Summary Proper functioning of the musculo-skeletal system requires the precise integration of bones, muscles and tendons. Complex morphogenetic events ensure that these elements are linked together in the appropriate 3D configuration. It has been difficult, however, to tease apart the mechanisms that regulate tissue morphogenesis. We find that deletion of Tbx5 in forelimb (or Tbx4 in hindlimbs) specifically affects muscle and tendon patterning without disrupting skeletal development thus suggesting that distinct cues regulate these processes. We identify muscle connective tissue as the site of action of these transcription factors and show that N-Cadherin and β-Catenin are key downstream effectors acting in muscle connective tissue regulating soft-tissue morphogenesis. In humans, TBX5 mutations lead to Holt-Oram syndrome, which is characterised by forelimb musculo-skeletal defects. Our results suggest that a focus on connective tissue is required to understand the aetiology of diseases affecting soft tissue formation.
The shapes of homologous skeletal elements in the vertebrate forelimb and hindlimb are distinct, with each element exquisitely adapted to their divergent functions. Many of the signals and signalling pathways responsible for patterning the developing limb bud are common to both forelimb and hindlimb. How disparate morphologies are generated from common signalling inputs during limb development remains poorly understood. We show that, similar to what has been shown in the chick, characteristic differences in mouse forelimb and hindlimb cartilage morphology are maintained when chondrogenesis proceeds in vitro away from the endogenous limb bud environment. Chondrogenic nod-ules that form in high-density micromass cultures derived from forelimb and hindlimb buds are consistently different in size and shape. We described analytical tools we have developed to quantify these differences in nodule morphology and demonstrate that characteristic hindlimb nodule morphology is lost in the absence of the hindlimb-restricted limb modifier gene Pitx1. Furthermore, we show that ectopic expression of Pitx1 in the forelimb is sufficient to generate nodule patterns characteristic of the hindlimb. We also demonstrate that hindlimb cells are less adhesive to the tissue culture substrate and, within the limb environment, to the extracellular matrix and to each other. These results reveal autonomously programmed differences in forelimb and hindlimb cartilage precursors of the limb skeleton are controlled, at least in part, by Pitx1 and suggest this has an important role in generating distinct limb-type morphologies. Our results demonstrate that the micromass culture system is ideally suited to study cues governing morphogenesis of limb skeletal elements in a simple and experimentally tractable in vitro system that reflects in vivo potential.
Summary We report the expression pattern and construction of a transgenic zebrafish line for a transcription factor involved in otic vesicle formation and skeletogenesis. The zinc finger transcription factor sp7 (formerly called osterix) is reported as a marker of osteoblasts. Using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-mediated transgenesis, we generated a zebrafish transgenic line for studying skeletal development, Tg(sp7:EGFP)b1212. Using a zebrafish BAC, EGFP was introduced downstream of the regulatory regions of sp7 and injected into 1 cell-stage embryos. In this transgenic line, GFP expression reproduces endogenous sp7 gene expression in the otic placode and vesicle, and in forming skeletal structures. GFP-positive cells were also detected in adult fish, and were found associated with regenerating fin rays post-amputation. This line provides an essential tool for the further study of zebrafish otic vesicle formation and the development and regeneration of the skeleton.
The morphologies of individual bones are crucial for their functions within the skeleton, and vary markedly during evolution. Recent studies have begun to reveal the detailed molecular genetic pathways that underlie skeletal morphogenesis. On the other hand, understanding of the process of morphogenesis itself has not kept pace with the molecular work. We examined, through an extended period of development in zebrafish, how a prominent craniofacial bone, the opercle (Op), attains its adult morphology. Using high-resolution confocal imaging of the vitally stained Op in live larvae, we show that the bone initially appears as a simple linear spicule, or spur, with a characteristic position and orientation, and lined by osteoblasts that we visualize by transgenic labeling. The Op then undergoes a stereotyped sequence of shape transitions, most notably during the larval period occurring through three weeks postfertilization. New shapes arise, and the bone grows in size, as a consequence of anisotropic addition of new mineralized bone matrix along specific regions of the pre-existing bone surfaces. We find that two modes of matrix addition, spurs and veils, are primarily associated with change in shape, whereas a third mode, incremental banding, largely accounts for growth in size. Furthermore, morphometric analyses show that shape development and growth follow different trajectories, suggesting separate control of bone shape and size. New osteoblast arrangements are associated with new patterns of matrix outgrowth, and we propose that fine developmental regulation of osteoblast position is a critical determinant of the spatiotemporal pattern of morphogenesis.
