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Sample records for dinosaur stem lineage

  1. Footprints pull origin and diversification of dinosaur stem lineage deep into Early Triassic.

    PubMed

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Niedźwiedzki, Grzegorz; Butler, Richard J

    2011-04-07

    The ascent of dinosaurs in the Triassic is an exemplary evolutionary radiation, but the earliest phase of dinosaur history remains poorly understood. Body fossils of close dinosaur relatives are rare, but indicate that the dinosaur stem lineage (Dinosauromorpha) originated by the latest Anisian (ca 242-244 Ma). Here, we report footprints from the Early-Middle Triassic of Poland, stratigraphically well constrained and identified using a conservative synapomorphy-based approach, which shifts the origin of the dinosaur stem lineage back to the Early Olenekian (ca 249-251 Ma), approximately 5-9 Myr earlier than indicated by body fossils, earlier than demonstrated by previous footprint records, and just a few million years after the Permian/Triassic mass extinction (252.3 Ma). Dinosauromorph tracks are rare in all Polish assemblages, suggesting that these animals were minor faunal components. The oldest tracks are quadrupedal, a morphology uncommon among the earliest dinosauromorph body fossils, but bipedality and moderately large body size had arisen by the Early Anisian (ca 246 Ma). Integrating trace fossils and body fossils demonstrates that the rise of dinosaurs was a drawn-out affair, perhaps initiated during recovery from the Permo-Triassic extinction.

  2. Rates of dinosaur body mass evolution indicate 170 million years of sustained ecological innovation on the avian stem lineage.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Campione, Nicolás E; Carrano, Matthew T; Mannion, Philip D; Sullivan, Corwin; Upchurch, Paul; Evans, David C

    2014-05-01

    Large-scale adaptive radiations might explain the runaway success of a minority of extant vertebrate clades. This hypothesis predicts, among other things, rapid rates of morphological evolution during the early history of major groups, as lineages invade disparate ecological niches. However, few studies of adaptive radiation have included deep time data, so the links between extant diversity and major extinct radiations are unclear. The intensively studied Mesozoic dinosaur record provides a model system for such investigation, representing an ecologically diverse group that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 170 million years. Furthermore, with 10,000 species, extant dinosaurs (birds) are the most speciose living tetrapod clade. We assembled composite trees of 614-622 Mesozoic dinosaurs/birds, and a comprehensive body mass dataset using the scaling relationship of limb bone robustness. Maximum-likelihood modelling and the node height test reveal rapid evolutionary rates and a predominance of rapid shifts among size classes in early (Triassic) dinosaurs. This indicates an early burst niche-filling pattern and contrasts with previous studies that favoured gradualistic rates. Subsequently, rates declined in most lineages, which rarely exploited new ecological niches. However, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including Mesozoic birds) sustained rapid evolution from at least the Middle Jurassic, suggesting that these taxa evaded the effects of niche saturation. This indicates that a long evolutionary history of continuing ecological innovation paved the way for a second great radiation of dinosaurs, in birds. We therefore demonstrate links between the predominantly extinct deep time adaptive radiation of non-avian dinosaurs and the phenomenal diversification of birds, via continuing rapid rates of evolution along the phylogenetic stem lineage. This raises the possibility that the uneven distribution of biodiversity results not just from large-scale extrapolation of

  3. Rates of Dinosaur Body Mass Evolution Indicate 170 Million Years of Sustained Ecological Innovation on the Avian Stem Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Roger B. J.; Campione, Nicolás E.; Carrano, Matthew T.; Mannion, Philip D.; Sullivan, Corwin; Upchurch, Paul; Evans, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale adaptive radiations might explain the runaway success of a minority of extant vertebrate clades. This hypothesis predicts, among other things, rapid rates of morphological evolution during the early history of major groups, as lineages invade disparate ecological niches. However, few studies of adaptive radiation have included deep time data, so the links between extant diversity and major extinct radiations are unclear. The intensively studied Mesozoic dinosaur record provides a model system for such investigation, representing an ecologically diverse group that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 170 million years. Furthermore, with 10,000 species, extant dinosaurs (birds) are the most speciose living tetrapod clade. We assembled composite trees of 614–622 Mesozoic dinosaurs/birds, and a comprehensive body mass dataset using the scaling relationship of limb bone robustness. Maximum-likelihood modelling and the node height test reveal rapid evolutionary rates and a predominance of rapid shifts among size classes in early (Triassic) dinosaurs. This indicates an early burst niche-filling pattern and contrasts with previous studies that favoured gradualistic rates. Subsequently, rates declined in most lineages, which rarely exploited new ecological niches. However, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including Mesozoic birds) sustained rapid evolution from at least the Middle Jurassic, suggesting that these taxa evaded the effects of niche saturation. This indicates that a long evolutionary history of continuing ecological innovation paved the way for a second great radiation of dinosaurs, in birds. We therefore demonstrate links between the predominantly extinct deep time adaptive radiation of non-avian dinosaurs and the phenomenal diversification of birds, via continuing rapid rates of evolution along the phylogenetic stem lineage. This raises the possibility that the uneven distribution of biodiversity results not just from large-scale extrapolation

  4. Dinosaurs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Vicki; Happel, Sue

    Facts, activities, and student worksheets about dinosaurs are presented. General information about dinosaurs (when they lived and what they were like) and fossils (how they are created and what information they can provide) is followed by a worksheet and answer sheet. A timeline of the dinosaur age and a classification chart which divides…

  5. A Dome-Headed Stem Archosaur Exemplifies Convergence among Dinosaurs and Their Distant Relatives.

    PubMed

    Stocker, Michelle R; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Criswell, Katharine E; Parker, William G; Witmer, Lawrence M; Rowe, Timothy B; Ridgely, Ryan; Brown, Matthew A

    2016-10-10

    Similarities in body plan evolution, such as wings in pterosaurs, birds, and bats or limblessness in snakes and amphisbaenians, can be recognized as classical examples of convergence among animals [1-3]. We introduce a new Triassic stem archosaur that is unexpectedly and remarkably convergent with the "dome-headed" pachycephalosaur dinosaurs that lived over 100 million years later. Surprisingly, numerous additional taxa in the same assemblage (the Otis Chalk assemblage from the Dockum Group of Texas) demonstrate the early acquisition of morphological novelties that were later convergently evolved by post-Triassic dinosaurs. As one of the most successful clades of terrestrial vertebrates, dinosaurs came to occupy an extensive morphospace throughout their diversification in the Mesozoic Era [4, 5], but their distant relatives were first to evolve many of those "dinosaurian" body plans in the Triassic Period [6-8]. Our analysis of convergence between archosauromorphs from the Triassic Period and post-Triassic archosaurs demonstrates the early and extensive exploration of morphospace captured in a single Late Triassic assemblage, and we hypothesize that many of the "novel" morphotypes interpreted to occur among archosaurs later in the Mesozoic already were in place during the initial Triassic archosauromorph, largely non-dinosaurian, radiation and only later convergently evolved in diverse dinosaurian lineages.

  6. Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Discher, Dennis

    2010-03-01

    Adhesion of stem cells - like most cells - is not just a membrane phenomenon. Most tissue cells need to adhere to a ``solid'' for viability, and over the last decade it has become increasingly clear that the physical ``elasticity'' of that solid is literally ``felt'' by cells. Here we show that Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) specify lineage and commit to phenotypes with extreme sensitivity to the elasticity typical of tissues [1]. In serum only media, soft matrices that mimic brain appear neurogenic, stiffer matrices that mimic muscle are myogenic, and comparatively rigid matrices that mimic collagenous bone prove osteogenic. Inhibition of nonmuscle myosin II activity blocks all elasticity directed lineage specification, which indicates that the cytoskeleton pulls on matrix through adhesive attachments. Results have significant implications for `therapeutic' stem cells and have motivated development of a proteomic-scale method to identify mechano-responsive protein structures [2] as well as deeper physical studies of matrix physics [3] and growth factor pathways [4]. [4pt] [1] A. Engler, et al. Matrix elasticity directs stem cell lineage specification. Cell (2006).[0pt] [2] C.P. Johnson, et al. Forced unfolding of proteins within cells. Science (2007).[0pt] [3] A.E.X. Brown, et al. Multiscale mechanics of fibrin polymer: Gel stretching with protein unfolding and loss of water. Science (2009).[0pt] [4] D.E. Discher, et al. Growth factors, matrices, and forces combine and control stem cells. Science (2009).

  7. The Drosophila cyst stem cell lineage

    PubMed Central

    Zoller, Richard; Schulz, Cordula

    2012-01-01

    In all animals, germline cells differentiate in intimate contact with somatic cells and interactions between germline and soma are particularly important for germline development and function. In the male gonad of Drosophila melanogaster, the developing germline cells are enclosed by somatic cyst cells. The cyst cells are derived from cyst stem cells (CySCs) of somatic origin and codifferentiate with the germline cells. The fast generation cycle and the genetic tractability of Drosophila has made the Drosophila testis an excellent model for studying both the roles of somatic cells in guiding germline development and the interdependence of two separate stem cell lineages. This review focuses on our current understanding of CySC specification, CySC self-renewing divisions, cyst cell differentiation, and soma-germline interactions. Many of the mechanisms guiding these processes in Drosophila testes are similarly essential for the development and function of tissues in other organisms, most importantly for gametogenesis in mammals. PMID:23087834

  8. Stem cells and lineage development in the mammalian blastocyst.

    PubMed

    Rossant, Janet

    2007-01-01

    The mammalian blastocyst is the source of the most pluripotent stem cells known: embryonic stem (ES) cells. However, ES cells are not totipotent; in mouse chimeras, they do not contribute to extra-embryonic cell types of the trophectoderm (TE) and primitive endoderm (PrE) lineages. Understanding the genetic pathways that control pluripotency v. extra-embryonic lineage restriction is key to understanding not only normal embryonic development, but also how to reprogramme adult cells to pluripotency. The trophectoderm and primitive endoderm lineages also provide the first signals that drive patterned differentiation of the pluripotent epiblast cells of the embryo. My laboratory has produced permanent mouse cell lines from both the TE and the PrE, termed trophoblast stem (TS) and eXtra-embryonic ENdoderm (XEN) cells. We have used these cells to explore the genetic and molecular hierarchy of lineage restriction and identify the key factors that distinguish the ES cell v. the TS or XEN cell fate. The major molecular pathways of lineage commitment defined in mouse embryos and stem cells are probably conserved across mammalian species, but more comparative studies of lineage development in embryos of non-rodent mammals will likely yield interesting differences in terms of timing and details.

  9. Human haematopoietic stem cell lineage commitment is a continuous process.

    PubMed

    Velten, Lars; Haas, Simon F; Raffel, Simon; Blaszkiewicz, Sandra; Islam, Saiful; Hennig, Bianca P; Hirche, Christoph; Lutz, Christoph; Buss, Eike C; Nowak, Daniel; Boch, Tobias; Hofmann, Wolf-Karsten; Ho, Anthony D; Huber, Wolfgang; Trumpp, Andreas; Essers, Marieke A G; Steinmetz, Lars M

    2017-03-20

    Blood formation is believed to occur through stepwise progression of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) following a tree-like hierarchy of oligo-, bi- and unipotent progenitors. However, this model is based on the analysis of predefined flow-sorted cell populations. Here we integrated flow cytometric, transcriptomic and functional data at single-cell resolution to quantitatively map early differentiation of human HSCs towards lineage commitment. During homeostasis, individual HSCs gradually acquire lineage biases along multiple directions without passing through discrete hierarchically organized progenitor populations. Instead, unilineage-restricted cells emerge directly from a 'continuum of low-primed undifferentiated haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells' (CLOUD-HSPCs). Distinct gene expression modules operate in a combinatorial manner to control stemness, early lineage priming and the subsequent progression into all major branches of haematopoiesis. These data reveal a continuous landscape of human steady-state haematopoiesis downstream of HSCs and provide a basis for the understanding of haematopoietic malignancies.

  10. Stochastic dynamics of interacting haematopoietic stem cell niche lineages.

    PubMed

    Székely, Tamás; Burrage, Kevin; Mangel, Marc; Bonsall, Michael B

    2014-09-01

    Since we still know very little about stem cells in their natural environment, it is useful to explore their dynamics through modelling and simulation, as well as experimentally. Most models of stem cell systems are based on deterministic differential equations that ignore the natural heterogeneity of stem cell populations. This is not appropriate at the level of individual cells and niches, when randomness is more likely to affect dynamics. In this paper, we introduce a fast stochastic method for simulating a metapopulation of stem cell niche lineages, that is, many sub-populations that together form a heterogeneous metapopulation, over time. By selecting the common limiting timestep, our method ensures that the entire metapopulation is simulated synchronously. This is important, as it allows us to introduce interactions between separate niche lineages, which would otherwise be impossible. We expand our method to enable the coupling of many lineages into niche groups, where differentiated cells are pooled within each niche group. Using this method, we explore the dynamics of the haematopoietic system from a demand control system perspective. We find that coupling together niche lineages allows the organism to regulate blood cell numbers as closely as possible to the homeostatic optimum. Furthermore, coupled lineages respond better than uncoupled ones to random perturbations, here the loss of some myeloid cells. This could imply that it is advantageous for an organism to connect together its niche lineages into groups. Our results suggest that a potential fruitful empirical direction will be to understand how stem cell descendants communicate with the niche and how cancer may arise as a result of a failure of such communication.

  11. Troika of the mouse blastocyst: lineage segregation and stem cells.

    PubMed

    Artus, Jerome; Hadjantonakis, Anna-Katerina

    2012-01-01

    The initial period of mammalian embryonic development is primarily devoted to cell commitment to the pluripotent lineage, as well as to the formation of extraembryonic tissues essential for embryo survival in utero. This phase of development is also characterized by extensive morphological transitions. Cells within the preimplantation embryo exhibit extraordinary cell plasticity and adaptation in response to experimental manipulation, highlighting the use of a regulative developmental strategy rather than a predetermined one resulting from the non-uniform distribution of maternal information in the cytoplasm. Consequently, early mammalian development represents a useful model to study how the three primary cell lineages; the epiblast, primitive endoderm (also referred to as the hypoblast) and trophoblast, emerge from a totipotent single cell, the zygote. In this review, we will discuss how the isolation and genetic manipulation of murine stem cells representing each of these three lineages has contributed to our understanding of the molecular basis of early developmental events.

  12. Developmental origin and lineage plasticity of endogenous cardiac stem cells.

    PubMed

    Santini, Maria Paola; Forte, Elvira; Harvey, Richard P; Kovacic, Jason C

    2016-04-15

    Over the past two decades, several populations of cardiac stem cells have been described in the adult mammalian heart. For the most part, however, their lineage origins and in vivo functions remain largely unexplored. This Review summarizes what is known about different populations of embryonic and adult cardiac stem cells, including KIT(+), PDGFRα(+), ISL1(+)and SCA1(+)cells, side population cells, cardiospheres and epicardial cells. We discuss their developmental origins and defining characteristics, and consider their possible contribution to heart organogenesis and regeneration. We also summarize the origin and plasticity of cardiac fibroblasts and circulating endothelial progenitor cells, and consider what role these cells have in contributing to cardiac repair.

  13. Trophoblast lineage cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Ying; Wang, Kai; Chandramouli, Gadisetti V.R.; Knott, Jason G.; Leach, Richard

    2013-07-12

    Highlights: •Epithelial-like phenotype of trophoblast lineage cells derived from human iPS cells. •Trophoblast lineage cells derived from human iPS cells exhibit trophoblast function. •Trophoblasts from iPS cells provides a proof-of-concept in regenerative medicine. -- Abstract: Background: During implantation, the blastocyst trophectoderm attaches to the endometrial epithelium and continues to differentiate into all trophoblast subtypes, which are the major components of a placenta. Aberrant trophoblast proliferation and differentiation are associated with placental diseases. However, due to ethical and practical issues, there is almost no available cell or tissue source to study the molecular mechanism of human trophoblast differentiation, which further becomes a barrier to the study of the pathogenesis of trophoblast-associated diseases of pregnancy. In this study, our goal was to generate a proof-of-concept model for deriving trophoblast lineage cells from induced pluripotency stem (iPS) cells from human fibroblasts. In future studies the generation of trophoblast lineage cells from iPS cells established from patient’s placenta will be extremely useful for studying the pathogenesis of individual trophoblast-associated diseases and for drug testing. Methods and results: Combining iPS cell technology with BMP4 induction, we derived trophoblast lineage cells from human iPS cells. The gene expression profile of these trophoblast lineage cells was distinct from fibroblasts and iPS cells. These cells expressed markers of human trophoblasts. Furthermore, when these cells were differentiated they exhibited invasive capacity and placental hormone secretive capacity, suggesting extravillous trophoblasts and syncytiotrophoblasts. Conclusion: Trophoblast lineage cells can be successfully derived from human iPS cells, which provide a proof-of-concept tool to recapitulate pathogenesis of patient placental trophoblasts in vitro.

  14. Lineage tracing quantification reveals symmetric stem cell division in Drosophila male germline stem cells.

    PubMed

    Salzmann, Viktoria; Inaba, Mayu; Cheng, Jun; Yamashita, Yukiko M

    2013-12-01

    In the homeostatic state, adult stem cells divide either symmetrically to increase the stem cell number to compensate stem cell loss, or asymmetrically to maintain the population while producing differentiated cells. We have investigated the mode of stem cell division in the testes of Drosophila melanogaster by lineage tracing and confirm the presence of symmetric stem cell division in this system. We found that the rate of symmetric division is limited to 1-2% of total germline stem cell (GSC) divisions, but it increases with expression of a cell adhesion molecule, E-cadherin, or a regulator of the actin cytoskeleton, Moesin, which may modulate adhesiveness of germ cells to the stem cell niche. Our results indicate that the decision regarding asymmetric vs. symmetric division is a dynamically regulated process that contributes to tissue homeostasis, responding to the needs of the tissue.

  15. Polycomb enables primitive endoderm lineage priming in embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Illingworth, Robert S; Hölzenspies, Jurriaan J; Roske, Fabian V; Bickmore, Wendy A; Brickman, Joshua M

    2016-01-01

    Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), like the blastocyst from which they are derived, contain precursors of the epiblast (Epi) and primitive endoderm (PrEn) lineages. While transient in vivo, these precursor populations readily interconvert in vitro. We show that altered transcription is the driver of these coordinated changes, known as lineage priming, in a process that exploits novel polycomb activities. We find that intragenic levels of the polycomb mark H3K27me3 anti-correlate with changes in transcription, irrespective of the gene’s developmental trajectory or identity as a polycomb target. In contrast, promoter proximal H3K27me3 is markedly higher for PrEn priming genes. Consequently, depletion of this modification stimulates the degree to which ESCs are primed towards PrEn when challenged to differentiate, but has little effect on gene expression in self-renewing ESC culture. These observations link polycomb with dynamic changes in transcription and stalled lineage commitment, allowing cells to explore alternative choices prior to a definitive decision. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14926.001 PMID:27723457

  16. Hematopoietic stem cell-independent B-1a lineage.

    PubMed

    Ghosn, Eliver Eid Bou; Yang, Yang

    2015-12-01

    The accepted dogma has been that a single long-term hematopoietic stem cell (LT-HSC) can reconstitute all components of the immune system. However, our single-cell transfer studies have shown that highly purified LT-HSCs selectively fail to reconstitute B-1a cells in otherwise fully reconstituted hosts (i.e., LT-HSCs fully reconstitute follicular, marginal zone, and B-1b B cells, but not B-1a cells). These results suggest that B-1a cells are a separate B cell lineage that develops independently of classical LT-HSCs. We provide an evolutionary two-pathway development model (HSC independent versus HSC dependent), and suggest that this lineage separation is employed not only by B cells but by all hematopoietic lineages. Collectively, these findings challenge the current notion that LT-HSCs can reconstitute all components of the immune system and raise key questions about human HSC transplantation. We discuss the implications of these findings in light of our recent studies demonstrating the ability of B-1a cells to elicit antigen-specific responses that differ markedly from those mounted by follicular B cells. These findings have implications for vaccine development, in particular vaccines that may elicit the B-1a repertoire.

  17. Slit/Robo signaling regulates cell fate decisions in the intestinal stem cell lineage of Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Biteau, Benoît; Jasper, Heinrich

    2014-06-26

    In order to maintain tissue homeostasis, cell fate decisions within stem cell lineages have to respond to the needs of the tissue. This coordination of lineage choices with regenerative demand remains poorly characterized. Here, we identify a signal from enteroendocrine cells (EEs) that controls lineage specification in the Drosophila intestine. We find that EEs secrete Slit, a ligand for the Robo2 receptor in intestinal stem cells (ISCs) that limits ISC commitment to the endocrine lineage, establishing negative feedback control of EE regeneration. Furthermore, we show that this lineage decision is made within ISCs and requires induction of the transcription factor Prospero in ISCs. Our work identifies a function for the conserved Slit/Robo pathway in the regulation of adult stem cells, establishing negative feedback control of ISC lineage specification as a critical strategy to preserve tissue homeostasis. Our results further amend the current understanding of cell fate commitment within the Drosophila ISC lineage.

  18. Differentiation of murine embryonic stem and induced pluripotent stem cells to renal lineage in vitro

    SciTech Connect

    Morizane, Ryuji; Monkawa, Toshiaki; Itoh, Hiroshi

    2009-12-25

    Embryonic stem (ES) cells which have the unlimited proliferative capacity and extensive differentiation potency can be an attractive source for kidney regeneration therapies. Recent breakthroughs in the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have provided with another potential source for the artificially-generated kidney. The purpose of this study is to know how to differentiate mouse ES and iPS cells into renal lineage. We used iPS cells from mouse fibroblasts by transfection of four transcription factors, namely Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4. Real-time PCR showed that renal lineage markers were expressed in both ES and iPS cells after the induction of differentiation. It also showed that a tubular specific marker, KSP progressively increased to day 18, although the differentiation of iPS cells was slower than ES cells. The results indicated that renal lineage cells can be differentiated from both murine ES and iPS cells. Several inducing factors were tested whether they influenced on cell differentiation. In ES cells, both of GDNF and BMP7 enhanced the differentiation to metanephric mesenchyme, and Activin enhanced the differentiation of ES cells to tubular cells. Activin also enhanced the differentiation of iPS cells to tubular cells, although the enhancement was lower than in ES cells. ES and iPS cells have a potential to differentiate to renal lineage cells, and they will be an attractive resource of kidney regeneration therapy. This differentiation is enhanced by Activin in both ES and iPS cells.

  19. Dinosaur Day!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakamura, Sandra; Baptiste, H. Prentice

    2006-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe how they capitalized on their first-grade students' love of dinosaurs by hosting a fun-filled Dinosaur Day in their classroom. On Dinosaur Day, students rotated through four dinosaur-related learning stations that integrated science content with art, language arts, math, and history in a fun and time-efficient…

  20. SHIP1-expressing mesenchymal stem cells regulate hematopoietic stem cell homeostasis and lineage commitment during aging.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Sonia; Brooks, Robert; Gumbleton, Matthew; Kerr, William G

    2015-05-01

    Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and lineage choice are subject to intrinsic control. However, this intrinsic regulation is also impacted by external cues provided by niche cells. There are multiple cellular components that participate in HSC support with the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) playing a pivotal role. We had previously identified a role for SH2 domain-containing inositol 5'-phosphatase-1 (SHIP1) in HSC niche function through analysis of mice with germline or induced SHIP1 deficiency. In this study, we show that the HSC compartment expands significantly when aged in a niche that contains SHIP1-deficient MSC; however, this expanded HSC compartment exhibits a strong bias toward myeloid differentiation. In addition, we show that SHIP1 prevents chronic G-CSF production by the aging MSC compartment. These findings demonstrate that intracellular signaling by SHIP1 in MSC is critical for the control of HSC output and lineage commitment during aging. These studies increase our understanding of how myeloid bias occurs in aging and thus could have implications for the development of myeloproliferative disease in aging.

  1. Colon Stem Cell and Crypt Dynamics Exposed by Cell Lineage Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Itzkovitz, Shalev; Elbaz, Judith; Maruvka, Yosef E.; Segev, Elad; Shlush, Liran I.; Dekel, Nava; Shapiro, Ehud

    2011-01-01

    Stem cell dynamics in vivo are often being studied by lineage tracing methods. Our laboratory has previously developed a retrospective method for reconstructing cell lineage trees from somatic mutations accumulated in microsatellites. This method was applied here to explore different aspects of stem cell dynamics in the mouse colon without the use of stem cell markers. We first demonstrated the reliability of our method for the study of stem cells by confirming previously established facts, and then we addressed open questions. Our findings confirmed that colon crypts are monoclonal and that, throughout adulthood, the process of monoclonal conversion plays a major role in the maintenance of crypts. The absence of immortal strand mechanism in crypts stem cells was validated by the age-dependent accumulation of microsatellite mutations. In addition, we confirmed the positive correlation between physical and lineage proximity of crypts, by showing that the colon is separated into small domains that share a common ancestor. We gained new data demonstrating that colon epithelium is clustered separately from hematopoietic and other cell types, indicating that the colon is constituted of few progenitors and ruling out significant renewal of colonic epithelium from hematopoietic cells during adulthood. Overall, our study demonstrates the reliability of cell lineage reconstruction for the study of stem cell dynamics, and it further addresses open questions in colon stem cells. In addition, this method can be applied to study stem cell dynamics in other systems. PMID:21829376

  2. Origins of adult pigmentation: diversity in pigment stem cell lineages and implications for pattern evolution

    PubMed Central

    Spiewak, Jessica E.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Teleosts comprise about half of all vertebrate species and exhibit an extraordinary diversity of adult pigment patterns that function in shoaling, camouflage and mate choice and have played important roles in speciation. Here, we review recent studies that have identified several distinct neural crest lineages, with distinct genetic requirements, that give rise to adult pigment cells in fishes. These lineages include post-embryonic, peripheral nerve associated stem cells that generate black melanophores and iridescent iridophores, cells derived directly from embryonic neural crest cells that generate yellow-orange xanthophores, and bipotent stem cells that generate both melanophores and xanthophores. This complexity in adult chromatophore lineages has implications for our understanding of adult traits, melanoma, and the evolutionary diversification of pigment cell lineages and patterns. PMID:25421288

  3. Origins of adult pigmentation: diversity in pigment stem cell lineages and implications for pattern evolution.

    PubMed

    Parichy, David M; Spiewak, Jessica E

    2015-01-01

    Teleosts comprise about half of all vertebrate species and exhibit an extraordinary diversity of adult pigment patterns that function in shoaling, camouflage, and mate choice and have played important roles in speciation. Here, we review studies that have identified several distinct neural crest lineages, with distinct genetic requirements, that give rise to adult pigment cells in fishes. These lineages include post-embryonic, peripheral nerve-associated stem cells that generate black melanophores and iridescent iridophores, cells derived directly from embryonic neural crest cells that generate yellow-orange xanthophores, and bipotent stem cells that generate both melanophores and xanthophores. This complexity in adult chromatophore lineages has implications for our understanding of adult traits, melanoma, and the evolutionary diversification of pigment cell lineages and patterns.

  4. Stem cells, progenitor cells, and lineage decisions in the ovary.

    PubMed

    Hummitzsch, Katja; Anderson, Richard A; Wilhelm, Dagmar; Wu, Ji; Telfer, Evelyn E; Russell, Darryl L; Robertson, Sarah A; Rodgers, Raymond J

    2015-02-01

    Exploring stem cells in the mammalian ovary has unleashed a Pandora's box of new insights and questions. Recent evidence supports the existence of stem cells of a number of the different cell types within the ovary. The evidence for a stem cell model producing mural granulosa cells and cumulus cells is strong, despite a limited number of reports. The recent identification of a precursor granulosa cell, the gonadal ridge epithelial-like cell, is exciting and novel. The identification of female germline (oogonial) stem cells is still very new and is currently limited to just a few species. Their origins and physiological roles, if any, are unknown, and their potential to produce oocytes and contribute to follicle formation in vivo lacks robust evidence. The precursor of thecal cells remains elusive, and more compelling data are needed. Similarly, claims of very small embryonic-like cells are also preliminary. Surface epithelial cells originating from gonadal ridge epithelial-like cells and from the mesonephric epithelium at the hilum of the ovary have also been proposed. Another important issue is the role of the stroma in guiding the formation of the ovary, ovigerous cords, follicles, and surface epithelium. Immune cells may also play key roles in developmental patterning, given their critical roles in corpora lutea formation and regression. Thus, while the cellular biology of the ovary is extremely important for its major endocrine and fertility roles, there is much still to be discovered. This review draws together the current evidence and perspectives on this topic.

  5. Stem Cells, Progenitor Cells, and Lineage Decisions in the Ovary

    PubMed Central

    Hummitzsch, Katja; Anderson, Richard A.; Wilhelm, Dagmar; Wu, Ji; Telfer, Evelyn E.; Russell, Darryl L.; Robertson, Sarah A.

    2015-01-01

    Exploring stem cells in the mammalian ovary has unleashed a Pandora's box of new insights and questions. Recent evidence supports the existence of stem cells of a number of the different cell types within the ovary. The evidence for a stem cell model producing mural granulosa cells and cumulus cells is strong, despite a limited number of reports. The recent identification of a precursor granulosa cell, the gonadal ridge epithelial-like cell, is exciting and novel. The identification of female germline (oogonial) stem cells is still very new and is currently limited to just a few species. Their origins and physiological roles, if any, are unknown, and their potential to produce oocytes and contribute to follicle formation in vivo lacks robust evidence. The precursor of thecal cells remains elusive, and more compelling data are needed. Similarly, claims of very small embryonic-like cells are also preliminary. Surface epithelial cells originating from gonadal ridge epithelial-like cells and from the mesonephric epithelium at the hilum of the ovary have also been proposed. Another important issue is the role of the stroma in guiding the formation of the ovary, ovigerous cords, follicles, and surface epithelium. Immune cells may also play key roles in developmental patterning, given their critical roles in corpora lutea formation and regression. Thus, while the cellular biology of the ovary is extremely important for its major endocrine and fertility roles, there is much still to be discovered. This review draws together the current evidence and perspectives on this topic. PMID:25541635

  6. p107 is a crucial regulator for determining the adipocyte lineage fate choices of stem cells.

    PubMed

    De Sousa, Martina; Porras, Deanna P; Perry, Christopher G R; Seale, Patrick; Scimè, Anthony

    2014-05-01

    Thermogenic (beige and brown) adipocytes protect animals against obesity and metabolic disease. However, little is known about the mechanisms that commit stem cells toward different adipocyte lineages. We show here that p107 is a master regulator of adipocyte lineage fates, its suppression required for commitment of stem cells to the brown-type fate. p107 is strictly expressed in the stem cell compartment of white adipose tissue depots and completely absent in brown adipose tissue. Remarkably, p107-deficient stem cells uniformly give rise to brown-type adipocytes in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, brown fat programming of mesenchymal stem cells by PRDM-BF1-RIZ1 homologous domain containing 16 (Prdm16) was associated with a dramatic reduction of p107 levels. Indeed, Prdm16 directly suppressed p107 transcription via promoter binding. Notably, the sustained expression of p107 blocked the ability of Prdm16 to induce brown fat genes. These findings demonstrate that p107 expression in stem cells commits cells to the white versus brown adipose lineage.

  7. Vertebrate Neural Stem Cell Segmentation, Tracking and Lineaging with Validation and Editing

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Mark; Wait, Eric; Roysam, Badri; Goderie, Susan; Ali, Rania Ahmed Naguib; Kokovay, Erzsebet; Temple, Sally; Cohen, Andrew R.

    2012-01-01

    This protocol and the accompanying software program called LEVER enable quantitative automated analysis of phase contrast time-lapse images of cultured neural stem cells. Images are captured at 5 min. intervals over a period of 5 to 15 days as the cells proliferate and differentiate. LEVER automatically segments, tracks and generates lineage trees of the stem cells from the image sequence. In addition to generating lineage trees capturing the population dynamics of clonal development, LEVER extracts quantitative phenotypic measurements of cell location, shape, movement, and size. When available, the system can include biomolecular markers imaged using fluorescence. It then displays the results to the user for highly efficient inspection and editing to correct any errors in the segmentation, tracking or lineaging. In order to enable high-throughput inspection, LEVER incorporates features for rapid identification of errors, and learning from user-supplied corrections to automatically identify and correct related errors. PMID:22094730

  8. Graphene Oxide promotes embryonic stem cell differentiation to haematopoietic lineage

    PubMed Central

    Garcia-Alegria, Eva; Iluit, Maria; Stefanska, Monika; Silva, Claudio; Heeg, Sebastian; Kimber, Susan J.; Kouskoff, Valerie; Lacaud, Georges; Vijayaraghavan, Aravind; Batta, Kiran

    2016-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cells represent a promising source of differentiated tissue-specific stem and multipotent progenitor cells for regenerative medicine and drug testing. The realisation of this potential relies on the establishment of robust and reproducible protocols of differentiation. Several reports have highlighted the importance of biomaterials in assisting directed differentiation. Graphene oxide (GO) is a novel material that has attracted increasing interest in the field of biomedicine. In this study, we demonstrate that GO coated substrates significantly enhance the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells to both primitive and definitive haematopoietic cells. GO does not affect cell proliferation or survival of differentiated cells but rather enhances the transition of haemangioblasts to haemogenic endothelial cells, a key step during haematopoietic specification. Importantly, GO also improves, in addition to murine, human ES cell differentiation to blood cells. Taken together, our study reveals a positive role for GO in haematopoietic differentiation and suggests that further functionalization of GO could represent a valid strategy for the generation of large numbers of functional blood cells. Producing these cells would accelerate haematopoietic drug toxicity testing and treatment of patients with blood disorders or malignancies. PMID:27197878

  9. SWI/SNF-directed stem cell lineage specification: dynamic composition regulates specific stages of skeletal myogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Toto, Paula Coutinho; Puri, Pier Lorenzo; Albini, Sonia

    2016-01-01

    SWI/SNF chromatin-remodeling complexes are key regulators of the epigenetic modifications that determine whether stem cells maintain pluripotency or commit toward specific lineages through development and during postnatal life. Dynamic combinatorial assembly of multiple variants of SWI/SNF subunits is emerging as the major determinant of the functional versatility of SWI/SNF. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the structural and functional properties of the alternative SWI/SNF complexes that direct stem cell fate toward skeletal muscle lineage and control distinct stages of skeletal myogenesis. In particular, we will refer to recent evidence pointing to the essential role of two SWI/SNF components not expressed in embryonic stem cells—the catalytic subunit BRM and the structural component BAF60C—whose induction in muscle progenitors coincides with the expansion of their transcriptional repertoire. PMID:27207468

  10. Rewiring mesenchymal stem cell lineage specification by switching the biophysical microenvironment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Junmin; Abdeen, Amr A.; Kilian, Kristopher A.

    2014-06-01

    The propensity of stem cells to specify and commit to a particular lineage program is guided by dynamic biophysical and biochemical signals that are temporally regulated. However, most in vitro studies rely on ``snapshots'' of cell state under static conditions. Here we asked whether changing the biophysical aspects of the substrate could modulate the degree of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) lineage specification. We chose to explore two diverse differentiation outcomes: MSC osteogenesis and trans-differentiation to neuron-like cells. MSCs were cultured on soft (~0.5 kPa) or stiff (~40 kPa) hydrogels followed by transfer to gels of the opposite stiffness. MSCs on soft gels express elevated neurogenesis markers while MSCs on stiff substrates express elevated osteogenesis markers. Transfer of MSCs from soft to stiff or stiff to soft substrates led to a switch in lineage specification. However, MSCs transferred from stiff to soft substrates maintained elevated osteogenesis markers, suggesting a degree of irreversible activation. Transferring MSCs to micropatterned substrates reveal geometric cues that further modulate lineage reversal. Taken together, this study demonstrates that MSCs remain susceptible to the biophysical properties of the extracellular matrix--even after several weeks of culture--and can redirect lineage specification in response to changes in the microenvironment.

  11. Germ and lineage restricted stem/progenitors regenerate the mouse digit tip

    PubMed Central

    Rinkevich, Yuval; Lindau, Paul; Ueno, Hiroo; Longaker, Michael T.; Weissman, Irving L.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The regrowth of amputated limbs and the distal tips of digits represent models of tissue regeneration in amphibians, fish, and mice. For decades it had been assumed that limb regeneration derived from the blastema, an undifferentiated pluripotent cell population thought to be derived from mature cells via dedifferentiation. Here we show that a wide-range of tissue stem/progenitor cells contribute to restore the mouse distal digit. Genetic fate mapping and clonal analysis of individual cells revealed that these stem cells are lineage restricted, mimicking digit growth during development. Transplantation of CFP expressing hematopoietic stem cells, and parabiosis between genetically marked mice, confirmed that the stem/progenitors are tissue resident, including the cells involved in angiogenesis. These results, combined with those from appendage development/regeneration in lower vertebrates, collectively demonstrate that tissue stem cells rather than pluripotent blastema cells are an evolutionarily conserved cellular mode for limb regeneration after amputation. PMID:21866153

  12. Dinosaur Systematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, Kenneth; Currie, Philip J.

    1992-07-01

    In recent years dinosaurs have captured the attention of the public at an unprecedented level. At the heart of this resurgence in popular interest is an increased level of research activity, much of which is innovative in the field of paleontology. For instance, whereas earlier paleontological studies emphasized basic morphologic description and taxonomic classification, modern studies attempt to examine the role and nature of dinosaurs as living animals. More than ever before, we understand how these extinct species functioned, behaved, interacted with each other and the environment, and evolved. Nevertheless, these studies rely on certain basic building blocks of knowledge, including facts about dinosaur anatomy and taxonomic relationships. One of the purposes of this volume is to unravel some of the problems surrounding dinosaur systematics and to increase our understanding of dinosaurs as a biological species. Dinosaur Systematics presents a current overview of dinosaur systematics using various examples to explore what is a species in a dinosaur, what separates genders in dinosaurs, what morphological changes occur with maturation of a species, and what morphological variations occur within a species.

  13. Dinosaur evolution. Sustained miniaturization and anatomical innovation in the dinosaurian ancestors of birds.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael S Y; Cau, Andrea; Naish, Darren; Dyke, Gareth J

    2014-08-01

    Recent discoveries have highlighted the dramatic evolutionary transformation of massive, ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs into light, volant birds. Here, we apply Bayesian approaches (originally developed for inferring geographic spread and rates of molecular evolution in viruses) in a different context: to infer size changes and rates of anatomical innovation (across up to 1549 skeletal characters) in fossils. These approaches identify two drivers underlying the dinosaur-bird transition. The theropod lineage directly ancestral to birds undergoes sustained miniaturization across 50 million years and at least 12 consecutive branches (internodes) and evolves skeletal adaptations four times faster than other dinosaurs. The distinct, prolonged phase of miniaturization along the bird stem would have facilitated the evolution of many novelties associated with small body size, such as reorientation of body mass, increased aerial ability, and paedomorphic skulls with reduced snouts but enlarged eyes and brains.

