Molecular Horizons Seminar with Dr Carola Venturini

Molecular Horizons Seminar - Amy Hulme, PhD Exit Seminar

Mechanosensation, the transduction of mechanical stimuli into neural signals, is essential for everyday functions,such as sitting, walking, holding objects, and internal organ sensation. A major challenge in studyingmechanosensation and the pathophysiology of associateddevelopmental and degenerative diseases is the availability of human mechanosensory neurons, which include proprioceptors (that detect movement, musclepressure, and tension) and low threshold mechanoreceptors (LTMRs) (that detect touch, hair deflection,and vibration). This PhD developed a novel and robust methodology for generating and functionally characterising mechanosensitive induced-proprioceptors (iPNs) and induced-LTMRs (iLTMRs) from human pluripotent stem cells(hPSCs). Importantly, the generatedneurons displayed expression and functional characteristics akin toproprioceptors and LTMRs. These findings further our understanding of human mechanosensory physiology andenable the development of disease models toward these neuronal populations that become compromised bytrauma and/or neurodegenerative conditions.