Title: Comparative Analysis of Rabbit and Mouse Pluripotency in Embryos and Stem Cells
European Reintegration Grant - FP7-PEOPLE-2010-RG
Project number: PERG07-GA-2010-268422
Objectives: The RabPStem proposal is aimed at increasing the fundamental knowledge of basic biological processes of cell pluripotency and differentiation by generating new comparative data on gene expression associated with cell pluripotency. RabPStem links for the first time research activities in a non-rodent (rabbit) and rodent (mouse) mammalian systems and in different cell types, from pluripotent cells in pre-implantation embryos, through embryonic stem cells, to induced pluripotent stem cells. The main scientific aim of RabPStem is to generate novel comparative information on the rabbit pluripotency pathways, which would make the rabbit a true and highly valuable model species for biomedical research. Comparative information on pluripotency regulation and pathways in non-rodent species (including rabbit) is highly valuable for understanding those in humans; a prerequisite for future medical use of human stem cell technology. The proposed basic research would be rapidly translated into practical applications such as the creation of animal models for human diseases and the generation of transgenic rabbits for biotechnology applications. Besides the biotechnology applications, the project is expected to yield novel methods to derive rabbit pluripotent stem cells, such as improved procedures for the derivation, maintenance and differentiation of pluripotent stem cell lines in rabbit. This is important for potential future applications in the fields of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, and, beyond these areas, in pharmaceutical industry and agriculture.