  14. The differentiation of embryonic stem cells seeded on electrospun nanofibers into neural lineages

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jingwei; Willerth, Stephanie M.; Li, Xiaoran; Macewan, Matthew R.; Rader, Allison; Sakiyama-Elbert, Shelly E.; Xia, Younan

    2008-01-01

    Due to advances in stem cell biology, embryonic stem (ES) cells can be induced to differentiate into a particular mature cell lineage when cultured as embryoid bodies. Although transplantation of ES cells-derived neural progenitor cells has been demonstrated with some success for either spinal cord injury repair in small animal model, control of ES cell differentiation into complex, viable, higher ordered tissues is still challenging. Mouse ES cells have been induced to become neural progenitors by adding retinoic acid to embryoid body cultures for 4 days. In this study, we examine the use of electrospun biodegradable polymers as scaffolds not only for enhancing the differentiation of mouse ES cells into neural lineages but also for promoting and guiding the neurite outgrowth. A combination of electrospun fiber scaffolds and ES cells-derived neural progenitor cells could lead to the development of a better strategy for nerve injury repair. PMID:18930315

  15. Conversion of embryonic stem cells into extraembryonic lineages by CRISPR-mediated activators

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Shu; Zou, Qingjian; Lai, Sisi; Zhang, Quanjun; Li, Li; Yan, Quanmei; Zhou, Xiaoqing; Zhong, Huilin; Lai, Liangxue

    2016-01-01

    The recently emerged CRISPR/Cas9 technique has opened a new perspective on readily editing specific genes. When combined with transcription activators, it can precisely manipulate endogenous gene expression. Here, we enhanced the expression of endogenous Cdx2 and Gata6 genes by CRISPR-mediated activators, thus mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) were directly converted into two extraembryonic lineages, i.e., typical trophoblast stem cells (TSCs) and extraembryonic endoderm cells (XENCs), which exhibited characters of TSC or XENC derived from the blastocyst extraembryonic lineages such as cell morphology, specific gene expression, and differentiation ability in vitro and in vivo. This study demonstrates that the cell fate can be effectively manipulated by directly activating of specific endogenous gene expression with CRISPR-mediated activator. PMID:26782778

  16. Bioenergetic Changes during Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells along the Hepatic Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Hopkinson, Branden M.; Kalisz, Mark; Vestentoft, Peter Siig; Juel Rasmussen, Lene; Bisgaard, Hanne Cathrine

    2017-01-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction has been demonstrated to result in premature aging due to its effects on stem cells. Nevertheless, a full understanding of the role of mitochondrial bioenergetics through differentiation is still lacking. Here we show the bioenergetics profile of human stem cells of embryonic origin differentiating along the hepatic lineage. Our study reveals especially the transition between hepatic specification and hepatic maturation as dependent on mitochondrial respiration and demonstrates that even though differentiating cells are primarily dependent on glycolysis until induction of hepatocyte maturation, oxidative phosphorylation is essential at all stages of differentiation. PMID:28265337

  17. Dinosaur Tracking.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lockley, Martin

    1984-01-01

    Describes paleontological studies of trace fossils (the impressions that record the animal's activity) such as dinosaur footprints. Discusses the importance of findings to our knowledge of dinosaur social behavior and community structure. Also tracts evolution of behavior from the Upper Triassic through the Upper Cretaceous, building evidence of…

  18. A planarian p53 homolog regulates proliferation and self-renewal in adult stem cell lineages.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Bret J; Sánchez Alvarado, Alejandro

    2010-01-01

    The functions of adult stem cells and tumor suppressor genes are known to intersect. However, when and how tumor suppressors function in the lineages produced by adult stem cells is unknown. With a large population of stem cells that can be manipulated and studied in vivo, the freshwater planarian is an ideal system with which to investigate these questions. Here, we focus on the tumor suppressor p53, homologs of which have no known role in stem cell biology in any invertebrate examined thus far. Planaria have a single p53 family member, Smed-p53, which is predominantly expressed in newly made stem cell progeny. When Smed-p53 is targeted by RNAi, the stem cell population increases at the expense of progeny, resulting in hyper-proliferation. However, ultimately the stem cell population fails to self-renew. Our results suggest that prior to the vertebrates, an ancestral p53-like molecule already had functions in stem cell proliferation control and self-renewal.

  19. Generation of Human Corneal Endothelial Cells via In Vitro Ocular Lineage Restriction of Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jiagang J.; Afshari, Natalie A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose We generate a renewable supply of corneal endothelial cells (CEC) from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) under defined culture conditions. Methods Corneal endothelial cell induction was driven by small molecules in a stepwise fashion of lineage specification. During the initial phase, PSC fate was restricted to the eye field-like state and became eye field stem cells (EFSCs). In the second phase, PSC-derived EFSCs were further directed toward either neural crest lineage or retinal lineage. The CECs were directly induced from ocular neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) by suppressing TGF-β and ROCK signaling. Results Under chemically defined conditions, PSCs were massively converted into EFSCs and subsequently NCSCs. Eye field cell identity was characterized by the expression of key fate restriction factors for early eye field cells, such as PAX6, LHX2, and VSX2. The induction of ocular NCSCs was initiated by promoting WNT signaling in EFSCs. Within 2 weeks of induction, the majority of cells expressed the typical neural crest markers p75NTR and HNK-1. Eye field stem cell-derived NCSCs can be propagated and cryopreserved. Subsequently, a CEC monolayer was induced from adherent NCSCs in the presence of small molecular inhibitors to suppress TGF-β and ROCK signaling. The polygon-shaped CEC-like cells became visible after a week in culture. The NCSC-derived CECs expressed typical CEC markers, such as N-Cadherin and Na+/K+-ATPase. Conclusions A novel small molecule-based approach was developed to derive human CECs from PSCs via ocular lineage specification. Moreover, EFSC-derived NCSCs could serve as an immediate source cell for rapid CEC induction in vitro. PMID:28002562

  20. Heterogeneous lineage marker expression in naive embryonic stem cells is mostly due to spontaneous differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Gautham; Abranches, Elsa; Guedes, Ana M. V.; Henrique, Domingos; Raj, Arjun

    2015-01-01

    Populations of cultured mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) exhibit a subfraction of cells expressing uncharacteristically low levels of pluripotency markers such as Nanog. Yet, the extent to which individual Nanog-negative cells are differentiated, both from ESCs and from each other, remains unclear. Here, we show the transcriptome of Nanog-negative cells exhibits expression of classes of genes associated with differentiation that are not yet active in cells exposed to differentiation conditions for one day. Long non-coding RNAs, however, exhibit more changes in expression in the one-day-differentiated cells than in Nanog-negative cells. These results are consistent with the concept that Nanog-negative cells may contain subpopulations of both lineage-primed and differentiated cells. Single cell analysis showed that Nanog-negative cells display substantial and coherent heterogeneity in lineage marker expression in progressively nested subsets of cells exhibiting low levels of Nanog, then low levels of Oct4, and then a set of lineage markers, which express intensely in a small subset of these more differentiated cells. Our results suggest that the observed enrichment of lineage-specific marker gene expression in Nanog-negative cells is associated with spontaneous differentiation of a subset of these cells rather than the more random expression that may be associated with reversible lineage priming. PMID:26292941

  1. Clonal reversal of ageing-associated stem cell lineage bias via a pluripotent intermediate

    PubMed Central

    Wahlestedt, Martin; Erlandsson, Eva; Kristiansen, Trine; Lu, Rong; Brakebusch, Cord; Weissman, Irving L.; Yuan, Joan; Martin-Gonzalez, Javier; Bryder, David

    2017-01-01

    Ageing associates with significant alterations in somatic/adult stem cells and therapies to counteract these might have profound benefits for health. In the blood, haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) ageing is linked to several functional shortcomings. However, besides the recent realization that individual HSCs might be preset differentially already from young age, HSCs might also age asynchronously. Evaluating the prospects for HSC rejuvenation therefore ultimately requires approaching those HSCs that are functionally affected by age. Here we combine genetic barcoding of aged murine HSCs with the generation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. This allows us to specifically focus on aged HSCs presenting with a pronounced lineage skewing, a hallmark of HSC ageing. Functional and molecular evaluations reveal haematopoiesis from these iPS clones to be indistinguishable from that associating with young mice. Our data thereby provide direct support to the notion that several key functional attributes of HSC ageing can be reversed. PMID:28224997

  2. Lineage-specific enhancers activate self-renewal genes in macrophages and embryonic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Soucie, Erinn L.; Weng, Ziming; Geirsdóttir, Laufey; Molawi, Kaaweh; Maurizio, Julien; Fenouil, Romain; Mossadegh-Keller, Noushine; Gimenez, Gregory; VanHille, Laurent; Beniazza, Meryam; Favret, Jeremy; Berruyer, Carole; Perrin, Pierre; Hacohen, Nir; Andrau, J.-C.; Ferrier, Pierre; Dubreuil, Patrice; Sidow, Arend; Sieweke, Michael H.

    2016-01-01

    Differentiated macrophages can self-renew in tissues and expand long-term in culture, but the gene regulatory mechanisms that accomplish self-renewal in the differentiated state have remained unknown. Here we show that in mice, the transcription factors MafB and c-Maf repress a macrophage-specific enhancer repertoire associated with a gene network controlling self-renewal. Single cell analysis revealed that, in vivo, proliferating resident macrophages can access this network by transient down-regulation of Maf transcription factors. The network also controls embryonic stem cell self-renewal but is associated with distinct embryonic stem cell-specific enhancers. This indicates that distinct lineage-specific enhancer platforms regulate a shared network of genes that control self-renewal potential in both stem and mature cells. PMID:26797145

  3. Hyaluronan Is Crucial for Stem Cell Differentiation into Smooth Muscle Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Russell M.L.; Hong, Xuechong; Wong, Mei Mei; Karamariti, Eirini; Bhaloo, Shirin Issa; Warren, Derek; Kong, Wei; Hu, Yanhua

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Deciphering the extracellular signals that regulate SMC differentiation from stem cells is vital to further our understanding of the pathogenesis of vascular disease and for development of cell‐based therapies and tissue engineering. Hyaluronan (HA) has emerged as an important component of the stem cell niche, however its role during stem cell differentiation is a complicated and inadequately defined process. This study aimed to investigate the role of HA in embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation toward a SMC lineage. ESCs were seeded on collagen‐IV in differentiation medium to generate ESC‐derived SMCs (esSMCs). Differentiation coincided with increased HA synthase (HAS) 2 expression, accumulation of extracellular HA and its assembly into pericellular matrices. Inhibition of HA synthesis by 4‐methylumbelliferone (4MU), removal of the HA coat by hyaluronidase (HYAL) or HAS2 knockdown led to abrogation of SMC gene expression. HA activates ERK1/2 and suppresses EGFR signaling pathways via its principle receptor, CD44. EGFR inactivation coincided with increased binding to CD44, which was further augmented by addition of high molecular weight (HMW)‐HA either exogenously or via HAS2 overexpression through adenoviral gene transfer. HMW‐HA‐stimulated esSMCs displayed a functional role in vascular tissue engineering ex vivo, vasculogenesis in a matrigel plug model and SMC accumulation in neointimal lesions of vein grafts in mice. These findings demonstrate that HAS2‐induced HA synthesis and organization drives ESC‐SMC differentiation. Thus, remodeling of the HA microenvironment is a critical step in directing stem cell differentiation toward a vascular lineage, highlighting HA as a potential target for treatment of vascular diseases. Stem Cells 2016;34:1225–1238 PMID:26867148

  4. Lineage-tracking of stem cell differentiation: a neutral model of hematopoiesis in rhesus macaque

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Tom

    How a potentially diverse population of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) differentiates and proliferates to supply more than 1011 mature blood cells every day in humans remains a key biological question. We investigated this process by quantitatively analyzing the clonal structure of peripheral blood that is generated by a population of transplanted lentivirus-marked HSCs in myeloablated rhesus macaques. Each transplanted HSC generates a clonal lineage of cells in the peripheral blood that is then detected and quantified through deep sequencing of the viral vector integration sites (VIS) common within each lineage. This approach allowed us to observe, over a period of 4-12 years, hundreds of distinct clonal lineages. Surprisingly, while the distinct clone sizes varied by three orders of magnitude, we found that collectively, they form a steady-state clone size-distribution with a distinctive shape. Our concise model shows that slow HSC differentiation followed by fast progenitor growth is responsible for the observed broad clone size-distribution. Although all cells are assumed to be statistically identical, analogous to a neutral theory for the different clone lineages, our mathematical approach captures the intrinsic variability in the times to HSC differentiation after transplantation. Steady-state solutions of our model show that the predicted clone size-distribution is sensitive to only two combinations of parameters. By fitting the measured clone size-distributions to our mechanistic model, we estimate both the effective HSC differentiation rate and the number of active HSCs. NSF and NIH.

  5. Fetal and adult hematopoietic stem cells give rise to distinct T cell lineages in humans.

    PubMed

    Mold, Jeff E; Venkatasubrahmanyam, Shivkumar; Burt, Trevor D; Michaëlsson, Jakob; Rivera, Jose M; Galkina, Sofiya A; Weinberg, Kenneth; Stoddart, Cheryl A; McCune, Joseph M

    2010-12-17

    Although the mammalian immune system is generally thought to develop in a linear fashion, findings in avian and murine species argue instead for the developmentally ordered appearance (or "layering") of distinct hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that give rise to distinct lymphocyte lineages at different stages of development. Here we provide evidence of an analogous layered immune system in humans. Our results suggest that fetal and adult T cells are distinct populations that arise from different populations of HSCs that are present at different stages of development. We also provide evidence that the fetal T cell lineage is biased toward immune tolerance. These observations offer a mechanistic explanation for the tolerogenic properties of the developing fetus and for variable degrees of immune responsiveness at birth.

  6. Epigallocatechin Gallate Inhibits Mouse Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation to Adipogenic Lineage.

    PubMed

    Chani, Baldeep; Puri, Veena; Chander Sobti, Ranbir; Puri, Sanjeev

    2016-01-01

    Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a major component of green tea polyphenols having a potent anti-oxidant potential. Besides inhibiting the growth of many cancer cell types and inducing proliferation and differentiation in keratinocytes, it has been shown to promote reduction of body fat. The fact that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have ability to self-renew and differentiate into the cells of mesodermal lineages, such as fat and bone, it is, thus, possible that EGCG may directly be involved in affecting fat metabolism through its effect on mesenchymal stem cells. Hence, with this aim, the present study was designed to determine the effect of EGCG on mouse mesenchymal stem cells, C3H10T1/2 cells differentiation into adipocytes. To understand this process, the cells were incubated with varying concentrations of EGCG (1 μM, 5 μM, 10 μM, 50 μM) in the presence and /or absence of adipogenic medium for 9 days. The results demonstrated that, EGCG inhibited the cells proliferation, migration and also prevented their differentiation to adipogenic lineage. These effects were analyzed through the inhibition of wound healing activity, reduction in Oil red O stained cells, together with decrease in the expression of Adipisin gene following EGCG treatment. These observations thus demonstrated anti-adipogenic effect of EGCG with a possibility of its role in the therapeutic intervention of obesity.

  7. Dinosaur lactation?

    PubMed

    Else, Paul L

    2013-02-01

    Lactation is a process associated with mammals, yet a number of birds feed their newly hatched young on secretions analogous to the milk of mammals. These secretions are produced from various sections (crop organ, oesophageal lining and proventriculus) of the upper digestive tract and possess similar levels of fat and protein, as well as added carotenoids, antibodies and, in the case of pigeons and doves, epidermal growth factor. Parental care in avian species has been proposed to originate from dinosaurs. This study examines the possibility that some dinosaurs used secretory feeding to increase the rate of growth of their young, estimated to be similar to that of present day birds and mammals. Dinosaur 'lactation' could also have facilitated immune responses as well as extending parental protection as a result of feeding newly hatched young in nest environments. While the arguments for dinosaur lactation are somewhat generic, a case study for lactation in herbivorous site-nesting dinosaurs is presented. It is proposes that secretory feeding could have been used to bridge the gap between hatching and establishment of the normal diet in some dinosaurs.

  8. Direct and progressive differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into the chondrogenic lineage.

    PubMed

    Gong, Guochun; Ferrari, Deborah; Dealy, Caroline N; Kosher, Robert A

    2010-09-01

    Treatment of common and debilitating degenerative cartilage diseases particularly osteoarthritis is a clinical challenge because of the limited capacity of the tissue for self-repair. Because of their unlimited capacity for self-renewal and ability to differentiate into multiple lineages, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are a potentially powerful tool for repair of cartilage defects. The primary objective of the present study was to develop culture systems and conditions that enable hESCs to directly and uniformly differentiate into the chondrogenic lineage without prior embryoid body (EB) formation, since the inherent cellular heterogeneity of EBs hinders obtaining homogeneous populations of chondrogenic cells that can be used for cartilage repair. To this end, we have subjected undifferentiated pluripotent hESCs to the high density micromass culture conditions we have extensively used to direct the differentiation of embryonic limb bud mesenchymal cells into chondrocytes. We report that micromass cultures of pluripotent hESCs undergo direct, rapid, progressive, and substantially uniform chondrogenic differentiation in the presence of BMP2 or a combination of BMP2 and TGF-beta1, signaling molecules that act in concert to regulate chondrogenesis in the developing limb. The gene expression profiles of hESC-derived cultures harvested at various times during the progression of their differentiation has enabled us to identify cultures comprising cells in different phases of the chondrogenic lineage ranging from cultures just entering the lineage to well differentiated chondrocytes. Thus, we are poised to compare the abilities of hESC-derived progenitors in different phases of the chondrogenic lineage for cartilage repair.

  9. Stem cells and lineages of the intestine: a developmental and evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Takashima, Shigeo; Gold, David; Hartenstein, Volker

    2012-01-01

    The intestine consists of epithelial cells that secrete digestive enzymes and mucus (gland cells), absorb food particles (enterocytes), and produce hormones (endocrine cells). Intestinal cells are rapidly turned over and need to be replaced. In cnidarians, mitosis of differentiated intestinal cells accounts for much of the replacement; in addition, migratory, multipotent stem cells (interstitial cells) contribute to the production of intestinal cells. In other phyla, intestinal cell replacement is solely the function of stem cells entering the gut from the outside (such as in case of the neoblasts of platyhelmints) or intestinal stem cells located within the midgut epithelium (as in both vertebrates or arthropods). We will attempt in the following to review important aspects of midgut stem cells in different animal groups: where are they located, what types of lineages do they produce, and how do they develop. We will start out with a comparative survey of midgut cell types found across the animal kingdom; then briefly look at the specification of these cells during embryonic development; and finally focus on the stem cells that regenerate midgut cells during adult life. In a number of model systems, including mouse, zebrafish and Drosophila, the molecular pathways controlling ISC proliferation and the specification of intestinal cell types are under intensive investigation. We will highlight findings of the recent literature, focusing on aspects that are shared between the different models and that point at evolutionary ancient mechanisms of intestinal cell formation. PMID:23179635

  10. Stem Cell Differentiation Toward the Myogenic Lineage for Muscle Tissue Regeneration: A Focus on Muscular Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Ostrovidov, Serge; Shi, Xuetao; Sadeghian, Ramin Banan; Salehi, Sahar; Fujie, Toshinori; Bae, Hojae; Ramalingam, Murugan; Khademhosseini, Ali

    2015-12-01

    Skeletal muscle tissue engineering is one of the important ways for regenerating functionally defective muscles. Among the myopathies, the Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a progressive disease due to mutations of the dystrophin gene leading to progressive myofiber degeneration with severe symptoms. Although current therapies in muscular dystrophy are still very challenging, important progress has been made in materials science and in cellular technologies with the use of stem cells. It is therefore useful to review these advances and the results obtained in a clinical point of view. This article focuses on the differentiation of stem cells into myoblasts, and their application in muscular dystrophy. After an overview of the different stem cells that can be induced to differentiate into the myogenic lineage, we introduce scaffolding materials used for muscular tissue engineering. We then described some widely used methods to differentiate different types of stem cell into myoblasts. We highlight recent insights obtained in therapies for muscular dystrophy. Finally, we conclude with a discussion on stem cell technology. We discussed in parallel the benefits brought by the evolution of the materials and by the expansion of cell sources which can differentiate into myoblasts. We also discussed on future challenges for clinical applications and how to accelerate the translation from the research to the clinic in the frame of DMD.

  11. Genome-wide lineage-specific transcriptional networks underscore Ikaros-dependent lymphoid priming in hematopoietic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Ng, Samuel Yao-Ming; Yoshida, Toshimi; Zhang, Jiangwen; Georgopoulos, Katia

    2009-04-17

    The mechanisms regulating lineage potential during early hematopoiesis were investigated. First, a cascade of lineage-affiliated gene expression signatures, primed in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and differentially propagated in lineage-restricted progenitors, was identified. Lymphoid transcripts were primed as early as the HSC, together with myeloid and erythroid transcripts. Although this multilineage priming was resolved upon subsequent lineage restrictions, an unexpected cosegregation of lymphoid and myeloid gene expression and potential past a nominal myeloid restriction point was identified. Finally, we demonstrated that whereas the zinc finger DNA-binding factor Ikaros was required for induction of lymphoid lineage priming in the HSC, it was also necessary for repression of genetic programs compatible with self-renewal and multipotency downstream of the HSC. Taken together, our studies provide new insight into the priming and restriction of lineage potentials during early hematopoiesis and identify Ikaros as a key bivalent regulator of this process.

  12. The origin and early radiation of dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brusatte, Stephen L.; Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Irmis, Randall B.; Butler, Richard J.; Benton, Michael J.; Norell, Mark A.

    2010-07-01

    Dinosaurs were remarkably successful during the Mesozoic and one subgroup, birds, remain an important component of modern ecosystems. Although the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous has been the subject of intense debate, comparatively little attention has been given to the origin and early evolution of dinosaurs during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic, one of the most important evolutionary radiations in earth history. Our understanding of this keystone event has dramatically changed over the past 25 years, thanks to an influx of new fossil discoveries, reinterpretations of long-ignored specimens, and quantitative macroevolutionary analyses that synthesize anatomical and geological data. Here we provide an overview of the first 50 million years of dinosaur history, with a focus on the large-scale patterns that characterize the ascent of dinosaurs from a small, almost marginal group of reptiles in the Late Triassic to the preeminent terrestrial vertebrates of the Jurassic and Cretaceous. We provide both a biological and geological background for early dinosaur history. Dinosaurs are deeply nested among the archosaurian reptiles, diagnosed by only a small number of characters, and are subdivided into a number of major lineages. The first unequivocal dinosaurs are known from the late Carnian of South America, but the presence of their sister group in the Middle Triassic implies that dinosaurs possibly originated much earlier. The three major dinosaur lineages, theropods, sauropodomorphs, and ornithischians, are all known from the Triassic, when continents were joined into the supercontinent Pangaea and global climates were hot and arid. Although many researchers have long suggested that dinosaurs outcompeted other reptile groups during the Triassic, we argue that the ascent of dinosaurs was more of a matter of contingency and opportunism. Dinosaurs were overshadowed in most Late Triassic ecosystems by crocodile-line archosaurs and

  13. Dinosaur Impressions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taquet, Philippe

    1998-09-01

    Perhaps you are a paleontologist or have always wondered what it is like to be one. Or you are fascinated by fossils and like to read about the origins and natural history of dinosaurs. Or maybe you are an avid traveler and reader of travelogues. If you are any of these things, then this book is for you. Originally published in 1994 in French, Dinosaur Impressions is the engaging account of thirty years of travel and paleontological exploration by Philippe Taquet, one of the world's most noted paleontologists. Dr. Taquet takes the reader on a surprisingly far-flung tour ranging from the Provence countryside to the Niger desert, from the Brazilian bush to the Mongolian Steppes, and from the Laos jungle to the Moroccan mountains in search of dinosaur bones and what they have to tell us about a vanished world. With wry humor and lively anecdotes, Dr. Taquet retraces the history of paleontological research, along the way discussing the latest theories of dinosaur existence and extinction. Elegantly translated by Kevin Padian, Dinosaur Impressions provides a unique, thoughtful perspective not often encountered in American- and English-language works. This insightful, first-hand account of an exceptional career is also a travelogue par excellence that will enthrall enthusiasts and general readers alike. Philippe Taquet is the Director of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and is a member of the French Academy of Sciences. Kevin Padian is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Curator of the Museum of Paleontology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the editor of The Beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs (Cambridge, 1986) and The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs (1997).

  14. Surface topography enhances differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells towards osteogenic and adipogenic lineages.

    PubMed

    Abagnale, Giulio; Steger, Michael; Nguyen, Vu Hoa; Hersch, Nils; Sechi, Antonio; Joussen, Sylvia; Denecke, Bernd; Merkel, Rudolf; Hoffmann, Bernd; Dreser, Alice; Schnakenberg, Uwe; Gillner, Arnold; Wagner, Wolfgang

    2015-08-01

    Surface topography impacts on cell growth and differentiation, but it is not trivial to generate defined surface structures and to assess the relevance of specific topographic parameters. In this study, we have systematically compared in vitro differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on a variety of groove/ridge structures. Micro- and nano-patterns were generated in polyimide using reactive ion etching or multi beam laser interference, respectively. These structures affected cell spreading and orientation of human MSCs, which was also reflected in focal adhesions morphology and size. Time-lapse demonstrated directed migration parallel to the nano-patterns. Overall, surface patterns clearly enhanced differentiation of MSCs towards specific lineages: 15 μm ridges increased adipogenic differentiation whereas 2 μm ridges enhanced osteogenic differentiation. Notably, nano-patterns with a periodicity of 650 nm increased differentiation towards both osteogenic and adipogenic lineages. However, in absence of differentiation media surface structures did neither induce differentiation, nor lineage-specific gene expression changes. Furthermore, nanostructures did not affect the YAP/TAZ complex, which is activated by substrate stiffness. Our results provide further insight into how structuring of tailored biomaterials and implant interfaces - e.g. by multi beam laser interference in sub-micrometer scale - do not induce differentiation of MSCs per se, but support their directed differentiation.

  15. Defining Developmental Potency and Cell Lineage Trajectories by Expression Profiling of Differentiating Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Aiba, Kazuhiro; Nedorezov, Timur; Piao, Yulan; Nishiyama, Akira; Matoba, Ryo; Sharova, Lioudmila V.; Sharov, Alexei A.; Yamanaka, Shinya; Niwa, Hitoshi; Ko, Minoru S. H.

    2009-01-01

    Biologists rely on morphology, function and specific markers to define the differentiation status of cells. Transcript profiling has expanded the repertoire of these markers by providing the snapshot of cellular status that reflects the activity of all genes. However, such data have been used only to assess relative similarities and differences of these cells. Here we show that principal component analysis of global gene expression profiles map cells in multidimensional transcript profile space and the positions of differentiating cells progress in a stepwise manner along trajectories starting from undifferentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells located in the apex. We present three ‘cell lineage trajectories’, which represent the differentiation of ES cells into the first three lineages in mammalian development: primitive endoderm, trophoblast and primitive ectoderm/neural ectoderm. The positions of the cells along these trajectories seem to reflect the developmental potency of cells and can be used as a scale for the potential of cells. Indeed, we show that embryonic germ cells and induced pluripotent cells are mapped near the origin of the trajectories, whereas mouse embryo fibroblast and fibroblast cell lines are mapped near the far end of the trajectories. We suggest that this method can be used as the non-operational semi-quantitative definition of cell differentiation status and developmental potency. Furthermore, the global expression profiles of cell lineages provide a framework for the future study of in vitro and in vivo cell differentiation. PMID:19112179

  16. Immunohistochemical study of melanocyte-melanocyte stem cell lineage in vitiligo; a clue to interfollicular melanocyte stem cell reservoir.

    PubMed

    Seleit, Iman; Bakry, Ola Ahmed; Abdou, Asmaa Gaber; Dawoud, Noha Mohammed

    2014-05-01

    There has been a long lasting controversy over whether melanocytes (MCs) in vitiligo are actually lost or still present but functionally inactive. We aimed to evaluate the MC cell lineage in follicular and interfollicular vitiliginous epidermis through immunohistochemical localization of Human Melanoma Black-45 (HMB-45) and Tyrosinase Related Protein 2 (TRP2) and to correlate it with clinicopathologic parameters. Using immunohistochemical techniques, skin biopsies from 50 vitiligo patients and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects were examined. Differentiated active MCs were detected in 44% of interfollicular epidermis (IFE) and 46.7% of follicular epidermis (FE) in lesional skin. Melanocyte precursors/stem cells were detected in 54% of IFE and 63.3% of FE in lesional skin. Melanocyte precursors/stem cells of IFE were significantly associated with residual melanin pigment (p = 0.007) and with absence of angiogenesis (p = 0.05). HMB-45 percentage of expression in IFE was positively correlated with MC precursors/stem cells percentage in FE (r = +0.65, p < 0.001) and IFE (r = +0.33, p = 0.01). Melanocyte precursors/stem cells positivity (p < 0.001) was progressively decreasing with advanced histopathologic grading. There was no significant association between interfollicular or follicular expression of HMB-45, TRP2 or MC precursors/stem cells and the clinical type of vitiligo or its duration. In conclusion, functioning MCs may exist in vitiligo. The presence of MC precursors/stem cells in IFE may provide an additional reservoir needed for repigmentation.

  17. A mex3 homolog is required for differentiation during planarian stem cell lineage development.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Hallows, Stephanie E; Currie, Ko W; Xu, ChangJiang; Pearson, Bret J

    2015-06-26

    Neoblasts are adult stem cells (ASCs) in planarians that sustain cell replacement during homeostasis and regeneration of any missing tissue. While numerous studies have examined genes underlying neoblast pluripotency, molecular pathways driving postmitotic fates remain poorly defined. In this study, we used transcriptional profiling of irradiation-sensitive and irradiation-insensitive cell populations and RNA interference (RNAi) functional screening to uncover markers and regulators of postmitotic progeny. We identified 32 new markers distinguishing two main epithelial progenitor populations and a planarian homolog to the MEX3 RNA-binding protein (Smed-mex3-1) as a key regulator of lineage progression. mex3-1 was required for generating differentiated cells of multiple lineages, while restricting the size of the stem cell compartment. We also demonstrated the utility of using mex3-1(RNAi) animals to identify additional progenitor markers. These results identified mex3-1 as a cell fate regulator, broadly required for differentiation, and suggest that mex3-1 helps to mediate the balance between ASC self-renewal and commitment.

  18. A mex3 homolog is required for differentiation during planarian stem cell lineage development

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Shu Jun; Hallows, Stephanie E; Currie, Ko W; Xu, ChangJiang; Pearson, Bret J

    2015-01-01

    Neoblasts are adult stem cells (ASCs) in planarians that sustain cell replacement during homeostasis and regeneration of any missing tissue. While numerous studies have examined genes underlying neoblast pluripotency, molecular pathways driving postmitotic fates remain poorly defined. In this study, we used transcriptional profiling of irradiation-sensitive and irradiation-insensitive cell populations and RNA interference (RNAi) functional screening to uncover markers and regulators of postmitotic progeny. We identified 32 new markers distinguishing two main epithelial progenitor populations and a planarian homolog to the MEX3 RNA-binding protein (Smed-mex3-1) as a key regulator of lineage progression. mex3-1 was required for generating differentiated cells of multiple lineages, while restricting the size of the stem cell compartment. We also demonstrated the utility of using mex3-1(RNAi) animals to identify additional progenitor markers. These results identified mex3-1 as a cell fate regulator, broadly required for differentiation, and suggest that mex3-1 helps to mediate the balance between ASC self-renewal and commitment. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07025.001 PMID:26114597

  19. The Drosophila female germline stem cell lineage acts to spatially restrict DPP function within the niche.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ming; Lim, Tit Meng; Cai, Yu

    2010-07-27

    Maintenance of stem cells requires spatially restricted, niche-associated signals. In the Drosophila female germline stem cell (GSC) niche, Decapentaplegic (DPP) is the primary niche-associated factor and functions over a short range to promote GSC self-renewal rather than differentiation. Here, we show that the GSC lineage and, more specifically, the stem cells themselves participate in the spatial restriction of DPP function by activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in the surrounding somatic cells. EGFR-MAPK signaling in somatic cells repressed the expression of dally, which encodes a glypican required for DPP movement and stability. Consequently, only GSCs close to the DPP source (the somatic cells in the niche) showed high signal activation and were maintained as stem cells, whereas cystoblasts outside the niche showed low signal activation and initiated differentiation. Thus, our data reveal that the reciprocal crosstalk between the GSCs and the somatic cells defines the spatial limits of DPP action and therefore the extent of the GSC niche.

  20. Stepwise renal lineage differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells tracing in vivo development

    SciTech Connect

    Nishikawa, Masaki; Yanagawa, Naomi; Kojima, Nobuhiko; Yuri, Shunsuke; Hauser, Peter V.; Jo, Oak D.; Yanagawa, Norimoto

    2012-01-13

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We induced renal lineages from mESCs by following the in vivo developmental cues. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We induced nephrogenic intermediate mesoderm by stepwise addition of factors. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We induced two types of renal progenitor cells by reciprocal conditioned media. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We propose the potential role of CD24 for the enrichment of renal lineage cells. -- Abstract: The in vitro derivation of renal lineage progenitor cells is essential for renal cell therapy and regeneration. Despite extensive studies in the past, a protocol for renal lineage induction from embryonic stem cells remains unestablished. In this study, we aimed to induce renal lineages from mouse embryonic stem cells (mESC) by following in vivo developmental stages, i.e., the induction of mesoderm (Stage I), intermediate mesoderm (Stage II) and renal lineages (Stage III). For stage I induction, in accordance with known signaling pathways involved in mesoderm development in vivo, i.e., Nodal, bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) and Wnt, we found that the sequential addition of three factors, i.e., Activin-A (A), a surrogate for Nodal signaling, during days 0-2, A plus BMP-4 (4) during days 2-4, and A4 plus lithium (L), a surrogate for Wnt signaling, during days 4-6, was most effective to induce the mesodermal marker, Brachyury. For stage II induction, the addition of retinoic acid (R) in the continuous presence of A4L during days 6-8 was most effective to induce nephrogenic intermediate mesodermal markers, such as Pax2 and Lim1. Under this condition, more than 30% of cells were stained positive for Pax2, and there was a concomitant decrease in the expression of non-mesodermal markers. For stage III induction, in resemblance to the reciprocal induction between ureteric bud (UB) and metanephric mesenchyme (MM) during kidney development, we found that the exposure to conditioned media derived from UB and MM cells was

  1. High glucose suppresses embryonic stem cell differentiation into neural lineage cells

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Penghua; Shen, Wei-bin; Reece, E. Albert; Chen, Xi; Yang, Peixin

    2017-01-01

    Abnormal neurogenesis occurs during embryonic development in human diabetic pregnancies and in animal models of diabetic embryopathy. Our previous studies in a mouse model of diabetic embryopathy have implicated that high glucose of maternal diabetes delays neurogenesis in the developing neuroepithelium leading to neural tube defects. However, the underlying process in high glucose-impaired neurogenesis is uncharacterized. Neurogenesis from embryonic stem (ES) cells provides a valuable model for understanding the abnormal neural lineage development under high glucose conditions. ES cells are commonly generated and maintained in high glucose (approximately 25 mM glucose). Here, the mouse ES cell line, E14, was gradually adapted to and maintained in low glucose (5 mM), and became a glucose responsive E14 (GR-E14) line. High glucose induced the endoplasmic reticulum stress marker, CHOP, in GR-E14 cells. Under low glucose conditions, the GR-E14 cells retained their pluripotency and capability to differentiate into neural lineage cells. GR-E14 cell differentiation into neural stem cells (Sox1 and nestin positive cells) was inhibited by high glucose. Neuron (Tuj1 positive cells) and glia (GFAP positive cells) differentiation from GR-E14 cells was also suppressed by high glucose. In addition, high glucose delayed GR-E14 differentiation into neural crest cells by decreasing neural crest markers, paired box 3 (Pax3) and paired box 7 (Pax7). Thus, high glucose impairs ES cell differentiation into neural lineage cells. The low glucose adapted and high glucose responsive GR-E14 cell line is a useful in vitro model for assessing the adverse effect of high glucose on the development of the central nervous system. PMID:26940741

  2. Clonal multipotency of skeletal muscle-derived stem cells between mesodermal and ectodermal lineage.

    PubMed

    Tamaki, Tetsuro; Okada, Yoshinori; Uchiyama, Yoshiyasu; Tono, Kayoko; Masuda, Maki; Wada, Mika; Hoshi, Akio; Ishikawa, Tetsuya; Akatsuka, Akira

    2007-09-01

    The differentiation potential of skeletal muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) after in vitro culture and in vivo transplantation has been extensively studied. However, the clonal multipotency of MDSCs has yet to be fully determined. Here, we show that single skeletal muscle-derived CD34-/CD45- (skeletal muscle-derived double negative [Sk-DN]) cells exhibit clonal multipotency that can give rise to myogenic, vasculogenic, and neural cell lineages after in vivo single cell-derived single sphere implantation and in vitro clonal single cell culture. Muscles from green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice were enzymatically dissociated and sorted based on CD34 and CD45. Sk-DN cells were clone-sorted into a 96-well plate and were cultured in collagen-based medium with basic fibroblast growth factor and epidermal growth factor for 14 days. Individual colony-forming units (CFUs) were then transplanted directly into severely damaged muscle together with 1 x 10(5) competitive carrier Sk-DN cells obtained from wild-type mice muscle expanded for 5 days under the same culture conditions using 35-mm culture dishes. Four weeks after transplantation, implanted GFP+ cells demonstrated differentiation into endothelial, vascular smooth muscle, skeletal muscle, and neural cell (Schwann cell) lineages. This multipotency was also confirmed by expression of mRNA markers for myogenic (MyoD, myf5), neural (Musashi-1, Nestin, neural cell adhesion molecule-1, peripheral myelin protein-22, Nucleostemin), and vascular (alpha-smooth muscle actin, smoothelin, vascular endothelial-cadherin, tyrosine kinase-endothelial) stem cells by clonal (single-cell derived) single-sphere reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Approximately 70% of clonal CFUs exhibited expression of all three cell lineages. These findings support the notion that Sk-DN cells are a useful tool for damaged muscle-related tissue reconstitution by synchronized vasculogenesis, myogenesis, and neurogenesis.

