Regulation of neurotrophin-3 expression by epithelial-mesenchymal interactions: the role of Wnt factors. (1/6597)

Neurotrophins regulate survival, axonal growth, and target innervation of sensory and other neurons. Neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) is expressed specifically in cells adjacent to extending axons of dorsal root ganglia neurons, and its absence results in loss of most of these neurons before their axons reach their targets. However, axons are not required for NT-3 expression in limbs; instead, local signals from ectoderm induce NT-3 expression in adjacent mesenchyme. Wnt factors expressed in limb ectoderm induce NT-3 in the underlying mesenchyme. Thus, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions mediated by Wnt factors control NT-3 expression and may regulate axonal growth and guidance.  (+info)

AhR, ARNT, and CYP1A1 mRNA quantitation in cultured human embryonic palates exposed to TCDD and comparison with mouse palate in vivo and in culture. (2/6597)

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is developmentally toxic in many species and induces cleft palate in the C57BL/6N mouse embryo. Palatogenesis in mouse and human embryos involves homologous processes at the morphological, cellular, and molecular levels. In organ culture, mouse and human palates respond similarly to TCDD. The present study quantitates the expression of AhR, ARNT, and CYP1A1 mRNA in human embryonic palates in organ culture. Palatal tissues were exposed to 1 x 10(-10), 1 x 10(-9), or 1 x 10(-8) M TCDD or control medium and sampled at 0, 2, 4, and 6 hours for quantitative RT-PCR using a synthetic RNA internal standard. Similar measurements of CYP1A1 gene expression were collected for mouse palates cultured in this model. In human palates, AhR expression correlated with ARNT and CYP1A1 mRNA expression. TCDD induction of CYP1A1 was time- and concentration-dependent. The expression of these genes presented a uniform and continuous distribution across the group of embryos, with no subset of either high or low expressors/responders. The ratio of AhR to ARNT was approximately 4:1. AhR mRNA increased during the culture period in both treated and control subjects; however, ARNT expression was relatively constant. TCDD did not alter either AhR or ARNT expression in a consistent dose- or time-related manner. Comparison of human and mouse data showed a high correlation across species for the induction of CYP1A1. Human embryos expressed approximately 350 times less AhR mRNA than the mouse, and in earlier studies it was shown that human palates required 200 times more TCDD to produce the same effects. When the morphological, cellular, and molecular responses to TCDD between mouse and human are compared, it seems highly unlikely that human embryos could be exposed to sufficient TCDD to achieve changes in palatal differentiation that would lead to cleft palate.  (+info)

gas2 is a multifunctional gene involved in the regulation of apoptosis and chondrogenesis in the developing mouse limb. (3/6597)

The growth-arrest-specific 2 (gas2) gene was initially identified on account of its high level of expression in murine fibroblasts under growth arrest conditions, followed by downregulation upon reentry into the cell cycle (Schneider et al., Cell 54, 787-793, 1988). In this study, the expression patterns of the gas2 gene and the Gas2 peptide were established in the developing limbs of 11.5- to 14. 5-day mouse embryos. It was found that gas2 was expressed in the interdigital tissues, the chondrogenic regions, and the myogenic regions. Low-density limb culture and Brdu incorporation assays revealed that gas2 might play an important role in regulating chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, it might play a similar role during limb myogenesis. In addition to chondrogenesis and myogeneis, gas2 is involved in the execution of the apoptotic program in hindlimb interdigital tissues-by acting as a death substrate for caspase enzymes. TUNEL analysis demonstrated that the interdigital tissues underwent apoptosis between 13.5 and 15.5 days. Exactly at these time points, the C-terminal domain of the Gas2 peptide was cleaved as revealed by Western blot analysis. Moreover, pro-caspase-3 (an enzyme that can process Gas2) was cleaved into its active form in the interdigital tissues. The addition of zVAD-fmk, a caspase enzyme inhibitor, to 12.5-day-old hindlimbs maintained in organ culture revealed that the treatment inhibited interdigital cell death. This inhibition correlated with the absence of the Gas2 peptide and pro-caspase-3 cleavage. The data suggest that Gas2 might be involved in the execution of the apoptotic process.  (+info)

BMP7 acts in murine lens placode development. (4/6597)

Targeted inactivation of the Bmp7 gene in mouse leads to eye defects with late onset and variable penetrance (A. T. Dudley et al., 1995, Genes Dev. 9, 2795-2807; G. Luo et al., 1995, Genes Dev. 9, 2808-2820). Here we report that the expressivity of the Bmp7 mutant phenotype markedly increases in a C3H/He genetic background and that the phenotype implicates Bmp7 in the early stages of lens development. Immunolocalization experiments show that BMP7 protein is present in the head ectoderm at the time of lens placode induction. Using an in vitro culture system, we demonstrate that addition of BMP7 antagonists during the period of lens placode induction inhibits lens formation, indicating a role for BMP7 in lens placode development. Next, to integrate Bmp7 into a developmental pathway controlling formation of the lens placode, we examined the expression of several early lens placode-specific markers in Bmp7 mutant embryos. In these embryos, Pax6 head ectoderm expression is lost just prior to the time when the lens placode should appear, while in Pax6-deficient (Sey/Sey) embryos, Bmp7 expression is maintained. These results could suggest a simple linear pathway in placode induction in which Bmp7 functions upstream of Pax6 and regulates lens placode induction. At odds with this interpretation, however, is the finding that expression of secreted Frizzled Related Protein-2 (sFRP-2), a component of the Wnt signaling pathway which is expressed in prospective lens placode, is absent in Sey/Sey embryos but initially present in Bmp7 mutants. This suggests a different model in which Bmp7 function is required to maintain Pax6 expression after induction, during a preplacodal stage of lens development. We conclude that Bmp7 is a critical component of the genetic mechanism(s) controlling lens placode formation.  (+info)

