Dr. Lucas is investigating pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells (PPMSCs) to accomplish tissue regeneration. Lucas has isolated PPMSCs from skeletal muscle or dermis and expanded ex vivo without differentiation. These cells can be induced to form cartilage, bone, skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, fat, and the cellular components of blood vessels in vitro. In vivo, the cells respond to endogenous inductive factors to form the tissues at the site of implantation. MSCs have the potential to regenerate tissues derived from the mesodermal developmental lineage, which include skeletal muscle, blood vessels, heart, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bone, hematopoietic tissue and breast tissue. Projects underway in the Lucas lab include exploring the differentiation and proliferation potential of PPMSCs, exploring the use of PPMSCs in regeneration models and using PPMSCs to study early genetic and molecular events in differentiation.
Schultz SS, Abraham S, Lucas PA. Stem cells isolated from adult rat muscle differentiate across all three dermal lineages. Wound Repair Regen. 2006 Mar-Apr;14(2):224-31.
Schultz SS, Lucas PA. Human stem cells isolated from adult skeletal muscle differentiate into neural phenotypes. J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Apr 15;152(1-2):144-55. Epub 2005 Nov 18.