  3. High glucose suppresses embryonic stem cell differentiation into neural lineage cells.

    PubMed

    Yang, Penghua; Shen, Wei-bin; Reece, E Albert; Chen, Xi; Yang, Peixin

    2016-04-01

    Abnormal neurogenesis occurs during embryonic development in human diabetic pregnancies and in animal models of diabetic embryopathy. Our previous studies in a mouse model of diabetic embryopathy have implicated that high glucose of maternal diabetes delays neurogenesis in the developing neuroepithelium leading to neural tube defects. However, the underlying process in high glucose-impaired neurogenesis is uncharacterized. Neurogenesis from embryonic stem (ES) cells provides a valuable model for understanding the abnormal neural lineage development under high glucose conditions. ES cells are commonly generated and maintained in high glucose (approximately 25 mM glucose). Here, the mouse ES cell line, E14, was gradually adapted to and maintained in low glucose (5 mM), and became a glucose responsive E14 (GR-E14) line. High glucose induced the endoplasmic reticulum stress marker, CHOP, in GR-E14 cells. Under low glucose conditions, the GR-E14 cells retained their pluripotency and capability to differentiate into neural lineage cells. GR-E14 cell differentiation into neural stem cells (Sox1 and nestin positive cells) was inhibited by high glucose. Neuron (Tuj1 positive cells) and glia (GFAP positive cells) differentiation from GR-E14 cells was also suppressed by high glucose. In addition, high glucose delayed GR-E14 differentiation into neural crest cells by decreasing neural crest markers, paired box 3 (Pax3) and paired box 7 (Pax7). Thus, high glucose impairs ES cell differentiation into neural lineage cells. The low glucose adapted and high glucose responsive GR-E14 cell line is a useful in vitro model for assessing the adverse effect of high glucose on the development of the central nervous system.

  4. Near Equilibrium Calculus of Stem Cells in Application to the Airway Epithelium Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Zheng; Plikus, Maksim V.; Komarova, Natalia L.

    2016-01-01

    Homeostatic maintenance of tissues is orchestrated by well tuned networks of cellular signaling. Such networks regulate, in a stochastic manner, fates of all cells within the respective lineages. Processes such as symmetric and asymmetric divisions, differentiation, de-differentiation, and death have to be controlled in a dynamic fashion, such that the cell population is maintained at a stable equilibrium, has a sufficiently low level of stochastic variation, and is capable of responding efficiently to external damage. Cellular lineages in real tissues may consist of a number of different cell types, connected by hierarchical relationships, albeit not necessarily linear, and engaged in a number of different processes. Here we develop a general mathematical methodology for near equilibrium studies of arbitrarily complex hierarchical cell populations, under regulation by a control network. This methodology allows us to (1) determine stability properties of the network, (2) calculate the stochastic variance, and (3) predict how different control mechanisms affect stability and robustness of the system. We demonstrate the versatility of this tool by using the example of the airway epithelium lineage. Recent research shows that airway epithelium stem cells divide mostly asymmetrically, while the so-called secretory cells divide predominantly symmetrically. It further provides quantitative data on the recovery dynamics of the airway epithelium, which can include secretory cell de-differentiation. Using our new methodology, we demonstrate that while a number of regulatory networks can be compatible with the observed recovery behavior, the observed division patterns of cells are the most optimal from the viewpoint of homeostatic lineage stability and minimizing the variation of the cell population size. This not only explains the observed yet poorly understood features of airway tissue architecture, but also helps to deduce the information on the still largely hypothetical

  5. Concise review: induced pluripotent stem cells and lineage reprogramming: prospects for bone regeneration.

    PubMed

    Illich, Damir J; Demir, Necati; Stojković, Miodrag; Scheer, Martin; Rothamel, Daniel; Neugebauer, Jörg; Hescheler, Jürgen; Zöller, Joachim E

    2011-04-01

    Bone tissue for transplantation therapies is in high demand in clinics. Osteodegenerative diseases, in particular, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, represent serious public health issues affecting a respectable proportion of the elderly population. Furthermore, congenital indispositions from the spectrum of craniofacial malformations such as cleft palates and systemic disorders including osteogenesis imperfecta are further increasing the need for bone tissue. Additionally, the reconstruction of fractured bone elements after accidents and the consumption of bone parts during surgical tumor excisions represent frequent clinical situations with deficient availability of healthy bone tissue for therapeutic transplantations. Epigenetic reprogramming represents a powerful technology for the generation of healthy patient-specific cells to replace or repair diseased or damaged tissue. The recent generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is probably the most promising among these approaches dominating the literature of current stem cell research. It allows the generation of pluripotent stem cells from adult human skin cells from which potentially all cell types of the human body could be obtained. Another technique to produce clinically interesting cell types is direct lineage reprogramming (LR) with the additional advantage that it can be applied directly in vivo to reconstitute a damaged organ. Here, we want to present the two technologies of iPSCs and LR, to outline the current states of research, and to discuss possible strategies for their implementation in bone regeneration.

  6. Dinosaur Dioramas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheinkman, Nancy

    2001-01-01

    Describes an art project for second-grade students where in over five class periods, they create fired clay dinosaur sculptures with dioramas as the background. States that this project, the culminating activity for a sculpture unit, teaches students many art terms and uses of different media. (CMK)

  7. EGFR and Notch signaling respectively regulate proliferative activity and multiple cell lineage differentiation of Drosophila gastric stem cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chenhui; Guo, Xingting; Xi, Rongwen

    2014-05-01

    Quiescent, multipotent gastric stem cells (GSSCs) in the copper cell region of adult Drosophila midgut can produce all epithelial cell lineages found in the region, including acid-secreting copper cells, interstitial cells and enteroendocrine cells, but mechanisms controlling their quiescence and the ternary lineage differentiation are unknown. By using cell ablation or damage-induced regeneration assays combined with cell lineage tracing and genetic analysis, here we demonstrate that Delta (Dl)-expressing cells in the copper cell region are the authentic GSSCs that can self-renew and continuously regenerate the gastric epithelium after a sustained damage. Lineage tracing analysis reveals that the committed GSSC daughter with activated Notch will invariably differentiate into either a copper cell or an interstitial cell, but not the enteroendocrine cell lineage, and loss-of-function and gain-of-function studies revealed that Notch signaling is both necessary and sufficient for copper cell/interstitial cell differentiation. We also demonstrate that elevated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling, which is achieved by the activation of ligand Vein from the surrounding muscle cells and ligand Spitz from progenitor cells, mediates the regenerative proliferation of GSSCs following damage. Taken together, we demonstrate that Dl is a specific marker for Drosophila GSSCs, whose cell cycle status is dependent on the levels of EGFR signaling activity, and the Notch signaling has a central role in controlling cell lineage differentiation from GSSCs by separating copper/interstitial cell lineage from enteroendocrine cell lineage.

  8. Dynamic loading of electrospun yarns guides mesenchymal stem cells towards a tendon lineage

    PubMed Central

    Bosworth, L.A.; Rathbone, S.R.; Bradley, R.S.; Cartmell, S.H.

    2014-01-01

    Alternative strategies are required when autograft tissue is not sufficient or available to reconstruct damaged tendons. Electrospun fibre yarns could provide such an alternative. This study investigates the seeding of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) on electrospun yarns and their response when subjected to dynamic tensile loading. Cell seeded yarns sustained 3600 cycles per day for 21 days. Loaded yarns demonstrated a thickened cell layer around the scaffold׳s exterior compared to statically cultured yarns, which would suggest an increased rate of cell proliferation and/or matrix deposition, whilst maintaining a predominant uniaxial cell orientation. Tensile properties of cell-seeded yarns increased with time compared to acellular yarns. Loaded scaffolds demonstrated an up-regulation in several key tendon genes, including collagen Type I. This study demonstrates the support of hMSCs on electrospun yarns and their differentiation towards a tendon lineage when mechanically stimulated. PMID:25129861

  9. Changes in rRNA transcription influence proliferation and cell fate within a stem cell lineage.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiao; Shalaby, Nevine A; Buszczak, Michael

    2014-01-17

    Ribosome biogenesis drives cell growth and proliferation, but mechanisms that modulate this process within specific lineages remain poorly understood. Here, we identify a Drosophila RNA polymerase I (Pol I) regulatory complex composed of Under-developed (Udd), TAF1B, and a TAF1C-like factor. Disruption of udd or TAF1B results in reduced ovarian germline stem cell (GSC) proliferation. Female GSCs display high levels of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) transcription, and Udd becomes enriched in GSCs relative to their differentiating daughters. Increasing Pol I transcription delays differentiation, whereas reducing rRNA production induces both morphological changes that accompany multicellular cyst formation and specific decreased expression of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathway component Mad. These findings demonstrate that modulating rRNA synthesis fosters changes in the cell fate, growth, and proliferation of female Drosophila GSCs and their daughters.

  10. Mutational History of a Human Cell Lineage from Somatic to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Rouhani, Foad J.; Nik-Zainal, Serena; Wuster, Arthur; Li, Yilong; Conte, Nathalie; Koike-Yusa, Hiroko; Kumasaka, Natsuhiko; Vallier, Ludovic; Yusa, Kosuke; Bradley, Allan

    2016-01-01

    The accuracy of replicating the genetic code is fundamental. DNA repair mechanisms protect the fidelity of the genome ensuring a low error rate between generations. This sustains the similarity of individuals whilst providing a repertoire of variants for evolution. The mutation rate in the human genome has recently been measured to be 50–70 de novo single nucleotide variants (SNVs) between generations. During development mutations accumulate in somatic cells so that an organism is a mosaic. However, variation within a tissue and between tissues has not been analysed. By reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), their genomes and the associated mutational history are captured. By sequencing the genomes of polyclonal and monoclonal somatic cells and derived iPSCs we have determined the mutation rates and show how the patterns change from a somatic lineage in vivo through to iPSCs. Somatic cells have a mutation rate of 14 SNVs per cell per generation while iPSCs exhibited a ten-fold lower rate. Analyses of mutational signatures suggested that deamination of methylated cytosine may be the major mutagenic source in vivo, whilst oxidative DNA damage becomes dominant in vitro. Our results provide insights for better understanding of mutational processes and lineage relationships between human somatic cells. Furthermore it provides a foundation for interpretation of elevated mutation rates and patterns in cancer. PMID:27054363

  11. The Effect of Mir-451 Upregulation on Erythroid Lineage Differentiation of Murine Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Obeidi, Narges; Pourfathollah, Ali Akbar; Soleimani, Masoud; Nikougoftar Zarif, Mahin; Kouhkan, Fatemeh

    2016-01-01

    Objective MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous non-coding regulatory RNAs that control mRNAs post-transcriptionally. Several mouse stem cells miRNAs are cloned differentially regulated in different hematopoietic lineages, suggesting their possible role in hematopoietic lineage differentiation. Recent studies have shown that specific miRNAs such as Mir-451 have key roles in erythropoiesis. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, murine embryonic stem cells (mESCs) were infected with lentiviruses containing pCDH-Mir-451. Erythroid differentiation was assessed based on the expression level of transcriptional factors (Gata-1, Klf-1, Epor) and hemoglobin chains (α, β, γ , ε and ζ) genes using quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and presence of erythroid surface antigens (TER-119 and CD235a) using flow cytometery. Colony-forming unit (CFU) assay was also on days 14thand 21thafter transduction. Results Mature Mir-451 expression level increased by 3.434-fold relative to the untreated mESCs on day 4 after transduction (P<0.001). Mir-451 up-regulation correlated with the induction of transcriptional factor (Gata-1, Klf-1, Epor) and hemoglobin chain (α, β, γ, ε and ζ) genes in mESCs (P<0.001) and also showed a strong correlation with presence of CD235a and Ter- 119 markers in these cells (13.084and 13.327-fold increse, respectively) (P<0.05). Moreover, mESCs treated with pCDH-Mir-451 showed a significant raise in CFU-erythroid (CFU-E) colonies (5.2-fold) compared with untreated control group (P<0.05). Conclusion Our results showed that Mir-451 up-regulation strongly induces erythroid differentiation and maturation of mESCs. Overexpression of Mir-451 may have the potential to produce artificial red blood cells (RBCs) without the presence of any stimulatory cytokines. PMID:27540521

  12. Mechanical modulation of nascent stem cell lineage commitment in tissue engineering scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Song, Min Jae; Dean, David; Knothe Tate, Melissa L

    2013-07-01

    Taking inspiration from tissue morphogenesis in utero, this study tests the concept of using tissue engineering scaffolds as delivery devices to modulate emergent structure-function relationships at early stages of tissue genesis. We report on the use of a combined computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, advanced manufacturing methods, and experimental fluid mechanics (micro-piv and strain mapping) for the prospective design of tissue engineering scaffold geometries that deliver spatially resolved mechanical cues to stem cells seeded within. When subjected to a constant magnitude global flow regime, the local scaffold geometry dictates the magnitudes of mechanical stresses and strains experienced by a given cell, and in a spatially resolved fashion, similar to patterning during morphogenesis. In addition, early markers of mesenchymal stem cell lineage commitment relate significantly to the local mechanical environment of the cell. Finally, by plotting the range of stress-strain states for all data corresponding to nascent cell lineage commitment (95% CI), we begin to "map the mechanome", defining stress-strain states most conducive to targeted cell fates. In sum, we provide a library of reference mechanical cues that can be delivered to cells seeded on tissue engineering scaffolds to guide target tissue phenotypes in a temporally and spatially resolved manner. Knowledge of these effects allows for prospective scaffold design optimization using virtual models prior to prototyping and clinical implementation. Finally, this approach enables the development of next generation scaffolds cum delivery devices for genesis of complex tissues with heterogenous properties, e.g., organs, joints or interface tissues such as growth plates.

  13. Keratin mediated attachment of stem cells to augment cardiomyogenic lineage commitment.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Lopamudra Das; Ravi, Venkatraman; Sanpui, Pallab; Sundaresan, Nagalingam R; Chatterjee, Kaushik

    2017-03-01

    The objective of this work was to develop a simple surface modification technique using keratin derived from human hair for efficient cardiomyogenic lineage commitment of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Keratin was extracted from discarded human hair containing both the acidic and basic components along with the heterodimers. The extracted keratin was adsorbed to conventional tissue culture polystyrene surfaces at different concentration. Keratin solution of 500μg/ml yielded a well coated layer of 12±1nm thickness with minimal agglomeration. The keratin coated surfaces promoted cell attachment and proliferation. Large increases in the mRNA expression of known cardiomyocyte genes such as cardiac actinin, cardiac troponin and β-myosin heavy chain were observed. Immunostaining revealed increased expression of sarcomeric α-actinin and tropomyosin whereas Western blots confirmed higher expression of tropomyosin and myocyte enhancer factor 2C in cells on the keratin coated surface than on the non-coated surface. Keratin promoted DNA demethylation of the Atp2a2 and Nkx2.5 genes thereby elucidating the importance of epigenetic changes as a possible molecular mechanism underlying the increased differentiation. A global gene expression analysis revealed a significant alteration in the expression of genes involved in pathways associated in cardiomyogenic commitment including cytokine and chemokine signaling, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions, Wnt signaling, MAPK signaling, TGF-β signaling and FGF signaling pathways among others. Thus, adsorption of keratin offers a facile and affordable yet potent route for inducing cardiomyogenic lineage commitment of stem cells with important implications in developing xeno-free strategies in cardiovascular regenerative medicine.

  14. Dinosaur evolution. A Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur from Siberia with both feathers and scales.

    PubMed

    Godefroit, Pascal; Sinitsa, Sofia M; Dhouailly, Danielle; Bolotsky, Yuri L; Sizov, Alexander V; McNamara, Maria E; Benton, Michael J; Spagna, Paul

    2014-07-25

    Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous deposits from northeastern China have yielded varied theropod dinosaurs bearing feathers. Filamentous integumentary structures have also been described in ornithischian dinosaurs, but whether these filaments can be regarded as part of the evolutionary lineage toward feathers remains controversial. Here we describe a new basal neornithischian dinosaur from the Jurassic of Siberia with small scales around the distal hindlimb, larger imbricated scales around the tail, monofilaments around the head and the thorax, and more complex featherlike structures around the humerus, the femur, and the tibia. The discovery of these branched integumentary structures outside theropods suggests that featherlike structures coexisted with scales and were potentially widespread among the entire dinosaur clade; feathers may thus have been present in the earliest dinosaurs.

  15. Adipogenic placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells are not lineage restricted by withdrawing extrinsic factors: developing a novel visual angle in stem cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Hu, C; Cao, H; Pan, X; Li, J; He, J; Pan, Q; Xin, J; Yu, X; Li, J; Wang, Y; Zhu, D; Li, L

    2016-01-01

    Current evidence implies that differentiated bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) can act as progenitor cells and transdifferentiate across lineage boundaries. However, whether this unrestricted lineage has specificities depending on the stem cell type is unknown. Placental-derived mesenchymal stem cells (PDMSCs), an easily accessible and less invasive source, are extremely useful materials in current stem cell therapies. No studies have comprehensively analyzed the transition in morphology, surface antigens, metabolism and multilineage potency of differentiated PDMSCs after their dedifferentiation. In this study, we showed that after withdrawing extrinsic factors, adipogenic PDMSCs reverted to a primitive cell population and retained stem cell characteristics. The mitochondrial network during differentiation and dedifferentiation may serve as a marker of absent or acquired pluripotency in various stem cell models. The new population proliferated faster than unmanipulated PDMSCs and could be differentiated into adipocytes, osteocytes and hepatocytes. The cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) signaling pathway and extracellular matrix (ECM) components modulate cell behavior and enable the cells to proliferate or differentiate during the differentiation, dedifferentiation and redifferentiation processes in our study. These observations indicate that the dedifferentiated PDMSCs are distinguishable from the original PDMSCs and may serve as a novel source in stem cell biology and cell-based therapeutic strategies. Furthermore, whether PDMSCs differentiated into other lineages can be dedifferentiated to a primitive cell population needs to be investigated. PMID:26986509

  16. Adipogenic placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells are not lineage restricted by withdrawing extrinsic factors: developing a novel visual angle in stem cell biology.

    PubMed

    Hu, C; Cao, H; Pan, X; Li, J; He, J; Pan, Q; Xin, J; Yu, X; Li, J; Wang, Y; Zhu, D; Li, L

    2016-03-17

    Current evidence implies that differentiated bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) can act as progenitor cells and transdifferentiate across lineage boundaries. However, whether this unrestricted lineage has specificities depending on the stem cell type is unknown. Placental-derived mesenchymal stem cells (PDMSCs), an easily accessible and less invasive source, are extremely useful materials in current stem cell therapies. No studies have comprehensively analyzed the transition in morphology, surface antigens, metabolism and multilineage potency of differentiated PDMSCs after their dedifferentiation. In this study, we showed that after withdrawing extrinsic factors, adipogenic PDMSCs reverted to a primitive cell population and retained stem cell characteristics. The mitochondrial network during differentiation and dedifferentiation may serve as a marker of absent or acquired pluripotency in various stem cell models. The new population proliferated faster than unmanipulated PDMSCs and could be differentiated into adipocytes, osteocytes and hepatocytes. The cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) signaling pathway and extracellular matrix (ECM) components modulate cell behavior and enable the cells to proliferate or differentiate during the differentiation, dedifferentiation and redifferentiation processes in our study. These observations indicate that the dedifferentiated PDMSCs are distinguishable from the original PDMSCs and may serve as a novel source in stem cell biology and cell-based therapeutic strategies. Furthermore, whether PDMSCs differentiated into other lineages can be dedifferentiated to a primitive cell population needs to be investigated.

  17. Very Small Embryonic-Like Stem Cells: A Potential Developmental Link Between Germinal Lineage and Hematopoiesis in Humans.

    PubMed

    Virant-Klun, Irma

    2016-01-15

    It has been suggested that hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) could become specified from a population of migrating primordial germ cells (PGCs), precursors of gametes, during embryogenesis. Some recent experimental data demonstrated that the cell population that is usually considered to be PGCs, moving toward the gonadal ridges of an embryo, contains a subset of cells coexpressing several germ cell and hematopoietic markers and possessing hematopoietic activity. Experimental data showed that bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) generates PGCs from mouse bone marrow-derived pluripotent stem cells. Interestingly, functional reproductive hormone receptors have been identified in HSPCs, thus indicating their potential role in reproductive function. Several reports have demonstrated fertility restoration and germ cell generation after bone marrow transplantation in both animal models and humans. A potential link between HSPCs and germinal lineage might be represented by very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs), which have been found in adult human bone marrow, peripheral blood, and umbilical cord blood, express a specific pattern of pluripotency, germinal lineage, and hematopoiesis, and are proposed to persist in adult tissues and organs from the embryonic period of life. Stem cell populations, similar to VSELs, expressing several genes related to pluripotency and germinal lineage, especially to PGCs, have been discovered in adult human reproductive organs, ovaries and testicles, and were related to primitive germ cell-like cell development in vitro, thus supporting the idea of VSELs as a potential link between germinal lineage and hematopoiesis.

  18. Epithelial stem cell repertoire in the gut: clues to the origin of cell lineages, proliferative units and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Nicholas A

    2000-01-01

    Gastrointestinal stem cells are shown to be pluripotential and to give rise to all cell lineages in the epithelium. After damage, gut stem cells produce reparative cell lineages that produce a wide range of peptides with important actions on cell proliferation and migration, and promote regeneration and healing. Increase in stem cell number is considered to induce crypt fission, and lead to increases in the number of crypts, even in the adult; it is also the mode of spread of mutated clones in the colorectal mucosa. Stem cell repertoire is defined by both intrinsic programming of the stem cell itself, but signalling from the mesenchyme is also vitally important for defining both stem cell progeny and proliferation. Carcinogenesis in the colon occurs through sequential mutations, possibly occurring in a single cell. A case is made for this being the stem cell, but recent studies indicate that several stem cells may need to be so involved, since early lesions appear to be polyclonal in derivation. PMID:10762441

  19. Differentiation of Human Adipose-derived Stem Cells along the Keratocyte Lineage In vitro

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shijia; Espandar, Ladan; Imhof, Kathleen M.P.; Bunnell, Bruce A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) to the keratocyte lineage by co-culture with primary keratocytes in vitro. Materials and Methods A co-culture system using transwell inserts to grow hASCs on bottom and keratocytes on top in keratocyte differentiating medium (KDM) was developed. hASCs that were cultured in complete culture medium (CCM) and KDM were used as control. After 16 days, hASCs were examined for morphologic changes and proliferation by cell count. qRT-PCR and flow cytometry were used to detect the expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase 3 family, member A1 (ALDH3A1) and keratocan. Results hASCs became more dendritic and elongated in co-culture system relative to CCM and KDM. The doubling time of the cells was longer as differentiation progressed. qRT-PCR showed a definite trend towards increased expression of both ALDH3A1 and keratocan in co-culture system despite statistically non-significant p-values. Flow cytometry showed significantly increased protein levels of ALDH3A1 and keratocan in co-culture system relative to CCM group (p < 0.001) and even relative to KDM group (p < 0.001 for ALDH3A1 and p < 0.01 for keratocan). Conclusion The co-culture method is a promising approach to induce differentiation of stem cell populations prior to in vivo applications. This study reveals an important potential for bioengineering of corneal tissue using autologous multi-potential stem cells. PMID:23936748

  20. Dinosaur biomechanics

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, R. McNeill

    2006-01-01

    Biomechanics has made large contributions to dinosaur biology. It has enabled us to estimate both the speeds at which dinosaurs generally moved and the maximum speeds of which they may have been capable. It has told us about the range of postures they could have adopted, for locomotion and for feeding, and about the problems of blood circulation in sauropods with very long necks. It has made it possible to calculate the bite forces of predators such as Tyrannosaurus, and the stresses they imposed on its skull; and to work out the remarkable chewing mechanism of hadrosaurs. It has shown us how some dinosaurs may have produced sounds. It has enabled us to estimate the effectiveness of weapons such as the tail spines of Stegosaurus. In recent years, techniques such as computational tomography and finite element analysis, and advances in computer modelling, have brought new opportunities. Biomechanists should, however, be especially cautious in their work on animals known only as fossils. The lack of living specimens and even soft tissues oblige us to make many assumptions. It is important to be aware of the often wide ranges of uncertainty that result. PMID:16822743

  1. Dinosaur biomechanics.

    PubMed

    Alexander, R McNeill

    2006-08-07

    Biomechanics has made large contributions to dinosaur biology. It has enabled us to estimate both the speeds at which dinosaurs generally moved and the maximum speeds of which they may have been capable. It has told us about the range of postures they could have adopted, for locomotion and for feeding, and about the problems of blood circulation in sauropods with very long necks. It has made it possible to calculate the bite forces of predators such as Tyrannosaurus, and the stresses they imposed on its skull; and to work out the remarkable chewing mechanism of hadrosaurs. It has shown us how some dinosaurs may have produced sounds. It has enabled us to estimate the effectiveness of weapons such as the tail spines of Stegosaurus. In recent years, techniques such as computational tomography and finite element analysis, and advances in computer modelling, have brought new opportunities. Biomechanists should, however, be especially cautious in their work on animals known only as fossils. The lack of living specimens and even soft tissues oblige us to make many assumptions. It is important to be aware of the often wide ranges of uncertainty that result.

  2. Mechanical Modulation of Nascent Stem Cell Lineage Commitment in Tissue Engineering Scaffolds

    PubMed Central

    Song, Min Jae; Dean, David; Tate, Melissa L. Knothe

    2013-01-01

    Taking inspiration from tissue morphogenesis in utero, this study tests the concept of using tissue engineering scaffolds as delivery devices to modulate emergent structure-function relationships at early stages of tissue genesis. We report on the use of a combined computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, advanced manufacturing methods, and experimental fluid mechanics (micro-piv and strain mapping) for the prospective design of tissue engineering scaffold geometries that deliver spatially resolved mechanical cues to cells seeded within. When subjected to a constant magnitude global flow regime, the local scaffold geometry dictates the magnitudes of mechanical stresses and strains experienced by a given cell, and in a spatially resolved fashion, similar to patterning during morphogenesis. In addition, early markers of mesenchymal stem cell lineage commitment relate significantly to the local mechanical environment of the cell. Finally, by plotting the range of stress-strain states for all data corresponding to nascent cell lineage commitment (95% CI), we begin to “map the mechanome”, defining stress-strain states most conducive to targeted cell fates. In sum, we provide a library of reference mechanical cues that can be delivered to cells seeded on tissue engineering scaffolds to guide target tissue phenotypes in a temporally and spatially resolved manner. Knowledge of these effects allows for prospective scaffold design optimization using virtual models prior to prototyping and clinical implementation. Finally, this approach enables the development of next generation scaffolds cum delivery devices for genesis of complex tissues with heterogenous properties, e.g., organs, joints or interface tissues such as growth plates. PMID:23660249

  3. Changes in glycosphingolipid composition during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to ectodermal or endodermal lineages.

    PubMed

    Liang, Yuh-Jin; Yang, Bei-Chia; Chen, Jin-Mei; Lin, Yu-Hsing; Huang, Chia-Lin; Cheng, Yuan-Yuan; Hsu, Chi-Yen; Khoo, Kay-Hooi; Shen, Chia-Ning; Yu, John

    2011-12-01

    Glycosphingolipids (GSLs) are ubiquitous components of cell membranes that can act as mediators of cell adhesion and signal transduction and can possibly be used as cell type-specific markers. Our previous study indicated that there was a striking switch in the core structures of GSLs during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into embryoid body (EB), suggesting a close association of GSLs with cell differentiation. In this study, to further clarify if alterations in GSL patterns are correlated with lineage-specific differentiation of hESCs, we analyzed changes in GSLs as hESCs were differentiated into neural progenitors or endodermal cells by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) analyses. During hESC differentiation into neural progenitor cells, we found that the core structures of GSLs switched from globo- and lacto- to mostly ganglio-series dominated by GD3. On the other hand, when hESCs were differentiated into endodermal cells, patterns of GSLs totally differed from those observed in EB outgrowth and neural progenitors. The most prominent GSL identified by the MALDI-MS and MS/MS analysis was Gb(4) Ceramide, with no appreciable amount of stage-specific embryonic antigens 3 or 4, or GD3, in endodermal cells. These changes in GSL profiling were accompanied by alterations in the biosynthetic pathways of expressions of key glycosyltransferases. Our findings suggest that changes in GSLs are closely associated with lineage specificity and differentiation of hESCs.

  4. Stem Cell Derived Extracellular Matrix Enables Survival and Multi Lineage Differentiation within Superporous Hydrogels

    PubMed Central

    Köllmer, Melanie; Keskar, Vandana; Hauk, Thomas G.; Collins, John M.; Russell, Brenda; Gemeinhart, Richard A.

    2012-01-01

    Hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogel surfaces resist protein adsorption and are generally thought to be unsuitable for anchorage dependent cells to adhere. Intriguingly, our previous findings revealed that PEGDA superporous hydrogel scaffolds (SPHs) allow anchorage of bone marrow derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and support their long term survival. Therefore, we hypothesized that the physicochemical characteristics of the scaffold impart properties that could foster cellular responses. We examined if hMSCs alter their microenvironment to allow cell attachment by synthesizing their own extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Immunofluorescence staining revealed extensive expression of collagen type I, collagen type IV, laminin and fibronectin within hMSC-seeded SPHs by the end of the third week. Whether cultured in serum-free or serum-supplemented medium, hMSC ECM protein gene expression patterns exhibited no substantial changes. The presence of serum proteins is required for initial anchorage of hMSCs within the SPHs but not for the hMSC survival after 24 hours. In contrast to 2D expansion on tissue culture plastic (TCP), hMSCs cultured within SPHs proliferate similarly in the presence or absence of serum. To test whether hMSCs retain their undifferentiated state within the SPHs, cell-seeded constructs were cultured for 3 weeks in stem cell maintenance medium and the expression of hMSC-specific cell surface markers were evaluated by flow cytometry. CD105, CD90, CD73 and CD44 were present to a similar extent in the SPH and in 2D monolayer culture. We further demonstrated multi lineage potential of hMSCs grown in the PEGDA SPHs whereby differentiation into osteoblasts, chondrocytes and adipocytes could be induced. The present study demonstrates the potential of hMSCs to alter the “blank” PEGDA environment to a milieu conducive to cell growth and multi-lineage differentiation by secreting adhesive ECM proteins within the porous

  5. Multi-lineage potential research of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells from Bama miniature pig.

    PubMed

    Bai, Chunyu; Chen, Shuming; Gao, Yuhua; Shan, Zhiqiang; Guan, Weijun; Ma, Yuehui

    2015-12-01

    Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are easy to obtain and thought to be ideal candidate cells for reconstruction of tissues and organs. Pigs are an appropriate animal model because their physiological structure, organ size, nutritional metabolism, and pathological reactions are similar to those of humans. In this study, bone marrow was collection from Bama miniature pigs to isolate BMSCs (B-BMSCs) by whole bone marrow culture method. We then examined their biological characteristics such as growth kinetics, surface antigen, and multi-lineage potential. B-BMSCs could be cultured for 36 passages in vitro. Growth kinetics and colony forming assay analyses indicated that B-BMSCs had a strong capacity for self-renewal in vitro and their proliferation rate appeared to decrease with passaging. These findings were supported by the animal cytophysiology in vitro. Surface antigen detection showed that B-BMSCs expressed CD29, CD44, CD71, CD73, and CD90, but not the endothelial cell marker CD31 or hematopoietic cell-specific marker CD34. This result was consistent with the characteristics of B-BMSCs. Furthermore, under appropriate conditions for multidirectional differentiation, B-BMSCs were induced to differentiate into adipocytes, osteoblasts, neuron-like cells, islet cells, liver-like cells, and endothelial cells as indicated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunofluorescence. These results verified the differentiation potential of B-BMSCs. In this study, B-BMSCs were isolated from Bama miniature pigs, and the self-renewal ability and differential potential was evaluated in vitro. The present study has important bearing on the potential application of B-BMSCs as a stem cell source for regenerative therapies. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 324B: 671-685, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Life Cycle and Morphology of a Cambrian Stem-Lineage Loriciferan

    PubMed Central

    Peel, John S.; Stein, Martin; Kristensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg

    2013-01-01

    Cycloneuralians form a rich and diverse element within Cambrian assemblages of exceptionally preserved fossils. Most resemble priapulid worms whereas other Cycloneuralia (Nematoda, Nematomorpha, Kinorhyncha, Loricifera), well known at the present day, have little or no fossil record. First reports of Sirilorica Peel, 2010 from the lower Cambrian Sirius Passet fauna of North Greenland described a tubular lorica covering the abdomen and part of a well developed introvert with a circlet of 6 grasping denticles near the lorica. The introvert is now known to terminate in a narrow mouth tube, while a conical anal field is also developed. Broad muscular bands between the plates in the lorica indicate that it was capable of movement by rhythmic expansion and contraction of the lorica. Sirilorica is regarded as a macrobenthic member of the stem-lineage of the miniaturised, interstitial, present day Loricifera. Like loriciferans, Sirilorica is now known to have grown by moulting. Evidence of the life cycle of Sirilorica is described, including a large post-larval stage and probably an initial larva similar to that of the middle Cambrian fossil Orstenoloricusshergoldii. PMID:23991198

  7. Role of IGF1R in Breast Cancer Subtypes, Stemness, and Lineage Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Farabaugh, Susan M.; Boone, David N.; Lee, Adrian V.

    2015-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling is fundamental for growth and survival. A large body of evidence (laboratory, epidemiological, and clinical) implicates the exploitation of this pathway in cancer. Up to 50% of breast tumors express the activated form of the type 1 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF1R). Breast cancers are categorized into subtypes based upon hormone and ERRB2 receptor expression and/or gene expression profiling. Even though IGF1R influences tumorigenic phenotypes and drug resistance across all breast cancer subtypes, it has specific expression and function in each. In some subtypes, IGF1R levels correlate with a favorable prognosis, while in others it is associated with recurrence and poor prognosis, suggesting different actions based upon cellular and molecular contexts. In this review, we examine IGF1R expression and function as it relates to breast cancer subtype and therapy-acquired resistance. Additionally, we discuss the role of IGF1R in stem cell maintenance and lineage differentiation and how these cell fate influences may alter the differentiation potential and cellular composition of breast tumors. PMID:25964777

  8. Selective cell targeting and lineage tracing of human induced pluripotent stem cells using recombinant avian retroviruses.

    PubMed

    Hildebrand, Laura; Seemann, Petra; Kurtz, Andreas; Hecht, Jochen; Contzen, Jörg; Gossen, Manfred; Stachelscheid, Harald

    2015-12-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) differentiate into multiple cell types. Selective cell targeting is often needed for analyzing gene function by overexpressing proteins in a distinct population of hiPSC-derived cell types and for monitoring cell fate in response to stimuli. However, to date, this has not been possible, as commonly used viruses enter the hiPSC via ubiquitously expressed receptors. Here, we report for the first time the application of a heterologous avian receptor, the tumor virus receptor A (TVA), to selectively transduce TVA(+) cells in a mixed cell population. Expression of the TVA surface receptor via genetic engineering renders cells susceptible for infection by avian leucosis virus (ALV). We generated hiPSC lines with this stably integrated, ectopic TVA receptor gene that expressed the receptor while retaining pluripotency. The undifferentiated hiPSC(TVA+) as well as their differentiating progeny could be infected by recombinant ALV (so-called RCAS virus) with high efficiency. Due to incomplete receptor blocking, even sequential infection of differentiating or undifferentiated TVA(+) cells was possible. In conclusion, the TVA/RCAS system provides an efficient and gentle gene transfer system for hiPSC and extends our possibilities for selective cell targeting and lineage tracing studies.

  9. Life cycle and morphology of a cambrian stem-lineage loriciferan.

    PubMed

    Peel, John S; Stein, Martin; Kristensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg

    2013-01-01

    Cycloneuralians form a rich and diverse element within Cambrian assemblages of exceptionally preserved fossils. Most resemble priapulid worms whereas other Cycloneuralia (Nematoda, Nematomorpha, Kinorhyncha, Loricifera), well known at the present day, have little or no fossil record. First reports of Sirilorica Peel, 2010 from the lower Cambrian Sirius Passet fauna of North Greenland described a tubular lorica covering the abdomen and part of a well developed introvert with a circlet of 6 grasping denticles near the lorica. The introvert is now known to terminate in a narrow mouth tube, while a conical anal field is also developed. Broad muscular bands between the plates in the lorica indicate that it was capable of movement by rhythmic expansion and contraction of the lorica. Sirilorica is regarded as a macrobenthic member of the stem-lineage of the miniaturised, interstitial, present day Loricifera. Like loriciferans, Sirilorica is now known to have grown by moulting. Evidence of the life cycle of Sirilorica is described, including a large post-larval stage and probably an initial larva similar to that of the middle Cambrian fossil Orstenoloricusshergoldii.

  10. The potential of dental stem cells differentiating into neurogenic cell lineage after cultivation in different modes in vitro.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chao; Sun, Liang; Li, Xinghan; Xie, Li; Yu, Mei; Feng, Lian; Jiang, Zongting; Guo, Weihua; Tian, Weidong

    2014-10-01

    Trauma or degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) cause the loss of neurons or glial cells. Stem cell transplantation has become a vital strategy for CNS regeneration. It is necessary to effectively induce nonneurogenic stem cells to differentiate into neurogenic cell lineages because of the limited source of neurogenic stem cells, relatively difficult cultivation, and ethical issues. Previous studies have found that dental stem cells can be used for transplantation therapy. The aim of this study was to explore a better inductive mode and time point for dental stem cells to differentiate into neural-like cells and evaluate a better candidate cell. In this study, dental follicle stem cells (DFSCs), dental papilla stem cells (DPSCs), and stem cells from apical papilla (SCAPs) were cultivated in five different modes. The proliferation ability, morphology, and expression of neural marker genes were analyzed. Results showed that DFSCs showed a higher proliferation potential. The proliferation was decreased after cultivation in chemical inductive medium as cultivation modes 3 and 5. The cells could present neural-like cell morphology after cultivation with human epidermal growth factor (EGF) and fibroblast growth factor-basic (bFGF) as cultivation modes 4 and 5. The vast majority of DFSCs gene expression levels in mode 4 on the third day was upregulated significantly. In conclusion, our data suggested that different dental stem cells exhibited different neural differentiation potentials. DFSCs might be the better candidate cell type. Furthermore, cultivation mode 4 and timing of the third day may promote differentiation into neurogenic cell lineages more effectively before transplantation to treat neurological diseases.

