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Developmental Biology

Joel C Glover, Karen L Elliott, Albert Erives, Victor V Chizhikov, Bernd Fritzsch
Wilhelm His (1831-1904) provided lasting insights into the development of the central and peripheral nervous system using innovative technologies such as the microtome, which he invented. 150 years after his resurrection of the classical germ layer theory of Wolff, von Baer and Remak, his description of the developmental origin of cranial and spinal ganglia from a distinct cell population, now known as the neural crest, has stood the test of time and more recently sparked tremendous advances regarding the molecular development of these important cells...
February 12, 2018: Developmental Biology
Yusuke Hara, Tatsuya Sudo, Yu Togane, Hiromi Akagawa, Hidenobu Tsujimura
Programmed cell death is a conserved strategy for neural development both in vertebrates and invertebrates and is recognized at various developmental stages in the brain from neurogenesis to adulthood. To understand the development of the central nervous system, it is essential to reveal not only molecular mechanisms but also the role of neural cell death (Pinto-Teixeira et al., 2016). To understand the role of cell death in neural development, we investigated the effect of inhibition of cell death on optic lobe development...
February 12, 2018: Developmental Biology
B Gerhardt, L Leesman, K Burra, J Snowball, Racheal Rosenzweig, Natalie Guzman, M Ambalavanan, D Sinner
Tracheobronchomalacia (TBM) is a common congenital disorder in which the cartilaginous rings of the trachea are weakened or missing. Despite the high prevalence and clinical issues associated with TBM, the etiology is largely unknown. Our previous studies demonstrated that Wntless (Wls) and its associated Wnt pathways are critical for patterning of the upper airways. Deletion of Wls in respiratory endoderm caused TBM and ectopic trachealis muscle. To understand mechanisms by which Wls mediates tracheal patterning, we performed RNA sequencing in prechondrogenic tracheal tissue of Wlsf/f;ShhCre/wt embryos...
February 8, 2018: Developmental Biology
E Kague, P E Witten, M Soenens, C L Campos, T Lubiana, S Fisher, C Hammond, K Robson Brown, M R Passos-Bueno, A Huysseune
The capacity to fully replace teeth continuously makes zebrafish an attractive model to explore regeneration and tooth development. The requirement of attachment bone for the appearance of replacement teeth has been hypothesized but not yet investigated. The transcription factor sp7 (osterix) is known in mammals to play an important role during odontoblast differentiation and root formation. Here we study tooth replacement in the absence of attachment bone using sp7 zebrafish mutants. We analysed the pattern of tooth replacement at different stages of development and demonstrated that in zebrafish lacking sp7, attachment bone is never present, independent of the stage of tooth development or fish age, yet replacement is not interrupted...
February 2, 2018: Developmental Biology
Shigeru Kuratani, Rie Kusakabe, Tatsuya Hirasawa
The migration and distribution patterns of neural crest (NC) cells reflect the distinct embryonic environments of the head and trunk: cephalic NC cells migrate predominantly along the dorsolateral pathway to populate the craniofacial and pharyngeal regions, whereas trunk crest cells migrate along the ventrolateral pathways to form the dorsal root ganglia. These two patterns thus reflect the branchiomeric and somitomeric architecture, respectively, of the vertebrate body plan. The so-called vagal NC occupies a postotic, intermediate level between the head and trunk NC...
February 2, 2018: Developmental Biology
Sandra C P De Castro, Caroline S Hirst, Dawn Savery, Ana Rolo, Heiko Lickert, Bogi Andersen, Andrew J Copp, Nicholas D E Greene
Failure of neural tube closure leads to neural tube defects (NTDs), common congenital abnormalities in humans. Among the genes whose loss of function causes NTDs in mice, Grainyhead-like3 (Grhl3) is essential for spinal neural tube closure, with null mutants exhibiting fully penetrant spina bifida. During spinal neurulation Grhl3 is initially expressed in the surface (non-neural) ectoderm, subsequently in the neuroepithelial component of the neural folds and at the node-streak border, and finally in the hindgut endoderm...
February 1, 2018: Developmental Biology
Urmas Roostalu, Jason Kf Wong
Arterial vasculature distributes blood from early embryonic development and provides a nutrient highway to maintain tissue viability. Atherosclerosis, peripheral artery diseases, stroke and aortic aneurysm represent the most frequent causes of death and are all directly related to abnormalities in the function of arteries. Vascular intervention techniques have been established for the treatment of all of these pathologies, yet arterial surgery can itself lead to biological changes in which uncontrolled arterial wall cell proliferation leads to restricted blood flow...
