C 3-Prof. f. Mol. Strahlbiol/Med. Strkunde
Zinklesweg 10, 97078 Würzburg
Other participating persons and organisations:
Research foci (and basic equipment-based research projects):
Stem cells have been identified in a number of mammalian tissues (e.g. bone marrow, muscle, gut, skin and neural tissues) and they are at the cellular
origin of the development and maintenance of many tissues and cell systems. Until recently, it was generally believed that the differentiation potential
of a mammalian somatic stem cell is restricted to one tissue only, as in the case of hematopoietic stem cells differentiating into hematopoietic cells.
But this basic concept of stem cell biology has been challenged by a series of recent observations that show that stem cells isolated from different
mature tissues can give rise to cells of heterologous cell systems (Stem cells plasticity). Thus, mammalian stem cells are apparently capable of fate
changes between stem cell systems, although the mechanisms leading to such changes are unclear.
The group of Albrecht Müller focuses mainly on two aspects of hematopoietic and neural stem cell biology: 1.) developmental potential of adult stem cells and 2.) the molecular switches
that govern lineage commitment in normal and abnormal development.
To study the developmental potential and migration of stem cells in early embryos we developed the injection of somatic cells into blastocyst (Blastocyst injection).
For the analysis of the regulation of stem cells we are transducing stem cells with retroviral vectors (retroviral transduction). We are convinced that our analysis will give further insights into the remarkable and often surprising biology of stem cells.