  11. New dinosaur (Theropoda, stem-Averostra) from the earliest Jurassic of the La Quinta formation, Venezuelan Andes

    PubMed Central

    Langer, Max C.; Rincón, Ascanio D.; Ramezani, Jahandar; Solórzano, Andrés; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.

    2014-01-01

    Dinosaur skeletal remains are almost unknown from northern South America. One of the few exceptions comes from a small outcrop in the northernmost extension of the Andes, along the western border of Venezuela, where strata of the La Quinta Formation have yielded the ornithischian Laquintasaura venezuelae and other dinosaur remains. Here, we report isolated bones (ischium and tibia) of a small new theropod, Tachiraptor admirabilis gen. et sp. nov., which differs from all previously known members of the group by an unique suite of features of its tibial articulations. Comparative/phylogenetic studies place the new form as the sister taxon to Averostra, a theropod group that is known primarily from the Middle Jurassic onwards. A new U–Pb zircon date (isotope dilution thermal-ionization mass spectrometry; ID-TIMS method) from the bone bed matrix suggests an earliest Jurassic maximum age for the La Quinta Formation. A dispersal–vicariance analysis suggests that such a stratigraphic gap is more likely to be filled by new records from north and central Pangaea than from southern areas. Indeed, our data show that the sampled summer-wet equatorial belt, which yielded the new taxon, played a pivotal role in theropod evolution across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary. PMID:26064540

  12. Electrospun Scaffolds: Enhanced Lineage-Specific Differentiation Efficiency of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by Engineering Colony Dimensionality Using Electrospun Scaffolds (Adv. Healthcare Mater. 12/2016).

    PubMed

    Maldonado, Maricela; Ico, Gerardo; Low, Karen; Luu, Rebeccah J; Nam, Jin

    2016-06-01

    Electrospun scaffolds provide soft nanofibrous networks pliable by human induced pluripotent stem cells. J. Nam and co-workers show on page 1408 that such compliant scaffolding leads to the formation of stem cell colonies with a distinctive three-dimensional morphology. The morphological modulation resulted in the lineage-specific differentiation, suggesting a potential means to enhance translational applications of the stem cells.

  13. Aging-like Phenotype and Defective Lineage Specification in SIRT1-Deleted Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Rimmelé, Pauline; Bigarella, Carolina L.; Liang, Raymond; Izac, Brigitte; Dieguez-Gonzalez, Rebeca; Barbet, Gaetan; Donovan, Michael; Brugnara, Carlo; Blander, Julie M.; Sinclair, David A.; Ghaffari, Saghi

    2014-01-01

    Summary Aging hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) exhibit defective lineage specification that is thought to be central to increased incidence of myeloid malignancies and compromised immune competence in the elderly. Mechanisms underlying these age-related defects remain largely unknown. We show that the deacetylase Sirtuin (SIRT)1 is required for homeostatic HSC maintenance. Differentiation of young SIRT1-deleted HSCs is skewed toward myeloid lineage associated with a significant decline in the lymphoid compartment, anemia, and altered expression of associated genes. Combined with HSC accumulation of damaged DNA and expression patterns of age-linked molecules, these have striking overlaps with aged HSCs. We further show that SIRT1 controls HSC homeostasis via the longevity transcription factor FOXO3. These findings suggest that SIRT1 is essential for HSC homeostasis and lineage specification. They also indicate that SIRT1 might contribute to delaying HSC aging. PMID:25068121

  14. Aging-like phenotype and defective lineage specification in SIRT1-deleted hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Rimmelé, Pauline; Bigarella, Carolina L; Liang, Raymond; Izac, Brigitte; Dieguez-Gonzalez, Rebeca; Barbet, Gaetan; Donovan, Michael; Brugnara, Carlo; Blander, Julie M; Sinclair, David A; Ghaffari, Saghi

    2014-07-08

    Aging hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) exhibit defective lineage specification that is thought to be central to increased incidence of myeloid malignancies and compromised immune competence in the elderly. Mechanisms underlying these age-related defects remain largely unknown. We show that the deacetylase Sirtuin (SIRT)1 is required for homeostatic HSC maintenance. Differentiation of young SIRT1-deleted HSCs is skewed toward myeloid lineage associated with a significant decline in the lymphoid compartment, anemia, and altered expression of associated genes. Combined with HSC accumulation of damaged DNA and expression patterns of age-linked molecules, these have striking overlaps with aged HSCs. We further show that SIRT1 controls HSC homeostasis via the longevity transcription factor FOXO3. These findings suggest that SIRT1 is essential for HSC homeostasis and lineage specification. They also indicate that SIRT1 might contribute to delaying HSC aging.

  15. [Progress of Experimental Research on Differentiation of Muscle-Derived Stem Cells into Haematopoietic Lineages in Vitro -Review].

    PubMed

    Wang, Juan-Juan; Gao, Xiao-Ning; Chen, Shan-Shan; Zhang, Pan-Pan; Wang, Tao; Dou, Hao-Ying

    2016-12-01

    Muscle-derived stem cells (MDSC) are a population of multipotent stem cells in the muscular tissue. It provide an excellent prospect of hemopathy treatment due to their superiorities, such as rich sources, convenient material resource and a high survival rate after transplantation and so on. However, there are great differences in sampling, separation, purification, and proliferation when MDSC were cultured in vitro. In addition, the proliferation conditions of the MDSC in vitro are yet unclear. The related regulatory mechanisms, which MDSC transformed into haematopoietic cells, need to be investigated. In this article, the experimental researches on the differentiation of MDSC into haematopoietic lineages are reviewed, the concrete problems discussed in this review are culture of MDSC in vitro, identification of MDSC, proleferation of MDSC, differention of MDSC in to hematopoietic lineages and so on.

  16. Dynamic changes in replication timing and gene expression during lineage specification of human pluripotent stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Rivera-Mulia, Juan Carlos; Buckley, Quinton; Sasaki, Takayo; Zimmerman, Jared; Didier, Ruth A.; Nazor, Kristopher; Loring, Jeanne F.; Lian, Zheng; Weissman, Sherman; Robins, Allan J.; Schulz, Thomas C.; Menendez, Laura; Kulik, Michael J.; Dalton, Stephen; Gabr, Haitham; Kahveci, Tamer; Gilbert, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Duplication of the genome in mammalian cells occurs in a defined temporal order referred to as its replication-timing (RT) program. RT changes dynamically during development, regulated in units of 400–800 kb referred to as replication domains (RDs). Changes in RT are generally coordinated with transcriptional competence and changes in subnuclear position. We generated genome-wide RT profiles for 26 distinct human cell types, including embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived, primary cells and established cell lines representing intermediate stages of endoderm, mesoderm, ectoderm, and neural crest (NC) development. We identified clusters of RDs that replicate at unique times in each stage (RT signatures) and confirmed global consolidation of the genome into larger synchronously replicating segments during differentiation. Surprisingly, transcriptome data revealed that the well-accepted correlation between early replication and transcriptional activity was restricted to RT-constitutive genes, whereas two-thirds of the genes that switched RT during differentiation were strongly expressed when late replicating in one or more cell types. Closer inspection revealed that transcription of this class of genes was frequently restricted to the lineage in which the RT switch occurred, but was induced prior to a late-to-early RT switch and/or down-regulated after an early-to-late RT switch. Analysis of transcriptional regulatory networks showed that this class of genes contains strong regulators of genes that were only expressed when early replicating. These results provide intriguing new insight into the complex relationship between transcription and RT regulation during human development. PMID:26055160

  17. Brain vascular pericytes following ischemia have multipotential stem cell activity to differentiate into neural and vascular lineage cells.

    PubMed

    Nakagomi, Takayuki; Kubo, Shuji; Nakano-Doi, Akiko; Sakuma, Rika; Lu, Shan; Narita, Aya; Kawahara, Maiko; Taguchi, Akihiko; Matsuyama, Tomohiro

    2015-06-01

    Brain vascular pericytes (PCs) are a key component of the blood-brain barrier (BBB)/neurovascular unit, along with neural and endothelial cells. Besides their crucial role in maintaining the BBB, increasing evidence shows that PCs have multipotential stem cell activity. However, their multipotency has not been considered in the pathological brain, such as after an ischemic stroke. Here, we examined whether brain vascular PCs following ischemia (iPCs) have multipotential stem cell activity and differentiate into neural and vascular lineage cells to reconstruct the BBB/neurovascular unit. Using PCs extracted from ischemic regions (iPCs) from mouse brains and human brain PCs cultured under oxygen/glucose deprivation, we show that PCs developed stemness presumably through reprogramming. The iPCs revealed a complex phenotype of angioblasts, in addition to their original mesenchymal properties, and multidifferentiated into cells from both a neural and vascular lineage. These data indicate that under ischemic/hypoxic conditions, PCs can acquire multipotential stem cell activity and can differentiate into major components of the BBB/neurovascular unit. Thus, these findings support the novel concept that iPCs can contribute to both neurogenesis and vasculogenesis at the site of brain injuries.

  18. Brushing up on Dinosaurs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weisburd, Stefi

    1986-01-01

    Describes new methods of reconstruction of dinosaurs using skeletons, mummified skin, and muscle scars, along with clay and paint. Examines some inaccuracies in dinosaur's physical characteristics and behaviors suggested by recent findings. (TW)

  19. What's New, Dinosaur?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prime, Carol Spirkoff; Cox, Judy

    1987-01-01

    Activities and information relating to dinosaurs are presented, including: study of warm- and cold-blooded animals; research about recent dinosaur discoveries; track-making; studying and making fossils; and extinction theories. (CB)

  20. Dinosaur Tracks and Traces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillette, David D.; Lockley, Martin G.

    1991-02-01

    The study of fossilized dinosaur remains, vertebrate paleontology is a well established discipline, but the discovery and rediscovery of numerous and varied dinosaur footprints and nest sites has spurred a renaissance in the associated field of ichnological research. Dinosaur Tracks and Traces is the first book ever to be devoted to this subject, and it represents the work of seventy noted dinosaur ichnologists. Contributors address the history of science and the relevance of dinosaur ichnology to the interpretation of dinosaur behaviour, paleoecology, paleoenvironments, and evolution. Several new preservation, conservation, and documentation techniques are also presented. The book is richly illustrated and is intended for students and professionals in the areas of paleontology, vertebrate zoology, geology, and paleoenvironmental analysis. The historical aspects of the book and the many site descriptions also make Dinosaur Tracks and Traces appealing to amateur fossil collectors and dinosaur enthusiasts.

  1. Convergence of stem cell behaviors and genetic regulation between animals and plants: insights from the Arabidopsis thaliana stomatal lineage

    PubMed Central

    Matos, Juliana L.

    2014-01-01

    Plants and animals are two successful, but vastly different, forms of complex multicellular life. In the 1600 million years since they shared a common unicellular ancestor, representatives of these kingdoms have had ample time to devise unique strategies for building and maintaining themselves, yet they have both developed self-renewing stem cell populations. Using the cellular behaviors and the genetic control of stomatal lineage of Arabidopsis as a focal point, we find current data suggests convergence of stem cell regulation at developmental and molecular levels. Comparative studies between evolutionary distant groups, therefore, have the power to reveal the logic behind stem cell behaviors and benefit both human regenerative medicine and plant biomass production. PMID:25184043

  2. Three RNA binding proteins form a complex to promote differentiation of germline stem cell lineage in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Chen, Di; Wu, Chan; Zhao, Shaowei; Geng, Qing; Gao, Yu; Li, Xin; Zhang, Yang; Wang, Zhaohui

    2014-11-01

    In regenerative tissues, one of the strategies to protect stem cells from genetic aberrations, potentially caused by frequent cell division, is to transiently expand the stem cell daughters before further differentiation. However, failure to exit the transit amplification may lead to overgrowth, and the molecular mechanism governing this regulation remains vague. In a Drosophila mutagenesis screen for factors involved in the regulation of germline stem cell (GSC) lineage, we isolated a mutation in the gene CG32364, which encodes a putative RNA-binding protein (RBP) and is designated as tumorous testis (tut). In tut mutant, spermatogonia fail to differentiate and over-amplify, a phenotype similar to that in mei-P26 mutant. Mei-P26 is a TRIM-NHL tumor suppressor homolog required for the differentiation of GSC lineage. We found that Tut binds preferentially a long isoform of mei-P26 3'UTR, and is essential for the translational repression of mei-P26 reporter. Bam and Bgcn are both RBPs that have also been shown to repress mei-P26 expression. Our genetic analyses indicate that tut, bam, or bgcn is required to repress mei-P26 and to promote the differentiation of GSCs. Biochemically, we demonstrate that Tut, Bam, and Bgcn can form a physical complex in which Bam holds Tut on its N-terminus and Bgcn on its C-terminus. Our in vivo and in vitro evidence illustrate that Tut acts with Bam, Bgcn to accurately coordinate proliferation and differentiation in Drosophila germline stem cell lineage.

  3. Three RNA Binding Proteins Form a Complex to Promote Differentiation of Germline Stem Cell Lineage in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Shaowei; Geng, Qing; Gao, Yu; Li, Xin; Zhang, Yang; Wang, Zhaohui

    2014-01-01

    In regenerative tissues, one of the strategies to protect stem cells from genetic aberrations, potentially caused by frequent cell division, is to transiently expand the stem cell daughters before further differentiation. However, failure to exit the transit amplification may lead to overgrowth, and the molecular mechanism governing this regulation remains vague. In a Drosophila mutagenesis screen for factors involved in the regulation of germline stem cell (GSC) lineage, we isolated a mutation in the gene CG32364, which encodes a putative RNA-binding protein (RBP) and is designated as tumorous testis (tut). In tut mutant, spermatogonia fail to differentiate and over-amplify, a phenotype similar to that in mei-P26 mutant. Mei-P26 is a TRIM-NHL tumor suppressor homolog required for the differentiation of GSC lineage. We found that Tut binds preferentially a long isoform of mei-P26 3′UTR, and is essential for the translational repression of mei-P26 reporter. Bam and Bgcn are both RBPs that have also been shown to repress mei-P26 expression. Our genetic analyses indicate that tut, bam, or bgcn is required to repress mei-P26 and to promote the differentiation of GSCs. Biochemically, we demonstrate that Tut, Bam, and Bgcn can form a physical complex in which Bam holds Tut on its N-terminus and Bgcn on its C-terminus. Our in vivo and in vitro evidence illustrate that Tut acts with Bam, Bgcn to accurately coordinate proliferation and differentiation in Drosophila germline stem cell lineage. PMID:25412508

  4. Reactive astrocytes as neural stem or progenitor cells: In vivo lineage, In vitro potential, and Genome‐wide expression analysis

    PubMed Central

    Sirko, Swetlana; Beckers, Johannes; Irmler, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Here, we review the stem cell hallmarks of endogenous neural stem cells (NSCs) during development and in some niches of the adult mammalian brain to then compare these with reactive astrocytes acquiring stem cell hallmarks after traumatic and ischemic brain injury. Notably, even endogenous NSCs including the earliest NSCs, the neuroepithelial cells, generate in most cases only a single type of progeny and self‐renew only for a rather short time in vivo. In vitro, however, especially cells cultured under neurosphere conditions reveal a larger potential and long‐term self‐renewal under the influence of growth factors. This is rather well comparable to reactive astrocytes in the traumatic or ischemic brain some of which acquire neurosphere‐forming capacity including multipotency and long‐term self‐renewal in vitro, while they remain within their astrocyte lineage in vivo. Both reactive astrocytes and endogenous NSCs exhibit stem cell hallmarks largely in vitro, but their lineage differs in vivo. Both populations generate largely a single cell type in vivo, but endogenous NSCs generate neurons and reactive astrocytes remain in the astrocyte lineage. However, at some early postnatal stages or in some brain regions reactive astrocytes can be released from this fate restriction, demonstrating that they can also enact neurogenesis. Thus, reactive astrocytes and NSCs share many characteristic hallmarks, but also exhibit key differences. This conclusion is further substantiated by genome‐wide expression analysis comparing NSCs at different stages with astrocytes from the intact and injured brain parenchyma. GLIA 2015;63:1452–1468 PMID:25965557

  5. Digging into Dinosaurs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oleson, Barb

    This four-week unit of study for grades 1-3 provides information and activities on 17 different dinosaurs. A 21-item pre- and post-test and a brief history of dinosaurs precede descriptions and full-page drawings of the following dinosaurs: (1) giant plant-eaters (brachiosaurus, brontosaurus, and diplodocus); (2) giant meat-eaters (allosaurus,…

  6. Synaptically-competent neurons derived from canine embryonic stem cells by lineage selection with EGF and Noggin.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, Jared T; Lai, Jonathan K Y; Semple, Esther; Brisson, Brigitte A; Gartley, Cathy; Armstrong, John N; Betts, Dean H

    2011-01-01

    Pluripotent stem cell lines have been generated in several domestic animal species; however, these lines traditionally show poor self-renewal and differentiation. Using canine embryonic stem cell (cESC) lines previously shown to have sufficient self-renewal capacity and potency, we generated and compared canine neural stem cell (cNSC) lines derived by lineage selection with epidermal growth factor (EGF) or Noggin along the neural default differentiation pathway, or by directed differentiation with retinoic acid (RA)-induced floating sphere assay. Lineage selection produced large populations of SOX2+ neural stem/progenitor cell populations and neuronal derivatives while directed differentiation produced few and improper neuronal derivatives. Primary canine neural lines were generated from fetal tissue and used as a positive control for differentiation and electrophysiology. Differentiation of EGF- and Noggin-directed cNSC lines in N2B27 with low-dose growth factors (BDNF/NT-3 or PDGFαα) produced phenotypes equivalent to primary canine neural cells including 3CB2+ radial progenitors, MOSP+ glia restricted precursors, VIM+/GFAP+ astrocytes, and TUBB3+/MAP2+/NFH+/SYN+ neurons. Conversely, induction with RA and neuronal differentiation produced inadequate putative neurons for further study, even though appropriate neuronal gene expression profiles were observed by RT-PCR (including Nestin, TUBB3, PSD95, STX1A, SYNPR, MAP2). Co-culture of cESC-derived neurons with primary canine fetal cells on canine astrocytes was used to test functional maturity of putative neurons. Canine ESC-derived neurons received functional GABA(A)- and AMPA-receptor mediated synaptic input, but only when co-cultured with primary neurons. This study presents established neural stem/progenitor cell populations and functional neural derivatives in the dog, providing the proof-of-concept required to translate stem cell transplantation strategies into a clinically relevant animal model.

  7. Thymopentin enhances the generation of T-cell lineage derived from human embryonic stem cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ming-Xia; Wan, Wen-Li; Li, Hai-Shen; Wang, Jing; Chen, Gui-An; Ke, Xiao-Yan

    2015-02-15

    Thymopentin is a group of biologically active peptide secreted mainly by the epithelial cells of thymic cortex and medulla. Whether it promotes T cells production from human embryonic stem cells(hESCs) in vitro remains an elusive issue. In the present study, we develop a novel strategy that enhances T-cell lineage differentiation of hESCs in collagen matrix culture by sequential cytokine cocktails treatment combined with thymopentin stimulation. We observed that approximately 30.75% cells expressed CD34 on day 14 of the cultures and expressed the surface markers of erythroid, lymphoid and myeloid lineages. The results of colony assays and gene expressions by RT-PCR analysis also demonstrated that hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) derived from hESCs were capable of multi-lineage differentiation. Further study revealed that culturing with thymopentin treatment, the CD34(+)CD45RA(+)CD7(+) cells sorted from HPCs expressed T-cell-related genes, IKAROS, DNTT, TCRγ and TCRβ, and T-cell surface markers, CD3, cytoplasmic CD3, CD5, CD27, TCRγδ, CD4 and CD8. The differentiated cells produced the cytokines including IFN-γ, IL-2 and TNF-α in response to stimulation, providing the evidence for T-cell function of these cells. In conclusion, thymopentin enhances T-cell lineage differentiation from hESCs in vitro by mimicking thymus peptide environment in vivo.

  8. Use of FGF-2 and FGF-18 to direct bone marrow stromal stem cells to chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages

    PubMed Central

    Shu, Cindy; Smith, Susan M; Little, Christopher B; Melrose, James

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Intervertebral disc degeneration/low back pain is the number one global musculoskeletal condition in terms of disability and socioeconomic impact. Materials & methods Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were cultured in micromass pellets ± FGF-2 or -18 up to 41 days, matrix components were immunolocalized and gene expression monitored by quantitative-reverse transcription PCR. Results: Chondrogenesis occurred earlier in FGF-18 than FGF-2 cultures. Lower COL2A1, COL10A1 and ACAN expression by day 41 indicated a downregulation in chondrocyte hypertrophy. MEF2c, ALPL, were upregulated; calcium, decorin and biglycan, and 4C3 and 7D4 chondroitin sulphate sulfation motifs were evident in FGF-18 but not FGF-2 pellets. Conclusion: FGF-2 and -18 preconditioned MSCs produced cell lineages which promoted chondrogenesis and osteogenesis and may be useful in the production of MSC lineages suitable for repair of cartilaginous tissue defects. PMID:28116125

  9. Global reorganisation of cis-regulatory units upon lineage commitment of human embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Freire-Pritchett, Paula; Schoenfelder, Stefan; Várnai, Csilla; Wingett, Steven W; Cairns, Jonathan; Collier, Amanda J; García-Vílchez, Raquel; Furlan-Magaril, Mayra; Osborne, Cameron S; Fraser, Peter J; Rugg-Gunn, Peter J; Spivakov, Mikhail

    2017-03-23

    Long-range cis-regulatory elements such as enhancers coordinate cell-specific transcriptional programmes by engaging in DNA looping interactions with target promoters. Deciphering the interplay between the promoter connectivity and activity of cis-regulatory elements during lineage commitment is crucial for understanding developmental transcriptional control. Here, we use Promoter Capture Hi-C to generate a high-resolution atlas of chromosomal interactions involving ~22,000 gene promoters in human pluripotent and lineage-committed cells, identifying putative target genes for known and predicted enhancer elements. We reveal extensive dynamics of cis-regulatory contacts upon lineage commitment, including the acquisition and loss of promoter interactions. This spatial rewiring occurs preferentially with predicted changes in the activity of cis-regulatory elements, and is associated with changes in target gene expression. Our results provide a global and integrated view of promoter interactome dynamics during lineage commitment of human pluripotent cells.

  10. Growth dynamics of Australia's polar dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Woodward, Holly N; Rich, Thomas H; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Vickers-Rich, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Analysis of bone microstructure in ornithopod and theropod dinosaurs from Victoria, Australia, documents ontogenetic changes, providing insight into the dinosaurs' successful habitation of Cretaceous Antarctic environments. Woven-fibered bone tissue in the smallest specimens indicates rapid growth rates during early ontogeny. Later ontogeny is marked by parallel-fibered tissue, suggesting reduced growth rates approaching skeletal maturity. Bone microstructure similarities between the ornithopods and theropods, including the presence of LAGs in each group, suggest there is no osteohistologic evidence supporting the hypothesis that polar theropods hibernated seasonally. Results instead suggest high-latitude dinosaurs had growth trajectories similar to their lower-latitude relatives and thus, rapid early ontogenetic growth and the cyclical suspensions of growth inherent in the theropod and ornithopod lineages enabled them to successfully exploit polar regions.

  11. Growth Dynamics of Australia's Polar Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Woodward, Holly N.; Rich, Thomas H.; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Vickers-Rich, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    Analysis of bone microstructure in ornithopod and theropod dinosaurs from Victoria, Australia, documents ontogenetic changes, providing insight into the dinosaurs' successful habitation of Cretaceous Antarctic environments. Woven-fibered bone tissue in the smallest specimens indicates rapid growth rates during early ontogeny. Later ontogeny is marked by parallel-fibered tissue, suggesting reduced growth rates approaching skeletal maturity. Bone microstructure similarities between the ornithopods and theropods, including the presence of LAGs in each group, suggest there is no osteohistologic evidence supporting the hypothesis that polar theropods hibernated seasonally. Results instead suggest high-latitude dinosaurs had growth trajectories similar to their lower-latitude relatives and thus, rapid early ontogenetic growth and the cyclical suspensions of growth inherent in the theropod and ornithopod lineages enabled them to successfully exploit polar regions. PMID:21826250

  12. Nonplantigrade Foot Posture: A Constraint on Dinosaur Body Size.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Tai; Kubo, Mugino O

    2016-01-01

    Dinosaurs had functionally digitigrade or sub-unguligrade foot postures. With their immediate ancestors, dinosaurs were the only terrestrial nonplantigrades during the Mesozoic. Extant terrestrial mammals have different optimal body sizes according to their foot posture (plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade), yet the relationship of nonplantigrade foot posture with dinosaur body size has never been investigated, even though the body size of dinosaurs has been studied intensively. According to a large dataset presented in this study, the body sizes of all nonplantigrades (including nonvolant dinosaurs, nonvolant terrestrial birds, extant mammals, and extinct Nearctic mammals) are above 500 g, except for macroscelid mammals (i.e., elephant shrew), a few alvarezsauroid dinosaurs, and nondinosaur ornithodirans (i.e., the immediate ancestors of dinosaurs). When nonplantigrade tetrapods evolved from plantigrade ancestors, lineages with nonplantigrade foot posture exhibited a steady increase in body size following Cope's rule. In contrast, contemporaneous plantigrade lineages exhibited no trend in body size evolution and were largely constrained to small body sizes. This evolutionary pattern of body size specific to foot posture occurred repeatedly during both the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic eras. Although disturbed by the end-Cretaceous extinction, species of mid to large body size have predominantly been nonplantigrade animals from the Jurassic until the present; conversely, species with small body size have been exclusively composed of plantigrades in the nonvolant terrestrial tetrapod fauna.

  13. Nonplantigrade Foot Posture: A Constraint on Dinosaur Body Size

    PubMed Central

    Kubo, Tai; Kubo, Mugino O.

    2016-01-01

    Dinosaurs had functionally digitigrade or sub-unguligrade foot postures. With their immediate ancestors, dinosaurs were the only terrestrial nonplantigrades during the Mesozoic. Extant terrestrial mammals have different optimal body sizes according to their foot posture (plantigrade, digitigrade, and unguligrade), yet the relationship of nonplantigrade foot posture with dinosaur body size has never been investigated, even though the body size of dinosaurs has been studied intensively. According to a large dataset presented in this study, the body sizes of all nonplantigrades (including nonvolant dinosaurs, nonvolant terrestrial birds, extant mammals, and extinct Nearctic mammals) are above 500 g, except for macroscelid mammals (i.e., elephant shrew), a few alvarezsauroid dinosaurs, and nondinosaur ornithodirans (i.e., the immediate ancestors of dinosaurs). When nonplantigrade tetrapods evolved from plantigrade ancestors, lineages with nonplantigrade foot posture exhibited a steady increase in body size following Cope’s rule. In contrast, contemporaneous plantigrade lineages exhibited no trend in body size evolution and were largely constrained to small body sizes. This evolutionary pattern of body size specific to foot posture occurred repeatedly during both the Mesozoic and the Cenozoic eras. Although disturbed by the end-Cretaceous extinction, species of mid to large body size have predominantly been nonplantigrade animals from the Jurassic until the present; conversely, species with small body size have been exclusively composed of plantigrades in the nonvolant terrestrial tetrapod fauna. PMID:26790003

  14. Lineage-related cytotoxicity and clonogenic profile of 1,4-benzoquinone-exposed hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chow, Paik Wah; Abdul Hamid, Zariyantey; Chan, Kok Meng; Inayat-Hussain, Salmaan Hussain; Rajab, Nor Fadilah

    2015-04-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) are sensitive targets for benzene-induced hematotoxicity and leukemogenesis. The impact of benzene exposure on the complex microenvironment of HSCs and HPCs remains elusive. This study aims to investigate the mechanism linking benzene exposure to targeting HSCs and HPCs using phenotypic and clonogenic analyses. Mouse bone marrow (BM) cells were exposed ex vivo to the benzene metabolite, 1,4-benzoquinone (1,4-BQ), for 24 h. Expression of cellular surface antigens for HSC (Sca-1), myeloid (Gr-1, CD11b), and lymphoid (CD45, CD3e) populations were confirmed by flow cytometry. The clonogenicity of cells was studied using the colony-forming unit (CFU) assay for multilineage (CFU-GM and CFU-GEMM) and single-lineage (CFU-E, BFU-E, CFU-G, and CFU-M) progenitors. 1,4-BQ demonstrated concentration-dependent cytotoxicity in mouse BM cells. The percentage of apoptotic cells increased (p < 0.05) following 1,4-BQ exposure. Exposure to 1,4-BQ showed no significant effect on CD3e{sup +} cells but reduced the total counts of Sca-1{sup +}, CD11b{sup +}, Gr-1{sup +}, and CD45{sup +} cells at 7 and 12 μM (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the CFU assay showed reduced (p < 0.05) clonogenicity in 1,4-BQ-treated cells. 1,4-BQ induced CFU-dependent cytotoxicity by significantly inhibiting colony growth for CFU-E, BFU-E, CFU-G, and CFU-M starting at a low concentration of exposure (5 μM); whereas for the CFU-GM and CFU-GEMM, the inhibition of colony growth was remarkable only at 7 and 12 μM of 1,4-BQ, respectively. Taken together, 1,4-BQ caused lineage-related cytotoxicity in mouse HPCs, demonstrating greater toxicity in single-lineage progenitors than in those of multi-lineage. - Highlights: • We examine 1,4-BQ toxicity targeting mouse hematopoietic cell lineages. • 1,4-BQ induces concentration-dependent cytotoxicity in bone marrow (BM) cells. • 1,4-BQ shows lineage-related toxicity on hematopoietic stem and

  15. Muscle-derived stem cells isolated as non-adherent population give rise to cardiac, skeletal muscle and neural lineages

    SciTech Connect

    Arsic, Nikola; Mamaeva, Daria; Lamb, Ned J.; Fernandez, Anne

    2008-04-01

    Stem cells with the ability to differentiate in specialized cell types can be extracted from a wide array of adult tissues including skeletal muscle. Here we have analyzed a population of cells isolated from skeletal muscle on the basis of their poor adherence on uncoated or collagen-coated dishes that show multi-lineage differentiation in vitro. When analysed under proliferative conditions, these cells express stem cell surface markers Sca-1 (65%) and Bcrp-1 (80%) but also MyoD (15%), Neuronal {beta} III-tubulin (25%), GFAP (30%) or Nkx2.5 (1%). Although capable of growing as non-attached spheres for months, when given an appropriate matrix, these cells adhere giving rise to skeletal muscle, neuronal and cardiac muscle cell lineages. A similar cell population could not be isolated from either bone marrow or cardiac tissue suggesting their specificity to skeletal muscle. When injected into damaged muscle, these non-adherent muscle-derived cells are retrieved expressing Pax7, in a sublaminar position characterizing satellite cells and participate in forming new myofibers. These data show that a non-adherent stem cell population can be specifically isolated and expanded from skeletal muscle and upon attachment to a matrix spontaneously differentiate into muscle, cardiac and neuronal lineages in vitro. Although competing with resident satellite cells, these cells are shown to significantly contribute to repair of injured muscle in vivo supporting that a similar muscle-derived non-adherent cell population from human muscle may be useful in treatment of neuromuscular disorders.

  16. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Can Effectively Differentiate into Multiple Functional Lymphocyte Lineages In Vivo with Negligible Bias.

    PubMed

    Lan, Tianshu; Wang, Libin; Xu, Lin; Jin, Ning; Yan, Guoliang; Xia, Junjie; Wang, Hailong; Zhuang, Guohong; Gao, Chang; Meng, Luxi; Du, Feifei; Zhou, Qi; Qi, Zhongquan

    2016-03-15

    Lymphohematopoietic stem cells (L-HSCs) generated from self-somatic cell-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a potential source of cells for the treatment of hematological disorders. However, the generation of truly functional L-HSCs from iPSCs has yet to be achieved. Thus, whether iPSCs have the inherent potential to generate a normal differentiated phenotype and functional population of multiple lineages of terminally differentiated lymphocytes needs to be assessed. Here, we used tetraploid embryo complementation to provide a normal environment for the differentiation of hematopoietic cells from iPSCs and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). We then evaluated the characteristics, populations, and functions of lymphocytes derived from iPSCs, ESCs, and naïve isogenic C57BL/6 mice. The results showed that iPSC-derived lymphocytes (iPSLs) expressed normal levels of major histocompatibility complex-I (MHC-I) and exhibited a fully pluripotent capacity to differentiate into CD4(+) T, CD8(+) T, regulatory T, B, and natural killer cells. Following in vitro stimulation with either concanavalin A or an alloantigen, iPSLs exhibited the same capacities for proliferation and cytokine secretion as ESC-derived or isogenic lymphocytes. Furthermore, iPSC-derived bone marrow cells could differentiate into multiple lymphocyte lineages that reconstituted the lymphocyte population in syngeneic lethally irradiated recipient animals. Our results demonstrated that iPSCs have the inherent potential to differentiate into multiple lineages of functional lymphocytes without bias, and further support the practical application of iPSC-based treatments to hematological disorders.

  17. Directing lineage specification of human mesenchymal stem cells by decoupling electrical stimulation and physical patterning on unmodified graphene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balikov, Daniel A.; Fang, Brian; Chun, Young Wook; Crowder, Spencer W.; Prasai, Dhiraj; Lee, Jung Bok; Bolotin, Kiril I.; Sung, Hak-Joon

    2016-07-01

    The organization and composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) have been shown to impact the propagation of electrical signals in multiple tissue types. To date, many studies with electroactive biomaterial substrates have relied upon passive electrical stimulation of the ionic media to affect cell behavior. However, development of cell culture systems in which stimulation can be directly applied to the material - thereby isolating the signal to the cell-material interface and cell-cell contracts - would provide a more physiologically-relevant paradigm for investigating how electrical cues modulate lineage-specific stem cell differentiation. In the present study, we have employed unmodified, directly-stimulated, (un)patterned graphene as a cell culture substrate to investigate how extrinsic electrical cycling influences the differentiation of naïve human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) without the bias of exogenous biochemicals. We first demonstrated that cyclic stimulation does not deteriorate the cell culture media or result in cytotoxic pH, which are critical experiments for correct interpretation of changes in cell behavior. We then measured how the expression of osteogenic and neurogenic lineage-specific markers were altered simply by exposure to electrical stimulation and/or physical patterns. Expression of the early osteogenic transcription factor RUNX2 was increased by electrical stimulation on all graphene substrates, but the mature marker osteopontin was only modulated when stimulation was combined with physical patterns. In contrast, the expression of the neurogenic markers MAP2 and β3-tubulin were enhanced in all electrical stimulation conditions, and were less responsive to the presence of patterns. These data indicate that specific combinations of non-biological inputs - material type, electrical stimulation, physical patterns - can regulate hMSC lineage specification. This study represents a substantial step in understanding how the interplay of

  18. Dinosaur energetics: setting the bounds on feasible physiologies and ecologies.

    PubMed

    Clarke, Andrew

    2013-09-01

    The metabolic status of dinosaurs has long been debated but remains unresolved as no consistent picture has emerged from a range of anatomical and isotopic evidence. Quantitative analysis of dinosaur energetics, based on general principles applicable to all vertebrates, shows that many features of dinosaur lifestyle are compatible with a physiology similar to that of extant lizards, scaled up to dinosaur body masses and temperatures. The analysis suggests that sufficient metabolic scope would have been available to support observed dinosaur growth rates and allow considerable locomotor activity, perhaps even migration. Since at least one dinosaur lineage evolved true endothermy, this study emphasizes there was no single dinosaur physiology. Many small theropods were insulated with feathers and appear to have been partial or full endotherms. Uninsulated small taxa, and all juveniles, presumably would have been ectothermic, with consequent diurnal and seasonal variations in body temperature. In larger taxa, inertial homeothermy would have resulted in warm and stable body temperatures but with a basal metabolism significantly below that of extant mammals or birds of the same size. It would appear that dinosaurs exhibited a range of metabolic levels to match the broad spectrum of ecological niches they occupied.

  19. Effects of dose rates on radiation-induced replenishment of intestinal stem cells determined by Lgr5 lineage tracing.

    PubMed

    Otsuka, Kensuke; Iwasaki, Toshiyasu

    2015-07-01

    An understanding of the dynamics of intestinal Lgr5(+) stem cells is important for elucidating the mechanism of colonic cancer development. We previously established a method for evaluating Lgr5(+) stem cells by tamoxifen-dependent Lgr5-lineage tracing and showed that high-dose-rate radiation stimulated replenishment of colonic stem cells. In this study, we evaluated the effects of low-dose-rate radiation on stem cell maintenance. Tamoxifen (4OHT)-injected Lgr5-EGFP-IRES-Cre(ERT2) × ROSA-LSL-LacZ mice were used, LacZ-labeled colonic crypts were enumerated, and the loss of LacZ(+) crypts under low-dose-rate radiation was estimated. After 4OHT treatment, the number of LacZ-labeled Lgr5(+) stem cells was higher in the colon of infant mice than in adult mice. The percentage of LacZ-labeled crypts in infant mice rapidly decreased after 4OHT treatment. However, the percentage of labeled crypts plateaued at ∼2% at 4 weeks post-treatment and remained unchanged for up to 7 months. Thus, it will be advantageous to evaluate the long-term effects of low-dose-rate radiation. Next, we determined the percentages of LacZ-labeled crypts irradiated with 1 Gy administered at different dose rates. As reported in our previous study, mice exposed to high-dose-rate radiation (30 Gy/h) showed a marked replenishment (P = 0.04). However, mice exposed to low-dose-rate radiation (0.003 Gy/h) did not exhibit accelerated stem-cell replenishment (P = 0.47). These findings suggest the percentage of labeled crypts can serve as a useful indicator of the effects of dose rate on the stem cell pool.

  20. Single-cell lineage tracing in the mammary gland reveals stochastic clonal dispersion of stem/progenitor cell progeny

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Felicity M.; Lloyd-Lewis, Bethan; Harris, Olivia B.; Kozar, Sarah; Winton, Douglas J.; Muresan, Leila; Watson, Christine J.