February 1, 2018: Developmental Biology
Yuan Wang, Shaowei Yin, Hang Xue, Yating Yang, Nan Zhang, Ping Zhao
Advancements in fetal intervention procedures have led to increases in the number of pregnant women undergoing general anesthesia during the second trimester-a period characterized by extensive proliferation of fetal neural stem cells (NSCs). However, few studies have investigated the effects of mid-gestational sevoflurane exposure on fetal NSC proliferation or postnatal learning and memory function. In the present study, pregnant rats were randomly assigned to a control group (C group), a low sevoflurane concentration group (2%; L group), a high sevoflurane concentration group (3...
January 31, 2018: Developmental Biology
Chen Liu, Panagiotis N Moschou
Genome editing by CRISPR is now routinely used in plant biology for unravelling gene functions and improving agronomical traits. CRISPR opens up the possibility of genome manipulations which would have been unthinkable a few years ago. In this perspective, we discuss and suggest CRISPR-mediated approaches for steering plant development, also highlighting potential challenges.
January 31, 2018: Developmental Biology
Olga Tšuiko, Tatjana Jatsenko, Lalit Kumar Parameswaran Grace, Ants Kurg, Joris Robert Vermeesch, Fredrik Lanner, Signe Altmäe, Andres Salumets
The journey of embryonic development starts at oocyte fertilization, which triggers a complex cascade of events and cellular pathways that guide early embryogenesis. Recent technological advances have greatly expanded our knowledge of cleavage-stage embryo development, which is characterized by an increased rate of whole-chromosome losses and gains, mixoploidy, and atypical cleavage morphokinetics. Embryonic aneuploidy significantly contributes to implantation failure, spontaneous miscarriage, stillbirth or congenital birth defects in both natural and assisted human reproduction...
January 29, 2018: Developmental Biology
Dongcheng Zhang, James M Osborne, Kwaku Dad Abu-Bonsrah, Bevan L Cheeseman, Kerry A Landman, Boaz Jurkowicz, Donald F Newgreen
We quantified cell population increase in the quail embryo enteric nervous system (ENS) from E2.5 (about 1500 cells) to E12 (about 8 million cells). We then probed ENS proliferative capacity by grafting to the chorio-allantoic membrane large (600 cells) and small (40 cells) populations of enteric neural crest (ENC) cells with aneural gut. This demonstrated that ENC cells show an extremely high capacity to regulate their proliferation while forming the ENS. Previous mathematical models and clonal label experiments revealed that a few dominant ENS "superstar" cell clones emerge but most clones are small...
January 29, 2018: Developmental Biology
Albert Y Han, Sandeep Gupta, Bennett G Novitch
Orofacial muscles are critical for life-sustaining behaviors, such as feeding and breathing. Centuries of work by neuroanatomists and surgeons resulted in the mapping of bulbar motor neurons in the brainstem and the course of the cranial nerves that carry their axons. Despite the sophisticated understanding of the anatomy of the region, the molecular mechanisms that dictate the development and maturation of facial motor neurons remain poorly understood. This fundamental problem has been recently revisited by physiologists with novel techniques of studying the rhythmic contraction of orofacial muscles in relationship to breathing...
January 29, 2018: Developmental Biology
Marie McGovern, Perla Gisela Castaneda, Olga Pekar, Laura G Vallier, Erin J Cram, E Jane Albert Hubbard
DSL ligands activate the Notch receptor in many cellular contexts across metazoa to specify cell fate. In addition, Notch receptor activity is implicated in post-mitotic morphogenesis and neuronal function. In C. elegans, the DSL family ligand APX-1 is expressed in a subset of cells of the proximal gonad lineage, where it can act as a latent proliferation-promoting signal to maintain proximal germline tumors. Here we examine apx-1 in the proximal gonad and uncover a role in the maintenance of normal ovulation...
January 22, 2018: Developmental Biology
Brian Merchant, Leah Edelstein-Keshet, James J Feng
We propose a model to explain the spontaneous collective migration of neural crest cells in the absence of an external gradient of chemoattractants. The model is based on the dynamical interaction between Rac1 and RhoA that is known to regulate the polarization, contact inhibition and co-attraction of neural crest cells. Coupling the reaction-diffusion equations for active and inactive Rac1 and RhoA on the cell membrane with a mechanical model for the overdamped motion of membrane vertices, we show that co-attraction and contact inhibition cooperate to produce persistence of polarity in a cluster of neural crest cells by suppressing the random onset of Rac1 hotspots that may mature into new protrusion fronts...
