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Generation of primordial germ cells from induced pluripotent stem cells through a non-integrative system: a model based on non-human primates

Grant number: 19/20527-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2021
Effective date (End): April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Fabiana Fernandes Bressan
Grantee:Laís Vicari de Figueiredo Pessôa
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/26818-5 - Investigation of cellular and molecular mechanisms on in vitro induced toti- and pluripotency acquisition - a translational approach, AP.JP


Studies involving stem cells, cell therapy and regenerative medicine belong to a growing research area, with significant increase in quantity of studies that culminated with the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the many different methodologies for its generation and multiple animal models. Of those, nonhuman primates, are highly relevant due to their significant genetic, immunological and morphophysiological similarities with humans, these animals are frequently used as disease models, for the development of drugs vaccines and new therapies. The "animal model" status, however, is not the only reason to perform research in nonhuman primates. There is also interest in the development of veterinary therapies and even species preservation, especially for the endangered ones. In the latter, one of the goals for producing iPSCs would be in vitro production of gametes, through derivation of primordial germ cells (PGCs). In this proposal, we aim to produce and characterize iPSCs using a non-integrative method, with episomal vectors from nonhuman primates, specifically from Sapajus apella, which possess a high encephalization rate as well as a high cognitive capacity. Later, aiming on the development of new methodologies to promote species conservation as well as study models for human infertility, we aim to generate primordial germ cells-like from the iPSCs. The generation of iPSCs and PGC proposed here may also boost the development of new models to be applied on human studies in collaboration with fellow researchers from University of Copenhagen.

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