Browsing by Subject "ECTODYSPLASIN"

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  • Jia, S.; Zhou, J.; Wee, Y.; Mikkola, M. L.; Schneider, P.; D'Souza, R. N. (2017)
    To date, surgical interventions are the only means by which craniofacial anomalies can be corrected so that function, esthetics, and the sense of well-being are restored in affected individuals. Unfortunately, for patients with cleft palate-one of the most common of congenital birth defects-treatment following surgery is prolonged over a lifetime and often involves multidisciplinary regimens. Hence, there is a need to understand the molecular pathways that control palatogenesis and to translate such information for the development of noninvasive therapies that can either prevent or correct cleft palates in humans. Here, we use the well-characterized model of the Pax9(-/-) mouse, which displays a consistent phenotype of a secondary cleft palate, to test a novel therapeutic. Specifically, we demonstrate that the controlled intravenous delivery of a novel mouse monoclonal antibody replacement therapy, which acts as an agonist for the ectodysplasin (Eda) pathway, can resolve cleft palate defects in Pax9(-/-) embryos in utero. Such pharmacological interventions did not reverse the arrest in tooth, thymus, and parathyroid gland development, suggesting that the relationship of Pax9 to the Eda/Edar pathway is both unique and essential for palatogenesis. Expression analyses and unbiased gene expression profiling studies offer a molecular explanation for the resolution of palatal defects, showing that Eda and Edar-related genes are expressed in normal palatal tissues and that the Eda/Edar signaling pathway is downstream of Pax9 in palatogenesis. Taken together, our data uncover a unique relationship between Pax9 and the Eda/Edar signaling pathway that can be further exploited for the development of noninvasive, safe, and effective therapies for the treatment of cleft palate conditions and other single-gene disorders affecting the craniofacial complex.
  • Ahtiainen, Laura; Uski, Isa; Thesleff, Irma; Mikkola, Marja L. (2016)
    During organogenesis, cell fate specification and patterning are regulated by signaling centers, specialized clusters of morphogen-expressing cells. In many organs, initiation of development is marked by bud formation, but the cellular mechanisms involved are ill defined. Here, we use the mouse incisor tooth as a model to study budding morphogenesis. We show that a group of nonproliferative epithelial cells emerges in the early tooth primordium and identify these cells as a signaling center. Confocal live imaging of tissue explants revealed that although these cells reorganize dynamically, they do not reenter the cell cycle or contribute to the growing tooth bud. Instead, budding is driven by proliferation of the neighboring cells. We demonstrate that the activity of the ectodysplasin/Edar/nuclear factor kappa B pathway is restricted to the signaling center, and its inactivation leads to fewer quiescent cells and a smaller bud. These data functionally link the signaling center size to organ size and imply that the early signaling center is a prerequisite for budding morphogenesis.
  • Myllymaki, Satu-Marja; Mikkola, Marja L. (2019)
    Branching morphogenesis is a fundamental developmental program that generates large epithelial surfaces in a limited three-dimensional space. It is regulated by inductive tissue interactions whose effects are mediated by soluble signaling molecules, and cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Here, we will review recent studies on inductive signaling interactions governing branching morphogenesis in light of phenotypes of mouse mutants and ex vivo organ culture studies with emphasis on developing mammary and salivary glands. We will highlight advances in understanding how cell fate decisions are intimately linked with branching morphogenesis. We will also discuss novel insights into the molecular control of cellular mechanisms driving the formation of these arborized ductal structures and reflect upon how distinct spatial patterns are generated.
  • Mogollon Figueroa, Isabel; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline Emmanuel; Niittykoski, Minna Johanna; Ahtiainen, Laura (2021)
    Signaling centers, or organizers, regulate many aspects of embryonic morphogenesis. In the mammalian molar tooth, reiterative signaling in specialized centers called enamel knots (EKs) determines tooth patterning. Preceding the primary EK, transient epithelial thickening appears, the significance of which remains debated. Using tissue confocal fluorescence imaging with laser ablation experiments, we show that this transient thickening is an earlier signaling center, the molar initiation knot (IK), that is required for the progression of tooth development. IK cell dynamics demonstrate the hallmarks of a signaling center: cell cycle exit, condensation and eventual silencing through apoptosis. IK initiation and maturation are defined by the juxtaposition of cells with high Wnt activity to Shh-expressing non-proliferating cells, the combination of which drives the growth of the tooth bud, leading to the formation of the primary EK as an independent cell cluster. Overall, the whole development of the tooth, from initiation to patterning, is driven by the iterative use of signaling centers.