In all jaw-bearing vertebrates, three-dimensional mobility relies on segregated, separately innervated epaxial and hypaxial skeletal muscles. In amniotes, these muscles form from the morphologically continuous dermomyotome and myotome, whose epaxial-hypaxial subdivision and hence the formation of distinct epaxial-hypaxial muscles is not understood. Here we show that En1 expression labels a central subdomain of the avian dermomyotome, medially abutting the expression domain of the lead-lateral or hypaxial marker Sim1. En1 expression is maintained when cells from the En1-positive dermomyotome enter the myotome and dermatome, thereby superimposing the En1-Sim1 expression boundary onto the developing musculature and dermis. En1 cells originate from the dorsomedial edge of the somite. Their development is under positive control by notochord and floor plate (Shh), dorsal neural tube (Wnt1) and surface ectoderm (Wnt1-like signalling activity) but negatively regulated by the lateral plate mesoderm (BMP4). This dependence on epaxial signals and suppression by hypaxial signals places En1 into the epaxial somitic programme. Consequently, the En1-Sim1 expression boundary marks the epaxial-hypaxial dermomyotomal or myotomal boundary. In cell aggregation assays, En1- and Sim1-expressing cells sort out, suggesting that the En1-Sim1 expression boundary may represent a true compartment boundary, foreshadowing the epaxial-hypaxial segregation of muscle.
It is generally held that vertebrate muscle precursors depend totally on environmental cues for their development. We show that instead, somites are predisposed toward a particular myogenic program. This predisposition depends on the somite's axial identity: when flank somites are transformed into limb-level somites, either by shifting somitic boundaries with FGF8 or by overexpressing posterior Hox genes, they readily activate the program typical for migratory limb muscle precursors. The intrinsic control over myogenic programs can only be overridden by FGF4 signals provided by the apical ectodermal ridge of a developing limb.
Recent knockout experiments in the mouse generated amazing craniofacial skeletal muscle phenotypes. Yet none of the genes could be placed into a molecular network, because the programme to control the development of muscles in the head is not known. Here we show that antagonistic signals from the neural tube and the branchial arches specify extraocular versus branchiomeric muscles. Moreover, we identified Fgf8 as the branchial arch derived signal. However, this molecule has an additional function in supporting the proliferative state of myoblasts, suppressing their differentiation, while a further branchial arch derived signal, namely Bmp7, is an overall negative regulator of head myogenesis.
Nk homeobox genes are important regulators of many different developmental processes including muscle, heart, central nervous system and sensory organ development. They are thought to have arisen as part of the ANTP megacluster, which also gave rise to Hox and ParaHox genes, and at least some NK genes remain tightly linked in all animals examined so far. The protostome-deuterostome ancestor probably contained a cluster of nine Nk genes: (Msx)-(Nk4/tinman)-(Nk3/bagpipe)-(Lbx/ladybird)-(Tlx/c15)-(Nk7)-(Nk6/hgtx)-(Nk1/slouch)-(Nk5/Hmx). Of these genes, only NKX2.6-NKX3.1, LBX1-TLX1 and LBX2-TLX2 remain tightly linked in humans. However, it is currently unclear whether this is unique to the human genome as we do not know which of these Nk genes are clustered in other vertebrates. This makes it difficult to assess whether the remaining linkages are due to selective pressures or because chance rearrangements have "missed" certain genes. In this paper, we identify all of the paralogs of these ancestrally clustered NK genes in several distinct vertebrates. We demonstrate that tight linkages of Lbx1-Tlx1, Lbx2-Tlx2 and Nkx3.1-Nkx2.6 have been widely maintained in both the ray-finned and lobe-finned fish lineages. Moreover, the recently duplicated Hmx2-Hmx3 genes are also tightly linked. Finally, we show that Lbx1-Tlx1 and Hmx2-Hmx3 are flanked by highly conserved noncoding elements, suggesting that shared regulatory regions may have resulted in evolutionary pressure to maintain these linkages. Consistent with this, these pairs of genes have overlapping expression domains. In contrast, Lbx2-Tlx2 and Nkx3.1-Nkx2.6, which do not seem to be coexpressed, are also not associated with conserved noncoding sequences, suggesting that an alternative mechanism may be responsible for the continued clustering of these genes.
