14 mars 2019: Prof. Sabine Costagliola

«Our next Frontiers in Biomedicine seminar will be given by Dr. Sabine Costagliola. For a long time, her lab has focused on the role of the thyroid during development, but she has recently re-focused her research on thyroid organogenesis. Using several approaches, from zebrafish to embryonic stem (ES) cells, she is now trying to understand the development of this organ, as well as model thyroid-related disorders.

In this seminar, she will show how her lab developed an in vitro model of thyroid differentiation from ES cells into functional follicles producing thyroid hormones (Antonica et al. 2012; Antonica et al. 2017). Even more fascinating, she will show how they could, by knocking-out a single gene, redirect the differentiation of these ES cells towards the pulmonary fate and produce lungs in a dish, organized in 3D-tubular branched structures.

This organoid system represents a great potential to study the lung and thyroid tissues. Be curious and make sure you attend her talk: Thursday March 15th at 12:30PM in C150!»

Prof. Julien Bertrand, Host
Department of Pathology and Immunology
Faculté de médecine UNIGE

Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire en biologie humaine et moléculaire (IRIBHM)
Faculté de médecine, Université libre de Bruxelles


«ES cells for modelling thyroid development and disease»

In the anterior foregut endoderm Nkx2.1 + cell progenitors give rise to the thyroid follicular cells, which produce thyroid hormones, but also to the lung/airway epithelium. The molecular networks that control the cell fate decision of these Nkx2.1 + progenitors toward thyroid or lung epithelium remain largely unknown. Using a genetically modified mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) line, our laboratory developed an in vitro model of thyroid differentiation into functional follicles producing thyroid hormones, induced by a transient ectopic expression of Nkx2.1 and Pax8 transcription factors (Antonica et al. 2012; Antonica et al. 2017).  By knocking out Foxe1 gene in this cell line, we have been able to use the previously published protocol to direct the differentiation of those cells towards a pulmonary fate. We could observe a dramatic reduction of thyroid cells differentiation replaced by a massive differentiation of Nkx2.1+ cell progenitors into cells organized in 3D-tubular branched structures characterized by qPCR, IF and scanning electron microscopy as lung/airway epithelial functional structures. Most of the cell types of the lung/airway epithelium (Osteoclasts, Mucus cells, Ciliated cells, Clara cells, type 1 and 2 alveolar cells) can be identified and lung functionality was demonstrated by mucin and surfactant protein detection. Those observations suggest that in mammal, Foxe1 could repress a lung differentiation program to allow proper thyroid development or could act as a factor potentiating the differentiation of Nkx2.1+ cell progenitors into thyroid cells.


Sabine Costagliola is FNRS Senior Researcher and principal investigator at IRIBHM, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. She obtained a Ph.D in Immunology in 1991 at AIX-Marseille University in France and a Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences in 2000 at ULB in Belgium.

She is Member of the European Thyroid Association (ETA), Member of the Endocrine Society, board member of the Belgian Society for Stem Cells Research (BeSSCR) and board member of the Belgian Society for Cell and Developmental Biology (BSCDB). She is laureate of several prizes for her contribution to thyroid and endocrine research: Haarington De Vischer Prize 2001 awarded by the European Thyroid Association; Alvarenga Prize 2004 from the Royal Academy of Medicine, Belgium; Gaetano Salvatore Prize 2005, from the Academia dei Lincei, Roma, Italy; Laureate of European Journal of Endocrinology Prize, from the European Endocrine Society, 2006, Merck Serono Prize 2013, Laureate of Murray Lecture Prize, British Thyroid Association 2013, Laureate of The Shizume Lecture Prize, Japan Thyroid Association 2013. Sabine Costagliola is author of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles in international Journals as first or last author in Endocrinology/thyroid/reproduction and co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in international Journals.

The main focus of her research is the molecular dissection of signaling mechanisms that control morphogenetic processes and gene networks involved in thyroid organogenesis. A crucial aspect of the working strategy is the combination of various experimental models including Zebrafish and embryonic stem cells to delineate the molecular basis of thyroid morphogenesis.

14 mars 2019

Frontiers in biomedicine