111 research outputs found

    Identification of signaling pathways in early mammary gland development by mouse genetics

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    The mammary gland develops as an appendage of the ectoderm. The prenatal stage of mammary development is hormone independent and is regulated by sequential and reciprocal signaling between the epithelium and the mesenchyme. A number of recent studies using human and mouse genetics, in particular targeted gene deletion and transgenic expression, have identified some of the signals that control specific steps in development. This process involves cell specification and proliferation, reciprocal tissue interactions and cell migration. Since some of these events are recapitulated during tumorigenesis, an understanding of these signaling pathways may contribute to the development of targeted therapies and novel drugs

    Sprouty2 mediated tuning of signalling is essential for somite myogenesis

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    Background: Negative regulators of signal transduction cascades play critical roles in controlling different aspects of normal embryonic development. Sprouty2 (Spry2) negatively regulates receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) and FGF signalling and is important in differentiation, cell migration and proliferation. In vertebrate embryos, Spry2 is expressed in paraxial mesoderm and in forming somites. Expression is maintained in the myotome until late stages of somite differentiation. However, its role and mode of action during somite myogenesis is still unclear. Results: Here, we analysed chick Spry2 expression and showed that it overlaps with that of myogenic regulatory factors MyoD and Mgn. Targeted mis-expression of Spry2 led to inhibition of myogenesis, whilst its C-terminal domain led to an increased number of myogenic cells by stimulating cell proliferation. Conclusions: Spry2 is expressed in somite myotomes and its expression overlaps with myogenic regulatory factors. Overexpression and dominant-negative interference showed that Spry2 plays a crucial role in regulating chick myogenesis by fine tuning of FGF signaling through a negative feedback loop. We also propose that mir-23, mir-27 and mir-128 could be part of the negative feedback loop mechanism. Our analysis is the first to shed some light on in vivo Spry2 function during chick somite myogenesis

    Key stages of mammary gland development: Molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of the embryonic mammary gland

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    The development of the embryonic mammary gland involves communication between the epidermis and mesenchyme and is coordinated temporally and spatially by various signaling pathways. Although many more genes are likely to control mammary gland development, functional roles have been identified for Wnt, fibroblast growth factor, and parathyroid hormone-related protein signaling. This review describes what is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate embryonic mammary gland development

    The correlation between exaggerated fluid in lumbar facet joints and degenerative spondylolisthesis: prospective study of 52 patients

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    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used to evaluate low back pain; however, MRI in the supine position does not always reveal degenerative spondylolisthesis. The existence of a linear correlation between increased fluid in the facet joints seen on the supine axial T2 MRI of the lumbosacral spine and lumbar instability seen on standing lateral flexion-extension lumbosacral radiographs has recently been reported. The objective of this prospective study was to determine the incidence of increased fluid in the lumbar facet joints seen on the supine axial T2 MRI, and to evaluate the correlation of this finding with radiographic evidence of lumbar instability

    Branch Mode Selection during Early Lung Development

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    Many organs of higher organisms, such as the vascular system, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver and glands, are heavily branched structures. The branching process during lung development has been studied in great detail and is remarkably stereotyped. The branched tree is generated by the sequential, non-random use of three geometrically simple modes of branching (domain branching, planar and orthogonal bifurcation). While many regulatory components and local interactions have been defined an integrated understanding of the regulatory network that controls the branching process is lacking. We have developed a deterministic, spatio-temporal differential-equation based model of the core signaling network that governs lung branching morphogenesis. The model focuses on the two key signaling factors that have been identified in experiments, fibroblast growth factor (FGF10) and sonic hedgehog (SHH) as well as the SHH receptor patched (Ptc). We show that the reported biochemical interactions give rise to a Schnakenberg-type Turing patterning mechanisms that allows us to reproduce experimental observations in wildtype and mutant mice. The kinetic parameters as well as the domain shape are based on experimental data where available. The developed model is robust to small absolute and large relative changes in the parameter values. At the same time there is a strong regulatory potential in that the switching between branching modes can be achieved by targeted changes in the parameter values. We note that the sequence of different branching events may also be the result of different growth speeds: fast growth triggers lateral branching while slow growth favours bifurcations in our model. We conclude that the FGF10-SHH-Ptc1 module is sufficient to generate pattern that correspond to the observed branching modesComment: Initially published at PLoS Comput Bio