    2016-01-01

    The mammary gland undergoes cycles of growth and regeneration throughout reproductive life, a process that requires mammary stem cells (MaSCs). Whilst recent genetic fate-mapping studies using lineage-specific promoters have provided valuable insights into the mammary epithelial hierarchy, the true differentiation potential of adult MaSCs remains unclear. To address this, herein we utilize a stochastic genetic-labelling strategy to indelibly mark a single cell and its progeny in situ, combined with tissue clearing and 3D imaging. Using this approach, clones arising from a single parent cell could be visualized in their entirety. We reveal that clonal progeny contribute exclusively to either luminal or basal lineages and are distributed sporadically to branching ducts or alveoli. Quantitative analyses suggest that pools of unipotent stem/progenitor cells contribute to adult mammary gland development. Our results highlight the utility of tracing a single cell and reveal that progeny of a single proliferative MaSC/progenitor are dispersed throughout the epithelium. PMID:27779190

  1. The WNT-controlled transcriptional regulator LBH is required for mammary stem cell expansion and maintenance of the basal lineage.

    PubMed

    Lindley, Linsey E; Curtis, Kevin M; Sanchez-Mejias, Avencia; Rieger, Megan E; Robbins, David J; Briegel, Karoline J

    2015-03-01

    The identification of multipotent mammary stem cells (MaSCs) has provided an explanation for the unique regenerative capacity of the mammary gland throughout adult life. However, it remains unclear what genes maintain MaSCs and control their specification into the two epithelial lineages: luminal and basal. LBH is a novel transcription co-factor in the WNT pathway with hitherto unknown physiological function. LBH is expressed during mammary gland development and aberrantly overexpressed in aggressive 'basal' subtype breast cancers. Here, we have explored the in vivo role of LBH in mammopoiesis. We show that in postnatal mammary epithelia, LBH is predominantly expressed in the Lin(-)CD29(high)CD24(+) basal MaSC population. Upon conditional inactivation of LBH, mice exhibit pronounced delays in mammary tissue expansion during puberty and pregnancy, accompanied by increased luminal differentiation at the expense of basal lineage specification. These defects could be traced to a severe reduction in the frequency and self-renewal/differentiation potential of basal MaSCs. Mechanistically, LBH induces expression of key epithelial stem cell transcription factor ΔNp63 to promote a basal MaSC state and repress luminal differentiation genes, mainly that encoding estrogen receptor α (Esr1/ERα). Collectively, these studies identify LBH as an essential regulator of basal MaSC expansion/maintenance, raising important implications for its potential role in breast cancer pathogenesis.

  2. RhoA determines lineage fate of mesenchymal stem cells by modulating CTGF–VEGF complex in extracellular matrix

    PubMed Central

    Li, Changjun; Zhen, Gehua; Chai, Yu; Xie, Liang; Crane, Janet L.; Farber, Emily; Farber, Charles R.; Luo, Xianghang; Gao, Peisong; Cao, Xu; Wan, Mei

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) participate in the repair/remodelling of many tissues, where MSCs commit to different lineages dependent on the cues in the local microenvironment. Here we show that TGFβ-activated RhoA/ROCK signalling functions as a molecular switch regarding the fate of MSCs in arterial repair/remodelling after injury. MSCs differentiate into myofibroblasts when RhoA/ROCK is turned on, endothelial cells when turned off. The former is pathophysiologic resulting in intimal hyperplasia, whereas the latter is physiological leading to endothelial repair. Further analysis revealed that MSC RhoA activation promotes formation of an extracellular matrix (ECM) complex consisting of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Inactivation of RhoA/ROCK in MSCs induces matrix metalloproteinase-3-mediated CTGF cleavage, resulting in VEGF release and MSC endothelial differentiation. Our findings uncover a novel mechanism by which cell–ECM interactions determine stem cell lineage specificity and offer additional molecular targets to manipulate MSC-involved tissue repair/regeneration. PMID:27126736

  3. Mouse lysocardiolipin acyltransferase controls the development of hematopoietic and endothelial lineages during in vitro embryonic stem-cell differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chengyan; Faloon, Patrick W.; Tan, Zhijia; Lv, Yaxin; Zhang, Pengbo; Ge, Yu; Deng, Hongkui

    2007-01-01

    The blast colony-forming cell (BL-CFC) was identified as an equivalent to the hemangioblast during in vitro embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of the BL-CFC remain largely unknown. Here we report the isolation of mouse lysocardiolipin acyltransferase (Lycat) based on homology to zebrafish lycat, a candidate gene for the cloche locus. Mouse Lycat is expressed in hematopoietic organs and is enriched in the Lin−C-Kit+Sca-1+ hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow and in the Flk1+/hCD4+(Scl+) hemangioblast population in embryoid bodies. The forced Lycat transgene leads to increased messenger RNA expression of hematopoietic and endothelial genes as well as increased blast colonies and their progenies, endothelial and hematopoietic lineages. The Lycat small interfering RNA transgene leads to a decrease expression of hematopoietic and endothelial genes. An unbiased genomewide microarray analysis further substantiates that the forced Lycat transgene specifically up-regulates a set of genes related to hemangioblasts and hematopoietic and endothelial lineages. Therefore, mouse Lycat plays an important role in the early specification of hematopoietic and endothelial cells, probably acting at the level of the hemangioblast. PMID:17675553

  4. BMP Signaling and Its pSMAD1/5 Target Genes Differentially Regulate Hair Follicle Stem Cell Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Genander, Maria; Cook, Peter J.; Ramsköld, Daniel; Keyes, Brice E.; Mertz, Aaron F.; Sandberg, Rickard; Fuchs, Elaine

    2014-01-01

    Hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) and their transit amplifying cell (TAC) progeny sense BMPs at defined stages of the hair cycle to control their proliferation and differentiation. Here, we exploit the distinct spatial and temporal localizations of these cells to selectively ablate BMP signaling in each compartment and examine its functional role. We find that BMP signaling is required for HFSC quiescence and to promote TAC differentiation along different lineages as the hair cycle progresses. We also combine in vivo genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation and deep-sequencing, transcriptional profiling, and loss-of-function genetics to define BMP-regulated genes. We show that some pSMAD1/5 targets, like Gata3, function specifically in TAC lineage-progression. Others, like Id1 and Id3, function in both HFSCs and TACs, but in distinct ways. Our study therefore illustrates the complex differential roles that a key signaling pathway can play in regulation of closely-related stem/progenitor cells within the context of their overall niche. PMID:25312496

  5. Amniotic fluid stem cells morph into a cardiovascular lineage: analysis of a chemically induced cardiac and vascular commitment.

    PubMed

    Maioli, Margherita; Contini, Giovanni; Santaniello, Sara; Bandiera, Pasquale; Pigliaru, Gianfranco; Sanna, Raimonda; Rinaldi, Salvatore; Delitala, Alessandro P; Montella, Andrea; Bagella, Luigi; Ventura, Carlo

    2013-01-01

    Mouse embryonic stem cells were previously observed along with mesenchymal stem cells from different sources, after being treated with a mixed ester of hyaluronan with butyric and retinoic acids, to show a significant increase in the yield of cardiogenic and vascular differentiated elements. The aim of the present study was to determine if stem cells derived from primitive fetal cells present in human amniotic fluid (hAFSCs) and cultured in the presence of a mixture of hyaluronic (HA), butyric (BU), and retinoic (RA) acids show a higher yield of differentiation toward the cardiovascular phenotype as compared with untreated cells. During the differentiation process elicited by exposure to HA + BU + RA, genes controlling pluripotency and plasticity of stem cells, such as Sox2, Nanog, and Oct4, were significantly downregulated at the transcriptional level. At this point, a significant increase in expression of genes controlling the appearance of cardiogenic and vascular lineages in HA + BU + RA-treated cells was observed. The protein expression levels typical of cardiac and vascular phenotypes, evaluated by Western blotting, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry, were higher in hAFSCs cultured in the presence of HA + BU + RA, as compared with untreated control cells. Appearance of the cardiac phenotype was further inferred by ultrastructural analysis using transmission and scanning electron microscopy. These results demonstrate that a mixture of HA + BU + RA significantly increased the yield of elements committed toward cardiac and vascular phenotypes, confirming what we have previously observed in other cellular types.

  6. Pre-transplantation specification of stem cells to cardiac lineage for regeneration of cardiac tissue.

    PubMed

    Mayorga, Maritza; Finan, Amanda; Penn, Marc

    2009-03-01

    Myocardial infarction (MI) is a lead cause of mortality in the Western world. Treatment of acute MI is focused on restoration of antegrade flow which inhibits further tissue loss, but does not restore function to damaged tissue. Chronic therapy for injured myocardial tissue involves medical therapy that attempts to minimize pathologic remodeling of the heart. End stage therapy for chronic heart failure (CHF) involves inotropic therapy to increase surviving cardiac myocyte function or mechanical augmentation of cardiac performance. Not until the point of heart transplantation, a limited resource at best, does therapy focus on the fundamental problem of needing to replace injured tissue with new contractile tissue. In this setting, the potential for stem cell therapy has garnered significant interest for its potential to regenerate or create new contractile cardiac tissue. While to date adult stem cell therapy in clinical trials has suggested potential benefit, there is waning belief that the approaches used to date lead to regeneration of cardiac tissue. As the literature has better defined the pathways involved in cardiac differentiation, preclinical studies have suggested that stem cell pretreatment to direct stem cell differentiation prior to stem cell transplantation may be a more efficacious strategy for inducing cardiac regeneration. Here we review the available literature on pre-transplantation conditioning of stem cells in an attempt to better understand stem cell behavior and their readiness in cell-based therapy for myocardial regeneration.

  7. Multiple Lineages of Human Breast Cancer Stem/Progenitor Cells Identified by Profiling with Stem Cell Markers

    PubMed Central

    Hwang-Verslues, Wendy W.; Kuo, Wen-Hung; Chang, Po-Hao; Pan, Chi-Chun; Wang, Hsing-Hui; Tsai, Sheng-Ta; Jeng, Yung-Ming; Shew, Jin-Yu; Kung, John T.; Chen, Chung-Hsuan; Lee, Eva Y.-H. P.; Chang, King-Jen; Lee, Wen-Hwa

    2009-01-01

    Heterogeneity of cancer stem/progenitor cells that give rise to different forms of cancer has been well demonstrated for leukemia. However, this fundamental concept has yet to be established for solid tumors including breast cancer. In this communication, we analyzed solid tumor cancer stem cell markers in human breast cancer cell lines and primary specimens using flow cytometry. The stem/progenitor cell properties of different marker expressing-cell populations were further assessed by in vitro soft agar colony formation assay and the ability to form tumors in NOD/SCID mice. We found that the expression of stem cell markers varied greatly among breast cancer cell lines. In MDA-MB-231 cells, PROCR and ESA, instead of the widely used breast cancer stem cell markers CD44+/CD24-/low and ALDH, could be used to highly enrich cancer stem/progenitor cell populations which exhibited the ability to self renew and divide asymmetrically. Furthermore, the PROCR+/ESA+ cells expressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers. PROCR could also be used to enrich cells with colony forming ability from MB-361 cells. Moreover, consistent with the marker profiling using cell lines, the expression of stem cell markers differed greatly among primary tumors. There was an association between metastasis status and a high prevalence of certain markers including CD44+/CD24−/low, ESA+, CD133+, CXCR4+ and PROCR+ in primary tumor cells. Taken together, these results suggest that similar to leukemia, several stem/progenitor cell-like subpopulations can exist in breast cancer. PMID:20027313

  8. Evolutionary origins of germline segregation in Metazoa: evidence for a germ stem cell lineage in the coral Orbicella faveolata (Cnidaria, Anthozoa).

    PubMed

    Barfield, Sarah; Aglyamova, Galina V; Matz, Mikhail V

    2016-01-13

    The ability to segregate a committed germ stem cell (GSC) lineage distinct from somatic cell lineages is a characteristic of bilaterian Metazoans. However, the occurrence of GSC lineage specification in basally branching Metazoan phyla, such as Cnidaria, is uncertain. Without an independently segregated GSC lineage, germ cells and their precursors must be specified throughout adulthood from continuously dividing somatic stem cells, generating the risk of propagating somatic mutations within the individual and its gametes. To address the potential for existence of a GSC lineage in Anthozoa, the sister-group to all remaining Cnidaria, we identified moderate- to high-frequency somatic mutations and their potential for gametic transfer in the long-lived coral Orbicella faveolata (Anthozoa, Cnidaria) using a 2b-RAD sequencing approach. Our results demonstrate that somatic mutations can drift to high frequencies (up to 50%) and can also generate substantial intracolonial genetic diversity. However, these somatic mutations are not transferable to gametes, signifying the potential for an independently segregated GSC lineage in O. faveolata. In conjunction with previous research on germ cell development in other basally branching Metazoan species, our results suggest that the GSC system may be a Eumetazoan characteristic that evolved in association with the emergence of greater complexity in animal body plan organization and greater specificity of stem cell functions.

  9. Evolutionary origins of germline segregation in Metazoa: evidence for a germ stem cell lineage in the coral Orbicella faveolata (Cnidaria, Anthozoa)

    PubMed Central

    Barfield, Sarah; Aglyamova, Galina V.; Matz, Mikhail V.

    2016-01-01

    The ability to segregate a committed germ stem cell (GSC) lineage distinct from somatic cell lineages is a characteristic of bilaterian Metazoans. However, the occurrence of GSC lineage specification in basally branching Metazoan phyla, such as Cnidaria, is uncertain. Without an independently segregated GSC lineage, germ cells and their precursors must be specified throughout adulthood from continuously dividing somatic stem cells, generating the risk of propagating somatic mutations within the individual and its gametes. To address the potential for existence of a GSC lineage in Anthozoa, the sister-group to all remaining Cnidaria, we identified moderate- to high-frequency somatic mutations and their potential for gametic transfer in the long-lived coral Orbicella faveolata (Anthozoa, Cnidaria) using a 2b-RAD sequencing approach. Our results demonstrate that somatic mutations can drift to high frequencies (up to 50%) and can also generate substantial intracolonial genetic diversity. However, these somatic mutations are not transferable to gametes, signifying the potential for an independently segregated GSC lineage in O. faveolata. In conjunction with previous research on germ cell development in other basally branching Metazoan species, our results suggest that the GSC system may be a Eumetazoan characteristic that evolved in association with the emergence of greater complexity in animal body plan organization and greater specificity of stem cell functions. PMID:26763699

  10. Ablation of Dido3 compromises lineage commitment of stem cells in vitro and during early embryonic development

    PubMed Central

    Fütterer, A; Raya, Á; Llorente, M; Izpisúa-Belmonte, J C; de la Pompa, J L; Klatt, P; Martínez-A, C

    2012-01-01

    The death inducer obliterator (Dido) locus encodes three protein isoforms, of which Dido3 is the largest and most broadly expressed. Dido3 is a nuclear protein that forms part of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and is necessary for correct chromosome segregation in somatic and germ cells. Here we report that specific ablation of Dido3 function in mice causes lethal developmental defects at the onset of gastrulation. Although these defects are associated with centrosome amplification, spindle malformation and a DNA damage response, we provide evidence that embryonic lethality of the Dido3 mutation cannot be explained by its impact on chromosome segregation alone. We show that loss of Dido3 expression compromises differentiation of embryonic stem cells in vitro and of epiblast cells in vivo, resulting in early embryonic death at around day 8.5 of gestation. Close analysis of Dido3 mutant embryoid bodies indicates that ablation of Dido3, rather than producing a generalized differentiation blockade, delays the onset of lineage commitment at the primitive endoderm specification stage. The dual role of Dido3 in chromosome segregation and stem cell differentiation supports the implication of SAC components in stem cell fate decisions. PMID:21660050

  11. Dinosaur Extinction, Early Childhood Style

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Mary; Valentine-Anand, Lesley

    2008-01-01

    Do dinosaurs have bellybuttons? This intriguing question launched a journey into inquiry science that captivated a class of four-year-olds for eight months. As students enjoyed dinosaur books, examined dinosaur artifacts, drew pictures, watched videos, and generally immersed themselves in all things dinosaur, the authors built a culture of…

  12. Chromatin Dynamics Regulate Mesenchymal Stem Cell Lineage Specification and Differentiation to Osteogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Hai; Gordon, Jonathan A.R.; Whitfield, Troy W.; Tai, Phillip W.L.; van Wijnen, Andre J.; Stein, Janet L.; Stein, Gary S.; Lian, Jane B.

    2017-01-01

    Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are critical for regeneration of multiple tissues. Epigenetic mechanisms are fundamental regulators of lineage specification and cell fate, and as such, we addressed the question of which epigenetic modifications characterize the transition of nascent MSCs to a tissue specific MSC-derived phenotype. By profiling the temporal changes of seven histone marks correlated to gene expression during proliferation, early commitment, matrix deposition, and mineralization stages, we identified distinct epigenetic mechanisms that regulate transcriptional programs necessary for tissue-specific phenotype development. Patterns of stage-specific enrichment of histone modifications revealed distinct modes of repression and activation of gene expression that would not be detected using single endpoint analysis. We discovered that at commitment, H3K27me3 is removed from genes that are upregulated and is not acquired on downregulated genes. Additionally, we found that the absence of H3K4me3 modification at promoters defined a subset of osteoblast-specific upregulated genes, indicating acquisition of acetyl modifications drive activation of these genes. Significantly, loss or gain of H3K36me3 was the primary predictor of dynamic changes in temporal gene expression. Using unsupervised pattern discovery analysis the signature of osteogenic-related histone modifications identified novel functional cis regulatory modules associated with enhancer regions that control tissue-specific genes. Our work provides a cornerstone to understand the epigenetic regulation of transcriptional programs that are important for MSC lineage commitment and lineage, as well as insights to facilitate MSC-based therapeutic interventions. PMID:28077316

  13. The Role of Primary Cilia in Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation: A Pivotal Switch in Guiding Lineage Commitment

    PubMed Central

    Tummala, Padmaja; Arnsdorf, Emily J.; Jacobs, Christopher R.

    2010-01-01

    Primary cilia are sensory organelles that have been shown to play a critical role in lineage commitment. It was our hypothesis that the primary cilium is necessary for chemically induced differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). To investigate this, polaris siRNA was used to inhibit the primary cilia and the mRNA levels of transcription factors Runx2, PPARγ were measured by RT PCR as markers of osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic differentiation, respectively. MSCs with inhibited primary cilia had significantly decreased basal mRNA expression levels of all three lineages specific transcription factors indicating that primary cilia are critical in multiple differentiation pathways. Furthermore, to determine if primary cilia play a role in the differentiation potential of MSCs, progenitor cells transfected with either scrambled or polaris siRNA were cultured in osteo-inductive, chondro-inductive, or adipo-inductive media and lineage commitment was ascertained. Interestingly, within 24 h of culture, cells transfected with polaris siRNA in both osteogenic and adipogenic media lost adhesion and released from the slides; however MSCs in chondrogenic media as well as cells transfected with scrambled siRNA did not. These results suggest that the primary cilium is necessary for the normal progression of chemically induced osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. As a control, the experiment was repeated with NIH3T3 fibroblasts and none of the effects of inhibited primary cilia were observed indicating that the loss of adhesion may be specific to MSCs. Furthermore after biochemically inducing the cells to differentiate, polaris knockdown resulted in abrogation of both Runx2 and PPARγ mRNA while SOX9 mRNA expression was significantly lower. These results suggest that primary cilia play an essential role not only in the initiation of both osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation, but also in maintaining the phenotype of differentiated cells. Interestingly

  14. Specific Preferences in Lineage Choice and Phenotypic Plasticity of Glioma Stem Cells Under BMP4 and Noggin Influence.

    PubMed

    Videla Richardson, Guillermo Agustín; Garcia, Carolina Paola; Roisman, Alejandro; Slavutsky, Irma; Fernandez Espinosa, Damián Darío; Romorini, Leonardo; Miriuka, Santiago Gabriel; Arakaki, Naomi; Martinetto, Horacio; Scassa, María Elida; Sevlever, Gustavo Emilio

    2016-01-01

    Although BMP4-induced differentiation of glioma stem cells (GSCs) is well recognized, details of the cellular responses triggered by this morphogen are still poorly defined. In this study, we established several GSC-enriched cell lines (GSC-ECLs) from high-grade gliomas. The expansion of these cells as adherent monolayers, and not as floating neurospheres, enabled a thorough study of the phenotypic changes that occurred during their differentiation. Herein, we evaluated GSC-ECLs' behavior toward differentiating conditions by depriving them of growth factors and/or by adding BMP4 at different concentrations. After analyzing cellular morphology, proliferation and lineage marker expression, we determined that GSC-ECLs have distinct preferences in lineage choice, where some of them showed an astrocyte fate commitment and others a neuronal one. We found that this election seems to be dictated by the expression pattern of BMP signaling components present in each GSC-ECL. Additionally, treatment of GSC-ECLs with the BMP antagonist, Noggin, also led to evident phenotypic changes. Interestingly, under certain conditions, some GSC-ECLs adopted an unexpected smooth muscle-like phenotype. As a whole, our findings illustrate the wide differentiation potential of GSCs, highlighting their molecular complexity and paving a way to facilitate personalized differentiating therapies.

  15. Ttk69 acts as a master repressor of enteroendocrine cell specification in Drosophila intestinal stem cell lineages.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chenhui; Guo, Xingting; Dou, Kun; Chen, Hongyan; Xi, Rongwen

    2015-10-01

    In adult Drosophila midgut, intestinal stem cells (ISCs) periodically produce progenitor cells that undergo a binary fate choice determined primarily by the levels of Notch activity that they receive, before terminally differentiating into enterocytes (ECs) or enteroendocrine (EE) cells. Here we identified Ttk69, a BTB domain-containing transcriptional repressor, as a master repressor of EE cell specification in the ISC lineages. Depletion of ttk69 in progenitor cells induced ISC proliferation and caused all committed progenitor cells to adopt EE fate, leading to the production of supernumerary EE cells in the intestinal epithelium. Conversely, forced expression of Ttk69 in progenitor cells was sufficient to prevent EE cell specification. The expression of Ttk69 was not regulated by Notch signaling, and forced activation of Notch, which is sufficient to induce EC specification of normal progenitor cells, failed to prevent EE cell specification of Ttk69-depleted progenitors. Loss of Ttk69 led to derepression of the acheate-scute complex (AS-C) genes scute and asense, which then induced prospero expression to promote EE cell specification. These studies suggest that Ttk69 functions in parallel with Notch signaling and acts as a master repressor of EE cell specification in Drosophila ISC lineages primarily by suppressing AS-C genes.

  16. Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Human Adipose Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and their Differentiation towards the Osteoblastic Lineage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konda, Bikash; Baumstark-Khan, Christa; Hellweg, Christine; Reitz, Guenther; Lau, Patrick

    Radiation exposure and musculoskeletal disuse are among the major challenges during space missions. Astronauts face the problem to lose bone calcium due to uncoupling of bone formation and resorption. Bone forming osteoblasts can be derived from the undifferentiated mesenchymal stem cell compartment (MSC). In this study, the ability of human adipose tissue derived stem cells (ATSC) to differentiate into the osteoblastic lineage was examined after radiation exposure in presence of medium supplementation with osteogenic additives (ß-glycerophosphate, ascorbic acid and dexamethasone). The SAOS-2 cell line (human osteosarcoma cell line) was used as control for osteoblastic differentiation. Changes in cellular morphology, cell cycle progression, as well as cellular radiation sensitivity were characterized after ionizing radiation exposure with X-rays and heavy ions (Ti). Rapidly proliferating SAOS-2 cells are less radiation-sensitive than slowly proliferating ATSC cells after X-ray (CFA: dose effect curves show D0 values of 1 Gy and 0.75 Gy for SAOS-2 and ATSC, respectively) exposure. Heavy ion (Ti) exposure resulted in a greater extent of cells accumulating in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle in a dose-dependent manner when compared to X-ray exposure. Differentiation of cells towards the osteoblastic lineage was quantified by hydroxyapatite (HA) deposition using Lonza OsteoImageTM mineralization assay. The deposition of HA after X- and Ti-irradiation for highly proliferating SAOS-2 cells showed a dose-dependent time delay while slowly proliferating ATSC showed no effect from radiation exposure. More detailed investigation is required to reveal the radiation dependent mechanism of bone loss in astronauts.

  17. Paleobiology of Herbivorous Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Paul M.

    2014-05-01

    Herbivorous dinosaurs were abundant, species-rich components of Late Triassic-Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems. Obligate high-fiber herbivory evolved independently on several occasions within Dinosauria, through the intermediary step of omnivory. Anatomical character complexes associated with this diet exhibit high levels of convergence and morphological disparity, and may have evolved by correlated progression. Dinosaur faunas changed markedly during the Mesozoic, from early faunas dominated by taxa with simple, uniform feeding mechanics to Cretaceous biomes including diverse sophisticated sympatric herbivores; the environmental and biological drivers causing these changes remain unclear. Isotopic, taphonomic, and anatomical evidence implies that niche partitioning reduced competition between sympatric herbivores, via morphological differentiation, dietary preferences, and habitat selection. Large body size in dinosaur herbivores is associated with low plant productivity, and gave these animals prominent roles as ecosystem engineers. Although dinosaur herbivores lived through several major events in floral evolution, there is currently no evidence for plant-dinosaur coevolutionary interactions.

  18. Lineage-related cytotoxicity and clonogenic profile of 1,4-benzoquinone-exposed hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Chow, Paik Wah; Abdul Hamid, Zariyantey; Chan, Kok Meng; Inayat-Hussain, Salmaan Hussain; Rajab, Nor Fadilah

    2015-04-01

    Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) are sensitive targets for benzene-induced hematotoxicity and leukemogenesis. The impact of benzene exposure on the complex microenvironment of HSCs and HPCs remains elusive. This study aims to investigate the mechanism linking benzene exposure to targeting HSCs and HPCs using phenotypic and clonogenic analyses. Mouse bone marrow (BM) cells were exposed ex vivo to the benzene metabolite, 1,4-benzoquinone (1,4-BQ), for 24h. Expression of cellular surface antigens for HSC (Sca-1), myeloid (Gr-1, CD11b), and lymphoid (CD45, CD3e) populations were confirmed by flow cytometry. The clonogenicity of cells was studied using the colony-forming unit (CFU) assay for multilineage (CFU-GM and CFU-GEMM) and single-lineage (CFU-E, BFU-E, CFU-G, and CFU-M) progenitors. 1,4-BQ demonstrated concentration-dependent cytotoxicity in mouse BM cells. The percentage of apoptotic cells increased (p < 0.05) following 1,4-BQ exposure. Exposure to 1,4-BQ showed no significant effect on CD3e(+) cells but reduced the total counts of Sca-1(+), CD11b(+), Gr-1(+), and CD45(+) cells at 7 and 12 μM (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the CFU assay showed reduced (p < 0.05) clonogenicity in 1,4-BQ-treated cells. 1,4-BQ induced CFU-dependent cytotoxicity by significantly inhibiting colony growth for CFU-E, BFU-E, CFU-G, and CFU-M starting at a low concentration of exposure (5μM); whereas for the CFU-GM and CFU-GEMM, the inhibition of colony growth was remarkable only at 7 and 12μM of 1,4-BQ, respectively. Taken together, 1,4-BQ caused lineage-related cytotoxicity in mouse HPCs, demonstrating greater toxicity in single-lineage progenitors than in those of multi-lineage.

  19. Dinosaur physiology. Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Grady, John M; Enquist, Brian J; Dettweiler-Robinson, Eva; Wright, Natalie A; Smith, Felisa A

    2014-06-13

    Were dinosaurs ectotherms or fast-metabolizing endotherms whose activities were unconstrained by temperature? To date, some of the strongest evidence for endothermy comes from the rapid growth rates derived from the analysis of fossil bones. However, these studies are constrained by a lack of comparative data and an appropriate energetic framework. Here we compile data on ontogenetic growth for extant and fossil vertebrates, including all major dinosaur clades. Using a metabolic scaling approach, we find that growth and metabolic rates follow theoretical predictions across clades, although some groups deviate. Moreover, when the effects of size and temperature are considered, dinosaur metabolic rates were intermediate to those of endotherms and ectotherms and closest to those of extant mesotherms. Our results suggest that the modern dichotomy of endothermic versus ectothermic is overly simplistic.

  20. Directed differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into chondrogenic lineages for articular cartilage treatment

    PubMed Central

    Lach, Michał; Richter, Magdalena; Pawlicz, Jarosław; Suchorska, Wiktoria M

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, increases in the number of articular cartilage injuries caused by environmental factors or pathological conditions have led to a notable rise in the incidence of premature osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, considered a disease of civilization, is the leading cause of disability. At present, standard methods for treating damaged articular cartilage, including autologous chondrocyte implantation or microfracture, are short-term solutions with important side effects. Emerging treatments include the use of induced pluripotent stem cells, a technique that could provide a new tool for treatment of joint damage. However, research in this area is still early, and no optimal protocol for transforming induced pluripotent stem cells into chondrocytes has yet been established. Developments in our understanding of cartilage developmental biology, together with the use of modern technologies in the field of tissue engineering, provide an opportunity to create a complete functional model of articular cartilage. PMID:25383175

  1. Human mesenchymal stem cell differentiation to the osteogenic or adipogenic lineage is regulated by AMP-activated protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eung-Kyun; Lim, Seyoung; Park, Ji-Man; Seo, Jeong Kon; Kim, Jae Ho; Kim, Kyong Tai; Ryu, Sung Ho; Suh, Pann-Ghill

    2012-04-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an energy-sensing kinase that has recently been shown to regulate the differentiation of preadipocytes and osteoblasts. However, the role of AMPK in stem cell differentiation is largely unknown. Using in vitro culture models, the present study demonstrates that AMPK is a critical regulatory factor for osteogenic differentiation. We observed that expression and phosphorylation of AMPK were increased during osteogenesis in human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hAMSC). To elucidate the role of AMPK in osteogenic differentiation, we investigated the effect of AMPK inhibition or knockdown on mineralization of hAMSC. Compound C, an AMPK inhibitor, reduced mineralized matrix deposition and suppressed the expression of osteoblast-specific genes, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP), runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), and osteocalcin (OCN). Knockdown of AMPK by shRNA-lentivirus infection also reduced osteogenesis. In addition, inhibition or knockdown of AMPK during osteogenesis inhibited ERK phosphorylation, which is required for osteogenesis. Interestingly, inhibition of AMPK induced adipogenic differentiation of hAMSC, even in osteogenic induction medium (OIM). These results provide a potential mechanism involving AMPK activation in osteogenic differentiation of hAMSC and suggest that commitment of hAMSC to osteogenic or adipogenic lineage is governed by activation or inhibition of AMPK, respectively.

  2. Single-Cell RNA-Seq of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Reveals Unique Profiles of Lineage Priming.

    PubMed

    Freeman, Brian T; Jung, Jangwook P; Ogle, Brenda M

    2015-01-01

    The plasticity and immunomodulatory capacity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have spurred clinical use in recent years. However, clinical outcomes vary and many ascribe inconsistency to the tissue source of MSCs. Yet unconsidered is the extent of heterogeneity of individual MSCs from a given tissue source with respect to differentiation potential and immune regulatory function. Here we use single-cell RNA-seq to assess the transcriptional diversity of murine mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow. We found genes associated with MSC multipotency were expressed at a high level and with consistency between individual cells. However, genes associated with osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, neurogenic and vascular smooth muscle differentiation were expressed at widely varying levels between individual cells. Further, certain genes associated with immunomodulation were also inconsistent between individual cells. Differences could not be ascribed to cycles of proliferation, culture bias or other cellular process, which might alter transcript expression in a regular or cyclic pattern. These results support and extend the concept of lineage priming of MSCs and emphasize caution for in vivo or clinical use of MSCs, even when immunomodulation is the goal, since multiple mesodermal (and even perhaps ectodermal) outcomes are a possibility. Purification might enable shifting of the probability of a certain outcome, but is unlikely to remove multilineage potential altogether.

  3. Rescue of retinal degeneration by intravitreally injected adult bone marrow–derived lineage-negative hematopoietic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Otani, Atsushi; Dorrell, Michael Ian; Kinder, Karen; Moreno, Stacey K.; Nusinowitz, Steven; Banin, Eyal; Heckenlively, John; Friedlander, Martin

    2004-01-01

    Inherited retinal degenerations afflict 1 in 3,500 individuals and are a heterogeneous group of diseases that result in profound vision loss, usually the result of retinal neuronal apoptosis. Atrophic changes in the retinal vasculature are also observed in many of these degenerations. While it is thought that this atrophy is secondary to diminished metabolic demand in the face of retinal degeneration, the precise relationship between the retinal neuronal and vascular degeneration is not clear. In this study we demonstrate that whenever a fraction of mouse or human adult bone marrow–derived stem cells (lineage-negative hematopoietic stem cells [Lin– HSCs]) containing endothelial precursors stabilizes and rescues retinal blood vessels that would ordinarily completely degenerate, a dramatic neurotrophic rescue effect is also observed. Retinal nuclear layers are preserved in 2 mouse models of retinal degeneration, rd1 and rd10, and detectable, albeit severely abnormal, electroretinogram recordings are observed in rescued mice at times when they are never observed in control-treated or untreated eyes. The normal mouse retina consists predominantly of rods, but the rescued cells after treatment with Lin– HSCs are nearly all cones. Microarray analysis of rescued retinas demonstrates significant upregulation of many antiapoptotic genes, including small heat shock proteins and transcription factors. These results suggest a new paradigm for thinking about the relationship between vasculature and associated retinal neuronal tissue as well as a potential treatment for delaying the progression of vision loss associated with retinal degeneration regardless of the underlying genetic defect. PMID:15372100

  4. Elimination of Tumorigenic Stem Cells from Differentiated Progeny and Selection of Definitive Endoderm Reveals a Pdx1+ Foregut Endoderm Stem Cell Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Kahan, Brenda; Magliocca, Joseph; Merriam, Fabiola; Treff, Nathan; Budde, Melisa; Nelson, Jeffrey; Browning, Victoria; Ziehr, Benjamin; Odorico, Jon

    2011-01-01

    Embryonic stem cell (ESC) derivatives offer promise for generating clinically useful tissues for transplantation, yet the specter of producing tumors in patients remains a significant concern. We have developed a simple method that eliminates the tumorigenic potential from differentiated ESC cultures of murine and human origin while purifying lineage-restricted, definitive endoderm-committed cells. A three-stage scheme utilizing magnetic bead sorting and specific antibodies to remove undifferentiated ESCs and extraembryonic endoderm cells, followed by positive selection of definitive endoderm cells on the basis of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) expression, was used to isolate a population of EpCAM+SSEA1−SSEA3− cells. Sorted cells do not form teratomas after transplantation into immunodeficient mice, but display gene and protein expression profiles indicative of definitive endoderm cells. Sorted cells could be subsequently expanded in vitro and further differentiated to express key pancreas specification proteins. In vivo transplantation of sorted cells resulted in small, benign tissues that uniformly express PDX1. These studies describe a straightforward method without genetic manipulation that eliminates the risk of teratoma formation from ESC differentiated derivatives. Significantly, enriched populations isolated by this method appear to be lineage-restricted definitive endoderm cells with limited proliferation capacity. PMID:21130058

  5. The cellular form of the prion protein guides the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into neuron-, oligodendrocyte-, and astrocyte-committed lineages.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young Jin; Baskakov, Ilia V

    2014-01-01

    Prion protein, PrP(C), is a glycoprotein that is expressed on the cell surface beginning with the early stages of embryonic stem cell differentiation. Previously, we showed that ectopic expression of PrP(C) in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) triggered differentiation toward endodermal, mesodermal, and ectodermal lineages, whereas silencing of PrP(C) suppressed differentiation toward ectodermal but not endodermal or mesodermal lineages. Considering that PrP(C) might be involved in controlling the balance between cells of different lineages, the current study was designed to test whether PrP(C) controls differentiation of hESCs into cells of neuron-, oligodendrocyte-, and astrocyte-committed lineages. PrP(C) was silenced in hESCs cultured under three sets of conditions that were previously shown to induce hESCs differentiation into predominantly neuron-, oligodendrocyte-, and astrocyte-committed lineages. We found that silencing of PrP(C) suppressed differentiation toward all three lineages. Similar results were observed in all three protocols, arguing that the effect of PrP(C) was independent of differentiation conditions employed. Moreover, switching PrP(C) expression during a differentiation time course revealed that silencing PrP(C) expression during the very initial stage that corresponds to embryonic bodies has a more significant impact than silencing at later stages of differentiation. The current work illustrates that PrP(C) controls differentiation of hESCs toward neuron-, oligodendrocyte-, and astrocyte-committed lineages and is likely involved at the stage of uncommitted neural progenitor cells rather than lineage-committed neural progenitors.

  6. Capability of Cartilage Extract to In Vitro Differentiation of Rat Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to Chondrocyte Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Talakoob, Setareh; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Parivar, Kazem; Bananej, Maryam; Sanadgol, Nima

    2015-01-01

    The importance of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), as adult stem cells (ASCs) able to divide into a variety of different cells is of utmost importance for stem cell researches. In this study, the ability of cartilage extract to induce differentiation of rat derived omentum tissue MSCs (rOT-MSCs) into chondrocyte cells (CCs) was investigated. After isolation of rOT-MSCs, they were co-cultured with different concentrations of hyaline cartilage extract and chondrocyte differentiation was monitored. Expression of MSCs markers was analyzed via flow cytometry. Moreover, expression of octamer- binding transcription factor-4 (Oct-4), Wilm's tumor suppressor gene-1 (WT-1), aggrecan (AG), collagen type-II (CT-II) and collagen type-X (CT-X) was analyzed using RT-PCR on 16, 18 and 21 days. Furthermore, immunocytochemistry and western blot were performed for CT-II production. Finally, proteoglycans (PGs) were examined using toluidine blue and alcian blue staining. The phenotypic characterization revealed the positive expression of CD90, CD44 and negative expression of CD45 in rOT-MSCs. These cells also expressed mRNA of Oct-4 and WT-1 as markers of omentum tissue. Differentiated rOT-MSCs in the presence of 20 µg/ ml cartilage extract expressed AG, CT-II, CT-X, and PGs as specific markers of CCs. These observations suggest that cartilage extract is potentially able to induce differentiation of MSCs into chondrocyte lineage and may be considered as an available source for imposing tissue healing on the damaged cartilage. More investigations are needed to prove in vivo cartilage repair via cartilage extract or its effective factors. PMID:25815278

  7. Microenvironmental determinants of adult neural stem cell proliferation and lineage commitment in the healthy and injured central nervous system.