Induction of Sarcophaga central nervous system remodeling by 20-hydroxyecdysone in vitro. (5/6597)

Proliferation and apoptosis of neural cells were found to be induced simultaneously when larval brains of Sarcophaga peregrina were cultured in the presence of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20-HE) for 24 h. The locations of proliferating cells and apoptotic cells in the brain hemispheres were different. The morphology of brains exposed to 20-HE for a short period proceeded to change sequentially when culture was continued for 2 days even in the absence of 20-HE. These changes mainly consisted of enlargement of the brain hemispheres and extension of the interval between two hemispheres, which closely paralleled the morphological changes of brains that occur in the early pupal stage, suggesting that ecdysteroid alone is sufficient to induce the remodeling of the central nervous system of holometabolous insects. Synthesis of a protein with a molecular mass of 66 kDa was shown to be selectively repressed when brains were cultured in the presence of 20-HE.  (+info)

Modulation of the baboon (Papio anubis) uterine endometrium by chorionic gonadotrophin during the period of uterine receptivity. (6/6597)

This study was undertaken to determine the modulation of uterine function by chorionic gonadotrophin (CG) in a nonhuman primate. Infusion of recombinant human CG (hCG) between days 6 and 10 post ovulation initiated the endoreplication of the uterine surface epithelium to form distinct epithelial plaques. These plaque cells stained intensely for cytokeratin and the proliferating cell nuclear antigen. The stromal fibroblasts below the epithelial plaques stained positively for alpha-smooth muscle actin (alphaSMA). Expression of alphaSMA is associated with the initiation of decidualization in the baboon endometrium. Synthesis of the glandular secretory protein glycodelin, as assessed by Western blot analysis, was markedly up-regulated by hCG, and this increase was confirmed by immunocytochemistry, Northern blot analysis, and reverse transcriptase-PCR. To determine whether hCG directly modulated these uterine responses, we treated ovariectomized baboons sequentially with estradiol and progesterone to mimic the hormonal profile of the normal menstrual cycle. Infusion of hCG into the oviduct of steroid-hormone-treated ovariectomized baboons induced the expression of alphaSMA in the stromal cells and glycodelin in the glandular epithelium. The epithelial plaque reaction, however, was not readily evident. These studies demonstrate a physiological effect of CG on the uterine endometrium in vivo and suggest that the primate blastocyst signal, like the blastocyst signals of other species, modulates the uterine environment prior to implantation.  (+info)

Arterial damage induced by cryopreservation is irreversible following organ culture. (7/6597)

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to investigate the changes which occur to the arterial wall following cryopreservation and thawing and to determine whether these changes are reversible after a week of culture in an organ bath. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rat iliac arterial segments were cryopreserved. Once thawed, the arterial segments were cultured for a period of 0, 1, 2, 4 or 7 days. Freshly isolated rat iliac vessels cultured for 7 days served as the control group. Evaluation was made of ultrastructural changes, the expression of metalloproteinase activity (MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-9) and the apoptotic state of cells. RESULTS: The freezing-thawing process induced damage to the arterial segments compared to fresh control vessels. After 1 week of culture, arteries showed a high degree of tissue degeneration. Only a few individual endothelial cells remained on the luminal surface. There was a gradual increase in the proportion of apoptotic cells. The sequential expression of MMP-1 during the first 2 days and subsequent expression of MMP-3 and MMP-9 were of most significance. CONCLUSIONS: Cryopreservation induced damage to the vessels which could not be reversed by organ culture. The changes observed in the expression of metalloproteinases may be indicative of the degenerative process which occurs in the extracellular matrix.  (+info)

Oxidized derivatives of 7-dehydrocholesterol induce growth retardation in cultured rat embryos: a model for antenatal growth retardation in the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome. (8/6597)

7-Dehydrocholesterol accumulates in fetuses affected by the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome as a result of a deficit in the ultimate step of cholesterol synthesis catalyzed by Delta7 reductase. Rat embryos explanted at gestation day 10 and cultured for 48 h in the presence of the Delta7 reductase inhibitor AY 9944 were used as a model to discriminate between the beneficial effect of supplementation with cholesterol and the deleterious effect of supplementation with 7-dehydrocholesterol. Cholesterol supplementation in the form of mixed cholesterol/lecithin liposomes added to serum serving as the culture medium restores the growth of embryos which is markedly decreased in the presence of the inhibitor. 7-Dehydrocholesterol under identical conditions does not restore growth and impairs the beneficial effect of cholesterol added simultaneously. UV-photooxidation of 7-dehydrocholesterol-supplemented culture medium enhances its embryotoxicity, which suggests uptake by the embryo of toxic by-products formed from 7-dehydrocholesterol. By contrast photooxidation of cholesterol-supplemented culture medium does not induce embryotoxicity. alpha-Tocopherol reduces the toxicity of photooxidized 7-dehydrocholesterol supplementing the culture medium. We conclude that 7-dehydrocholesterol does not fulfill the cholesterol requirement of the developing embryos and exerts an additional embryotoxic effect probably via oxidized by-products. This could explain the antenatal growth retardation of SLOS by a blockage of the maternal compensatory cholesterol influx.  (+info)