The forelimbs of higher vertebrates are composed of two portions: the appendicular region (stylopod, zeugopod and autopod) and the less prominent proximal girdle elements (scapula and clavicle) that brace the limb to the main trunk axis. We show that the formation of the muscles of the proximal limb occurs through two distinct mechanisms. The more superficial girdle muscles (pectoral and latissimus dorsi) develop by the "In-Out" mechanism whereby migration of myogenic cells from the somites into the limb bud is followed by their extension from the proximal limb bud out onto the thorax. In contrast, the deeper girdle muscles (e.g. rhomboideus profundus and serratus anterior) are induced by the forelimb field which promotes myotomal extension directly from the somites. Tbx5 inactivation demonstrated its requirement for the development of all forelimb elements which include the skeletal elements, proximal and distal muscles as well as the sternum in mammals and the cleithrum of fish. Intriguingly, the formation of the diaphragm musculature is also dependent on the Tbx5 programme. These observations challenge our classical views of the boundary between limb and trunk tissues. We suggest that significant structures located in the body should be considered as components of the forelimb.
Background: The developing mouse limb is widely used as a model system for studying tissue patterning. Despite this, few references are available that can be used for the correct identification of developing limb structures, such as muscles and tendons. Existing textual references consist of two-dimensional (2D) illustrations of the adult rat or mouse limb that can be difficult to apply when attempting to describe the complex three-dimensional (3D) relationship between tissues.
BackgroundThe vertebrate craniofacial skeleton may exhibit anatomical complexity and diversity, but its genesis and evolution can be understood through careful dissection of developmental programs at cellular resolution. Resources are lacking that include introductory overviews of skeletal anatomy coupled with descriptions of craniofacial development at cellular resolution. In addition to providing analytical guidelines for other studies, such an atlas would suggest cellular mechanisms underlying development.DescriptionWe present the Fish Face Atlas, an online, 3D-interactive atlas of craniofacial development in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Alizarin red-stained skulls scanned by fluorescent optical projection tomography and segmented into individual elements provide a resource for understanding the 3D structure of the zebrafish craniofacial skeleton. These data provide the user an anatomical entry point to confocal images of Alizarin red-stained zebrafish with transgenically-labelled pharyngeal arch ectomesenchyme, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts, which illustrate the appearance, morphogenesis, and growth of the mandibular and hyoid cartilages and bones, as viewed in live, anesthetized zebrafish during embryonic and larval development. Confocal image stacks at high magnification during the same stages provide cellular detail and suggest developmental and evolutionary hypotheses.ConclusionThe FishFace Atlas is a novel learning tool for understanding craniofacial skeletal development, and can serve as a reference for a variety of studies, including comparative and mutational analyses.
SUMMARYLesions in the epithelially expressed human gene FRAS1 cause Fraser syndrome, a complex disease with variable symptoms, including facial deformities and conductive hearing loss. The developmental basis of facial defects in Fraser syndrome has not been elucidated. Here we show that zebrafish fras1 mutants exhibit defects in facial epithelia and facial skeleton. Specifically, fras1 mutants fail to generate a late-forming portion of pharyngeal pouch 1 (termed late-p1) and skeletal elements adjacent to late-p1 are disrupted. Transplantation studies indicate that fras1 acts in endoderm to ensure normal morphology of both skeleton and endoderm, consistent with well-established epithelial expression of fras1. Late-p1 formation is concurrent with facial skeletal morphogenesis, and some skeletal defects in fras1 mutants arise during late-p1 morphogenesis, indicating a temporal connection between late-p1 and skeletal morphogenesis. Furthermore, fras1 mutants often show prominent second arch skeletal fusions through space occupied by late-p1 in wild type. Whereas every fras1 mutant shows defects in late-p1 formation, skeletal defects are less penetrant and often vary in severity, even between the left and right sides of the same individual. We interpret the fluctuating asymmetry in fras1 mutant skeleton and the changes in fras1 mutant skeletal defects through time as indicators that skeletal formation is destabilized. We propose a model wherein fras1 prompts late-p1 formation and thereby stabilizes skeletal formation during zebrafish facial development. Similar mechanisms of stochastic developmental instability might also account for the high phenotypic variation observed in human FRAS1 patients.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2023 scite Inc. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers