Marcela Low


Name: Marcela Low
Position: Postdoctoral Fellow
Birthplace: Chile
Nationality: Chilean


Previous or Current Education:

– Postdoctoral Research, Currently, Biomedical Research Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canadá.

–       Postdoctoral Research, April 2011- September 2012, Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile. “Regulation of zinc metabolism in Enterococcus faecalis and participation of zur transcription factor”.

 –       PhD in Biological Sciences, Cell and Molecular Biology, March 2011, University of Concepcion, Concepcion, Chile. Expression, regulation and function of the sodium/vitamin C co-transporter, SVCT2 in skeletal muscle cells”.

 –       B.Sc. in Biochemistry, January 2005, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile. Expression and polarization of the sodium ascorbate cotransporter SVCT1 in renal epithelium”.

 Research Summary:

Study the mechanism regulating matrix gene expression in Fibro/adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) in vitro and identify novel compounds that modulate it in vivo.
I’m interested in understand how fibrosis process is regulated in skeletal muscle, specially focusing in a non-myogenic mesenchymal stem cells called Fibro/adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) and study molecular pathways that regulate this process. This might open new opportunities for designing therapeutic strategies for muscle diseases.

Recently, has been demonstrated that TGF-b induced the expression of fibrosis markers in mesenchymal progenitors (FAPs) but not in myogenic cells. This evidence shows that FAPs are the main cells responsible of fibrosis in skeletal muscles and that TGFb is a potent mediator in this effect. Therefore, we hypothesize that FAPs and the TGFb pathway are promising therapeutic targets to inhibit fibrosis in DMD and other fibrotic diseases. However more studies are needed to determine whether if other molecular ways are involved in this process and if TGFb antagonist treatments can improve muscle function impaired by fibrosis.

 Personal Summary:

Once I finished my PhD at University of Concepción, where I studied the dynamic of vitamin C transporter (SVCT2) in muscle differentation, I moved to University of Chile where I did a Postdoctoral research about gene expression regulation in bacteria against metal exposure. My interest in the potential of muscle stem cells in regenerative medicine led me to here.

I like to enjoy with family and friends, reading books, practice outdoor activities, like skiing, hiking, biking, running.

Selected Publications:

1.     The vitamin C transporter SVCT2 is down-regulated during postnatal development of slow skeletal muscles. 
Sandoval D, Ojeda J, Low M, Nualart F, Marcellini S, Osses N, Henriquez JP. Histochem Cell Biol. 139(6):887-94, 2013

2.     Dynamic expression of the sodium-vitamin C co-transporters, SVCT1 and SVCT2, during perinatal kidney development.
Nualart FCastro TLow MHenríquez JPOyarce KCisternas PGarcía AYáñez AJBertinat RMontecinos VPGarcía-Robles MA. Histochem Cell Biol. 139(2):233-47, 2013

3.     Up-regulation of the vitamin C transporter SVCT2 upon differentiation and depolarization of myotubes.
Low MSandoval DMorales BNualart FHenríquez JP. FEBS Lett. 585(2):390-6, 2011.

4.     The ascorbic acid transporter SVCT2 is expressed in slow-twitch skeletal muscle fibres.
Low MSandoval DAvilés EPérez FNualart FHenríquez JP. Hitochem cell Biol.        131(5):565-74, 2009

5.     Differential distribution of the Sodium-vitamin C cotransporter-1 along the proximal tubule of the mouse and human kidney.
Castro TLow MSalazar KMontecinos HCifuentes MYáñez AJSlebe JCFigueroa CDReinicke Kde los Angeles García MHenriquez JPNualart F. Kidney Int. 74(10):1278-86, 2008.

6.     Vitamin C uptake and recycling among normal and tumor cells from the central nervous system.
Astuya ACaprile TCastro MSalazar KGarcía Mde LReinicke KRodríguez FVera JCMillán CUlloa VLow MMartínez FNualart F. J Neurosci Res. 79(1-2):146-56, 2005.

Book Chapter:

1.     Vitamin C in skeletal muscles: the importance of transport. 
Low M, Sandoval D, Nualart F, Henríquez JP. 2011 In: “Vitamin C: Nutrition, Side Effects and Supplements”. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Chapter 7, pp.259-274.