Extrinsic control of skeletal muscle remodelling: molecular mechanisms and therapeutic implications.

Cristina Rodriguez
Cristina RodriguezIGB-CNR Institute of Genetics and Biophysics

PhD student from University of Naples Federico II within the frame of RENOIR programme.

Her educational background is a BsC in Biotechnology at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and a MsC in Translational Medicine at the University of Barcelona, Spain.

She worked on studying the physiopathology of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension at Hospital Clinic in Barcelona (Spain).

Currently, she is enrolled in the PhD in Biology programme at University of Naples Federico II which will be developed at the CNR Institute of Genetics and Biophysics (IGB). During the PhD programme she will study the role of the TGFβ coreceptor Cripto in muscle regeneration and disease. This process will be addressed using both in vitro and in vivo approaches in order to eventually ameliorate acute and chronic muscle diseases.


IGB-CNR Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche



Several studies support the emerging concept that inflammation controls stem cell fate/behaviour coordinating tissue repair and this balance is probably skewed in patients with late phases of chronic diseases, like muscle dystrophies.

In this context, we will investigate the role of the TGF-β family coreceptor Cripto in the cross talk between different cells of the muscle tissue during acute injury and in chronic disease, by combining in vivo and in vitro approaches.

We will investigate the mechanism(s) underlying Cripto-dependent control of SC heterogeneity and identify the genes/signalling pathways and/or chromatin modifications regulated by Cripto in satellite cells (SCs) by using tamoxifen inducible SC-specific Cripto KO lineage tracing mice.

We will also analyse the signaling pathways/genes involved in the crosstalk between macrophage population and endothelial cell progenitors by using the myeloid lineage-specific Cripto knockout lineage tracing mice mice.

We will perform RNAseq analyses on FACS-sorted macrophages to gain further insight into the mechanism underlying Cripto- dependent control of macrophage plasticity and proper vascular remodeling.
We will also explore how to exploit the recombinant Cripto protein to optimize both ex vivo and in vivo approaches to improve muscle regeneration and to eventually ameliorate acute and chronic muscle diseases.

  • To characterize the signalling pathways and the chromatin modifications regulated by Cripto in the satellite cell compartment in muscle regeneration

  • To study the inflammatory cell contribution of Cripto in muscle regeneration

  • To assess the therapeutic effect of Cripto

PHD Program

Biology, Department of Biology

University of Naples “Federico II


Gabriella Minchiotti

Institute of Genetics and Biophysics

Centro Nazionale delle Ricerche