The haematopoietic niche group
Our aim is to understand how the bone marrow microenvironment or niche interacts with the properties of normal and leukaemic stem cells from acute myeloid leukaemia. These interactions will be approached through studies of the CXCR4/SDF-1 axis with the following objectives: Determination of the mechanisms involved in the control of normal HSC biology by CXCR4 and its ligands. We take advantage of the mouse model previously constructed in which mouse haematopoiesis is reconstituted by CXCR4-/- fetal liver to understand which signalling pathways and target genes are activated by the niche allowing maintenance of the quiescence and self-renewal properties of normal and leukaemic stem cells. We will investigate how the niche regulates CXCR4 expression and functions. We intend to translate the data from basic research towards new-targeted therapies of AML.