The main interest of Shoshkes-Carmel-Lab is to understand the Telocyte. We study this using mammalian intestine as a model system.
Telocytes are large stromal cells characterized by long cytoplasmic processes, have recently emerged as an important source of Wnt proteins, providing crucial support for intestinal stem cell renewal.
Current projects are concerned with understanding telocytes in:
The mammalian gut is established as a cylinder with an outer mesodermal layer and an inner luminal endoderm. During embryonic and adult life, the endoderm and mesoderm are mutually dependent upon one another for instructive signals that eventually result in the organization of each layer with its functional characteristics. We will attempt to unravel the design principles of functional tissue patterning coordinated by telocytes
Telocytes have recently emerged as an important source of Wnt proteins, providing crucial support for intestinal stem cell renewal. However, the biology of these fascinating cells remains unclear. The overreaching goal of this project is to understand telocytes: their heterogeneity, structure-function relationship, sensing machinery and importance in intestinal homeostasis
80-90% of all cancer cases account for epithelial tissues. Accumulating evidence point at the profound affect of the tumor microenvironment in mediating its growth and progression. The establishment of tools for analyzing intestinal telocytes, along with the availability of organoid ex-vivo system to grow small intestine and colon in culture, will allow functional validation in humans. We will exploit colorectal mouse models together with human tissue to study the potential role of telocytes in contribution to fatal diseases