niché in different tissues.