January 20, 2018: Developmental Biology
Aidan Dineen, Erin Osborne Nishimura, Barbara Goszczynski, Joel H Rothman, James D McGhee
The two GATA transcription factors ELT-2 and ELT-7 function in the differentiation of the C. elegans intestine. ELT-2 loss causes lethality. ELT-7 loss causes no obvious phenotype but enhances the elt-2(-) intestinal phenotype. Thus, ELT-2 and ELT-7 appear partially redundant, with ELT-2 being more influential. To investigate the different regulatory roles of ELT-2 and ELT-7, we compared the transcriptional profiles of pure populations of wild-type, elt-2(-), elt-7(-), and elt-7(-); elt-2(-) double mutant L1-stage larvae...
January 20, 2018: Developmental Biology
Terren K Niethamer, Jeffrey O Bush
In vertebrates, the Eph/ephrin family of signaling molecules is a large group of membrane-bound proteins that signal through a myriad of mechanisms and effectors to play diverse roles in almost every tissue and organ system. Though Eph/ephrin signaling has functions in diverse biological processes, one core developmental function is in the regulation of cell position and tissue morphology by regulating cell migration and guidance, cell segregation, and boundary formation. Often, the role of Eph/ephrin signaling is to translate patterning information into physical movement of cells and changes in morphology that define tissue and organ systems...
January 19, 2018: Developmental Biology
Yunzi Gou, Shruti Vemaraju, Elly M Sweet, Hye-Joo Kwon, Bruce B Riley
Formation of neural and sensory progenitors in the inner ear requires Sox2 in mammals, and in other species is thought to rely on both Sox2 and Sox3. How Sox2 and/or Sox3 promote different fates is poorly understood. Our mutant analysis in zebrafish showed that sox2 is uniquely required for sensory development while sox3 is uniquely required for neurogenesis. Moderate misexpression of sox2 during placodal stages led to development of otic vesicles with expanded sensory and reduced neurogenic domains. However, high-level misexpression of sox2 or sox3 expanded both sensory and neurogenic domains to fill the medial and lateral halves of the otic vesicle, respectively...
January 17, 2018: Developmental Biology
Yunzi Gou, Jinbai Guo, Kirstin Maulding, Bruce B Riley
Expression of sox3 is one of the earliest markers of Fgf-dependent otic/epibranchial placode induction. We report here that sox2 is also expressed in the early otic/epibranchial placode in zebrafish. To address functions of sox2 and sox3, we generated knockouts and heat shock-inducible transgenes. Mutant analysis, and low-level misexpression, showed that sox2 and sox3 act redundantly to establish a full complement of otic/epibranchial cells. Disruption of pax8, another early regulator, caused similar placodal deficiencies to sox3 mutants or pax8-sox3 double mutants, suggesting that sox3 and pax8 operate in the same pathway...
January 17, 2018: Developmental Biology
Jesus Lacal, Zhouxin Shen, Kimberly Baumgardner, Jing Wei, Steven P Briggs, Richard A Firtel
GSK3 plays a central role in orchestrating key biological signaling pathways, including cell migration. Here, we identify GlkA as a GSK3 family kinase with functions that overlap with and are distinct from those of GskA. We show that GlkA, as previously shown for GskA, regulates the cell's cytoskeleton through MyoII assembly and control of Ras and Rap1 function, leading to aberrant cell migration. However, there are both qualitative and quantitative differences in the regulation of Ras and Rap1 and their downstream effectors, including PKB, PKBR1, and PI3K, with glkA- cells exhibiting a more severe chemotaxis phenotype than gskA- cells...
January 16, 2018: Developmental Biology
Andrea Acuna, Michael A Drakopoulos, Yue Leng, Craig J Goergen, Sarah Calve
The extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a crucial role in embryogenesis, serving both as a substrate to which cells attach and as an active regulator of cell behavior. However, little is known about the spatiotemporal expression patterns and 3D structure of ECM proteins during embryonic development. The lack of suitable methods to visualize the embryonic ECM is largely responsible for this gap, posing a major technical challenge for biologists and tissue engineers. Here, we describe a method of viewing the 3D organization of the ECM using a polyacrylamide-based hydrogel to provide a 3D framework within developing murine embryos...
January 15, 2018: Developmental Biology
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