Franchesca Dawn Houghton

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Gap junctional intercellular coupling allows cells to share low molecular weight metabolites and second messengers, thus facilitating homeostatic and developmental processes. Gap junctions make their appearance very early in rodent development, during compaction in the eight-cell stage. Surprisingly, preimplantation mouse embryos lacking the gap junction(More)
Human embryonic stem (hES) cells are routinely cultured under atmospheric, 20% oxygen tensions but are derived from embryos which reside in a 3-5% oxygen (hypoxic) environment. Maintenance of oxygen homeostasis is critical to ensure sufficient levels for oxygen-dependent processes. This study investigates the importance of specific hypoxia inducible factors(More)
Energy metabolism is intrinsic to cell viability but surprisingly has been little studied in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The current study aims to investigate the effect of environmental O2 tension on carbohydrate utilisation of hESCs. Highly pluripotent hESCs cultured at 5% O2 consumed significantly more glucose, less pyruvate and produced more(More)
Establishment of totipotency after somatic cell nuclear transfer (NT) requires not only reprogramming of gene expression, but also conversion of the cell cycle from quiescence to the precisely timed sequence of embryonic cleavage. Inadequate adaptation of the somatic nucleus to the embryonic cell cycle regime may lay the foundation for NT embryo failure and(More)
Low O2 tension is beneficial for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) maintenance but the mechanism of regulation is unknown. HIF-2α was found to bind directly to predicted hypoxic response elements (HREs) in the proximal promoter of OCT4, NANOG and SOX2 only in hESCs cultured under hypoxia (5% O2). This binding induced an array of histone modifications(More)
BACKGROUND In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment provides an opportunity to study early developmental responses to periconceptional dietary interventions. Retrospective studies have suggested links between preconception diet and fertility, and more recently, a "Mediterranean" diet has been reported to increase pregnancy rates by up to 40%. In addition, a(More)
STUDY QUESTION Do the amino acid levels of human uterine fluid vary with age, BMI, phase of menstrual cycle, benign pathology or diet? SUMMARY ANSWER The levels of 18 amino acids in human uterine fluid were shown to be affected only by maternal diet. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY Murine, bovine and ovine uterine amino acid content has been reported, but no(More)
Skeletal stem and progenitor populations provide a platform for cell-based tissue regeneration strategies. Optimized conditions for ex vivo expansion will be critical and use of serum-free culture may allow enhanced modelling of differentiation potential. Maintenance of human foetal femur-derived cells in a chemically defined medium (CDM) with activin A and(More)
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