Our laboratory is interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cellular phenotypic change, mainly of arterial smooth muscle and other cell types both under physiological conditions and in response to vascular damage. Smooth muscle cells (SMC) constitute a very interesting model of phenotypic change, since in the adult organism they retain a high plasticity that allows them to adapt to hemodynamic changes. During the development of vascular pathology, these cells undergo phenotypic dedifferentiation and transdifferentiation that actively participate in the progression of the disease. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to understand the mechanisms involved in these processes. Currently the laboratory has several lines of research. The PhD student Benjamín de la Cruz is dedicated to the identification of epigenetic mechanisms that regulate cellular plasticity processes, such as the role of noncoding RNAs and the participation of the RNA methylation machinery that control SMC phenotic transitions in collaboration with Dr. Gunter Meister from the University of Regensburg, Germany. Dr. Ximena Volpini study peripheral vascular alterations in response to Trypanosoma cruzi infection. The PhD student Lautaro Natali addresses the study of the mechanisms regulated by the transcription factor Slug in the regulation of cellular identity and collaborates with Dr. Cristina Motrán from CIBICI and Dr. Volpini to understand the vascular changes associated with T. cruzi infection. Another line, in collaboration with the Dra. Cecilia Conde Laboratory from IMMF, is focused on understanding the participation of SARA in the development of vascular remodeling, currently in charge of the student Micol Ruiz and Benjamin de la Cruz. One of the transversal interests of the laboratory is to understand phenotypic changes in vivo with the use of lineage tracing models with transgenic mice, in collaboration with Dr. Owens from the University of Virginia, USA.

On the other hand, Dr. Romina Scolari from the laboratory of Dr. Gladys Granero of the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Chemical Sciences, UNC, carries out an active internship in our laboratory for the in vivo study of nanoparticles use as carrier of antibiotics in the treatment of lung infections.




Benjamín de la Cruz-Thea

Estudiante de Doctorado Ciencias Biológicas

Becario Doctoral CONICET



Dra. Ximena Volpini

Becaria postdoctoral CONICET



Biol. Lautaro Natali

Becario doctoral CONICET

Estudiante de Doctorado Biología, UNC





  1. Scolari IR, Páez PL, Musri MM, Petiti JP, Torres A, Granero GE. Rifampicin loaded in alginate/chitosan nanoparticles as a promising pulmonary carrier against Staphylococcus aureus. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2020 May 3. doi: 10.1007/s13346-019-00705-3
  2. New Rozés-Salvador V, Siri SO, Musri MM, Conde C. New Player in Endosomal Trafficking: Differential Roles of Smad Anchor for Receptor Activation (SARA) Protein. Mol Cell Biol. 2018 Nov 28;38(24):e00446-18. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00446-18.
  3. Musri MM*#, Coll-Bonfill N*, Maron BA, Peinado VI, Wang RS, Altirriba J, Blanco I, Oldham WM, Tura-Ceide O, García-Lucio J, de la Cruz-Thea B, Meister G, Loscalzo J, Barberà JA. MicroRNA Dysregulation in Pulmonary Arteries from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Relationships with Vascular Remodeling. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2018 Oct;59(4):490-499. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2017-0040OC.
    * equally contribution. # Corresponding Author
  4. Pienimaeki-Roemer A, Konovalova T, Musri MM, Sigruener A, Boettcher A, Meister G, Schmitz G. Transcriptomic profiling of platelet senescence and platelet extracellular vesicles. Transfusion. 2017 Jan;57(1):144-156. doi: 10.1111/trf.13896. Epub 2016 Dec 27.
  5. Coll-Bonfill N, Peinado VI, Pisano MV, Párrizas M, Blanco I, Evers M, Engelmann JC, García-Lucio J, Tura-Ceide O, Meister G, Barberà JA*, Musri MM* #. Slug is increased in Vascular Remodeling and Induces a Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferative Phenotype.
    PLoS One. 2016 Jul 21;11(7):e0159460. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159460.
    * These authors contributed equally to this work. # Corresponding Author.
  6. Coll-Bonfill N, de la Cruz B, Pisano V and Musri MM. Noncoding RNAs in Smooth Muscle Cell Homeostasis: Implications in Phenotypic Switch and Vascular Disorders
    Pflügers Archiv – European Journal of Physiology. Pflugers Arch. 2016 Jun;468 (6):1071-87. doi: 10.1007/s00424-016-1821-x. # Corresponding Author.
  7. García-Lucio J, Argemi G, Tura-Ceide O, Diez M, Paul T, Bonjoch C, Coll-Bonfill N, Blanco I, Barberà JA, Musri MM*, Peinado VI* . Gene expression profile of angiogenic factors in COPD: Relationship with vascular remodeling. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2016 Jan 22:ajplung.00261.2015. doi: 10.1152/ ajplung.00261.2015.
  • These authors contributed equally to this work. Equally contribution as Senior Authors
  1. Coll-Bonfill N, Musri MM, Peinado VI, Barberá JA and Tura-Ceide O. Transdifferentiation of endothelial cells to smooth muscle cells play an important role in vascular remodeling. Am J Stem Cells. 2015 15; 4(1):13-21.
  2. Domínguez-Fandos D, Ferrer E, Puig-Pey R, Carreño C, Prats N, Aparici M, Musri MM, Gavaldà A, Peinado VI, Miralpeix M, Barberà Effects of Aclidinium Bromide in a Cigarette Smoke-Exposed Guinea Pig Model of COPD. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Feb;50(2):337-46. doi: 10.1165/rcmb. 2013-0117OC.
  3. Hanzu FA, Musri MM, Sánchez-Herrero A, Claret M, Esteban Y, Kaliman P, Gomis R, Párrizas M. Histone demethylase KDM1A represses inflammatory gene expression in preadipocytes. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2013 Apr 17. doi: 10.1002/oby.20479.
  4. Domínguez-Fandos D, Peinado VI, Puig-Pey R, Ferrer E, Musri MM, Ramírez J, Barberà JA. Pulmonary inflammatory reaction and structural changes induced by cigarette smoke exposure in the Guinea pig. COPD. 2012 Aug;9(5):473-84.



  • Coll-Bonfill N, Peinado VI, Pisano MV, Párrizas M, Blanco I, Evers M, Engelmann JC, García-Lucio J, Tura-Ceide O, Meister G, Barberà JA*, Musri MM* #. Slug is increased in Vascular Remodeling and Induces a Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferative Phenotype.
    PLoS One. 2016 Jul 21;11(7):e0159460. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.015946
  • Musri MM, Carmona MC, Hanzu FA, Kaliman P, Gomis R, Párrizas M. Histone demethylase LSD1 regulates adipogenesis. J Biol Chem. 2010 Sep 24;285(39): 30034-41. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.151209. Epub 2010 Jul 23.
  • Musri MM*, Diez M*, Ferrer E, Barberà JA, Peinado VI. Endothelial progenitor cells undergo an endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition-like process mediated by TGFbRI. Cardiovasc Res. 2010 Dec 1;88(3):502-11. * These authors contributed equally to this work.