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Impact of Wnt signalling on multipotent stem cell dynamics during Clytia hemisphaerica embryonic and larval development

Abstract : The aim of this work was to extend our understanding of the mechanisms regulating stem cell formation, specification and differentiation by studies in the non-bilaterian metazoan model Clytia hemisphaerica. Clytia, like other hydrozoan cnidarians, possess a particular population of multipotent stem cells called interstitial cells (i-cells), present during larval development and in the adult medusa, which are able to give rise both to somatic cell types and to gametes.In bilaterian animals Wnt/β-catenin signalling regulates fundamental developmental processes such primary body axis specification, but also regulates stem cell proliferation, lineage specification and differentiation. I investigated the role of Wnt/β-catenin signalling in i-cell specification and differentiation. The results obtained suggest that Wnt/β-catenin signalling is involved in the last step of differentiation for certain neuronal cell types, but not for somatic cell fate choice. In the second part of my study I investigated the role of Wnt/β-catenin signalling in i-cell formation during embryogenesis. The results indicated that during normal development i-cell formation is Wnt/β-catenin independent and probably driven by inheritance of germ plasm containing localised mRNAs from the egg animal pole. In contrast in embryo re-patterning following embryo bisection, Wnt/β-catenin signalling appears to be necessary for de novo i-cell formation in the absence of germ plasm. Thus two distinct mechanisms can lead to i-cell formation during embryogenesis. Overall the results obtained provided a better picture of how i-cells and their derivatives arise during embryogenesis and larval development.
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Antonella Ruggiero. Impact of Wnt signalling on multipotent stem cell dynamics during Clytia hemisphaerica embryonic and larval development. Development Biology. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015PA066561⟩. ⟨tel-01490272⟩

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