Welcome to our Lab!
The Molecular and Cellular Cardiology LAB directed by Prof. Daniele Torella, MD, PhD, in the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine at the University of Catanzaro consists of scientists with diversified training background, ranging from medicine, to molecular and cellular biology. Our common interests are in regenerative biology and medicine to prevent/treat the steadily growing epidemic of heart failure. The long-standing paradigm of the heart as a non-regenerative organ has finally been replaced, with our group contribution, by a wealth of data showing that new cardiomyocyte (CMs) are formed in the adult mammalian heart. It is also clear, however, that this regeneration is not robust enough to repair severe segmental myocardial damages. Despite an auspicious start, recent work has questioned a growing consensus about the origin, quantity and physiological significance of the CMs generated in adulthood in response to wear and tear and/or injury. Resolving this controversy is a key aim of our Lab research activities.
Since 2003, our work together with reports from other pioneering groups have documented that the heart contains a pool of resident tissue-specific Cardiac Stem/Progenitor Cells, the endogenous CSCs (eCSCs). These cells have all the characteristics expected from a tissue stem cell, that is self-renewal, clonogenicity and multipotency, and support effective myocardial regeneration after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in rodent and murine animal models. The administration after AMI of cardiopoietic growth factors or allogeneic CSCs, through paracrine actions, stimulate the host’s CSCs to replicate and differentiate into the main myocardial cell types regenerating the porcine myocardium and improving cardiac function. Based on cellular, genetic, cell transplantation and molecular means, we have provided evidence that the eCSCs not only play a fundamental role in but are necessary and sufficient to support myocardial cell homeostasis, repair and regeneration.
Dr. Georgina M. Ellison-Hughes – King’s College London, UK | Prof. Dieter Saur - Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany | Dr. Isidro Sanchez-Garcia - University of Salamanca, Spain | Prof. Sergio Ottolenghi - University of Milan “Bicocca”, Italy | Prof. Andrea Isidori - University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy | Prof. Alessandro Weisz - University of Salerno, Italy | Dr. Konrad Urbanek, Dr. Antonella De Angelis, University of Campania, L. Vanvitelli, Italy | Prof. Ciro Indolfi, Dr. Valter Agosti, Prof. Vincenzo Mollace, Prof. Pierangelo Veltri, Prof. Giuseppe Viglietto - University Magna Græcia of Catanzaro, Italy