    PubMed

    Moyse, Emmanuel; Segura, Stéphanie; Liard, Oliver; Mahaut, Stéphanie; Mechawar, Naguib

    2008-09-01

    The discovery of neural stem cells (NSC) which ensure continuous neurogenesis in the adult mammalian brain, has led to a conceptual revolution in basic neuroscience and to high hopes for clinical nervous tissue repair. However, several research issues remain to address before neural stem cells can be harnessed for regenerative therapies. The presence of NSC in a nervous structure is demonstrated in vitro by primary culture of dissociated adult nervous tissue in the presence of the specific mitogens EGF and bFGF. This leads to spherical masses of proliferating cells endowed with capacities for self-renewal and, after growth factor removal, differentiation into the three characteristic cell types of nervous tissue (neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes). In vivo, neurogenesis per se, i.e. production of new neurons, occurs only in a small subset of NSC-endowed structures. The production of oligodendrocytes, i.e. myelinating glial cells, is similarly restricted. Such in vivo restrictions were formally demonstrated to arise from the tissular microenvironnement, which led to the emerging concept of "neurogenic niche". In this context, major challenges now consist in identifying the nature of tissue-specific extracellular signals that determine lineage commitment of NSC progeny, understanding why NSCs display weak in vivo reactivity to lesions compared to other stem cell types in adults, and identifying the factors behind the very high resistance to tumorigenesis displayed by NSCs. Altogether, the current data offer hope for the future use of adult NSCs in regenerative therapies, provided that tissue-specific signals are identified in view of counteracting the intrinsic repression of new cell genesis and/or stimulating endogenous NSC recruitment to lesion sites.

  8. Capability of Cartilage Extract to In Vitro Differentiation of Rat Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to Chondrocyte Lineage.

    PubMed

    Talakoob, Setareh; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Parivar, Kazem; Bananej, Maryam; Sanadgol, Nima

    2015-01-01

    The importance of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), as adult stem cells (ASCs) able to divide into a variety of different cells is of utmost importance for stem cell researches. In this study, the ability of cartilage extract to induce differentiation of rat derived omentum tissue MSCs (rOT-MSCs) into chondrocyte cells (CCs) was investigated. After isolation of rOT-MSCs, they were co-cultured with different concentrations of hyaline cartilage extract and chondrocyte differentiation was monitored. Expression of MSCs markers was analyzed via flow cytometry. Moreover, expression of octamer- binding transcription factor-4 (Oct-4), Wilm's tumor suppressor gene-1 (WT-1), aggrecan (AG), collagen type-II (CT-II) and collagen type-X (CT-X) was analyzed using RT-PCR on 16, 18 and 21 days. Furthermore, immunocytochemistry and western blot were performed for CT-II production. Finally, proteoglycans (PGs) were examined using toluidine blue and alcian blue staining. The phenotypic characterization revealed the positive expression of CD90, CD44 and negative expression of CD45 in rOT-MSCs. These cells also expressed mRNA of Oct-4 and WT-1 as markers of omentum tissue. Differentiated rOT-MSCs in the presence of 20 µg/ ml cartilage extract expressed AG, CT-II, CT-X, and PGs as specific markers of CCs. These observations suggest that cartilage extract is potentially able to induce differentiation of MSCs into chondrocyte lineage and may be considered as an available source for imposing tissue healing on the damaged cartilage. More investigations are needed to prove in vivo cartilage repair via cartilage extract or its effective factors.

  9. On Dinosaur Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Gregory M.

    2014-05-01

    Despite nearly two centuries of investigation, a comprehensive understanding of dinosaur biology has proven intractable. The recent development of means to study tissue-level growth, age these animals, and make growth curves has revolutionized our knowledge of dinosaur lives. From such data it is now understood that dinosaurs grew both disruptively and determinately; that they rarely if ever exceeded a century in age; that they became giants through accelerated growth and dwarfed through truncated development; that they were likely endothermic, sexually matured like crocodiles, and showed survivorship like populations of large mammals; and that basal birds retained dinosaurian physiology.

  10. Dickkopf Homolog 3 Induces Stem Cell Differentiation into Smooth Muscle Lineage via ATF6 Signalling*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaocong; Karamariti, Eirini; Simpson, Russell; Wang, Wen; Xu, Qingbo

    2015-01-01

    Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) are a key component of healthy and tissue engineered vessels and play a crucial role in vascular development and the pathogenic events of vascular remodeling i.e. restenosis. However, the cell source from which they can be isolated is limited. Embryonic stem (ES) cells that have the remarkable capability to differentiate into vascular SMCs in response to specific stimuli provide a useful model for studying SMC differentiation. Previous studies suggested that dickkopf homolog 3 (DKK3) has a role in human partially induced pluripotent stem cell to SMC differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that the expression of DKK3 is essential for the expression of SMC markers and myocardin at both the mRNA and protein levels during mouse ES cell differentiation into SMCs (ESC-SMC differentiation). Overexpression of DKK3 leads to further up-regulation of the aforementioned markers. Further investigation indicates that DKK3 added as a cytokine activates activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6), leading to the increased binding of ATF6 on the myocardin promoter and increased its expression. In addition, inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) promotes the expression of ATF6 and leads to further increase of myocardin transcription. Our findings offer a novel mechanism by which DKK3 regulates ESC-SMC differentiation by activating ATF6 and promoting myocardin expression. PMID:26105053

  11. Concise Review: Skeletal Muscle Stem Cells and Cardiac Lineage: Potential for Heart Repair

    PubMed Central

    Hassan, Narmeen; Tchao, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Valuable and ample resources have been spent over the last two decades in pursuit of interventional strategies to treat the unmet demand of heart failure patients to restore myocardial structure and function. At present, it is clear that full restoration of myocardial structure and function is outside our reach from both clinical and basic research studies, but it may be achievable with a combination of ongoing research, creativity, and perseverance. Since the 1990s, skeletal myoblasts have been extensively investigated for cardiac cell therapy of congestive heart failure. Whereas the Myoblast Autologous Grafting in Ischemic Cardiomyopathy (MAGIC) trial revealed that transplanted skeletal myoblasts did not integrate into the host myocardium and also did not transdifferentiate into cardiomyocytes despite some beneficial effects on recipient myocardial function, recent studies suggest that skeletal muscle-derived stem cells have the ability to adopt a cardiomyocyte phenotype in vitro and in vivo. This brief review endeavors to summarize the importance of skeletal muscle stem cells and how they can play a key role to surpass current results in the future and enhance the efficacious implementation of regenerative cell therapy for heart failure. PMID:24371329

  12. The origin and early evolution of dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Langer, Max C; Ezcurra, Martin D; Bittencourt, Jonathas S; Novas, Fernando E

    2010-02-01

    The oldest unequivocal records of Dinosauria were unearthed from Late Triassic rocks (approximately 230 Ma) accumulated over extensional rift basins in southwestern Pangea. The better known of these are Herrerasaurus ischigualastensis, Pisanosaurus mertii, Eoraptor lunensis, and Panphagia protos from the Ischigualasto Formation, Argentina, and Staurikosaurus pricei and Saturnalia tupiniquim from the Santa Maria Formation, Brazil. No uncontroversial dinosaur body fossils are known from older strata, but the Middle Triassic origin of the lineage may be inferred from both the footprint record and its sister-group relation to Ladinian basal dinosauromorphs. These include the typical Marasuchus lilloensis, more basal forms such as Lagerpeton and Dromomeron, as well as silesaurids: a possibly monophyletic group composed of Mid-Late Triassic forms that may represent immediate sister taxa to dinosaurs. The first phylogenetic definition to fit the current understanding of Dinosauria as a node-based taxon solely composed of mutually exclusive Saurischia and Ornithischia was given as "all descendants of the most recent common ancestor of birds and Triceratops". Recent cladistic analyses of early dinosaurs agree that Pisanosaurus mertii is a basal ornithischian; that Herrerasaurus ischigualastensis and Staurikosaurus pricei belong in a monophyletic Herrerasauridae; that herrerasaurids, Eoraptor lunensis, and Guaibasaurus candelariensis are saurischians; that Saurischia includes two main groups, Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda; and that Saturnalia tupiniquim is a basal member of the sauropodomorph lineage. On the contrary, several aspects of basal dinosaur phylogeny remain controversial, including the position of herrerasaurids, E. lunensis, and G. candelariensis as basal theropods or basal saurischians, and the affinity and/or validity of more fragmentary taxa such as Agnosphitys cromhallensis, Alwalkeria maleriensis, Chindesaurus bryansmalli, Saltopus elginensis, and

  13. Piwi is required in multiple cell types to control germline stem cell lineage development in the Drosophila ovary.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xing; Wang, Su; Do, Trieu; Song, Xiaoqing; Inaba, Mayu; Nishimoto, Yoshiya; Liu, Lu-ping; Gao, Yuan; Mao, Ying; Li, Hui; McDowell, William; Park, Jungeun; Malanowski, Kate; Peak, Allison; Perera, Anoja; Li, Hua; Gaudenz, Karin; Haug, Jeff; Yamashita, Yukiko; Lin, Haifan; Ni, Jian-quan; Xie, Ting

    2014-01-01

    The piRNA pathway plays an important role in maintaining genome stability in the germ line by silencing transposable elements (TEs) from fly to mammals. As a highly conserved piRNA pathway component, Piwi is widely expressed in both germ cells and somatic cells in the Drosophila ovary and is required for piRNA production in both cell types. In addition to its known role in somatic cap cells to maintain germline stem cells (GSCs), this study has demonstrated that Piwi has novel functions in somatic cells and germ cells of the Drosophila ovary to promote germ cell differentiation. Piwi knockdown in escort cells causes a reduction in escort cell (EC) number and accumulation of undifferentiated germ cells, some of which show active BMP signaling, indicating that Piwi is required to maintain ECs and promote germ cell differentiation. Simultaneous knockdown of dpp, encoding a BMP, in ECs can partially rescue the germ cell differentiation defect, indicating that Piwi is required in ECs to repress dpp. Consistent with its key role in piRNA production, TE transcripts increase significantly and DNA damage is also elevated in the piwi knockdown somatic cells. Germ cell-specific knockdown of piwi surprisingly causes depletion of germ cells before adulthood, suggesting that Piwi might control primordial germ cell maintenance or GSC establishment. Finally, Piwi inactivation in the germ line of the adult ovary leads to gradual GSC loss and germ cell differentiation defects, indicating the intrinsic role of Piwi in adult GSC maintenance and differentiation. This study has revealed new germline requirement of Piwi in controlling GSC maintenance and lineage differentiation as well as its new somatic function in promoting germ cell differentiation. Therefore, Piwi is required in multiple cell types to control GSC lineage development in the Drosophila ovary.

  14. Warm and Cool Dinosaurs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mannlein, Sally

    2001-01-01

    Presents an art activity in which first grade students draw dinosaurs in order to learn about the concept of warm and cool colors. Explains how the activity also helped the students learn about the concept of distance when drawing. (CMK)

  15. Dinosaur Reproduction and Parenting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horner, John R.

    Non-avian dinosaur reproductive and parenting behaviors were mostly similar to those of extant archosaurs. Non-avian dinosaurs were probably sexually dimorphic and some may have engaged in hierarchical rituals. Non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodontidae, Oviraptorosauria) had two active oviducts, each of which produced single eggs on a daily or greater time scale. The eggs of non-coelurosaurian dinosaurs (e.g. Ornithischia, Sauropoda) were incubated in soils, whereas the eggs of non-avian coelurosaurs (e.g. Troodon, Oviraptor) were incubated with a combination of soil and direct parental contact. Parental attention to the young was variable, ranging from protection from predators to possible parental feeding of nest-bound hatchlings. Semi-altricial hadrosaur hatchlings exited their respective nests near the time of their first linear doubling. Some reproductive behaviors, once thought exclusive to Aves, arose first in non-avian dinosaurs. The success of the Dinosauria may be related to reproductive strategies.

  16. The Dinosaur Connection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, Christine S.

    1988-01-01

    Provides background information, lesson plans, bulletin board activities, and a learning center description, all dealing with dinosaurs. Includes clip art for the learning center and reproducible "stamps" about some endangered species. (TW)

  17. Melanosome evolution indicates a key physiological shift within feathered dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Li, Quanguo; Clarke, Julia A; Gao, Ke-Qin; Zhou, Chang-Fu; Meng, Qingjin; Li, Daliang; D'Alba, Liliana; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2014-03-20

    Inference of colour patterning in extinct dinosaurs has been based on the relationship between the morphology of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) and colour in extant bird feathers. When this relationship evolved relative to the origin of feathers and other novel integumentary structures, such as hair and filamentous body covering in extinct archosaurs, has not been evaluated. Here we sample melanosomes from the integument of 181 extant amniote taxa and 13 lizard, turtle, dinosaur and pterosaur fossils from the Upper-Jurassic and Lower-Cretaceous of China. We find that in the lineage leading to birds, the observed increase in the diversity of melanosome morphologies appears abruptly, near the origin of pinnate feathers in maniraptoran dinosaurs. Similarly, mammals show an increased diversity of melanosome form compared to all ectothermic amniotes. In these two clades, mammals and maniraptoran dinosaurs including birds, melanosome form and colour are linked and colour reconstruction may be possible. By contrast, melanosomes in lizard, turtle and crocodilian skin, as well as the archosaurian filamentous body coverings (dinosaur 'protofeathers' and pterosaur 'pycnofibres'), show a limited diversity of form that is uncorrelated with colour in extant taxa. These patterns may be explained by convergent changes in the key melanocortin system of mammals and birds, which is known to affect pleiotropically both melanin-based colouration and energetic processes such as metabolic rate in vertebrates, and may therefore support a significant physiological shift in maniraptoran dinosaurs.

  18. Fine structure of bone in dinosaurs, birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Rensberger, J M; Watabe, M

    2000-08-10

    After observation of detailed structural evidence for the origin of birds from dinosaurs, and in light of evidence that dinosaur bone tissue resembles the histology in mammals, the histology of bone has become one of the focal points in discussions of the physiology of dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds. Most of this microstructural information has focused on features related to the vascular organization and the amount of remodelled bone around vascular canals. However, the finer structures have received less attention, although differences in such structures have been observed among modern vertebrates. Here we present evidence that canaliculi--the submicrometre-sized channels that interconnect bone cells and vascular canals--and the collagen fibre bundles in bone are differently organized among certain dinosaur lineages. Ornithomimid dinosaurs are more like birds than mammals in these features. In canalicular structure, and to some extent in fibre bundle arrangement, ornithischian dinosaurs are more like mammals. These differences in both canalicular and lamellar structure are probably linked to differences in the process and rate of bone formation.

  19. Transcriptomic and phenotypic analysis of murine embryonic stem cell derived BMP2+ lineage cells: an insight into mesodermal patterning

    PubMed Central

    Doss, Michael Xavier; Chen, Shuhua; Winkler, Johannes; Hippler-Altenburg, Rita; Odenthal, Margareta; Wickenhauser, Claudia; Balaraman, Sridevi; Schulz, Herbert; Hummel, Oliver; Hübner, Norbert; Ghosh-Choudhury, Nandini; Sotiriadou, Isaia; Hescheler, Jürgen; Sachinidis, Agapios

    2007-01-01

    Background Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)2 is a late mesodermal marker expressed during vertebrate development and plays a crucial role in early embryonic development. The nature of the BMP2-expressing cells during the early stages of embryonic development, their transcriptome and cell phenotypes developed from these cells have not yet been characterized. Results We generated a transgenic BMP2 embryonic stem (ES) cell lineage expressing both puromycin acetyltransferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) driven by the BMP2 promoter. Puromycin resistant and EGFP positive BMP2+ cells with a purity of over 93% were isolated. Complete transcriptome analysis of BMP2+ cells in comparison to the undifferentiated ES cells and the control population from seven-day-old embryoid bodies (EBs; intersection of genes differentially expressed between undifferentiated ES cells and BMP2+ EBs as well as differentially expressed between seven-day-old control EBs and BMP2+ EBs by t-test, p < 0.01, fold change >2) by microarray analysis led to identification of 479 specifically upregulated and 193 downregulated transcripts. Transcription factors, apoptosis promoting factors and other signaling molecules involved in early embryonic development are mainly upregulated in BMP2+ cells. Long-term differentiation of the BMP2+ cells resulted in neural crest stem cells (NCSCs), smooth muscle cells, epithelial-like cells, neuronal-like cells, osteoblasts and monocytes. Interestingly, development of cardiomyocytes from the BMP2+ cells requires secondary EB formation. Conclusion This is the first study to identify the complete transcriptome of BMP2+ cells and cell phenotypes from a mesodermal origin, thus offering an insight into the role of BMP2+ cells during embryonic developmental processes in vivo. PMID:17784959

  20. The Evaluation of Nerve Growth Factor Over Expression on Neural Lineage Specific Genes in Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Mortazavi, Yousef; Sheikhsaran, Fatemeh; Khamisipour, Gholamreza Khamisipour; Soleimani, Masoud; Teimuri, Ali; Shokri, Somayeh

    2016-01-01

    Objective Treatment and repair of neurodegenerative diseases such as brain tumors, spinal cord injuries, and functional disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, are challenging problems. A common treatment approach for such disorders involves the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as an alternative cell source to replace injured cells. However, use of these cells in hosts may potentially cause adverse outcomes such as tumorigenesis and uncontrolled differentiation. In attempt to generate mesenchymal derived neural cells, we have infected MSCs with recombinant lentiviruses that expressed nerve growth factor (NGF) and assessed their neural lineage genes. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, we cloned the NGF gene sequence into a helper dependent lentiviral vector that contained the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene. The recombinant vector was amplified in DH5 bacterial cells. Recombinant viruses were generated in the human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK-293) packaging cell line with the helper vectors and analyzed under fluorescent microscopy. Bone marrow mesenchymal cells were infected by recombinant viruses for three days followed by assessment of neural differentiation. We evaluated expression of NGF through measurement of the NGF protein in culture medium by ELISA; neural specific genes were quantified by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results We observed neural morphological changes after three days. Quantitative PCR showed that expressions of NESTIN, glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) genes increased following induction of NGF overexpression, whereas expressions of endogenous NGF and brain derived neural growth factor (BDNF) genes reduced. Conclusion Ectopic expression of NGF can induce neurogenesis in MSCs. Direct injection of MSCs may cause tumorigenesis and an undesirable outcome. Therefore an alternative choice to overcome this obstacle may

  1. Housekeeping gene stability influences the quantification of osteogenic markers during stem cell differentiation to the osteogenic lineage

    PubMed Central

    Posada, Olga M.; Gallego-Perez, Daniel; Higuita-Castro, Natalia; Sarassa, Carlos; Hansford, Derek J.; Agudelo-Florez, Piedad; López, Luis E.

    2010-01-01

    Real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) relies on a housekeeping or normalizer gene whose expression remains constant throughout the experiment. RT-qPCR is commonly used for characterization of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs). However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no studies validating the expression stability of the genes used as normalizers during hBMSCs differentiation. This work aimed to study the stability of the housekeeping genes β-actin, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and ribosomal protein L13A (RPL13A) during the osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs. Their stability was evaluated via RT-qPCR in 14 and 20 day differentiation assays to the osteogenic lineage. Different normalization strategies were evaluated to quantify the osteogenic markers collagen type I, bone sialoprotein and osteonectin. Cell differentiation was confirmed via alizarin red staining. The results demonstrated up-regulation of β-actin with maximum fold changes (MFC) of 4.38. GAPDH and RPL13A were not regulated by osteogenic media after 14 days and presented average fold changes lower than 2 in 20 day cultures. RPL13A (MFC < 2) had a greater stability when normalizing as a function of culture time compared with GAPDH (MFC ≤ 2.2), which resulted in expression patterns of the osteogenic markers more consistent with the observed differentiation process. The results suggest that β-actin regulation could be associated with the morphological changes characteristic of hBMSCs osteogenic differentiation, and provide evidence for the superior performance of RPL13A as a normalizer gene in osteogenic differentiation studies of hBMSCs. This work highlights the importance of validating the normalizer genes used for stem cells characterization via RT-qPCR. PMID:20396946

  2. Human embryonic and fetal mesenchymal stem cells differentiate toward three different cardiac lineages in contrast to their adult counterparts.

    PubMed

    Ramkisoensing, Arti A; Pijnappels, Daniël A; Askar, Saïd F A; Passier, Robert; Swildens, Jim; Goumans, Marie José; Schutte, Cindy I; de Vries, Antoine A F; Scherjon, Sicco; Mummery, Christine L; Schalij, Martin J; Atsma, Douwe E

    2011-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show unexplained differences in differentiation potential. In this study, differentiation of human (h) MSCs derived from embryonic, fetal and adult sources toward cardiomyocytes, endothelial and smooth muscle cells was investigated. Labeled hMSCs derived from embryonic stem cells (hESC-MSCs), fetal umbilical cord, bone marrow, amniotic membrane and adult bone marrow and adipose tissue were co-cultured with neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (nrCMCs) or cardiac fibroblasts (nrCFBs) for 10 days, and also cultured under angiogenic conditions. Cardiomyogenesis was assessed by human-specific immunocytological analysis, whole-cell current-clamp recordings, human-specific qRT-PCR and optical mapping. After co-culture with nrCMCs, significantly more hESC-MSCs than fetal hMSCs stained positive for α-actinin, whereas adult hMSCs stained negative. Furthermore, functional cardiomyogenic differentiation, based on action potential recordings, was shown to occur, but not in adult hMSCs. Of all sources, hESC-MSCs expressed most cardiac-specific genes. hESC-MSCs and fetal hMSCs contained significantly higher basal levels of connexin43 than adult hMSCs and co-culture with nrCMCs increased expression. After co-culture with nrCFBs, hESC-MSCs and fetal hMSCs did not express α-actinin and connexin43 expression was decreased. Conduction velocity (CV) in co-cultures of nrCMCs and hESC-MSCs was significantly higher than in co-cultures with fetal or adult hMSCs. In angiogenesis bioassays, only hESC-MSCs and fetal hMSCs were able to form capillary-like structures, which stained for smooth muscle and endothelial cell markers.Human embryonic and fetal MSCs differentiate toward three different cardiac lineages, in contrast to adult MSCs. Cardiomyogenesis is determined by stimuli from the cellular microenvironment, where connexin43 may play an important role.

  3. Housekeeping gene stability influences the quantification of osteogenic markers during stem cell differentiation to the osteogenic lineage.

    PubMed

    Quiroz, Felipe Garcia; Posada, Olga M; Gallego-Perez, Daniel; Higuita-Castro, Natalia; Sarassa, Carlos; Hansford, Derek J; Agudelo-Florez, Piedad; López, Luis E

    2010-04-01

    Real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) relies on a housekeeping or normalizer gene whose expression remains constant throughout the experiment. RT-qPCR is commonly used for characterization of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs). However, to the best of our knowledge, there are no studies validating the expression stability of the genes used as normalizers during hBMSCs differentiation. This work aimed to study the stability of the housekeeping genes beta-actin, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and ribosomal protein L13A (RPL13A) during the osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs. Their stability was evaluated via RT-qPCR in 14 and 20 day differentiation assays to the osteogenic lineage. Different normalization strategies were evaluated to quantify the osteogenic markers collagen type I, bone sialoprotein and osteonectin. Cell differentiation was confirmed via alizarin red staining. The results demonstrated up-regulation of beta-actin with maximum fold changes (MFC) of 4.38. GAPDH and RPL13A were not regulated by osteogenic media after 14 days and presented average fold changes lower than 2 in 20 day cultures. RPL13A (MFC < 2) had a greater stability when normalizing as a function of culture time compared with GAPDH (MFC stem cells characterization via RT-qPCR.

  4. GEF-H1 controls focal adhesion signaling that regulates mesenchymal stem cell lineage commitment

    PubMed Central

    Huang, I-Husan; Hsiao, Cheng-Te; Wu, Jui-Chung; Liu, Ching-Yi; Wang, Yang-Kao; Chen, Yu-Chen; Huang, Chi-Ming; del álamo, Juan C.; Chang, Zee-Fen; Tang, Ming-Jer; Khoo, Kay-Hooi; Kuo, Jean-Cheng

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Focal adhesions (FAs) undergo maturation that culminates in size and composition changes that modulate adhesion, cytoskeleton remodeling and differentiation. Although it is well recognized that stimuli for osteogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) drive FA maturation, actin organization and stress fiber polarization, the extent to which FA-mediated signals regulated by the FA protein composition specifies MSC commitment remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that, upon dexamethasone (osteogenic induction) treatment, guanine nucleotide exchange factor H1 (GEF-H1, also known as Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor 2, encoded by ARHGEF2) is significantly enriched in FAs. Perturbation of GEF-H1 inhibits FA formation, anisotropic stress fiber orientation and MSC osteogenesis in an actomyosin-contractility-independent manner. To determine the role of GEF-H1 in MSC osteogenesis, we explore the GEF-H1-modulated FA proteome that reveals non-muscle myosin-II heavy chain-B (NMIIB, also known as myosin-10, encoded by MYH10) as a target of GEF-H1 in FAs. Inhibition of targeting NMIIB into FAs suppresses FA formation, stress fiber polarization, cell stiffness and osteogenic commitments in MSCs. Our data demonstrate a role for FA signaling in specifying MSC commitment. PMID:25107365

  5. Arthropod phylogeny: onychophoran brain organization suggests an archaic relationship with a chelicerate stem lineage

    PubMed Central

    Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Mok Strausfeld, Camilla; Loesel, Rudi; Rowell, David; Stowe, Sally

    2006-01-01

    Neuroanatomical studies have demonstrated that the architecture and organization among neuropils are highly conserved within any order of arthropods. The shapes of nerve cells and their neuropilar arrangements provide robust characters for phylogenetic analyses. Such analyses so far have agreed with molecular phylogenies in demonstrating that entomostracans+malacostracans belong to a clade (Tetraconata) that includes the hexapods. However, relationships among what are considered to be paraphyletic groups or among the stem arthropods have not yet been satisfactorily resolved. The present parsimony analyses of independent neuroarchitectural characters from 27 arthropods and lobopods demonstrate relationships that are congruent with phylogenies derived from molecular studies, except for the status of the Onychophora. The present account describes the brain of the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli, demonstrating that the structure and arrangements of its neurons, cerebral neuropils and sensory centres are distinct from arrangements in the brains of mandibulates. Neuroanatomical evidence suggests that the organization of the onychophoran brain is similar to that of the brains of chelicerates. PMID:16822744

  6. Preferential Lineage-Specific Differentiation of Osteoblast-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Osteoprogenitors

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Casey L.; Chen, Silvia S.; Murchison, Angela C.; Ogle, Rebecca A.; Francis, Michael P.; Ogle, Roy C.

    2017-01-01

    While induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold great clinical promise, one hurdle that remains is the existence of a parental germ-layer memory in reprogrammed cells leading to preferential differentiation fates. While it is problematic for generating cells vastly different from the reprogrammed cells' origins, it could be advantageous for the reliable generation of germ-layer specific cell types for future therapeutic use. Here we use human osteoblast-derived iPSCs (hOB-iPSCs) to generate induced osteoprogenitors (iOPs). Osteoblasts were successfully reprogrammed and demonstrated by endogenous upregulation of Oct4, Sox2, Nanog, TRA-1-81, TRA-16-1, SSEA3, and confirmatory hPSC Scorecard Algorithmic Assessment. The hOB-iPSCs formed embryoid bodies with cells of ectoderm and mesoderm but have low capacity to form endodermal cells. Differentiation into osteoprogenitors occurred within only 2–6 days, with a population doubling rate of less than 24 hrs; however, hOB-iPSC derived osteoprogenitors were only able to form osteogenic and chondrogenic cells but not adipogenic cells. Consistent with this, hOB-iOPs were found to have higher methylation of PPARγ but similar levels of methylation on the RUNX2 promoter. These data demonstrate that iPSCs can be generated from human osteoblasts, but variant methylation patterns affect their differentiation capacities. Therefore, epigenetic memory can be exploited for efficient generation of clinically relevant quantities of osteoprogenitor cells. PMID:28250775

  7. Lineage-specific interface proteins match up the cell cycle and differentiation in embryo stem cells.

    PubMed

    Re, Angela; Workman, Christopher T; Waldron, Levi; Quattrone, Alessandro; Brunak, Søren

    2014-09-01

    The shortage of molecular information on cell cycle changes along embryonic stem cell (ESC) differentiation prompts an in silico approach, which may provide a novel way to identify candidate genes or mechanisms acting in coordinating the two programs. We analyzed germ layer specific gene expression changes during the cell cycle and ESC differentiation by combining four human cell cycle transcriptome profiles with thirteen in vitro human ESC differentiation studies. To detect cross-talk mechanisms we then integrated the transcriptome data that displayed differential regulation with protein interaction data. A new class of non-transcriptionally regulated genes was identified, encoding proteins which interact systematically with proteins corresponding to genes regulated during the cell cycle or cell differentiation, and which therefore can be seen as interface proteins coordinating the two programs. Functional analysis gathered insights in fate-specific candidates of interface functionalities. The non-transcriptionally regulated interface proteins were found to be highly regulated by post-translational ubiquitylation modification, which may synchronize the transition between cell proliferation and differentiation in ESCs.

  8. Angiogenic CXC chemokine expression during differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells towards the osteoblastic lineage.

    PubMed

    Bischoff, D S; Zhu, J H; Makhijani, N S; Kumar, A; Yamaguchi, D T

    2008-02-15

    The potential role of ELR(+) CXC chemokines in early events in bone repair was studied using human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Inflammation, which occurs in the initial phase of tissue healing in general, is critical to bone repair. Release of cytokines from infiltrating immune cells and injured bone can lead to recruitment of MSCs to the region of repair. CXC chemokines bearing the Glu-Leu-Arg (ELR) motif are also released by inflammatory cells and serve as angiogenic factors stimulating chemotaxis and proliferation of endothelial cells. hMSCs, induced to differentiate with osteogenic medium (OGM) containing ascorbate, beta-glycerophosphate (beta-GP), and dexamethasone (DEX), showed an increase in mRNA and protein secretion of the ELR(+) CXC chemokines CXCL8 and CXCL1. CXCL8 mRNA half-life studies reveal an increase in mRNA stability upon OGM stimulation. Increased expression and secretion is a result of DEX in OGM and is dose-dependent. Inhibition of the glucocorticoid receptor with mifepristone only partially inhibits DEX-stimulated CXCL8 expression indicating both glucocorticoid receptor dependent and independent pathways. Treatment with signal transduction inhibitors demonstrate that this expression is due to activation of the ERK and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways and is mediated through the G(alphai)-coupled receptors. Angiogenesis assays demonstrate that OGM-stimulated conditioned media containing secreted CXCL8 and CXCL1 can induce angiogenesis of human microvascular endothelial cells in an in vitro Matrigel assay.

  9. From weird wonders to stem lineages: the second reclassification of the Burgess Shale fauna.

    PubMed

    Brysse, Keynyn

    2008-09-01

    The Burgess Shale, a set of fossil beds containing the exquisitely preserved remains of marine invertebrate organisms from shortly after the Cambrian explosion, was discovered in 1909, and first brought to widespread popular attention by Stephen Jay Gould in his 1989 bestseller Wonderful life: The Burgess Shale and the nature of history. Gould contrasted the initial interpretation of these fossils, in which they were 'shoehorned' into modern groups, with the first major reexamination begun in the 1960s, when the creatures were perceived as 'weird wonders', possessing unique body plans and unrelated to modern organisms. More recently, a third phase of Burgess Shale studies has arisen, which has not yet been historically examined. This third phase represents a revolutionary new understanding, brought about, I believe, by a change in taxonomic methodology that led to a new perception of the Burgess creatures, and a new way to comprehend their relationships with modern organisms. The adoption of cladistics, and its corollary, the stem group concept, has forged a new understanding of the Burgess Shale ... but has it also changed the questions we are allowed to ask about evolution?

  10. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells differentiate to osteoblast and chondroblast lineages upon incubation with conditioned media from dental pulp stem cell-derived osteoblasts and auricle cartilage chondrocytes.

    PubMed

    Carbone, A; Valente, M; Annacontini, L; Castellani, S; Di Gioia, S; Parisi, D; Rucci, M; Belgiovine, G; Colombo, C; Di Benedetto, A; Mori, G; Lo Muzio, L; Maiorella, A; Portincasa, A; Conese, M

    2016-01-01

    The potential of adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (ADSCs) to differentiate into either osteoblasts or chondrocytes is controversial. In this study we investigated the multicapacity potential of ADSCs to differentiate towards adipocyte, osteoblast, and chondrocyte lineages when cells are seeded onto plastic in comparison with incubation with conditioned media (CM) obtained from differentiated cell types.ADSCs, obtained from liposuctions, were characterized for mesenchymal and hematopoietic markers by cytofluorimetry. Their differentiation capacity towards adipocytes, osteoblasts, and chondrocytes was investigated by histochemistry methods (Oil-Red-O staining, Safranin O and Alizarin Red staining, respectively). Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) and dedifferentiated auricle derived-chondrocytes were differentiated towards osteoblastic and chondrocytic lineages respectively, and the CM obtained from these cultures was used to induce differentiation of ADSCs. ADSCs were positive for mesenchymal markers (CD29, CD105, CD73, CD44), but not for hematopoietic lineage markers (CD14, CD34, CD45) and this behavior was conserved from the isolation up to the fifth passage. While ADSCs were readily differentiated in adipocytes, they were not towards chondrocytes and osteoblastic lineages, a behavior different from that of bone marrow-derived MSCs that differentiated into the three lineages at two weeks post-induction. Only ADSCs treated with CM from cultured chondrocytes and DPSCs, produced glycosaminoglycans and mineralized matrix. These results indicate that ADSCs need growth/morphogenic factor supplementation from the tissue environment to be appropriately differentiated to mesodermic lineages.

  11. Highly Synchronized Expression of Lineage-Specific Genes during In Vitro Hepatic Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Ghosheh, Nidal; Olsson, Björn; Edsbagge, Josefina; Küppers-Munther, Barbara; Van Giezen, Mariska; Asplund, Annika; Andersson, Tommy B.; Björquist, Petter; Carén, Helena; Simonsson, Stina; Sartipy, Peter; Synnergren, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells- (hPSCs-) derived hepatocytes have the potential to replace many hepatic models in drug discovery and provide a cell source for regenerative medicine applications. However, the generation of fully functional hPSC-derived hepatocytes is still a challenge. Towards gaining better understanding of the differentiation and maturation process, we employed a standardized protocol to differentiate six hPSC lines into hepatocytes and investigated the synchronicity of the hPSC lines by applying RT-qPCR to assess the expression of lineage-specific genes (OCT4, NANOG, T, SOX17, CXCR4, CER1, HHEX, TBX3, PROX1, HNF6, AFP, HNF4a, KRT18, ALB, AAT, and CYP3A4) which serve as markers for different stages during liver development. The data was evaluated using correlation and clustering analysis, demonstrating that the expression of these markers is highly synchronized and correlated well across all cell lines. The analysis also revealed a distribution of the markers in groups reflecting the developmental stages of hepatocytes. Functional analysis of the differentiated cells further confirmed their hepatic phenotype. Taken together, these results demonstrate, on the molecular level, the highly synchronized differentiation pattern across multiple hPSC lines. Moreover, this study provides additional understanding for future efforts to improve the functionality of hPSC-derived hepatocytes and thereby increase the value of related models. PMID:26949401

  12. Concomitant inhibition of prolyl hydroxylases and ROCK initiates differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and PC12 towards the neuronal lineage.

    PubMed

    Pacary, Emilie; Petit, Edwige; Bernaudin, Myriam

    2008-12-12

    This study demonstrates that a prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor, FG-0041, is able, in combination with the ROCK inhibitor, Y-27632, to initiate differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into neuron-like cells. FG-0041/Y-27632 co-treatment provokes morphological changes into neuron-like cells, increases neuronal marker expression and provokes modifications of cell cycle-related gene expression consistent with a cell cycle arrest of MSC, three events showing the engagement of MSC towards the neuronal lineage. Moreover, as we observed in our previous studies with cobalt chloride and desferroxamine, the activation of HIF-1 by this prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor is potentiated by Y-27632 which could explain at least in part the effect of this co-treatment on MSC neuronal differentiation. In addition, we show that this co-treatment enhances neurite outgrowth and tyrosine hydroxylase expression in PC12 cells. Altogether, these results evidence that concomitant inhibition of prolyl hydroxylases and ROCK represents a relevant protocol to initiate neuronal differentiation.

  13. Evidence for a Critical Role of Catecholamines for Cardiomyocyte Lineage Commitment in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lehmann, Martin; Nguemo, Filomain; Wagh, Vilas; Pfannkuche, Kurt; Hescheler, Jürgen; Reppel, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Catecholamine release is known to modulate cardiac output by increasing heart rate. Although much is known about catecholamine function and regulation in adults, little is known about the presence and role of catecholamines during heart development. The present study aimed therefore to evaluate the effects of different catecholamines on early heart development in an in vitro setting using embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Effects of catecholamine depletion induced by reserpine were examined in murine ES cells (line D3, αPIG44) during differentiation. Cardiac differentiation was assessed by immunocytochemistry, qRT-PCR, quantification of beating clusters, flow cytometry and pharmacological approaches. Proliferation was analyzed by EB cross-section measurements, while functionality of cardiomyocytes was studied by extracellular field potential (FP) measurements using microelectrode arrays (MEAs). To further differentiate between substance-specific effects of reserpine and catecholamine action via α- and β-receptors we proved the involvement of adrenergic receptors by application of unspecific α- and β-receptor antagonists. Reserpine treatment led to remarkable down-regulation of cardiac-specific genes, proteins and mesodermal marker genes. In more detail, the average ratio of ∼40% spontaneously beating control clusters was significantly reduced by 100%, 91.1% and 20.0% on days 10, 12, and 14, respectively. Flow cytometry revealed a significant reduction (by 71.6%, n = 11) of eGFP positive CMs after reserpine treatment. By contrast, reserpine did not reduce EB growth while number of neuronal cells in reserpine-treated EBs was significantly increased. MEA measurements of reserpine-treated EBs showed lower FP frequencies and weak responsiveness to adrenergic and muscarinic stimulation. Interestingly we found that developmental inhibition after α- and β-adrenergic blocker application mimicked developmental changes with reserpine. Using several

  14. Efficient production of trophoblast lineage cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Junya; Fukuda, Atsushi; Taira, Hayato; Kawasaki, Tomoyuki; Ito, Hiroe; Kuji, Naoaki; Isaka, Keiichi; Umezawa, Akihiro; Akutsu, Hidenori

    2017-03-13

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) are potentially useful in both clinical applications and basic biological research. hiPSCs can differentiate into extra-embryonic cells in the presence of BMP4. However, the differentiation potential of hiPSCs can be affected by culture conditions or genetic variation. In this study, we investigated the effect of various BMP4 concentrations on the expression states of trophoblast markers and the optimal conditions for trophoblast induction. A high-fidelity gene expression assay using hiPSC lines showed that the expression levels of various trophoblast marker genes, such as KRT7, GCM1, CGB, and HLA-G, were upregulated by BMP4 in a dose-dependent manner in all types of hiPSCs used in this study. Treatment with high doses of BMP4 for prolonged periods increased the ratio of cells with trophoblast markers irrespective of the presence of bFGF. We found that the expression states of major pluripotency- and differentiation-related protein-coding genes in BMP4-treated cells depended on culture conditions rather than donor cell types. However, miRNA expression states were affected by donor cell types rather than BMP4 dose. Furthermore, the effect of the presence of bFGF on differentiation potential of KRT7-positive cells differed among iPSC types. Mechanistically, chromatin states around KRT7 promoter regions were comparable among the iPSC types used in this study, indicating that hiPSC chromatin state at these regions is not a parameter for cytotrophoblast differentiation potential. In conclusion, the optimal conditions for trophoblast differentiation from hiPSCs differ according to parental cell line.Laboratory Investigation advance online publication, 13 March 2017; doi:10.1038/labinvest.2016.159.

