Foto del docente

Maria Laura Bacci

Full Professor

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences

Academic discipline: VET/02 Veterinary Physiology

Director of Single Cycle Degree in Veterinary Medicine


Keywords: Translational medicine Reproductive physiology Reproductive biotechnologies Swine species Transgenic animals Animal welfare

1) Study of swine physiology by means of  biotecnologic, genomic and proteomic approaches

The swine is among the domestic species bred intensively for livestock production. The detailed knowledge of reproductive physiology, metabolic functions and behavioral characteristics are essential in order to make more efficient farming and at the same time reduce the impact of strategies livestock welfare of the subjects raised. Advancing knowledge of specific physiological pig has a huge positive impact on refinement.
Experimental approaches:
Female reproduction study; male reproduction study; molecular and endocrinological analyses for reproductive and metabolic state assessment; ethological and welfare assessment in pigs; evaluation of swine embryos gene expression; genomics and proteomics approaches specific for swine species.
Principal fields of research:
In the ovary, angiogenesis and angioregression alternatively appears. In this physiological model we study the phenomenon at gene expression and regulation levels. The maintenance of a correct ovarian function is undoubtedly related to the presence of a wide vascular bed that is able to sustain follicular and corpora lutea development. VEGF is the most relevant among angiogenetic signals. Its expression is regulated by many different signals. Hypoxia acts by HIF-1(Hypoxia-inducible factor 1) transcription factor induction and represents one of the most efficient stimuli together with vasoactive gaseous stimulus as CO e NO. The evaluation of the expression of HIF-1 as well as of HO (-1 and -2) and NOS enzymes, responsible of CO e NO production respectively, in relation to functional stage of ovarian structures are investigated.

2) Traslational medicine applied to swine pre-clinical models

The swine is universally recognized as a relevant pre-clinical model based on its anatomical and physiological similarities with the human species as organ size and physiology of the digestive, excretory, respiratory and cardiovascular, immune function and sense.
Also the swine in the context of the animal models provides a wide variety of conditions not infectious useful for the study of the pathophysiology human.
Research is carried out in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams that use the pig model for the advancement of knowledge.

3)Development of in vitro and ex vivo swine model

In order to reduce gradually and significantly the number of animals used in animal experimentation, we take care to develop complementary methods using organs, tissues and cells.