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Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology

Katherine D Walton, Darcy Mishkind, Misty R Riddle, Clifford J Tabin, Deborah L Gumucio
Efficient absorption of nutrients by the intestine is essential for life. In mammals and birds, convolution of the intestinal surface into finger-like projections called villi is an important adaptation that ensures the massive surface area for nutrient contact that is required to meet metabolic demands. Each villus projection serves as a functional absorptive unit: it is covered by a simple columnar epithelium that is derived from endoderm and contains a mesodermally derived core with supporting vasculature, lacteals, enteric nerves, smooth muscle, fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, and immune cells...
March 7, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Carmel McDougall, Bernard M Degnan
Molluscan shells are externally fabricated by specialized epithelial cells on the dorsal mantle. Although a conserved set of regulatory genes appears to underlie specification of mantle progenitor cells, the genes that contribute to the formation of the mature shell are incredibly diverse. Recent comparative analyses of mantle transcriptomes and shell proteomes of gastropods and bivalves are consistent with shell diversity being underpinned by a rapidly evolving mantle secretome (suite of genes expressed in the mantle that encode secreted proteins) that is the product of (a) high rates of gene co-option into and loss from the mantle gene regulatory network, and (b) the rapid evolution of coding sequences, particular those encoding repetitive low complexity domains...
February 22, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Veronica F Hinman, Robert D Burke
The phylogenetic position of echinoderms is well suited to revealing shared features of deuterostomes that distinguish them from other bilaterians. Although echinoderm neurobiology remains understudied, genomic resources, molecular methods, and systems approaches have enabled progress in understanding mechanisms of embryonic neurogenesis. Even though the morphology of echinoderm larvae is diverse, larval nervous systems, which arise during gastrulation, have numerous similarities in their organization. Diverse neural subtypes and specialized sensory neurons have been identified and details of neuroanatomy using neuron-specific labels provide hypotheses for neural function...
February 22, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Aniket V Gore, Laura M Pillay, Marina Venero Galanternik, Brant M Weinstein
Hematopoiesis is a complex process with a variety of different signaling pathways influencing every step of blood cell formation from the earliest precursors to final differentiated blood cell types. Formation of blood cells is crucial for survival. Blood cells carry oxygen, promote organ development and protect organs in different pathological conditions. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) are responsible for generating all adult differentiated blood cells. Defects in HSPCs or their downstream lineages can lead to anemia and other hematological disorders including leukemia...
February 13, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
John Isaac Murray
The convergence of developmental biology and modern genomics tools brings the potential for a comprehensive understanding of developmental systems. This is especially true for the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo because its small size, invariant developmental lineage, and powerful genetic and genomic tools provide the prospect of a cellular resolution understanding of messenger RNA (mRNA) expression and regulation across the organism. We describe here how a systems biology framework might allow large-scale determination of the embryonic regulatory relationships encoded in the C...
January 25, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Michael D Cleary
Cell type-specific transcription is a key determinant of cell fate and function. An ongoing challenge in biology is to develop robust and stringent biochemical methods to explore gene expression with cell type specificity. This challenge has become even greater as researchers attempt to apply high-throughput RNA analysis methods under in vivo conditions. TU-tagging and EC-tagging are in vivo biosynthetic RNA tagging techniques that allow spatial and temporal specificity in RNA purification. Spatial specificity is achieved through targeted expression of pyrimidine salvage enzymes (uracil phosphoribosyltransferase and cytosine deaminase) and temporal specificity is achieved by controlling exposure to bioorthogonal substrates of these enzymes (4-thiouracil and 5-ethynylcytosine)...
January 25, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Zahida Yesmin Roly, Brendan Backhouse, Andrew Cutting, Tiong Yang Tan, Andrew H Sinclair, Katie L Ayers, Andrew T Major, Craig A Smith
The Müllerian ducts are part of the embryonic urogenital system. They give rise to mature structures that serve a critical function in the transport and development of the oocyte and/or embryo. In most vertebrates, both sexes initially develop Müllerian ducts during embryogenesis, but they regress in males under the influence of testis-derived Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH). A number of regulatory factors have been shown to be essential for proper duct development, including Bmp and Wnt signaling molecules, together with homeodomain transcription factors such as PAX2 and LIM1...
January 19, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Burcu Yener Ilce, Umut Cagin, Acelya Yilmazer
Increased life expectancy, due to the rise in life quality and the decline in mortality rates, is leading to a society in which the population aged 60 and over is growing more rapidly than the entire population. Although various models and model organisms have been employed to investigate the mechanism of aging, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are useful candidates to study human aging and age-related human diseases. This work discusses how iPSCs can be used as an alternative to the model organisms such as yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, or the mouse...
January 19, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Alessandra L Moore, Clement D Marshall, Leandra A Barnes, Matthew P Murphy, Ryan C Ransom, Michael T Longaker
Since the discovery of scarless fetal skin wound healing, research in the field has expanded significantly with the hopes of advancing the finding to adult human patients. There are several differences between fetal and adult skin that have been exploited to facilitate scarless healing in adults including growth factors, cytokines, and extracellular matrix substitutes. However, no one therapy, pathway, or cell subtype is sufficient to support scarless wound healing in adult skin. More recently, products that contain or mimic fetal and adult uninjured dermis were introduced to the wound healing market with promising clinical outcomes...