  15. Rise of dinosaurs reveals major body-size transitions are driven by passive processes of trait evolution

    PubMed Central

    Sookias, Roland B.; Butler, Richard J.; Benson, Roger B. J.

    2012-01-01

    A major macroevolutionary question concerns how long-term patterns of body-size evolution are underpinned by smaller scale processes along lineages. One outstanding long-term transition is the replacement of basal therapsids (stem-group mammals) by archosauromorphs, including dinosaurs, as the dominant large-bodied terrestrial fauna during the Triassic (approx. 252–201 million years ago). This landmark event preceded more than 150 million years of archosauromorph dominance. We analyse a new body-size dataset of more than 400 therapsid and archosauromorph species spanning the Late Permian–Middle Jurassic. Maximum-likelihood analyses indicate that Cope's rule (an active within-lineage trend of body-size increase) is extremely rare, despite conspicuous patterns of body-size turnover, and contrary to proposals that Cope's rule is central to vertebrate evolution. Instead, passive processes predominate in taxonomically and ecomorphologically more inclusive clades, with stasis common in less inclusive clades. Body-size limits are clade-dependent, suggesting intrinsic, biological factors are more important than the external environment. This clade-dependence is exemplified by maximum size of Middle–early Late Triassic archosauromorph predators exceeding that of contemporary herbivores, breaking a widely-accepted ‘rule’ that herbivore maximum size greatly exceeds carnivore maximum size. Archosauromorph and dinosaur dominance occurred via opportunistic replacement of therapsids following extinction, but were facilitated by higher archosauromorph growth rates. PMID:22298850

  16. In situ lineage tracking of human prostatic epithelial stem cell fate reveals a common clonal origin for basal and luminal cells.

    PubMed

    Blackwood, John K; Williamson, Stuart C; Greaves, Laura C; Wilson, Laura; Rigas, Anastasia C; Sandher, Raveen; Pickard, Robert S; Robson, Craig N; Turnbull, Douglass M; Taylor, Robert W; Heer, Rakesh

    2011-10-01

    Stem cells accumulate mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations resulting in an observable respiratory chain defect in their progeny, allowing the mapping of stem cell fate. There is considerable uncertainty in prostate epithelial biology where both basal and luminal stem cells have been described, and in this study the clonal relationships within the human prostate epithelial cell layers were explored by tracing stem cell fate. Fresh-frozen and formalin-fixed histologically-benign prostate samples from 35 patients were studied using sequential cytochrome c oxidase (COX)/succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) enzyme histochemistry and COX subunit I immunofluorescence to identify areas of respiratory chain deficiency; mtDNA mutations were identified by whole mitochondrial genome sequencing of laser-captured areas. We demonstrated that cells with respiratory chain defects due to somatic mtDNA point mutations were present in prostate epithelia and clonally expand in acini. Lineage tracing revealed distinct patterning of stem cell fate with mtDNA mutations spreading throughout the whole acinus or, more commonly, present as mosaic acinar defects. This suggests that individual acini are typically generated from multiple stem cells, and the presence of whole COX-deficient acini suggests that a single stem cell can also generate an entire branching acinar subunit of the gland. Significantly, a common clonal origin for basal, luminal and neuroendocrine cells is demonstrated, helping to resolve a key area of debate in human prostate stem cell biology.

  17. Multipotent Caudal Neural Progenitors Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells That Give Rise to Lineages of the Central and Peripheral Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Hasegawa, Kouichi; Menheniott, Trevelyan; Rollo, Ben; Zhang, Dongcheng; Hough, Shelley; Alshawaf, Abdullah; Febbraro, Fabia; Ighaniyan, Samiramis; Leung, Jessie; Elliott, David A.; Newgreen, Donald F.; Pera, Martin F.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The caudal neural plate is a distinct region of the embryo that gives rise to major progenitor lineages of the developing central and peripheral nervous system, including neural crest and floor plate cells. We show that dual inhibition of the glycogen synthase kinase 3β and activin/nodal pathways by small molecules differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) directly into a preneuroepithelial progenitor population we named “caudal neural progenitors” (CNPs). CNPs coexpress caudal neural plate and mesoderm markers, and, share high similarities to embryonic caudal neural plate cells in their lineage differentiation potential. Exposure of CNPs to BMP2/4, sonic hedgehog, or FGF2 signaling efficiently directs their fate to neural crest/roof plate cells, floor plate cells, and caudally specified neuroepithelial cells, respectively. Neural crest derived from CNPs differentiated to neural crest derivatives and demonstrated extensive migratory properties in vivo. Importantly, we also determined the key extrinsic factors specifying CNPs from human embryonic stem cell include FGF8, canonical WNT, and IGF1. Our studies are the first to identify a multipotent neural progenitor derived from hPSCs, that is the precursor for major neural lineages of the embryonic caudal neural tube. Stem Cells 2015;33:1759–1770 PMID:25753817

  18. Birds have paedomorphic dinosaur skulls.

    PubMed

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Racimo, Fernando; Bever, Gabe S; Rowe, Timothy B; Norell, Mark A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2012-07-12

    The interplay of evolution and development has been at the heart of evolutionary theory for more than a century. Heterochrony—change in the timing or rate of developmental events—has been implicated in the evolution of major vertebrate lineages such as mammals, including humans. Birds are the most speciose land vertebrates, with more than 10,000 living species representing a bewildering array of ecologies. Their anatomy is radically different from that of other vertebrates. The unique bird skull houses two highly specialized systems: the sophisticated visual and neuromuscular coordination system allows flight coordination and exploitation of diverse visual landscapes, and the astonishing variations of the beak enable a wide range of avian lifestyles. Here we use a geometric morphometric approach integrating developmental, neontological and palaeontological data to show that the heterochronic process of paedomorphosis, by which descendants resemble the juveniles of their ancestors, is responsible for several major evolutionary transitions in the origin of birds. We analysed the variability of a series of landmarks on all known theropod dinosaur skull ontogenies as well as outgroups and birds. The first dimension of variability captured ontogeny, indicating a conserved ontogenetic trajectory. The second dimension accounted for phylogenetic change towards more bird-like dinosaurs. Basally branching eumaniraptorans and avialans clustered with embryos of other archosaurs, indicating paedomorphosis. Our results reveal at least four paedomorphic episodes in the history of birds combined with localized peramorphosis (development beyond the adult state of ancestors) in the beak. Paedomorphic enlargement of the eyes and associated brain regions parallels the enlargement of the nasal cavity and olfactory brain in mammals. This study can be a model for investigations of heterochrony in evolutionary transitions, illuminating the origin of adaptive features and inspiring

  19. Tyrosine kinase receptor c-ros-oncogene 1 mediates TWIST-1 regulation of human mesenchymal stem cell lineage commitment.

    PubMed

    Camp, Esther; Anderson, Peter J; Zannettino, Andrew C W; Gronthos, Stan

    2017-01-01

    The TWIST-1 gene encodes a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor important in mediating skeletal and head mesodermal tissue development. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (BMSC), express high levels of TWIST-1, which is down regulated during ex vivo expansion. Cultured BMSC over-expressing TWIST-1 display decreased capacity for osteogenic differentiation and an enhanced capacity to undergo adipogenesis, suggesting that TWIST-1 is a mediator of lineage commitment. However, little is known regarding the mechanism(s) by which TWIST-1 mediates cell fate determination. In this study, microarray analysis was used to identify a novel downstream TWIST-1 target, tyrosine kinase receptor c-ros-oncogene 1 (C-ROS-1), which was down regulated in TWIST-1 over-expressing BMSC. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that TWIST-1 directly bound to two E-box binding sites on the proximal C-ROS-1 promoter. Knock-down of C-ROS-1 in human BMSC and cranial bone cells resulted in a decreased capacity for osteogenic differentiation in vitro. Conversely, suppression of C-ROS-1 in BMSC resulted in an enhanced capacity to undergo adipogenesis. Furthermore, reduced C-ROS-1 levels led to activation of different components of the PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 signalling pathway during osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. Collectively, these data suggest that C-ROS-1 is involved in BMSC fate switching between osteogenesis and adipogenesis, mediated via PI3K/AKT/mTORC1 signalling.

  20. Continuing differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells and induced chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages in electrospun PLGA nanofiber scaffold

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Xuejun; Hussain, Mohammad; Mao, Jeremy J.

    2010-01-01

    Nanofibers have recently gained substantial interest for potential applications in tissue engineering. The objective of this study was to determine whether electrospun nanofibers accommodate the viability, growth, and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) as well as their osteogenic (hMSC-Ob) and chondrogenic (hMSC-Ch) derivatives. Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) beads with a PLA:PGA ratio of 85:15 were electrospun into non-woven fibers with an average diameter of 760±210 nm. The average Young’s modulus of electrospun PLGA nanofibers was 42±26 kPa, per nanoindentation with atomic force microscopy (AFM). Human MSCs were seeded 1–4 weeks at a density of 2×106 cells/mL in PLGA nanofiber sheets. After 2 week culture on PLGA nanofiber scaffold, hMSCs remained as precursors upon immunoblotting with hKL12 antibody. SEM taken up to 7 days after cell seeding revealed that hMSCs, hMSC-Ob and hMSC-Ch apparently attached to PLGA nanofibers. The overwhelming majority of hMSCs was viable and proliferating in PLGA nanofiber scaffolds up to the tested 14 days, as assayed live/dead tests, DNA assay and BrdU. In a separate experiment, hMSCs seeded in PLGA nanofiber scaffolds were differentiated into chodrogenic and osteogenic cells. Histological assays revealed that hMSCs continuously differentiated into chondrogenic cells and osteogenic cells after 2 week incubation in PLGA nanofibers. Taken together, these data represent an original investigation of continuous differentiation of hMSCs into chondrogenic and osteogenic cells in PLGA nanofiber scaffold. Consistent with previous work, these findings also suggest that nanofibers may serve as accommodative milieu for not only hMSCs, but also as a 3D carrier vehicle for lineage specific cells. PMID:17010425

  1. Body composition changes and inhibition of fat development in vivo implicates androgen in regulation of stem cell lineage allocation

    PubMed Central

    Semirale, Anthony A.; Zhang, Xiaowei; Wiren, Kristine M.

    2011-01-01

    Androgens regulate body composition in youth and declining testosterone that occurs with aging is associated with muscle wasting, increased fat mass and osteopenia. Transgenic mice with targeted androgen receptor (AR) overexpression in mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were generated to explore the role of androgen signaling in the regulation of body composition. Transgenic males, but not females, were shorter and have reduced body weight and visceral fat accumulation. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) revealed significant reductions in fat mass with a reciprocal increase in lean mass, yet no difference in food consumption or locomotor activity was observed. Adipose tissue weight was normal in brown fat but reduced in both gonadal and perirenal depots, and reduced hyperplasia was observed with smaller adipocyte size in visceral and subcutaneous white adipose tissue. Although serum leptin, adiponectin, triglyceride, and insulin levels were no different between the genotypes, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing showed improved glucose clearance in transgenic males. High levels of the AR transgene are detected in MSCs but not in mature fat tissue. Reduced fibroblast colony forming units indicate fewer progenitor cells resident in the marrow in vivo. Precocious expression of GLUT4, PPARγ and C/EBPα was observed in proliferating precursor cultures from transgenic mice compared to controls. In more mature cultures, there was little difference between the genotypes. We propose a mechanism where enhanced androgen sensitivity can alter lineage commitment in vivo to reduce progenitor number and fat development, while increasing the expression of key factors to promote smaller adipocytes with improved glucose clearance. PMID:21381083

  2. The Beginning of the Age of Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padian, Kevin

    1988-09-01

    Thirty-one specialists in the paleontology of the Age of Dinosaurs address a variety of issues: animals that preceded dinosaurs, the origin and early history of dinosaurs, and the relationship of the ascent of dinosaurs to new evolutionary innovations and to global, climatic, ecological, and even chance factors. This study is the first to examine how the period of dinosaur domination began.

  3. Dinosaur Eggs and Babies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, Kenneth; Hirsch, Karl F.; Horner, John R.

    1996-01-01

    In the last couple of decades the study of dinosaur eggs and babies has proved to be one of the most exciting and profitable areas of dinosaur research. This is the first book solely devoted to this topic and reviews, in scientific detail, our present state of knowledge about this exciting area of palaeontology. Chapters in the book discuss all aspects of the science including the occurrence of eggs, nests and baby skeletons, descriptive osteology of juvenile skeletons, comparative histology of juvenile bone, analyses of eggs and egg shells, palaeoenvironments of nesting sites, nesting behaviour and developmental growth of baby dinosaurs. The volume will be an invaluable addition to the book collections of vertebrate palaeontologists and their graduate students.

  4. On the probability of dinosaur fleas.

    PubMed

    Dittmar, Katharina; Zhu, Qiyun; Hastriter, Michael W; Whiting, Michael F

    2016-01-11

    Recently, a set of publications described flea fossils from Jurassic and Early Cretaceous geological strata in northeastern China, which were suggested to have parasitized feathered dinosaurs, pterosaurs, and early birds or mammals. In support of these fossils being fleas, a recent publication in BMC Evolutionary Biology described the extended abdomen of a female fossil specimen as due to blood feeding.We here comment on these findings, and conclude that the current interpretation of the evolutionary trajectory and ecology of these putative dinosaur fleas is based on appeal to probability, rather than evidence. Hence, their taxonomic positioning as fleas, or stem fleas, as well as their ecological classification as ectoparasites and blood feeders is not supported by currently available data.

  5. A Child Centered Approach to Dinosaurs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strader, William H.; Rinker, Catherine A.

    1989-01-01

    Describes a curriculum for teaching young children about dinosaurs. Activity topics included Diplodocus eggs, sorting dinosaurs, creating terrariums, and extinction. Describes the incorporation of dinosaur activities into other subject areas and resource materials. (RJC)

  6. Multipotent caudal neural progenitors derived from human pluripotent stem cells that give rise to lineages of the central and peripheral nervous system.

    PubMed

    Denham, Mark; Hasegawa, Kouichi; Menheniott, Trevelyan; Rollo, Ben; Zhang, Dongcheng; Hough, Shelley; Alshawaf, Abdullah; Febbraro, Fabia; Ighaniyan, Samiramis; Leung, Jessie; Elliott, David A; Newgreen, Donald F; Pera, Martin F; Dottori, Mirella

    2015-06-01

    The caudal neural plate is a distinct region of the embryo that gives rise to major progenitor lineages of the developing central and peripheral nervous system, including neural crest and floor plate cells. We show that dual inhibition of the glycogen synthase kinase 3β and activin/nodal pathways by small molecules differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) directly into a preneuroepithelial progenitor population we named "caudal neural progenitors" (CNPs). CNPs coexpress caudal neural plate and mesoderm markers, and, share high similarities to embryonic caudal neural plate cells in their lineage differentiation potential. Exposure of CNPs to BMP2/4, sonic hedgehog, or FGF2 signaling efficiently directs their fate to neural crest/roof plate cells, floor plate cells, and caudally specified neuroepithelial cells, respectively. Neural crest derived from CNPs differentiated to neural crest derivatives and demonstrated extensive migratory properties in vivo. Importantly, we also determined the key extrinsic factors specifying CNPs from human embryonic stem cell include FGF8, canonical WNT, and IGF1. Our studies are the first to identify a multipotent neural progenitor derived from hPSCs, that is the precursor for major neural lineages of the embryonic caudal neural tube.

  7. Instruction of haematopoietic lineage choices, evolution of transcriptional landscapes and cancer stem cell hierarchies derived from an AML1-ETO mouse model

    PubMed Central

    Cabezas-Wallscheid, Nina; Eichwald, Victoria; de Graaf, Jos; Löwer, Martin; Lehr, Hans-Anton; Kreft, Andreas; Eshkind, Leonid; Hildebrandt, Andreas; Abassi, Yasmin; Heck, Rosario; Dehof, Anna Katharina; Ohngemach, Svetlana; Sprengel, Rolf; Wörtge, Simone; Schmitt, Steffen; Lotz, Johannes; Meyer, Claudius; Kindler, Thomas; Zhang, Dong-Er; Kaina, Bernd; Castle, John C; Trumpp, Andreas; Sahin, Ugur; Bockamp, Ernesto

    2013-01-01

    The t(8;21) chromosomal translocation activates aberrant expression of the AML1-ETO (AE) fusion protein and is commonly associated with core binding factor acute myeloid leukaemia (CBF AML). Combining a conditional mouse model that closely resembles the slow evolution and the mosaic AE expression pattern of human t(8;21) CBF AML with global transcriptome sequencing, we find that disease progression was characterized by two principal pathogenic mechanisms. Initially, AE expression modified the lineage potential of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), resulting in the selective expansion of the myeloid compartment at the expense of normal erythro- and lymphopoiesis. This lineage skewing was followed by a second substantial rewiring of transcriptional networks occurring in the trajectory to manifest leukaemia. We also find that both HSC and lineage-restricted granulocyte macrophage progenitors (GMPs) acquired leukaemic stem cell (LSC) potential being capable of initiating and maintaining the disease. Finally, our data demonstrate that long-term expression of AE induces an indolent myeloproliferative disease (MPD)-like myeloid leukaemia phenotype with complete penetrance and that acute inactivation of AE function is a potential novel therapeutic option. PMID:24124051

  8. Ancestral trees for modeling stem cell lineages genetically rather than functionally: understanding mutation accumulation and distinguishing the restrictive cancer stem cell propagation theory and the unrestricted cell propagation theory of human tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Darryl K; Kern, Scott E

    2008-01-01

    Cancer stem cells either could be rare or common in tumors, constituting the major distinction between the two fundamentally opposed theoretical models of tumor progression: A newer and restrictive stem cell propagation model, in which the stem cells are a small and special minority of the tumor cells, and a standard older model, an unrestricted cell proliferation theory, in which many or most tumor cells are capable of indefinite generations of cell division. Stem cells of tumors are difficult to quantitate using functional assays, and the validity of the most common assays is seriously questioned. Nonetheless, stem cells are an essential component of any tumorigenesis model. Alternative approaches to studying tumor stem cells should be explored. Cell populations can be conceived of as having a genealogy, a relationship of cells to their ancestral lineage, from the zygote to the adult cells or neoplasms. Models using ancestral trees thus offer an anatomic and genetic means to "observe" stem cells independent of artificial conditions. Ancestral trees broaden our attention backward along a lineage, to the zygote stage, and thereby add insight into how the mutations of tumors accumulate. It is possible that a large fraction of mutations in a tumor originate from normal, endogenous, replication errors (nearly all being passenger mutations) occurring prior to the emergence of the first transformed cell. Trees can be constructed from experimental measurements - molecular clocks - of real human tissues and tumors. Detailed analysis of single-cell methylation patterns, heritable yet slightly plastic, now can provide this information in the necessary depth. Trees based on observations of molecular clocks may help us to distinguish between competing theories regarding the proliferative properties among cells of actual human tumors, to observe subtle and difficult phenomena such as the extinction of stem lineages, and to address the origins and rates of mutations in various

  9. Kindergartners Love Dinosaurs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stollon, Marcy

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author relates how she uses an art lesson that integrates art, language arts, and science in an enjoyable, creative project about dinosaurs in her kindergarten class. She relates how the children enjoy being illustrators and becoming familiar with well-known children's illustrators. She also relates that she starts her classes…

  10. Danger--Dinosaurs Ahead.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baldridge, J. Victor

    1981-01-01

    In the 1960s crisis, higher education is seen as having made some decisions that outlasted their usefulness: easy tenure, Ph.D. overproduction, overbuilt plants. In meeting today's crisis, there is the threat of creating new "policy dinosaurs," such as overcentralization, erosion of faculty quality, debasement of educational standards. (Author/MLW)

  11. Glycoprotein Ibalpha promoter drives megakaryocytic lineage-restricted expression after hematopoietic stem cell transduction using a self-inactivating lentiviral vector.

    PubMed

    Lavenu-Bombled, Cécile; Izac, Brigitte; Legrand, Faézeh; Cambot, Marie; Vigier, Agathe; Massé, Jean-Marc; Dubart-Kupperschmitt, Anne

    2007-06-01

    Megakaryocytic (MK) lineage is an attractive target for cell/gene therapy approaches, aiming at correcting platelet protein deficiencies. However, MK cells are short-lived cells, and their permanent modification requires modification of hematopoietic stem cells with an integrative vector such as a lentiviral vector. Glycoprotein (Gp) IIb promoter, the most studied among the MK regulatory sequences, is also active in stem cells. To strictly limit transgene expression to the MK lineage after transduction of human CD34(+) hematopoietic cells with a lentiviral vector, we looked for a promoter activated later during MK differentiation. Human cord blood, bone marrow, and peripheral-blood mobilized CD34(+) cells were transduced with a human immunodeficiency virus-derived self-inactivating lentiviral vector encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the transcriptional control of GpIbalpha, GpIIb, or EF1alpha gene regulatory sequences. Both GpIbalpha and GpIIb promoters restricted GFP expression (analyzed by flow cytometry and immunoelectron microscopy) in MK cells among the maturing progeny of transduced cells. However, only the GpIbalpha promoter was strictly MK-specific, whereas GpIIb promoter was leaky in immature progenitor cells not yet engaged in MK cell lineage differentiation. We thus demonstrate the pertinence of using a 328-base-pair fragment of the human GpIbalpha gene regulatory sequence, in the context of a lentiviral vector, to tightly restrict transgene expression to the MK lineage after transduction of human CD34(+) hematopoietic cells. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

  12. Evolution of dinosaur epidermal structures.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Paul M; Evans, David C; Campione, Nicolás E

    2015-06-01

    Spectacularly preserved non-avian dinosaurs with integumentary filaments/feathers have revolutionized dinosaur studies and fostered the suggestion that the dinosaur common ancestor possessed complex integumentary structures homologous to feathers. This hypothesis has major implications for interpreting dinosaur biology, but has not been tested rigorously. Using a comprehensive database of dinosaur skin traces, we apply maximum-likelihood methods to reconstruct the phylogenetic distribution of epidermal structures and interpret their evolutionary history. Most of these analyses find no compelling evidence for the appearance of protofeathers in the dinosaur common ancestor and scales are usually recovered as the plesiomorphic state, but results are sensitive to the outgroup condition in pterosaurs. Rare occurrences of ornithischian filamentous integument might represent independent acquisitions of novel epidermal structures that are not homologous with theropod feathers.

  13. Evolution of dinosaur epidermal structures

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Paul M.; Evans, David C.; Campione, Nicolás E.

    2015-01-01

    Spectacularly preserved non-avian dinosaurs with integumentary filaments/feathers have revolutionized dinosaur studies and fostered the suggestion that the dinosaur common ancestor possessed complex integumentary structures homologous to feathers. This hypothesis has major implications for interpreting dinosaur biology, but has not been tested rigorously. Using a comprehensive database of dinosaur skin traces, we apply maximum-likelihood methods to reconstruct the phylogenetic distribution of epidermal structures and interpret their evolutionary history. Most of these analyses find no compelling evidence for the appearance of protofeathers in the dinosaur common ancestor and scales are usually recovered as the plesiomorphic state, but results are sensitive to the outgroup condition in pterosaurs. Rare occurrences of ornithischian filamentous integument might represent independent acquisitions of novel epidermal structures that are not homologous with theropod feathers. PMID:26041865

  14. Single Cell Analysis Reveals Concomitant Transcription of Pluripotent and Lineage Markers During the Early Steps of Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Lanctôt, Christian

    2015-10-01

    The differentiation of embryonic stem cells is associated with extensive changes in gene expression. It is not yet clear whether these changes are the result of binary switch-like mechanisms or that of continuous and progressive variation. Here, I have used immunostaining and single molecule RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to assess changes in the expression of the well-known pluripotency-associated gene Pou5f1 (also known as Oct4) and early differentiation markers Sox1 and T-brachyury in single cells during the early steps of differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. I found extensive overlap between the expression of Pou5f1/Sox1 or Pou5f1/T-brachyury shortly after the initiation of differentiation towards either the neuronal or the mesendodermal lineage, but no evidence of correlation between their respective expression levels. Quantitative analysis of transcriptional output at the sites of nascent transcription revealed that Pou5f1 and Sox1 were transcribed in pulses and that embryonic stem cell differentiation was accompanied by changes in pulsing frequencies. The progressive induction of Sox1 was further associated with an increase in the average size of individual transcriptional bursts. Surprisingly, single cells that actively and simultaneously transcribe both the pluripotency- and the lineage-associated genes could easily be found in the differentiating population. The results presented here show for the first time that lineage priming can occur in cells that are actively transcribing a pluripotent marker. Furthermore, they suggest that this process is associated with changes in transcriptional dynamics.

  15. Recruitment of Mediator Complex by Cell Type and Stage-Specific Factors Required for Tissue-Specific TAF Dependent Gene Activation in an Adult Stem Cell Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Chenggang; Fuller, Margaret T.

    2015-01-01

    Onset of terminal differentiation in adult stem cell lineages is commonly marked by robust activation of new transcriptional programs required to make the appropriate differentiated cell type(s). In the Drosophila male germ line stem cell lineage, the switch from proliferating spermatogonia to spermatocyte is accompanied by one of the most dramatic transcriptional changes in the fly, as over 1000 new transcripts turn on in preparation for meiosis and spermatid differentiation. Here we show that function of the coactivator complex Mediator is required for activation of hundreds of new transcripts in the spermatocyte program. Mediator appears to act in a sequential hierarchy, with the testis activating Complex (tMAC), a cell type specific form of the Mip/dREAM general repressor, required to recruit Mediator subunits to the chromatin, and Mediator function required to recruit the testis TAFs (tTAFs), spermatocyte specific homologs of subunits of TFIID. Mediator, tMAC and the tTAFs co-regulate expression of a major set of spermatid differentiation genes. The Mediator subunit Med22 binds the tMAC component Topi when the two are coexpressed in S2 cells, suggesting direct recruitment. Loss of Med22 function in spermatocytes causes meiosis I maturation arrest male infertility, similar to loss of function of the tMAC subunits or the tTAFs. Our results illuminate how cell type specific versions of the Mip/dREAM complex and the general transcription machinery cooperate to drive selective gene activation during differentiation in stem cell lineages. PMID:26624996

  16. The first Brazilian Dinosaur Symposium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    dos Anjos Candeiro, Carlos Roberto; da Silva Marinho, Thiago

    2015-08-01

    The 1st Brazilian Dinosaur Symposium gathered paleontologists, geologists, and paleoartists in the city of Ituiutaba, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, from April 21st to 24th, 2013. The Dinosaur Symposium in the Pontal Campus of the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Minas Gerais State, Brazil provided an opportunity to share many new results of dinosaur research being conducted around the world. The symposium coincided with a new dawn of scientific advances in dinosaur paleontology further expanding its importance, interest and credibility worldwide.

  17. Locomotion speeds of various dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, Mary; Lee, Scott

    2009-03-01

    Most students have a passing curiosity about dinosaurs. Piquing this interest is an excellent tool to engage students. A methodology for estimating the locomotion speed of an animal based upon their footprint tracks is developed. Using this technique, an analysis of the locomotion speeds of various dinosaurs is performed. The tracks studied include 28 theropods (meat-eating dinosaurs), 23 sauropods (the ``long-necked'' herbivores), 28 non-armored, non-sauropod herbivores and 10 armored, non-sauropod herbivores. The theropods show the fastest locomotion speed as well as the greatest variety of speeds while the armored dinosaurs are the slowest.

  18. Regional and Stage-Specific Effects of Prospectively Purified Vascular Cells on the Adult V-SVZ Neural Stem Cell Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Crouch, Elizabeth E.; Liu, Chang; Silva-Vargas, Violeta

    2015-01-01

    Adult neural stem cells reside in specialized niches. In the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ), quiescent neural stem cells (qNSCs) become activated (aNSCs), and generate transit amplifying cells (TACs), which give rise to neuroblasts that migrate to the olfactory bulb. The vasculature is an important component of the adult neural stem cell niche, but whether vascular cells in neurogenic areas are intrinsically different from those elsewhere in the brain is unknown. Moreover, the contribution of pericytes to the neural stem cell niche has not been defined. Here, we describe a rapid FACS purification strategy to simultaneously isolate primary endothelial cells and pericytes from brain microregions of nontransgenic mice using CD31 and CD13 as surface markers. We compared the effect of purified vascular cells from a neurogenic (V-SVZ) and non-neurogenic brain region (cortex) on the V-SVZ stem cell lineage in vitro. Endothelial and pericyte diffusible signals from both regions differentially promote the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of qNSCs, aNSCs, and TACs. Unexpectedly, diffusible cortical signals had the most potent effects on V-SVZ proliferation and neurogenesis, highlighting the intrinsic capacity of non-neurogenic vasculature to support stem cell behavior. Finally, we identify PlGF-2 as an endothelial-derived mitogen that promotes V-SVZ cell proliferation. This purification strategy provides a platform to define the functional and molecular contribution of vascular cells to stem cell niches and other brain regions under different physiological and pathological states. PMID:25788671

  19. Did dinosaurs invent flowers? Dinosaur-angiosperm coevolution revisited.

    PubMed

    Barrett, P M; Willis, K J

    2001-08-01

    Angiosperms first appeared in northern Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous, approximately 135 million years ago. Several authors have hypothesised that the origin of angiosperms, and the tempo and pattern of their subsequent radiation, was mediated by changes in the browsing behaviour of large herbivorous dinosaurs (sauropods and ornithischians). Moreover, the taxonomic and ecological radiation of angiosperms has been associated with the evolution of complex jaw mechanisms among ornithischian dinosaurs. Here, we review critically the evidence for dinosaur-angiosperm interactions during the Cretaceous Period, providing explicit spatiotemporal comparisons between evolutionary and palaeoecological events in both the dinosaur and angiosperm fossil records and an assessment of the direct and indirect evidence for dinosaur diets. We conclude that there are no strong spatiotemporal correlations in support of the hypothesis that dinosaurs were causative agents in the origin of angiosperms; however, dinosaur-angiosperm interactions in the Late Cretaceous may have resulted in some coevolutionary interactions, although direct evidence of such interactions is scanty at present. It is likely that other animal groups (insects, arboreal mammals) had a greater impact on angiosperm diversity during the Cretaceous than herbivorous dinosaurs. Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 might have played a critical role in the initial stages of the angiosperm radiation.

  20. Biomechanics of Running Indicates Endothermy in Bipedal Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Pontzer, Herman; Allen, Vivian; Hutchinson, John R.

    2009-01-01

    Background One of the great unresolved controversies in paleobiology is whether extinct dinosaurs were endothermic, ectothermic, or some combination thereof, and when endothermy first evolved in the lineage leading to birds. Although it is well established that high, sustained growth rates and, presumably, high activity levels are ancestral for dinosaurs and pterosaurs (clade Ornithodira), other independent lines of evidence for high metabolic rates, locomotor costs, or endothermy are needed. For example, some studies have suggested that, because large dinosaurs may have been homeothermic due to their size alone and could have had heat loss problems, ectothermy would be a more plausible metabolic strategy for such animals. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we describe two new biomechanical approaches for reconstructing the metabolic rate of 14 extinct bipedal dinosauriforms during walking and running. These methods, well validated for extant animals, indicate that during walking and slow running the metabolic rate of at least the larger extinct dinosaurs exceeded the maximum aerobic capabilities of modern ectotherms, falling instead within the range of modern birds and mammals. Estimated metabolic rates for smaller dinosaurs are more ambiguous, but generally approach or exceed the ectotherm boundary. Conclusions/Significance Our results support the hypothesis that endothermy was widespread in at least larger non-avian dinosaurs. It was plausibly ancestral for all dinosauriforms (perhaps Ornithodira), but this is perhaps more strongly indicated by high growth rates than by locomotor costs. The polarity of the evolution of endothermy indicates that rapid growth, insulation, erect postures, and perhaps aerobic power predated advanced “avian” lung structure and high locomotor costs. PMID:19911059

  1. G-CSF-mobilized Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Replenish Neural Lineages in Alzheimer's Disease Mice via CXCR4/SDF-1 Chemotaxis.

    PubMed

    Wu, Cheng-Chun; Wang, I-Fang; Chiang, Po-Min; Wang, Liang-Chao; Shen, Che-Kun James; Tsai, Kuen-Jer

    2016-10-05

    Recent studies reported granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) treatment can improve the cognitive function of Alzheimer's disease (AD) mice, and the mobilized hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are proposed to be involved in this recovery effect. However, the exact role of mobilized HSC/BM-MSC in G-CSF-based therapeutic effects is still unknown. Here, we report that C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4)/stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) chemotaxis was a key mediator in G-CSF-based therapeutic effects, which was involved in the recruitment of repair-competent cells. Furthermore, we found both mobilized HSCs and BM-MSCs were able to infiltrate into the brain, but only BM-MSCs replenished the neural lineage cells and contributed to neurogenesis in the brains of AD mice. Together, our data show that mobilized BM-MSCs are involved in the replenishment of neural lineages following G-CSF treatment via CXCR4/SDF-1 chemotaxis and further support the potential use of BM-MSCs for further autogenically therapeutic applications.

  2. A misexpression screen reveals effects of bag-of-marbles and TGF beta class signaling on the Drosophila male germ-line stem cell lineage.

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Cordula; Kiger, Amy A; Tazuke, Salli I; Yamashita, Yukiko M; Pantalena-Filho, Luiz C; Jones, D Leanne; Wood, Cricket G; Fuller, Margaret T

    2004-01-01

    Male gametes are produced throughout reproductive life by a classic stem cell mechanism. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms for lineage production that maintain male germ-line stem cell (GSC) populations, regulate mitotic amplification divisions, and ensure germ cell differentiation. Here we utilize the Drosophila system to identify genes that cause defects in the male GSC lineage when forcibly expressed. We conducted a gain-of-function screen using a collection of 2050 EP lines and found 55 EP lines that caused defects at early stages of spermatogenesis upon forced expression either in germ cells or in surrounding somatic support cells. Most strikingly, our analysis of forced expression indicated that repression of bag-of-marbles (bam) expression in male GSC is important for male GSC survival, while activity of the TGF beta signal transduction pathway may play a permissive role in maintenance of GSCs in Drosophila testes. In addition, forced activation of the TGF beta signal transduction pathway in germ cells inhibits the transition from the spermatogonial mitotic amplification program to spermatocyte differentiation. PMID:15238523

  3. Origin of avian genome size and structure in non-avian dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Shedlock, Andrew M; Meade, Andrew; Pagel, Mark; Edwards, Scott V

    2007-03-08

    Avian genomes are small and streamlined compared with those of other amniotes by virtue of having fewer repetitive elements and less non-coding DNA. This condition has been suggested to represent a key adaptation for flight in birds, by reducing the metabolic costs associated with having large genome and cell sizes. However, the evolution of genome architecture in birds, or any other lineage, is difficult to study because genomic information is often absent for long-extinct relatives. Here we use a novel bayesian comparative method to show that bone-cell size correlates well with genome size in extant vertebrates, and hence use this relationship to estimate the genome sizes of 31 species of extinct dinosaur, including several species of extinct birds. Our results indicate that the small genomes typically associated with avian flight evolved in the saurischian dinosaur lineage between 230 and 250 million years ago, long before this lineage gave rise to the first birds. By comparison, ornithischian dinosaurs are inferred to have had much larger genomes, which were probably typical for ancestral Dinosauria. Using comparative genomic data, we estimate that genome-wide interspersed mobile elements, a class of repetitive DNA, comprised 5-12% of the total genome size in the saurischian dinosaur lineage, but was 7-19% of total genome size in ornithischian dinosaurs, suggesting that repetitive elements became less active in the saurischian lineage. These genomic characteristics should be added to the list of attributes previously considered avian but now thought to have arisen in non-avian dinosaurs, such as feathers, pulmonary innovations, and parental care and nesting.

  4. A bizarre Cretaceous theropod dinosaur from Patagonia and the evolution of Gondwanan dromaeosaurids.

    PubMed

    Novas, Fernando E; Pol, Diego; Canale, Juan I; Porfiri, Juan D; Calvo, Jorge O

    2009-03-22

    Fossils of a predatory dinosaur provide novel information about the evolution of unenlagiines, a poorly known group of dromaeosaurid theropods from Gondwana. The new dinosaur is the largest dromaeosaurid yet discovered in the Southern Hemisphere and depicts bizarre cranial and postcranial features. Its long and low snout bears numerous, small-sized conical teeth, a condition resembling spinosaurid theropods. Its short forearms depart from the characteristically long-armed condition of all dromaeosaurids and their close avian relatives. The new discovery amplifies the range of morphological disparity among unenlagiines, demonstrating that by the end of the Cretaceous this clade included large, short-armed forms alongside crow-sized, long-armed, possibly flying representatives. The new dinosaur is the youngest record of dromaeosaurids from Gondwana and represents a previously unrecognized lineage of large predators in Late Cretaceous dinosaur faunas mainly dominated by abelisaurid theropods.

  5. Differentiation of retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptor precursors from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells carrying an Atoh7/Math5 lineage reporter.

