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Miss Elisabeth Spiritosanto

Research project: Understanding bladder smooth muscle repair capacity in healthy and overactive bladders

Abstract

MGF (mechano growth factor), a splice variant of the insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) gene, induces de novo muscle proliferation in skeletal muscle following tissue injury/mechanical stretch. The contribution of the MGF peptide in normal and pathological smooth muscle function is unknown. 

This project focuses the potential involvement of MGF in THE overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome.

We hypothesize that mechano-growth factor (MGF) is produced in normal bladder in response to mechanical stretch during the filling phase to promote detrusor smooth muscle proliferation by recruitment of progenitor cells and counter-balance apoptosis of smooth muscle. In contrast, in patients with OAB, MGF response is attenuated. Suppressed MGF activity would lead to a reduction in de novo smooth muscle cell growth resulting in increased extracellular matrix deposition and cell hypertrophy through IGF-1Ea activity only, and thereby to detrusor muscle dysfunction. The overall aim of the project is to test this hypothesis.

  • Research degree: MSc by Research
  • Title of project: Understanding bladder smooth muscle repair capacity in healthy and overactive bladders
  • Research supervisor: Dr Natasha Hill
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Francesca Mackenzie

Biography

I have been awarded a Bachelor in Science in Biotechnology from Università degli Studi di Messina, Italy, in October 2018.

I am currently doing a fully-funded full-time Master by Research in Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology at Kingston University London

Areas of research interest

  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology

Qualifications

  • BSc in Biotechnology, Università degli Studi di Messina, Italy

Funding or awards received

  • Kingston Hospital Charity
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