    Loss of protein kinase C delta alters mammary gland development and apoptosis

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    As apoptotic pathways are commonly deregulated in breast cancer, exploring how mammary gland cell death is regulated is critical for understanding human disease. We show that primary mammary epithelial cells from protein kinase C delta (PKCδ) −/− mice have a suppressed response to apoptotic agents in vitro. In the mammary gland in vivo, apoptosis is critical for ductal morphogenesis during puberty and involution following lactation. We have explored mammary gland development in the PKCδ −/− mouse during these two critical windows. Branching morphogenesis was altered in 4- to 6-week-old PKCδ −/− mice as indicated by reduced ductal branching; however, apoptosis and proliferation in the terminal end buds was unaltered. Conversely, activation of caspase-3 during involution was delayed in PKCδ −/− mice, but involution proceeded normally. The thymus also undergoes apoptosis in response to physiological signals. A dramatic suppression of caspase-3 activation was observed in the thymus of PKCδ −/− mice treated with irradiation, but not mice treated with dexamethasone, suggesting that there are both target- and tissue-dependent differences in the execution of apoptotic pathways in vivo. These findings highlight a role for PKCδ in both apoptotic and nonapoptotic processes in the mammary gland and underscore the redundancy of apoptotic pathways in vivo

    Effects of FVB/NJ and C57Bl/6J strain backgrounds on mammary tumor phenotype in inducible nitric oxide synthase deficient mice

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    The ability to genetically manipulate mice has led to rapid progress in our understanding of the roles of different gene products in human disease. Transgenic mice have often been created in the FVB/NJ (FVB) strain due to its high fecundity, while gene-targeted mice have been developed in the 129/SvJ-C57Bl/6J strains due to the capacity of 129/SvJ embryonic stem cells to facilitate germline transmission. Gene-targeted mice are commonly backcrossed into the C57Bl/6J (B6) background for comparison with existing data. Genetic modifiers have been shown to modulate mammary tumor latency in mouse models of breast cancer and it is commonly known that the FVB strain is susceptible to mammary tumors while the B6 strain is more resistant. Since gene-targeted mice in the B6 background are frequently bred into the polyomavirus middle T (PyMT) mouse model of breast cancer in the FVB strain, we have sought to understand the impact of the different genetic backgrounds on the resulting phenotype. We bred mice deficient in the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) until they were congenic in the PyMT model in the FVB and B6 strains. Our results reveal that the large difference in mean tumor latencies in the two backgrounds of 53 and 92 days respectively affect the ability to discern smaller differences in latency due to the Nos2 genetic mutation. Furthermore, the longer latency in the B6 strain enables a more detailed analysis of tumor formation indicating that individual tumor development is not stoichastic, but is initiated in the #1 glands and proceeds in early and late phases. NO production affects tumors that develop early suggesting an association of iNOS-induced NO with a more aggressive tumor phenotype, consistent with human clinical data positively correlating iNOS expression with breast cancer progression. An examination of lung metastases, which are significantly reduced in PyMT/iNOS(−/−) mice compared with PyMT/iNOS(+/+) mice only in the B6 background, is concordant with these findings. Our data suggest that PyMT in the B6 background provides a useful model for the study of inflammation-induced breast cancer

