Dr. Reyes-Moreno’s research in inflammation and reproduction aims to better understand the mechanisms of initial and terminal differentiation of leukocytes and their functional interaction with the trophoblast and normal uterine endometrial cells, in pregnancy or cancer. He is particularly interested in LIF (leukemia inhibitory factor), M-CSF (macrophage-colony-stimulating factor) and GM-CSF (granulocyte / macrophage-colony-stimulating factor) uterine factors, known to be essential for the embryo implantation. His general working hypothesis is that, in order to protect the uterus and the embryo, LIF is essential for directing the functional differentiation of embryonic (trophoblast) cells and uterine cells (macrophages and lymphocytes, endometrial / decidual cells) and thus modulate intra-uterine inflammatory responses and acute hepatic phase. More specifically, using Crispr / Cas9 technology, it is proposed to generate in vitro and in vivo models to examine 1) the role of LIF and female sex hormones in the regulation of uterine leukocyte activation during endotoxin inflammation; and 2) to determine the molecular mechanisms by which LIF protects the host and embryo against tissue damage caused by endotoxins.
In the field of inflammation and oncology, Dr. Reyes-Moreno is particularly interested in studying the role of inflammatory cells (leucocytes) and signaling molecules (cytokines) in the genesis and treatment of cancers of the reproductive and genito-urinary systems. Indeed, several current studies confirm that chronic inflammation plays a crucial role at different stages of tumor development, including initiation, promotion and progression of many types of cancer. Recently, in collaboration with Dr. Gervais Bérubé from the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics of UQTR, a new class of therapeutic molecules derived from para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) has been developed to propose an anti-inflammatory strategy that aim to decrease inflammation associated with the tumor. Preclinical studies with a mouse model of bladder cancer (MB49-I cells) suggest that these small molecules, used alone, have the ability to affect tumor development by inhibiting the growth of highly invasive tumors and the formation of pulmonary metastases, without exhibiting any toxicity in the mice carrying the tumor. The current goal of his research project is to evaluate their anti-cancer and anti-metastatic potential in different preclinical models of bladder cancer and to study their long-term effects in a mouse model of primary bladder tumors.