[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Taste buds, the sensory organs for taste, have been described as arising solely from the surrounding epithelium, which is in distinction from other sensory receptors that are known to originate from neural precursors, i.e., neural ectoderm that includes neural crest (NC). Our previous study suggested a potential contribution of NC derived cells to early immature fungiform taste buds in late embryonic (E18.5) and young postnatal (P1-10) mice. In the present study we demonstrated the contribution of the underlying connective tissue (CT) to mature taste buds in mouse tongue and soft palate. Three independent mouse models were used for fate mapping of NC and NC derived connective tissue cells: (1) P0-Cre/R26-tdTomato (RFP) to label NC, NC derived Schwann cells and derivatives; (2) Dermo1-Cre/RFP to label mesenchymal cells and derivatives; and (3) Vimentin-CreER/mGFP to label Vimentin-expressing CT cells and derivatives upon tamoxifen treatment. Both P0-Cre/RFP and Dermo1-Cre/RFP labeled cells were abundant in mature taste buds in lingual taste papillae and soft palate, but not in the surrounding epithelial cells. Concurrently, labeled cells were extensively distributed in the underlying CT. RFP signals were seen in the majority of taste buds and all three types (I, II, III) of differentiated taste bud cells, with the neuronal-like type III cells labeled at a greater proportion. Further, Vimentin-CreER labeled cells were found in the taste buds of 3-month-old mice whereas Vimentin immunoreactivity was only seen in the CT. Taken together, our data demonstrate a previously unrecognized origin of taste bud cells from the underlying CT, a conceptually new finding in our knowledge of taste bud cell derivation, i.e., from both the surrounding epithelium and the underlying CT that is primarily derived from NC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathologic extraskeletal bone formation, or heterotopic ossification (HO), occurs following mechanical trauma, burns, orthopedic operations, and in patients with hyperactivating mutations of the type I bone morphogenetic protein receptor ACVR1 (Activin type 1 receptor). Extraskeletal bone forms through an endochondral process with a cartilage intermediary prompting the hypothesis that hypoxic signaling present during cartilage formation drives HO development and that HO precursor cells derive from a mesenchymal lineage as defined by Paired related homeobox 1 (Prx). Here we demonstrate that Hypoxia inducible factor-1α (Hif1α), a key mediator of cellular adaptation to hypoxia, is highly expressed and active in three separate mouse models: trauma-induced, genetic, and a hybrid model of genetic and trauma-induced HO. In each of these models, Hif1α expression coincides with the expression of master transcription factor of cartilage, Sox9 [(sex determining region Y)-box 9]. Pharmacologic inhibition of Hif1α using PX-478 or rapamycin significantly decreased or inhibited extraskeletal bone formation. Importantly, de novo soft-tissue HO was eliminated or significantly diminished in treated mice. Lineage-tracing mice demonstrate that cells forming HO belong to the Prx lineage. Burn/tenotomy performed in lineage-specific Hif1α knockout mice (Prx-Cre/Hif1α(fl:fl)) resulted in substantially decreased HO, and again lack of de novo soft-tissue HO. Genetic loss of Hif1α in mesenchymal cells marked by Prx-cre prevents the formation of the mesenchymal condensations as shown by routine histology and immunostaining for Sox9 and PDGFRα. Pharmacologic inhibition of Hif1α had a similar effect on mesenchymal condensation development. Our findings indicate that Hif1α represents a promising target to prevent and treat pathologic extraskeletal bone.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the growth of extra-skeletal bone which occurs following trauma, burns, and in patients with genetic bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptor mutations. The clinical and laboratory evaluation of HO is dependent on radiographic imaging to identify and characterize these lesions. Here we show that despite its inadequacies, plain film radiography and single modality microCT continue to serve as a primary method of HO imaging in nearly 30% of published in vivo literature. Furthermore, we demonstrate that detailed microCT analysis is superior to plain film and single modality microCT radiography specifically in the evaluation of HO formed through three representative models due to its ability to 1) define structural relationships between growing extra-skeletal bone and normal, anatomic bone, 2) provide accurate quantification and growth rate based on volume of the space-occupying lesion, thereby facilitating assessments of therapeutic intervention, 3) identify HO at earlier times allowing for evaluation of early intervention, and 4) characterization of metrics of bone physiology including porosity, tissue mineral density, and cortical and trabecular volume. Examination of our trauma model using microCT demonstrated two separate areas of HO based on anatomic location and relationship with surrounding, normal bone structures. Additionally, microCT allows HO growth rate to be evaluated to characterize HO progression. Taken together, these data demonstrate the need for a paradigm shift in the evaluation of HO towards microCT as a standard tool for imaging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BMP signaling is one of the key pathways regulating craniofacial development. It is involved in the early pattering of the head, the development of cranial neural crest cells, and facial patterning. It regulates development of its mineralized structures, such as cranial bones, maxilla, mandible, palate, and teeth. Targeted mutations in the mouse have been instrumental to delineate the functional involvement of this signaling network in different aspects of craniofacial development. Gene polymorphisms and mutations in BMP pathway genes have been associated with various non-syndromic and syndromic human craniofacial malformations. The identification of intricate cellular interactions and underlying molecular pathways illustrate the importance of local fine-regulation of Bmp signaling to control proliferation, apoptosis, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, and stem/progenitor differentiation during craniofacial development. Thus, BMP signaling contributes both to shape and functionality of our facial features. BMP signaling also regulates postnatal craniofacial growth and is associated with dental structures life-long. A more detailed understanding of BMP function in growth, homeostasis, and repair of postnatal craniofacial tissues will contribute to our ability to rationally manipulate this signaling network in the context of tissue engineering.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Cytokine & growth factor reviews
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone homeostasis is affected by several factors, particularly mechanical loading and growth factor signaling pathways. There is overwhelming evidence to validate the importance of these signaling pathways, however, whether these signals work synergistically or independently to contribute to proper bone maintenance is poorly understood. Weight-bearing exercise increases mechanical load on the skeletal system and can improves bone quality. We previously reported that conditional knockout (cKO) of Bmpr1a, which encodes one of the type 1 receptors for Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs), in an osteoblast-specific manner increased trabecular bone mass by suppressing osteoclastogenesis. The cKO bones also showed increased cortical porosity, which is expected to impair bone mechanical properties. Here, we evaluated the impact of weight-bearing exercise on the cKO bone phenotype to understand interactions between mechanical loading and BMP signaling through BMPR1A. Male mice with disruption of Bmpr1a induced at 9 weeks of age, exercised 5 days per week on a motor-driven treadmill from 11 to 16 weeks of age. Trabecular bone volume in cKO tibia was further increased by exercise, whereas exercise did not affect the trabecular bone in the control genotype group. This finding was supported by decreased levels of osteoclasts in the cKO tibiae. The cortical porosity in the cKO bones showed a marginally significant decrease with exercise and approached normal levels. Exercise increased ductility and toughness in the cKO bones. Taken together, reduction in BMPR1A signaling may sensitize osteoblasts for mechanical loading to improve bone mechanical properties.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the formation of bone outside of the skeleton which forms following major trauma, burn injuries, and orthopaedic surgical procedures. The majority of animal models used to study HO rely on the application of exogenous substances, such as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), exogenous cell constructs, or genetic mutations in BMP signaling. While these models are useful they do not accurately reproduce the inflammatory states that cause the majority of cases of HO. Here we describe a burn/tenotomy model in mice that reliably produces focused HO. This protocol involves creating a 30% total body surface area partial thickness contact burn on the dorsal skin as well as division of the Achilles tendon at its midpoint. Relying solely on traumatic injury to induce HO at a predictable location allows for time-course study of endochondral heterotopic bone formation from intrinsic physiologic processes and environment only. This method could prove instrumental in understanding the inflammatory and osteogenic pathways involved in trauma-induced HO. Furthermore, because HO develops in a predictable location and time-course in this model, it allows for research to improve early imaging strategies and treatment modalities to prevent HO formation.
Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) can exert both anabolic and catabolic effects on the skeleton, potentially through expression of the PTH type1 receptor (PTH1R), which is highly expressed in osteocytes. To determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible, we examined the effects of PTH on osteoblast to osteocyte differentiation using primary osteocytes and the IDG-SW3 murine cell line, which differentiate from osteoblast to osteocyte-like cells in vitro and express GFP under control of the dentin matrix 1 (Dmp1) promoter. PTH treatment resulted in an increase in some osteoblast and early osteocyte markers and a decrease in mature osteocyte marker expression. The gene expression profile of PTH-treated Day 28 IDG-SW3 cells was similar to PTH treated primary osteocytes. PTH treatment induced striking changes in the morphology of the Dmp1-GFP positive cells in IDG-SW3 cultures and primary cells from Dmp1-GFP transgenic mice. The cells changed from a more dendritic to an elongated morphology and showed increased cell motility. E11/gp38 has been shown to be important for cell migration, however, deletion of the E11/gp38/podoplanin gene had no effect on PTH-induced motility. The effects of PTH on motility were reproduced using cAMP, but not with protein kinase A (PKA), exchange proteins activated by cAMP (Epac), protein kinase C (PKC) or phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphonate 3-kinase (Pi3K) agonists nor were they blocked by their antagonists. However, the effects of PTH were mediated through calcium signaling, specifically through L-type channels normally expressed in osteoblasts but decreased in osteocytes. PTH was shown to increase expression of this channel, but decrease the T-type channel that is normally more highly expressed in osteocytes. Inhibition of L-type calcium channel activity attenuated the effects of PTH on cell morphology and motility but did not prevent the downregulation of mature osteocyte marker expression. Taken together, these results show that PTH induces loss of the mature osteocyte phenotype and promotes the motility of these cells. These two effects are mediated through different mechanisms. The loss of phenotype effect is independent and the cell motility effect is dependent on calcium signaling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Cre/loxP system has been widely used to generate tissue-specific gene knockout mice. Inducible (Tet-off) Osx-GFP::Cre (Osx-Cre) mouse line that targets osteoblasts is widely used in the bone research field. In this study, we investigated the effect of Osx-Cre on craniofacial bone development. We found that newborn Osx-Cre mice showed severe hypomineralization in parietal, frontal, and nasal bones as well as the coronal sutural area when compared to control mice. As the mice matured, the intramembranous bone hypomineralization phenotype became less severe. The major hypomineralization defect in parietal, frontal, and nasal bones had mostly disappeared by postnatal day 21, but the defect in sutural areas persisted. Importantly, Doxycycline treatment eliminated cranial bone defects at birth which indicates that Cre expression may be responsible for the phenotype. In addition, we showed that the primary calvarial osteoblasts isolated from neonatal Osx-Cre mice had comparable differentiation ability compared to their littermate controls. This study reinforces the idea that Cre-positive litter mates are indispensable controls in studies using conditional gene deletion.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Calcified Tissue International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor-beta3 (TGF-β3) plays a critical role in palatal epithelial cells by inducing palatal epithelial fusion, failure of which results in cleft palate, one of the most common birth defects in humans. Recent studies have shown that Smad-dependent and Smad-independent pathways work redundantly to transduce TGF-β3 signaling in palatal epithelial cells. However, detailed mechanisms by which this signaling is mediated still remain to be elucidated. Here we show that TGF-β activated kinase-1 (Tak1) and Smad4 interact genetically in palatal epithelial fusion. While simultaneous abrogation of both Tak1 and Smad4 in palatal epithelial cells resulted in characteristic defects in the anterior and posterior secondary palate, these phenotypes were less severe than those seen in the corresponding Tgfb3 mutants. Moreover, our results demonstrate that Trim33, a novel chromatin reader and regulator of TGF-β signaling, cooperates with Smad4 during palatogenesis. Unlike the epithelium-specific Smad4 mutants, epithelium-specific Tak1:Smad4- and Trim33:Smad4-double mutants display reduced expression of Mmp13 in palatal medial edge epithelial cells, suggesting that both of these redundant mechanisms are required for appropriate TGF-β signal transduction. Moreover, we show that inactivation of Tak1 in Trim33:Smad4 double conditional knockouts leads to the palatal phenotypes which are identical to those seen in epithelium-specific Tgfb3 mutants. To conclude, our data reveal added complexity in TGF-β signaling during palatogenesis and demonstrate that functionally redundant pathways involving Smad4, Tak1 and Trim33 regulate palatal epithelial fusion.
No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Developmental Biology