    Airway branching morphogenesis in three dimensional culture

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    To access publisher full text version of this article. Please click on the hyperlink in Additional Links fieldBACKGROUND: Lungs develop from the fetal digestive tract where epithelium invades the vascular rich stroma in a process called branching morphogenesis. In organogenesis, endothelial cells have been shown to be important for morphogenesis and the maintenance of organ structure. The aim of this study was to recapitulate human lung morphogenesis in vitro by establishing a three dimensional (3D) co-culture model where lung epithelial cells were cultured in endothelial-rich stroma. METHODS: We used a human bronchial epithelial cell line (VA10) recently developed in our laboratory. This cell line cell line maintains a predominant basal cell phenotype, expressing p63 and other basal markers such as cytokeratin-5 and -14. Here, we cultured VA10 with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), to mimic the close interaction between these cell types during lung development. Morphogenesis and differentiation was monitored by phase contrast microscopy, immunostainings and confocal imaging. RESULTS: We found that in co-culture with endothelial cells, the VA10 cells generated bronchioalveolar like structures, suggesting that lung epithelial branching is facilitated by the presence of endothelial cells. The VA10 derived epithelial structures display various complex patterns of branching and show partial alveolar type-II differentiation with pro-Surfactant-C expression. The epithelial origin of the branching VA10 colonies was confirmed by immunostaining. These bronchioalveolar-like structures were polarized with respect to integrin expression at the cell-matrix interface. The endothelial-induced branching was mediated by soluble factors. Furthermore, fibroblast growth factor receptor-2 (FGFR-2) and sprouty-2 were expressed at the growing tips of the branching structures and the branching was inhibited by the FGFR-small molecule inhibitor SU5402. DISCUSSION: In this study we show that a human lung epithelial cell line can be induced by endothelial cells to form branching bronchioalveolar-like structures in 3-D culture. This novel model of human airway morphogenesis can be used to study critical events in human lung development and suggests a supportive role for the endothelium in promoting branching of airway epithelium

    Shape Self-Regulation in Early Lung Morphogenesis

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    The arborescent architecture of mammalian conductive airways results from the repeated branching of lung endoderm into surrounding mesoderm. Subsequent lung’s striking geometrical features have long raised the question of developmental mechanisms involved in morphogenesis. Many molecular actors have been identified, and several studies demonstrated the central role of Fgf10 and Shh in growth and branching. However, the actual branching mechanism and the way branching events are organized at the organ scale to achieve a self-avoiding tree remain to be understood through a model compatible with evidenced signaling. In this paper we show that the mere diffusion of FGF10 from distal mesenchyme involves differential epithelial proliferation that spontaneously leads to branching. Modeling FGF10 diffusion from sub-mesothelial mesenchyme where Fgf10 is known to be expressed and computing epithelial and mesenchymal growth in a coupled manner, we found that the resulting laplacian dynamics precisely accounts for the patterning of FGF10-induced genes, and that it spontaneously involves differential proliferation leading to a self-avoiding and space-filling tree, through mechanisms that we detail. The tree’s fine morphological features depend on the epithelial growth response to FGF10, underlain by the lung’s complex regulatory network. Notably, our results suggest that no branching information has to be encoded and that no master routine is required to organize branching events at the organ scale. Despite its simplicity, this model identifies key mechanisms of lung development, from branching to organ-scale organization, and could prove relevant to the development of other branched organs relying on similar pathways

    Characterization of a Novel Fibroblast Growth Factor 10 (Fgf10) Knock-In Mouse Line to Target Mesenchymal Progenitors during Embryonic Development

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    Fibroblast growth factor 10 (Fgf10) is a key regulator of diverse organogenetic programs during mouse development, particularly branching morphogenesis. Fgf10-null mice suffer from lung and limb agenesis as well as cecal and colonic atresia and are thus not viable. To date, the Mlcv1v-nLacZ-24 transgenic mouse strain (referred to as Fgf10LacZ), which carries a LacZ insertion 114 kb upstream of exon 1 of Fgf10 gene, has been the only strain to allow transient lineage tracing of Fgf10-positive cells. Here, we describe a novel Fgf10Cre-ERT2 knock-in line (Fgf10iCre) in which a Cre-ERT2-IRES-YFP cassette has been introduced in frame with the ATG of exon 1 of Fgf10 gene. Our studies show that Cre-ERT2 insertion disrupts Fgf10 function. However, administration of tamoxifen to Fgf10iCre; Tomatoflox double transgenic embryos or adult mice results in specific labeling of Fgf10-positive cells, which can be lineage-traced temporally and spatially. Moreover, we show that the Fgf10iCre line can be used for conditional gene inactivation in an inducible fashion during early developmental stages. We also provide evidence that transcription factors located in the first intron of Fgf10 gene are critical for maintaining Fgf10 expression over time. Thus, the Fgf10iCre line should serve as a powerful tool to explore the functions of Fgf10 in a controlled and stage-specific manner
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