January 9, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Khadeejah T Sultan, Song-Hai Shi
First described by Ramon y Cajal as 'short-axon' cells over a century ago, inhibitory interneurons in the cerebral cortex make up ~20-30% of the neuronal milieu. A key feature of these interneurons is the striking structural and functional diversity, which allows them to modulate neural activity in diverse ways and ultimately endow neural circuits with remarkable computational power. Here, we review our current understanding of the generation of cortical interneurons, with a focus on recent efforts to bridge the gap between progenitor behavior and interneuron production, and how these aspects influence interneuron diversity and organization...
March 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Venkata Thulabandu, Demeng Chen, Radhika P Atit
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is composed of two layers: the overlying epidermis and the underlying dermis. The dermal fibroblasts originate from distinct locations of the embryo and contain the positional identity and patterning information in the skin. The dermal fibroblast progenitors differentiate into various cell types that are fated to perform specific functions such as hair follicle initiation and scar formation during wound healing. Recent studies have revealed the heterogeneity and plasticity of dermal fibroblasts within skin, which has implications for skin disease and tissue engineering...
December 15, 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Evguenia Ivakhnitskaia, Ryan Weihsiang Lin, Kana Hamada, Chieh Chang
Molecular oscillators are well known for their roles in temporal control of some biological processes like cell proliferation, but molecular mechanisms that provide temporal control of differentiation and postdifferentiation events in cells are less understood. In the nervous system, establishment of neuronal connectivity during development and decline in neuronal plasticity during aging are regulated with temporal precision, but the timing mechanisms are largely unknown. Caenorhabditis elegans has been a preferred model for aging research and recently emerges as a new model for the study of developmental and postdevelopmental plasticity in neurons...
November 15, 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Gabriel Gonzalez, Yuzuru Sasamoto, Bruce R Ksander, Markus H Frank, Natasha Y Frank
The cornea is our window to the world and our vision is critically dependent on corneal clarity and integrity. Its epithelium represents one of the most rapidly regenerating mammalian tissues, undergoing full-turnover over the course of approximately 1-2 weeks. This robust and efficient regenerative capacity is dependent on the function of stem cells residing in the limbus, a structure marking the border between the cornea and the conjunctiva. Limbal stem cells (LSC) represent a quiescent cell population with proliferative capacity residing in the basal epithelial layer of the limbus within a cellular niche...
November 3, 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Yasunori Sasakura, Akiko Hozumi
The representative characteristic of ascidians is their vertebrate-like, tadpole shape at the larval stage. Ascidians lose the tadpole shape through metamorphosis to become adults with a nonmotile, sessile body and a shape generally considered distinct from that of vertebrates. Solitary ascidians including Ciona species are extensively studied to understand the developmental mechanisms of ascidians, and to compare these mechanisms with their counterparts in vertebrates. In these ascidian species, the digestive and circulatory systems are not well developed in the larval trunk and the larvae do not take food...
November 3, 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Behnom Farboud
Utilization of programmable nucleases to generate DNA lesions at precise endogenous sequences has transformed the ability to edit genomes from microbes to plants and animals. This is especially true in organisms that previously lacked the means to engineer precise genomic changes, like Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans is a 1 mm long free-living, nonparasitic, nematode worm, which is easily cultivated in a laboratory. Its detailed genetic map and relatively compact genome (~100 megabases) helped make it the first metazoan to have its entire genome sequenced...
November 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Ryuichi Shigemoto, Maximilian Joesch
Developments in bioengineering and molecular biology have introduced a palette of genetically encoded probes for identification of specific cell populations in electron microscopy. These probes can be targeted to distinct cellular compartments, rendering them electron dense through a subsequent chemical reaction. These electron densities strongly increase the local contrast in samples prepared for electron microscopy, allowing three major advances in ultrastructural mapping of circuits: genetic identification of circuit components, targeted imaging of regions of interest and automated analysis of the tagged circuits...
November 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Hugo J Parker, Robb Krumlauf
Organization and development of the early vertebrate hindbrain are controlled by a cascade of regulatory interactions that govern the process of segmentation and patterning along the anterior-posterior axis via Hox genes. These interactions can be assembled into a gene regulatory network that provides a framework to interpret experimental data, generate hypotheses, and identify gaps in our understanding of the progressive process of hindbrain segmentation. The network can be broadly separated into a series of interconnected programs that govern early signaling, segmental subdivision, secondary signaling, segmentation, and ultimately specification of segmental identity...
November 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Lisa Y Lawson, Brian D Harfe
The vertebral column consists of repeating units of ossified vertebrae that are adjoined by fibrocartilagenous intervertebral discs. These structures form from the embryonic notochord and somitic mesoderm. In humans, congenital malformations of the vertebral column include scoliosis, kyphosis, spina bifida, and Klippel Feil syndrome. In adulthood, a common malady affecting the vertebral column includes disc degeneration and associated back pain. Indeed, recent reports estimate that low back pain is the number one cause of disability worldwide...
November 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Jonathan R Chubb
The prevailing emphasis in developmental biology since the expansion of the molecular biology age has been that developmental decisions are instructive. A cell differentiates to become a specific cell type because it receives a signal, whereas its neighbor that does not receive the signal adopts a different fate. This emphasis has been generally accepted, largely because of the success of this view in tractable invertebrate model organisms, and the widespread similarities in molecular regulation to the development of more complex species...
November 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Evan Deneris, Patricia Gaspar
The continuing fascination with serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) as a nervous system chemical messenger began with its discovery in the brains of mammals in 1953. Among the many reasons for this decades-long interest is that the small numbers of neurons that make 5-HT influence the excitability of neural circuits in nearly every region of the brain and spinal cord. A further reason is that 5-HT dysfunction has been linked to a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders many of which have a neurodevelopmental component...
October 26, 2017: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
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