Tendon injuries represent a clinical challenge in regenerative medicine because their natural repair process is complex and inefficient. The high incidence of tendon injuries is frequently associated with sports practice, aging, tendinopathies, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and the use of corticosteroids. The growing interest of scientists in using adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSC) in repair processes seems to be mostly due to their paracrine and immunomodulatory effects in stimulating specific cellular events. ADMSC activity can be influenced by GDF-5, which has been successfully used to drive tenogenic differentiation of ADMSC in vitro. Thus, we hypothesized that the application of ADMSC in isolation or in association with GDF-5 could improve Achilles tendon repair through the regulation of important remodeling genes expression. Lewis rats had tendons distributed in four groups: Transected (T), transected and treated with ADMSC (ASC) or GDF-5 (GDF5), or with both (ASC+GDF5). In the characterization of cells before application, ADMSC expressed the positive surface markers, CD90 (90%) and CD105 (95%), and the negative marker, CD45 (7%). ADMSC were also differentiated in chondrocytes, osteoblast, and adipocytes. On the 14th day after the tendon injury, GFP-ADMSC were observed in the transected region of tendons in the ASC and ASC+GDF5 groups, and exhibited and/or stimulated a similar genes expression profile when compared to the in vitro assay. ADMSC up-regulated Lox, Dcn, and Tgfb1 genes expression in comparison to T and ASC+GDF5 groups, which contributed to a lower proteoglycans arrangement, and to a higher collagen fiber organization and tendon biomechanics in the ASC group. The application of ADMSC in association with GDF-5 down-regulated Dcn, Gdf5, Lox, Tgfb1, Mmp2, and Timp2 genes expression, which contributed to a lower hydroxyproline concentration, lower collagen fiber organization, and to an improvement of the rats’ gait 24 h after the injury. In conclusion, although the literature describes the benefic effect of GDF-5 for the tendon healing process, our results show that its application, isolated or associated with ADMSC, cannot improve the repair process of partial transected tendons, indicating the higher effectiveness of the application of ADMSC in injured Achilles tendons. Our results show that the application of ADMSC in injured Achilles tendons was more effective in relation to its association with GDF-5.
The vertebrate head–trunk interface (occipital region) has been heavily remodelled during evolution, and its development is still poorly understood. In extant jawed vertebrates, this region provides muscle precursors for the throat and tongue (hypopharyngeal/hypobranchial/hypoglossal muscle precursors, HMP) that take a stereotype path rostrally along the pharynx and are thought to reach their target sites via active migration. Yet, this projection pattern emerged in jawless vertebrates before the evolution of migratory muscle precursors. This suggests that a so far elusive, more basic transport mechanism must have existed and may still be traceable today.Here we show for the first time that all occipital tissues participate in well-conserved cell movements. These cell movements are spearheaded by the occipital lateral mesoderm and ectoderm that split into two streams. The rostrally directed stream projects along the floor of the pharynx and reaches as far rostrally as the floor of the mandibular arch and outflow tract of the heart. Notably, this stream leads and engulfs the later emerging HMP, neural crest cells and hypoglossal nerve. When we (i) attempted to redirect hypobranchial/hypoglossal muscle precursors towards various attractants, (ii) placed non-migratory muscle precursors into the occipital environment or (iii) molecularly or (iv) genetically rendered muscle precursors non-migratory, they still followed the trajectory set by the occipital lateral mesoderm and ectoderm. Thus, we have discovered evolutionarily conserved morphogenetic movements, driven by the occipital lateral mesoderm and ectoderm, that ensure cell transport and organ assembly at the head–trunk interface.
Tissue engineering and cell-based therapy combine techniques that create biocompatible materials for cell survival, which can improve tendon repair. This study seeks to use a new fibrin sealant (FS) derived from the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus, a biodegradable three-dimensional scaffolding produced from animal components only, associated with adipose-derived stem cells (ASC) for application in tendons injuries, considered a common and serious orthopedic problem. Lewis rats had tendons distributed in five groups: normal (N), transected (T), transected and FS (FS) or ASC (ASC) or with FS and ASC (FS + ASC). The in vivo imaging showed higher quantification of transplanted PKH26-labeled ASC in tendons of FS + ASC compared to ASC on the 14th day after transection. A small number of Iba1 labeled macrophages carrying PKH26 signal, probably due to phagocytosis of dead ASC, were observed in tendons of transected groups. ASC up-regulated the Tenomodulin gene expression in the transection region when compared to N, T and FS groups and the expression of TIMP-2 and Scleraxis genes in relation to the N group. FS group presented a greater organization of collagen fibers, followed by FS + ASC and ASC in comparison to N. Tendons from ASC group presented higher hydroxyproline concentration in relation to N and the transected tendons of T, FS and FS + ASC had a higher amount of collagen I and tenomodulin in comparison to N group. Although no marked differences were observed in the other biomechanical parameters, T group had higher value of maximum load compared to the groups ASC and FS + ASC. In conclusion, the FS kept constant the number of transplanted ASC in the transected region until the 14th day after injury. Our data suggest this FS to be a good scaffold for treatment during tendon repair because it was the most effective one regarding tendon organization recovering, followed by the FS treatment associated with ASC and finally by the transplanted ASC on the 21st day. Further investigations in long-term time points of the tendon repair are needed to analyze if the higher tissue organization found with the FS scaffold will improve the biomechanics of the tendons.
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