Hilde Van de Velde

Human preimplantation development starts with the fertilization of an oocyte which results in a totipotent zygote. Following fertilization, the zygote undergoes a number of cleavage divisions leading to compaction on day 4 and blastulation on day 5. Compaction is a process during which the cell-cell contacts increase. The cells also acquire apical/basal polarity. A blastocyst is composed of an outer epithelial layer of cells called the trophectoderm (TE) that encloses a fluid-filled cavity with a clump of undifferentiated cells called the inner cell mass (ICM). These two cell types represent the first differentiation during early human embryogenesis. The TE forms extra-embryonic trophoblast structures and is responsible for implantation. The ICM forms the embryo proper and is the source of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).

Due to the scarcity of human research materials and the ethical objections regarding the use of human embryos, it remains largely unknown how these lineages are established in the human. In mice, lineage segregation is controlled by specific transcription factors and several models have been described to explain how apparently morphologically identical cells differentiate into these distinct cell types. Moreover, it has recently been demonstrated that different signalling pathways play a key role during this differentiation event.

In this project we aim to analyse transcription factors (NANOG, POU5F1, SOX2 and CDX2) and signalling pathways (WNT, BMP4, Hippo) that contribute to the first lineage differentiation in human embryos. We are also investigating models such as polarisation and the position of the cells during compaction. This study will contribute to our basic knowledge on human embryogenesis and stem cell biology.

PhDs

Ongoing @ REPRODUCTION AND IMMUNOLOGY

WAFAA ESSAHIB. PhD project: Investigation of trophectoderm regulators playing a role in human embryos.

SHARI MACKENS. PhD project: Decidualization and mesenchymal stem cells: assessing endometrial functionality

AN VERLOES. PhD project: HLA-G expression in human embryonic cells

Graduated @ REPRODUCTION AND IMMUNOLOGY

ASMA ABERKANE. Public defence 5 July 2018. PhD dissertation: Early steps of human embryo implantation mimicked in a dish. Promoter: Van de Velde H

Graduated @ REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS

CAROLINE DE PAEPE. Public defence 24 January 2018. PhD dissertation: Totipotency versus differentiation in human embryonic cells. Promoters: Van de Velde H, Geens M

LAETITIA PETRUSSA. Public defence 23 May 2017. PhD dissertation: DNA methylation reprogramming in human preimplantation development. Promoters: De Rijcke M, Van de Velde H

NEELKE DE MUNCK. Public defence 20 December 2016. PhD dissertation: Oocyte vitrification: efficiency and safety in an oocyte donation programme. Promoters: Van de Velde H, Verheyen G, Stoop D

LISBET VAN LANDUYT. Public defence 15 December 2016. PhD dissertation: Vitrification of cleavage stage embryos and blastocysts in ART practice. Promoters: Van de Velde H, Verheyen G

MARIA KRIVEGA. Public defence 3 September 2015. PhD dissertation: Balancing between totipotency and differentiation in human embryos. Promoter: Van de Velde H, Co-promoter: Mieke Geens

MIEKE GEENS. Public defence 27 May 2010. PhD dissertation: Strategies for fertility preservation and restoration in the male.  Promoter: Tournaye H, Co-promoter: Van de Velde

GREET CAUFFMAN. Public defence 12 May 2009. PhD dissertation: Gene expression and cell commitment in the human preimplantation embyro. Promoter: Liebaers I, Co-promoter: Van de Velde H

Links to public databases

Full publication list can be viewed at Research output

VUB research activities are listed here

Research Gate

LinkedIN

Recent publications

Influence of ultra-low oxygen (2%) tension on in-vitro human embryo development

01/02/2019
Influence of ultra-low oxygen (2%) tension on in-vitro human embryo development De Munck, N. , Janssens, R. , Segers, I. , Tournaye, H. , Van de Velde, H. & Verheyen, G. , 1 Feb 2019 , In : Human Reproduction. 34 , 2 , p. 228-234 7 p.

Research output : Contribution to journal...

BMP4 plays a role in apoptosis during human preimplantation development

01/01/2019
BMP4 plays a role in apoptosis during human preimplantation development De Paepe, C. , Aberkane, A. , Dewandre, D., Essahib, W. , Sermon, K. , Geens, M. , Verheyen, G. , Tournaye, H. & Van de Velde, H. , Jan 2019 , In : Molecular Reproduction and Development. 86 , 1 , p. 53-62 10 p...

Random Mutagenesis, Clonal Events, and Embryonic or Somatic Origin Determine the mtDNA Variant Type and Load in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

10/07/2018
Random Mutagenesis, Clonal Events, and Embryonic or Somatic Origin Determine the mtDNA Variant Type and Load in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Zambelli, F. , Mertens, J. , Dziedzicka, D. , Sterckx, J., Markouli, C. , Keller, A. , Tropel, P., Jung, L., Viville, S., Van de Velde, H. , Geens, M. ,...

In-cycle prediction of the outcome after fresh embryo transfer in IVF/ICSI: a molecular analysis of follicular endometrial biopsies

01/07/2018
In-cycle prediction of the outcome after fresh embryo transfer in IVF/ICSI: a molecular analysis of follicular endometrial biopsies Mackens, S. , Santos-Ribeiro, S. , Blockeel, C. , Racca, A. , Koch, A., Essahib, W. , Aberkane, A. , Van Riet, I. , Bourgain, C. , Verpoest, W. , Brosens, J., Tournaye...

Onderzoek op menselijke embryo's in België: een overzicht

01/03/2018
Onderzoek op menselijke embryo's in België: een overzicht Pennings, G., Segers, S., Debrock, S., Heindryckx, B., Kontozova-Deutsch, V., Punjabi, U., Van De Velde, H. , Van Steirteghem, A. & Mertes, H., 1 Mar 2018 , In : Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde. 74 , 5 , p. 316-323 8 p.

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