[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs)/growth differentiation factors (GDFs), which belong to the TGF-beta superfamily, are pleiotropic factors that play a role in regulating the embryonic development and postnatal homeostasis of various organs and tissues by controlling cellular differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. Conventional transgenic and knockout (KO) mouse approaches have provided only limited information regarding the in vivo functions of BMP signaling in adult animals due to the effects on prenatal development and the difficulty in manipulating multiligand signals simultaneously. We recently produced transgenic chimeric mice(Tg chimeras) in which the soluble IgG1-Fc fusion protein of three BMP type II receptors (ActRIIA, ActRIIB, BMPRII) was highly circulated (281-709 μg/ml), specifically in adult mouse blood. Since each BMP receptor can bind to multiple BMP ligands, these Tg chimeras should be useful to investigate the effects of trapping multiple BMP ligands. Remarkably, some phenotypes were unexpected based on previous studies, such as KO mouse analyses, presumably representing the effects of the multiple ligand trapping. These phenotypes included increased red blood cells (RBCs) and decreased viability in adults. In a further study, we focused on the phenotype of increased RBCs and found that extramedullary hematopoiesis in the spleen, not in the bone marrow, was increased using histological and flow cytometric analyses. Although it remains to be elucidated whether the transgene products affect the tissues directly or indirectly, our data provide novel and important insight into the biological functions of the soluble IgG1-Fc fusion protein of three BMP type II receptors in adults, and our approach should have broad applications to research on other ligand receptor families and studies involving mouse models.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(10):e78076. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In mammals, female development has traditionally been considered a default process in the absence of the testis-determining gene, Sry. Recently, it has been documented that the gene for R-spondin1 (RSPO1), a novel class of soluble activator for Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, is mutated in two Italian families with female-to-male (XX) sex reversal. To elucidate the role of Rspo1 as a candidate female-determining gene in a mouse model, we generated Rspo1-null (Rspo1(-/-)) mice and found that Rspo1(-/-) XX mice displayed masculinized features including pseudohermaphroditism in genital ducts, depletion of fetal oocytes, male-specific coelomic vessel formation and ectopic testosterone production in the ovaries. Thus, although Rspo1 is required to fully suppress the male differentiation program and to maintain germ cell survival during the development of XX gonads, the loss of its activity has proved to be insufficient to cause complete XX sex reversal in mice. Interestingly, these partial sex-reversed phenotypes of Rspo1(-/-) XX mice recapitulated those of previously described Wnt-4(-/-) XX mice. In accordance with this finding, the expression of Wnt-4 and its downstream genes was deregulated in early Rspo1(-/-) XX gonads, suggesting that Rspo1 may participate in suppressing the male pathway in the absence of Sry and maintaining oocyte survival through positively regulating Wnt-4 signaling.
Human Molecular Genetics 06/2008; 17(9):1278-91. · 7.69 Impact Factor