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testis • spermatogenesis • stem cells • differentiation • signaling pathways
My research focuses on identifying the mechanisms controlling the proliferation and differentiation of neonatal gonocytes, precursors of male germline stem cells, and the effects of environmental chemicals on testis development. Perturbation of gonocyte development can result in infertility or testicular tumors. Because testis development is dependent on sex hormones, it is very sensitive to chemicals that interfere with androgen and estrogen homeostasis and action. My group has identified molecules and pathways involved in the regulation of gonocyte development, including elements of the ubiquitin proteasome system, which are under investigation. In utero exposure of rats to endocrine disruptors, including estrogenic compounds and the plasticizer DEHP, have unveiled short and long term testicular targets that are the object of current studies. These studies will help understanding early phases of spermatogenesis and better assess the risk posed by endocrine disruptors to the reproductive system.
Manku G, Wang Y, Merkbaoui V, Boisvert A, Ye X , Blonder J, Culty M 2015 Role of Retinoic Acid and Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor crosstalk in the regulation of neonatal gonocyte and embryonal carcinoma cell differentiation. Endocrinology, 1(1):346-359 PMID: 25380237.
Jones S, Boisvert A, Duong T, Francois S, Thrane P, Culty M 2014 Disruption of Rat Testis Development Following Combined In-Utero Exposure to the Phytoestrogen Genistein and Anti-Androgenic Plasticizer Di-(2-Ethylhexyl) Phthalate. Biology of Reproduction, 91(3):64 PMID: 25031359.
Manku G, Wing SS, Culty M 2012 Expression of the Ubiquitin Proteasome System in Neonatal Rat Gonocytes and Spermatogonia: Role in Gonocyte Differentiation. Biology of Reproduction 23; 87(2):44; PMID: 22592496.
Manku G, Wang Y, Thuillier R, Rhodes C, Culty M 2012 Developmental expression of TSPO in testicular germ cells. Current Molecular Medicine; 12:467-475 PMID: 22348614.
Thuillier R, Mazer M, Manku G, Boisvert A, Wang Y, Culty M 2010 Interdependence of PDGF and estrogen signaling pathways in inducing neonatal rat testicular gonocytes proliferation. Biology of Reproduction, 82:825-836. PMID: 20089883.