    PubMed

    Xie, Bin-Bin; Zhang, Xiang-Mei; Hashimoto, Takao; Tien, Amy H; Chen, Andrew; Ge, Jian; Yang, Xian-Jie

    2014-01-01

    The neural retina is a critical component of the visual system, which provides the majority of sensory input in humans. Various retinal degenerative diseases can result in the permanent loss of retinal neurons, especially the light-sensing photoreceptors and the centrally projecting retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). The replenishment of lost RGCs and the repair of optic nerve damage are particularly challenging, as both RGC specification and their subsequent axonal growth and projection involve complex and precise regulation. To explore the developmental potential of pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitors, we have established mouse iPS cells that allow cell lineage tracing of progenitors that have expressed Atoh7/Math5, a bHLH transcription factor required for RGC production. These Atoh7 lineage reporter iPS cells encode Cre to replace one copy of the endogenous Atoh7 gene and a Cre-dependent YFP reporter in the ROSA locus. In addition, they express pluripotent markers and are capable of generating teratomas in vivo. Under anterior neural induction and neurogenic conditions in vitro, the Atoh7-Cre/ROSA-YFP iPS cells differentiate into neurons that co-express various RGC markers and YFP, indicating that these neurons are derived from Atoh7-expressing progenitors. Consistent with previous in vivo cell lineage studies, the Atoh7-Cre/ROSA-YFP iPS cells also give rise to a subset of Crx-positive photoreceptor precursors. Furthermore, inhibition of Notch signaling in the iPSC cultures results in a significant increase of YFP-positive RGCs and photoreceptor precursors. Together, these results show that Atoh7-Cre/ROSA-YFP iPS cells can be used to monitor the development and survival of RGCs and photoreceptors from pluripotent stem cells.

  6. If You Were a Dinosaur...

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ashbrook, Peggy

    2010-01-01

    Dinosaurs are one of those science topics that draw children in and teach them about concepts like measuring and using descriptive language. Learning about dinosaurs, although not hands-on like observing and recording caterpillar growth, develops critical thinking and introduces animal diversity and the relations between body form and function.…

  7. Making Sense of Dinosaur Tracks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacKenzie, Ann Haley; McDowell, Brian

    2012-01-01

    What do paleontologists, dinosaur tracks, and the nature of science have in common? They're combined here in an inquiry activity where students use methods of observation and inference to devise evidence-based explanations for the data they collect about dinosaur tracks, much like the methods used by paleontologists. Students then debate the…

  8. A dark day for dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Pete

    2015-11-01

    On average, 91 people are killed by asteroids each year. In her book Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, theoretical physicist Lisa Randall focuses on a novel question: how did a dinosaur-killing asteroid end up on its collision course with Earth in the first place?

  9. Universal hydraulics of the flowering plants: vessel diameter scales with stem length across angiosperm lineages, habits and climates.

    PubMed

    Olson, Mark E; Anfodillo, Tommaso; Rosell, Julieta A; Petit, Giai; Crivellaro, Alan; Isnard, Sandrine; León-Gómez, Calixto; Alvarado-Cárdenas, Leonardo O; Castorena, Matiss

    2014-08-01

    Angiosperm hydraulic performance is crucially affected by the diameters of vessels, the water conducting conduits in the wood. Hydraulic optimality models suggest that vessels should widen predictably from stem tip to base, buffering hydrodynamic resistance accruing as stems, and therefore conductive path, increase in length. Data from 257 species (609 samples) show that vessels widen as predicted with distance from the stem apex across angiosperm orders, habits and habitats. Standardising for stem length, vessels are only slightly wider in warm/moist climates and in lianas, showing that, rather than climate or habit, plant size is by far the main driver of global variation in mean vessel diameter. Terminal twig vessels become wider as plant height increases, while vessel density decreases slightly less than expected tip to base. These patterns lead to testable predictions regarding evolutionary strategies allowing plants to minimise carbon costs per unit leaf area even as height increases.

  10. A Transposon-Mediated System for Flexible Control of Transgene Expression in Stem and Progenitor-Derived Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Akhtar, Aslam Abbasi; Molina, Jessica; Dutra-Clarke, Marina; Kim, Gi Bum; Levy, Rachelle; Schreiber-Stainthorp, William; Danielpour, Moise; Breunig, Joshua J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Precise methods for transgene regulation are important to study signaling pathways and cell lineages in biological systems where gene function is often recycled within and across lineages. We engineered a genetic toolset for flexible transgene regulation in these diverse cellular contexts. Specifically, we created an optimized piggyBac transposon-based system, allowing for the facile generation of stably transduced cell lineages in vivo and in vitro. The system, termed pB-Tet-GOI (piggyBac-transposable tetracycline transactivator-mediated flexible expression of a genetic element of interest), incorporates the latest generation of tetracycline (Tet) transactivator and reverse Tet transactivator variants—along with engineered mutants—in order to provide regulated transgene expression upon addition or removal of doxycycline (dox). Altogether, the flexibility of the system allows for dox-induced, dox-suppressed, dox-resistant (i.e., constitutive), and dox-induced/constitutive regulation of transgenes. This versatile strategy provides reversible temporal regulation of transgenes with robust inducibility and minimal leakiness. PMID:25702640

  11. A transposon-mediated system for flexible control of transgene expression in stem and progenitor-derived lineages.

    PubMed

    Akhtar, Aslam Abbasi; Molina, Jessica; Dutra-Clarke, Marina; Kim, Gi Bum; Levy, Rachelle; Schreiber-Stainthorp, William; Danielpour, Moise; Breunig, Joshua J

    2015-03-10

    Precise methods for transgene regulation are important to study signaling pathways and cell lineages in biological systems where gene function is often recycled within and across lineages. We engineered a genetic toolset for flexible transgene regulation in these diverse cellular contexts. Specifically, we created an optimized piggyBac transposon-based system, allowing for the facile generation of stably transduced cell lineages in vivo and in vitro. The system, termed pB-Tet-GOI (piggyBac-transposable tetracycline transactivator-mediated flexible expression of a genetic element of interest), incorporates the latest generation of tetracycline (Tet) transactivator and reverse Tet transactivator variants--along with engineered mutants--in order to provide regulated transgene expression upon addition or removal of doxycycline (dox). Altogether, the flexibility of the system allows for dox-induced, dox-suppressed, dox-resistant (i.e., constitutive), and dox-induced/constitutive regulation of transgenes. This versatile strategy provides reversible temporal regulation of transgenes with robust inducibility and minimal leakiness.

  12. Somatic cell lineage is required for differentiation and not maintenance of germline stem cells in Drosophila testes.

    PubMed

    Lim, Jaclyn G Y; Fuller, Margaret T

    2012-11-06

    Adult stem cells are believed to be maintained by a specialized microenvironment, the niche, which provides short-range signals that either instruct stem cells to self-renew or inhibit execution of preprogrammed differentiation pathways. In Drosophila testes, somatic cyst stem cells (CySCs) and the apical hub form the niche for neighboring germline stem cells (GSCs), with CySCs as the proposed source of instructive self-renewal signals [Leatherman JL, Dinardo S (2010) Nat Cell Biol 12(8):806-811]. In contrast to this model, we show that early germ cells with GSC characteristics can be maintained over time after ablation of CySCs and their cyst cell progeny. Without CySCs and cyst cells, early germ cells away from the hub failed to initiate differentiation. Our results suggest that CySCs do not have a necessary instructive role in specifying GSC self-renewal and that the differentiated progeny of CySCs provide an environment necessary to trigger GSC differentiation. This work highlights the complex interaction between different stem cell populations in the same niche and how the state of one stem cell population can influence the fate of the other.

  13. Combinatorial effect of substratum properties on mesenchymal stem cell sheet engineering and subsequent multi-lineage differentiation.

    PubMed

    Chuah, Yon Jin; Zhang, Ying; Wu, Yingnan; Menon, Nishanth V; Goh, Ghim Hian; Lee, Ann Charlene; Chan, Vincent; Zhang, Yilei; Kang, Yuejun

    2015-09-01

    Cell sheet engineering has been exploited as an alternative approach in tissue regeneration and the use of stem cells to generate cell sheets has further showed its potential in stem cell-mediated tissue regeneration. There exist vast interests in developing strategies to enhance the formation of stem cell sheets for downstream applications. It has been proved that stem cells are sensitive to the biophysical cues of the microenvironment. Therefore we hypothesized that the combinatorial substratum properties could be tailored to modulate the development of cell sheet formation and further influence its multipotency. For validation, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) of different combinatorial substratum properties (including stiffness, roughness and wettability) were created, on which the human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) were cultured to form cell sheets with their multipotency evaluated after induced differentiation. The results showed that different combinatorial effects of these substratum properties were able to influence BMSC behavior such as adhesion, spreading and proliferation during cell sheet development. Collagen formation within the cell sheet was enhanced on substrates with lower stiffness, higher hydrophobicity and roughness, which further assisted the induced chondrogenesis and osteogenesis, respectively. These findings suggested that combinatorial substratum properties had profound effects on BMSC cell sheet integrity and multipotency, which had significant implications for future biomaterials and scaffold designs in the field of BMSC-mediated tissue regeneration.

  14. Locomotion Speeds of Various Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, M. T.; Lee, S. A.

    2009-04-01

    A methodology for estimating the locomotion speed of an animal based upon their footprint tracks is developed. Using this technique, an analysis of the locomotion speeds of various dinosaurs is performed. The tracks studied include 28 theropods (meat-eating dinosaurs), 23 sauropods (the ``long-necked'' herbivores), 28 non-armored, non-sauropod herbivores and 10 armored, non-sauropod herbivores. The theropods show the fastest locomotion speed as well as the greatest variety of speeds while the armored dinosaurs are the slowest.

  15. Long non-coding RNA HoxA-AS3 interacts with EZH2 to regulate lineage commitment of mesenchymal stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Demeng; Ai, Chun-Zhi; Lu, Xifeng; Xu, Shan-Shan; Jiang, Shan; Zhong, Gen-Shen; Chen, Dong-Bao; Jiang, Yi-Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play an important role in gene regulation and are involving in diverse cellular processes. However, their roles in reprogramming of gene expression profiles during lineage commitment and maturation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) remain poorly understood. In the current study, we characterize the expression of a lncRNA, HoxA-AS3, during the differentiation of MSCs. We showed that HoxA-AS3 is increased upon adipogenic induction of MSCs, while HoxA-AS3 remains unaltered during osteogenic induction. Silencing of HoxA-AS3 in MSCs resulted in decreased adipogenesis and expression of adipogenic markers, PPARG, CEBPA, FABP4 and ADIPOQ. Conversely, knockdown of HoxA-AS3 expression in MSCs exhibited an enhanced osteogenesis and osteogenic markers expression, including RUNX2, SP7, COL1A1, IBSP, BGLAP and SPP1. Mechanistically, HoxA-AS3 interacts with Enhancer Of Zeste 2 (EZH2) and is required for H3 lysine-27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) of key osteogenic transcription factor Runx2. Our data reveal that HoxA-AS3 acts as an epigenetic switch that determines the lineage specification of MSC. PMID:27566578

  16. Determination of osteogenic or adipogenic lineages in muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs) by a collagen-binding peptide (CBP) derived from bone sialoprotein (BSP)

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, Yoon Jung; Lee, Jue Yeon; Lee, Seung Jin; Chung, Chong-Pyoung; Park, Yoon Jeong

    2012-03-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CBP sequence is identified from BSP and has collagen binding activity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CBP directly activates the MAPK signaling, especially ERK1/2. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CBP increase osteoblastic differentiation by the activation of Runx2. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer CBP decrease adipogenic differentiation by the inhibition of PPAR{gamma}. -- Abstract: Bone sialoprotein (BSP) is a mineralized, tissue-specific, non-collagenous protein that is normally expressed only in mineralized tissues such as bone, dentin, cementum, and calcified cartilage, and at sites of new mineral formation. The binding of BSP to collagen is thought to be important for initiating bone mineralization and bone cell adhesion to the mineralized matrix. Several recent studies have isolated stem cells from muscle tissue, but their functional properties are still unclear. In this study, we examined the effects of a synthetic collagen-binding peptide (CBP) on the differentiation efficiency of muscle-derived stem cells (MDSCs). The CBP sequence (NGVFKYRPRYYLYKHAYFYPHLKRFPVQ) corresponds to residues 35-62 of bone sialoprotein (BSP), which are located within the collagen-binding domain in BSP. Interestingly, this synthetic CBP inhibited adipogenic differentiation but increased osteogenic differentiation in MDSCs. The CBP also induced expression of osteoblastic marker proteins, including alkaline phosphatase (ALP), type I collagen, Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), and osteocalcin; prevented adipogenic differentiation in MDSCs; and down-regulated adipose-specific mRNAs, such as adipocyte protein 2 (aP2) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor {gamma}. The CBP increased Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) 1/2 protein phosphorylation, which is important in lineage determination. These observations suggest that this CBP determines the osteogenic or adipogenic lineage in MDSCs by activating ERK1/2. Taken together, a

  17. Biliary tree stem/progenitor cells in glands of extrahepatic and intraheptic bile ducts: an anatomical in situ study yielding evidence of maturational lineages.

    PubMed

    Carpino, Guido; Cardinale, Vincenzo; Onori, Paolo; Franchitto, Antonio; Berloco, Pasquale Bartolomeo; Rossi, Massimo; Wang, Yunfang; Semeraro, Rossella; Anceschi, Maurizio; Brunelli, Roberto; Alvaro, Domenico; Reid, Lola M; Gaudio, Eugenio

    2012-02-01

    Stem/progenitors have been identified intrahepatically in the canals of Hering and extrahepatically in glands of the biliary tree. Glands of the biliary tree (peribiliary glands) are tubulo-alveolar glands with mucinous and serous acini, located deep within intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts. We have shown that biliary tree stem/progenitors (BTSCs) are multipotent, giving rise in vitro and in vivo to hepatocytes, cholangiocytes or pancreatic islets. Cells with the phenotype of BTSCs are located at the bottom of the peribiliary glands near the fibromuscular layer. They are phenotypically heterogeneous, expressing transcription factors as well as surface and cytoplasmic markers for stem/progenitors of liver (e.g. SOX9/17), pancreas (e.g. PDX1) and endoderm (e.g. SOX17, EpCAM, NCAM, CXCR4, Lgr5, OCT4) but not for mature markers (e.g. albumin, secretin receptor or insulin). Subpopulations co-expressing liver and pancreatic markers (e.g. PDX1(+)/SOX17(+)) are EpCAM(+/-), and are assumed to be the most primitive of the BTSC subpopulations. Their descendants undergo a maturational lineage process from the interior to the surface of ducts and vary in the mature cells generated: pancreatic cells in hepatopancreatic ducts, liver cells in large intrahepatic bile ducts, and bile duct cells along most of the biliary tree. We hypothesize that there is ongoing organogenesis throughout life, with BTSCs giving rise to hepatic stem cells in the canals of Hering and to committed progenitors within the pancreas. The BTSCs are likely to be central to normal tissue turnover and injury repair and to be key elements in the pathophysiology of liver, pancreas and biliary tree diseases, including oncogenesis.

  18. Enhancement of stem cell differentiation to osteogenic lineage on hydroxyapatite-coated hybrid PLGA/gelatin nanofiber scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Sanaei-Rad, Parisa; Jafarzadeh Kashi, Tahereh-Sadat; Seyedjafari, Ehsan; Soleimani, Masoud

    2016-11-01

    A combination of polymeric materials and bioceramics has recently received a great deal of attention for bone tissue engineering applications. In the present study, hybrid nanofibrous scaffolds were fabricated from PLGA and gelatin via electrospinning and then were coated with hydroxyapatite (HA). They were then characterized and used in stem cell culture studies for the evaluation of their biological behavior and osteogenic differentiation in vitro. This study showed that all PLGA, hybrid PLGA/gelatin and HA-PLGA/gelatin scaffolds were composed of ultrafine fibers with smooth morphology and interconnected pores. The MTT assay confirmed that the scaffolds can support the attachment and proliferation of stem cells. During osteogenic differentiation, bone-related gene expression, ALP activity and biomineralization on HA-PLGA/gelatin scaffolds were higher than those observed on other scaffolds and TCPS. PLGA/gelatin electrospun scaffolds also showed higher values of these markers than TCPS. Taking together, it was shown that nanofibrous structure enhanced osteogenic differentiation of adipose-tissue derived stem cells. Furthermore, surface-coated HA stimulated the effect of nanofibers on the commitment of stem cells toward osteolineage. In conclusion, HA-PLGA/gelatin electrospun scaffolds were demonstrated to have significant potential for bone tissue engineering applications.

  19. Collagen Substrate Stiffness Anisotropy Affects Cellular Elongation, Nuclear Shape, and Stem Cell Fate toward Anisotropic Tissue Lineage.

    PubMed

    Islam, Anowarul; Younesi, Mousa; Mbimba, Thomas; Akkus, Ozan

    2016-09-01

    Rigidity of substrates plays an important role in stem cell fate. Studies are commonly carried out on isotropically stiff substrate or substrates with unidirectional stiffness gradients. However, many native tissues are anisotropically stiff and it is unknown whether controlled presentation of stiff and compliant material axes on the same substrate governs cytoskeletal and nuclear morphology, as well as stem cell differentiation. In this study, electrocompacted collagen sheets are stretched to varying degrees to tune the stiffness anisotropy (SA) in the range of 1 to 8, resulting in stiff and compliant material axes orthogonal to each other. The cytoskeletal aspect ratio increased with increasing SA by about fourfold. Such elongation was absent on cellulose acetate replicas of aligned collagen surfaces indicating that the elongation was not driven by surface topography. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded on varying anisotropy sheets displayed a dose-dependent upregulation of tendon-related markers such as Mohawk and Scleraxis. After 21 d of culture, highly anisotropic sheets induced greater levels of production of type-I, type-III collagen, and thrombospondin-4. Therefore, SA has direct effects on MSC differentiation. These findings may also have ramifications of stem cell fate on other anisotropically stiff tissues, such as skeletal/cardiac muscles, ligaments, and bone.

  20. DNMT3A and TET2 compete and cooperate to repress lineage-specific transcription factors in hematopoietic stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaotian; Su, Jianzhong; Jeong, Mira; Ko, Myunggon; Huang, Yun; Park, Hyun Jung; Guzman, Anna; Lei, Yong; Huang, Yung-Hsin; Rao, Anjana; Li, Wei; Goodell, Margaret A.

    2016-01-01

    Mutations in the epigenetic modifiers DNMT3A and TET2 non-randomly co-occur in lymphoma and leukemia despite their epistasis in the methylation-hydroxymethylation pathway. Using Dnmt3a and Tet2 double knock-out (DKO) mice in which malignancy development is accelerated, we show that the DKO methylome reflects regions of independent, competitive and cooperative activity. Expression of lineage-specific transcription factors, including the erythroid regulator Klf1 is upregulated in DKO HSCs. DNMT3A and TET2 both repress Klf1 suggesting a model of cooperative inhibition by the epigenetic modifiers. These data demonstrate a dual role for TET2 in promoting and inhibiting HSC differentiation, loss of which, along with DNMT3A, obstructs differentiation leading to transformation. PMID:27428748

  1. The extinction of the dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Barrett, Paul M; Carrano, Matthew T; Evans, David C; Lloyd, Graeme T; Mannion, Philip D; Norell, Mark A; Peppe, Daniel J; Upchurch, Paul; Williamson, Thomas E

    2015-05-01

    Non-avian dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago, geologically coincident with the impact of a large bolide (comet or asteroid) during an interval of massive volcanic eruptions and changes in temperature and sea level. There has long been fervent debate about how these events affected dinosaurs. We review a wealth of new data accumulated over the past two decades, provide updated and novel analyses of long-term dinosaur diversity trends during the latest Cretaceous, and discuss an emerging consensus on the extinction's tempo and causes. Little support exists for a global, long-term decline across non-avian dinosaur diversity prior to their extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. However, restructuring of latest Cretaceous dinosaur faunas in North America led to reduced diversity of large-bodied herbivores, perhaps making communities more susceptible to cascading extinctions. The abruptness of the dinosaur extinction suggests a key role for the bolide impact, although the coarseness of the fossil record makes testing the effects of Deccan volcanism difficult.

  2. Micro-/Nano- sized hydroxyapatite directs differentiation of rat bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells towards an osteoblast lineage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yan; Zhou, Gang; Zheng, Lisha; Liu, Haifeng; Niu, Xufeng; Fan, Yubo

    2012-03-01

    Regenerative medicine consisting of cells and materials provides a new way for the repair and regeneration of tissues and organs. Nano-biomaterials are highlighted due to their advantageous features compared with conventional micro-materials. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of micro-/nano- sized hydroxyapatite (μ/n-HA) on the osteogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs). μ/n-HA were prepared by a microwave synthesizer and precipitation method, respectively. Different sizes of μ/n-HA were characterized by IR, XRD, SEM, TEM and co-cultured with rBMSCs. It was shown that rBMSCs expressed higher levels of osteoblast-related markers by n-HA than μ-HA stimulation. The size of HA is an important factor for affecting the osteogenic differentiation of rBMSCs. This provides a new avenue for mechanistic studies of stem cell differentiation and a new approach to obtain more committed differentiated cells.

  3. Simulating Dinosaur Digestion in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peczkis, Jan

    1992-01-01

    Describes an activity for use with a chapter on dinosaurs, prehistoric life, or digestion in which children make simulated dinosaur stomachs to gain hands-on experience about the theory of gastroliths, or stomach stones. Presents teacher information about the digestive processes in birds and dinosaurs. Discusses materials needed, objectives,…

  4. Comment on "Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs".

    PubMed

    Myhrvold, Nathan P

    2015-05-29

    Grady et al. (Reports, 13 June 2014, p. 1268) studied dinosaur metabolism by comparison of maximum somatic growth rate allometry with groups of known metabolism. They concluded that dinosaurs exhibited mesothermy, a metabolic rate intermediate between endothermy and ectothermy. Multiple statistical and methodological issues call into question the evidence for dinosaur mesothermy.

  5. The Development of a Virtual Dinosaur Museum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tarng, Wernhuar; Liou, Hsin-Hun

    2007-01-01

    The objective of this article is to study the network and virtual reality technologies for developing a virtual dinosaur museum, which provides a Web-learning environment for students of all ages and the general public to know more about dinosaurs. We first investigate the method for building the 3D dynamic models of dinosaurs, and then describe…

  6. The synergistic effect of nanotopography and sustained dual release of hydrophobic and hydrophilic neurotrophic factors on human mesenchymal stem cell neuronal lineage commitment.

    PubMed

    Teo, Benjamin Kim Kiat; Tan, Guo-Dong Sean; Yim, Evelyn K F

    2014-08-01

    A combination of nanotopography and controlled release is a potential platform for neuronal tissue engineering applications. Previous studies showed that combining both physical and chemical guidance was more effective than individual cues in the directional promotion of neurite outgrowth. Nanotopography can direct human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) into neuronal lineage, while controlled release of neurotrophic factors can deliver temporally controlled biochemical signals. Hypothesizing that the synergistic effect will enhance neuronal lineage commitment of hMSCs, a fabrication method for multiple neurotrophic factors delivery from a single nanopatterned (350 nm gratings), poly-ɛ-caprolactone (PCL) film was developed and evaluated. Our results showed a synergistic effect on hMSC differentiation cultured on substrates with both nanotopographical and biochemical cues. The protein/drug encapsulation into PCL nanopatterned films was first optimized using a hydrophilic model protein, bovine serum albumin. The hydrophobic retinoic acid (RA) molecule was directly incorporated into PCL films. To achieve sustained release, hydrophilic nerve growth factor (NGF) was first encapsulated within polyelectrolyte complexation fibers before they were embedded within the nanopatterned PCL film. Our results showed that nanotopography on the fabricated polymer films remained intact, while release of bioactive RA and NGF was sustained over a period of 3 weeks. Under the combinatorial effect of physical and biochemical cues, we observed an enhanced upregulation of neuronal genes such as microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and neurofilament light (NFL) as compared with sustained delivery of individual cues and bolus delivery. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that MAP2 and NFL gene upregulation in hMSCs was most pronounced on the nanogratings with sustained release of both RA and NGF. The fabricated platforms supported the sustained delivery of multiple

  7. Effect of enamel matrix derivative and of proline-rich synthetic peptides on the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells toward the osteogenic lineage.

    PubMed

    Ramis, Joana Maria; Rubert, Marina; Vondrasek, Jiri; Gayà, Antoni; Lyngstadaas, Staale Petter; Monjo, Marta

    2012-06-01

    With the aim of discovering new molecules for induction of bone formation and biomineralization, combination of bioinformatics and simulation methods were used to design the structure of artificial peptides based on proline-rich domains of enamel matrix proteins. In this study, the effect of such peptides on the differentiation toward the osteogenic lineage of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) was evaluated with or without osteogenic supplements (hydrocortisone, β-glycerol phosphate, and ascorbic acid) and compared to the effect of the commercially available enamel matrix derivative (EMD). It was hypothesized that the differentiation toward the osteogenic lineage of hUCMSCs would be promoted by the treatment with the synthetic peptides when combined with differentiation media, or it could even be directed exclusively by the synthetic peptides. Osteoinductivity was assessed by cell proliferation, bone morphogenetic protein-2 secretion, and gene expression of osteogenic markers after 1, 3, and 14 days of treatment. All peptides were safe with the dosages used, showing lower cell toxicity. P2, P4, and P6 reduced cell proliferation with growing media by 10%-15%. Higher expression of early osteoblast markers was found after 3 days of treatment with EMD in combination with osteogenic supplements, while after 14 days of treatment, cells treated by the different synthetic peptides in combination with osteogenic supplements showed higher osteocalcin mRNA levels. We can conclude that osteogenic differentiation of hUCMSCs is promoted by short-term EMD treatment in combination with osteogenic supplements and by long-term treatment by the synthetic peptides in combination with osteogenic supplements, showing similar results for all the peptide variants analyzed in this study.

  8. Testicular cell-conditioned medium supports embryonic stem cell differentiation toward germ lineage and to spermatocyte- and oocyte-like cells.

    PubMed

    Shah, Syed M; Saini, Neha; Singh, Manoj K; Manik, Radheysham; Singla, Suresh K; Palta, Prabhat; Chauhan, Manmohan S

    2016-08-01

    Testicular cells are believed to secrete various growth factors that activate signaling pathways finally leading to gametogenesis. In vitro gametogenesis is an obscure but paramountly important task primarily because of paucity of the precursor cells and first trimester gonadal tissues. To overcome these limitations for development of in vitro gametes, the present study was designed to induce differentiation of buffalo embryonic stem (ES) cells into germ lineage cells on stimulation by testicular cell-conditioned medium (TCM), on the basis of the assumption that ES cells have the intrinsic property to differentiate into any cell type and TCM would provide the necessary growth factors for differentiation toward germ cell lineage. For this purpose, buffalo ES cells were differentiated as embryoid bodies (EB) in floating cultures and as monolayer adherent cultures in different doses (10%, 20%, and 40%) of TCM for different culture intervals (4, 8, and 14 days), to identify the optimum dose-and-time period. We observed that 40% TCM dose induces highest expression of primordial germ cell-specific (DAZL, VASA, and PLZF), meiotic (SYCP3, MLH1, TNP1/2, and PRM2), spermatocyte-specific (BOULE and TEKT1), and oocyte-specific genes (GDF9 and ZP2/3) for a culture period of 14 days under both floating and adherent differentiation. Immunocytochemical analysis of EBs and adherent cultures revealed presence of primordial germ cell markers (c-KIT, DAZL, and VASA), meiotic markers (SYCP3, MLH1 and PROTAMINE1), spermatocyte markers (ACROSIN and HAPRIN), and oocyte markers (GDF9 and ZP4), indicating progression into post-meiotic gametogenesis. The detection of germ cell-specific proteins in Day 14 EBs like VASA, GDF9, and ZP4 by Western blotting further confirmed germ lineage differentiation. The significantly lower (P < 0.05) concentration of 5-methyl-2-deoxycytidine in optimally differentiated EBs is suggestive of the process of methylation erasure. Oocyte-like structures

  9. The Zebrafish Anillin-eGFP Reporter Marks Late Dividing Retinal Precursors and Stem Cells Entering Neuronal Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Guglielmi, Luca; Patzel, Eva; Sel, Saadettin; Auffarth, Gerd U.; Carl, Matthias; Poggi, Lucia

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring cycling behaviours of stem and somatic cells in the living animal is a powerful tool to better understand tissue development and homeostasis. The tg(anillin:anillin-eGFP) transgenic line carries the full-length zebrafish F-actin binding protein Anillin fused to eGFP from a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) containing Anillin cis-regulatory sequences. Here we report the suitability of the Anillin-eGFP reporter as a direct indicator of cycling cells in the late embryonic and post-embryonic retina. We show that combining the anillin:anillin-eGFP with other transgenes such as ptf1a:dsRed and atoh7:gap-RFP allows obtaining spatial and temporal resolution of the mitotic potentials of specific retinal cell populations. This is exemplified by the analysis of the origin of the previously reported apically and non-apically dividing late committed precursors of the photoreceptor and horizontal cell layers. PMID:28107513

  10. Adipose-derived stem cell adhesion on laminin-coated microcarriers improves commitment toward the cardiomyogenic lineage.

    PubMed

    Karam, Jean-Pierre; Bonafè, Francesca; Sindji, Laurence; Muscari, Claudio; Montero-Menei, Claudia N

    2015-05-01

    For tissue-engineering studies of the infarcted heart it is essential to identify a source of cells that may provide cardiomyocyte progenitors, which is easy to amplify, accessible in adults, and allowing autologous grafts. Preclinical studies have shown that human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) can differentiate into cardiomyocyte-like cells and improve heart function in myocardial infarction. We have developed pharmacologically active microcarriers (PAMs) which are biodegradable and biocompatible polymeric microspheres conveying cells on their biomimetic surface, therefore providing an adequate three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment. Moreover, they can release a growth factor in a prolonged manner. In order to implement ADSCs and PAMs for cardiac tissue engineering we first defined the biomimetic surface by studying the influence of matrix molecules laminin (LM) and fibronectin (FN), in combination with growth factors present in the cardiogenic niche, to further enhance the in vitro cardiac differentiation of ADSCs. We demonstrated that LM increased the expression of cardiac markers (Nkx2.5, GATA4, MEF2C) by ADSCs after 2 weeks in vitro. Interestingly, our results suggest that the 3D support provided by PAMs with a LM biomimetic surface (LM-PAMs) further enhanced the expression of cardiac markers and induced the expression of a more mature contractile protein, cardiac troponin I, compared with the 2D differentiating conditions after only 1 week in culture. The enrichment of the growth-factor cocktail with TGF-β1 potentiated the cardiomyogenic differentiation. These results suggest that PAMs offering a LM biomimetic surface may be efficiently used for applications combining adult stem cells in tissue-engineering strategies of the ischemic heart.

  11. New Australian sauropods shed light on Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography

    PubMed Central

    Poropat, Stephen F.; Mannion, Philip D.; Upchurch, Paul; Hocknull, Scott A.; Kear, Benjamin P.; Kundrát, Martin; Tischler, Travis R.; Sloan, Trish; Sinapius, George H. K.; Elliott, Judy A.; Elliott, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Australian dinosaurs have played a rare but controversial role in the debate surrounding the effect of Gondwanan break-up on Cretaceous dinosaur distribution. Major spatiotemporal gaps in the Gondwanan Cretaceous fossil record, coupled with taxon incompleteness, have hindered research on this effect, especially in Australia. Here we report on two new sauropod specimens from the early Late Cretaceous of Queensland, Australia, that have important implications for Cretaceous dinosaur palaeobiogeography. Savannasaurus elliottorum gen. et sp. nov. comprises one of the most complete Cretaceous sauropod skeletons ever found in Australia, whereas a new specimen of Diamantinasaurus matildae includes the first ever cranial remains of an Australian sauropod. The results of a new phylogenetic analysis, in which both Savannasaurus and Diamantinasaurus are recovered within Titanosauria, were used as the basis for a quantitative palaeobiogeographical analysis of macronarian sauropods. Titanosaurs achieved a worldwide distribution by at least 125 million years ago, suggesting that mid-Cretaceous Australian sauropods represent remnants of clades which were widespread during the Early Cretaceous. These lineages would have entered Australasia via dispersal from South America, presumably across Antarctica. High latitude sauropod dispersal might have been facilitated by Albian–Turonian warming that lifted a palaeoclimatic dispersal barrier between Antarctica and South America. PMID:27763598

  12. Dual requirement for the ETS transcription factors Fli-1 and Erg in hematopoietic stem cells and the megakaryocyte lineage

    PubMed Central

    Kruse, Elizabeth A.; Loughran, Stephen J.; Baldwin, Tracey M.; Josefsson, Emma C.; Ellis, Sarah; Watson, Dennis K.; Nurden, Paquita; Metcalf, Donald; Hilton, Douglas J.; Alexander, Warren S.; Kile, Benjamin T.

    2009-01-01

    Fli-1 and Erg are closely related members of the Ets family of transcription factors. Both genes are translocated in human cancers, including Ewing's sarcoma, leukemia, and in the case of Erg, more than half of all prostate cancers. Although evidence from mice and humans suggests that Fli-1 is required for megakaryopoiesis, and that Erg is required for normal adult hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) regulation, their precise physiological roles remain to be defined. To elucidate the relationship between Fli-1 and Erg in hematopoiesis, we conducted an analysis of mice carrying mutations in both genes. Our results demonstrate that there is a profound genetic interaction between Fli-1 and Erg. Double heterozygotes displayed phenotypes more dramatic than single heterozygotes: severe thrombocytopenia, with a significant deficit in megakaryocyte numbers and evidence of megakaryocyte dysmorphogenesis, and loss of HSCs accompanied by a reduction in the number of committed hematopoietic progenitor cells. These results illustrate an indispensable requirement for both Fli-1 and Erg in normal HSC and megakaryocyte homeostasis, and suggest these transcription factors may coregulate common target genes. PMID:19666492

  13. Dual requirement for the ETS transcription factors Fli-1 and Erg in hematopoietic stem cells and the megakaryocyte lineage.

    PubMed

    Kruse, Elizabeth A; Loughran, Stephen J; Baldwin, Tracey M; Josefsson, Emma C; Ellis, Sarah; Watson, Dennis K; Nurden, Paquita; Metcalf, Donald; Hilton, Douglas J; Alexander, Warren S; Kile, Benjamin T

    2009-08-18

    Fli-1 and Erg are closely related members of the Ets family of transcription factors. Both genes are translocated in human cancers, including Ewing's sarcoma, leukemia, and in the case of Erg, more than half of all prostate cancers. Although evidence from mice and humans suggests that Fli-1 is required for megakaryopoiesis, and that Erg is required for normal adult hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) regulation, their precise physiological roles remain to be defined. To elucidate the relationship between Fli-1 and Erg in hematopoiesis, we conducted an analysis of mice carrying mutations in both genes. Our results demonstrate that there is a profound genetic interaction between Fli-1 and Erg. Double heterozygotes displayed phenotypes more dramatic than single heterozygotes: severe thrombocytopenia, with a significant deficit in megakaryocyte numbers and evidence of megakaryocyte dysmorphogenesis, and loss of HSCs accompanied by a reduction in the number of committed hematopoietic progenitor cells. These results illustrate an indispensable requirement for both Fli-1 and Erg in normal HSC and megakaryocyte homeostasis, and suggest these transcription factors may coregulate common target genes.

  14. The oldest North American pachycephalosaurid and the hidden diversity of small-bodied ornithischian dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Evans, David C; Schott, Ryan K; Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Ryan, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    Taphonomic biases dictate how organisms are represented in the fossil record, but their effect on studies of vertebrate diversity dynamics is poorly studied. In contrast to the high diversity and abundance of small-bodied animals in extant ecosystems, small-bodied dinosaurs are less common than their large-bodied counterparts, but it is unclear whether this reflects unique properties of dinosaurian ecosystems or relates to taphonomic biases. A new, fully domed pachycephalosaurid dinosaur, Acrotholus audeti, from the Santonian of Alberta predates incompletely domed taxa, and provides important new information on pachycephalosaur evolution and the completeness of the ornithischian fossil record. Here we provide the first empirical evidence that the diversity of small-bodied ornithischian dinosaurs is strongly underestimated based on ghost lineages and the high proportion of robust and diagnostic frontoparietal domes compared with other pachycephalosaur fossils. This suggests preservational biases have a confounding role in attempts to decipher vertebrate palaeoecology and diversity dynamics through the Mesozoic.

  15. Feeding height stratification among the herbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Herbivore coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has been a topic of great interest, stemming from the paradoxically high diversity and biomass of these animals in relation to the relatively small landmass available to them. Various hypotheses have been advanced to account for these facts, of which niche partitioning is among the most frequently invoked. However, despite its wide acceptance, this hypothesis has not been rigorously tested. This study uses the fossil assemblage from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta as a model to investigate whether niche partitioning facilitated herbivorous dinosaur coexistence on Laramidia. Specifically, the question of feeding height stratification is examined in light of the role it plays in facilitating modern ungulate coexistence. Results Most herbivorous dinosaur species from the Dinosaur Park Formation were restricted to feeding no higher than approximately 1 m above the ground. There is minimal evidence for feeding height partitioning at this level, with ceratopsids capable of feeding slightly higher than ankylosaurs, but the ecological significance of this is ambiguous. Hadrosaurids were uniquely capable of feeding up to 2 m quadrupedally, or up to 5 m bipedally. There is no evidence for either feeding height stratification within any of these clades, or for change in these ecological relationships through the approximately 1.5 Ma record of the Dinosaur Park Formation. Conclusions Although we cannot reject the possibility, we find no good evidence that feeding height stratification, as revealed by reconstructed maximum feeding heights, played an important role in facilitating niche partitioning among the herbivorous dinosaurs of Laramidia. Most browsing pressure was concentrated in the herb layer, although hadrosaurids were capable of reaching shrubs and low-growing trees that were out of reach from ceratopsids, ankylosaurs, and other small herbivores, effectively dividing the

  16. Life-long in vivo cell-lineage tracing shows that no oogenesis originates from putative germline stem cells in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hua; Liu, Lian; Li, Xin; Busayavalasa, Kiran; Shen, Yan; Hovatta, Outi; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke; Liu, Kui

    2014-12-16

    Whether or not oocyte regeneration occurs in adult life has been the subject of much debate. In this study, we have traced germ-cell lineages over the life spans of three genetically modified mouse models and provide direct evidence that oogenesis does not originate from any germline stem cells (GSCs) in adult mice. By selective ablation of all existing oocytes in a Gdf9-Cre;iDTR mouse model, we have demonstrated that no new germ cells were ever regenerated under pathological conditions. By in vivo tracing of oocytes and follicles in the Sohlh1-CreER(T2);R26R and Foxl2-CreER(T2);mT/mG mouse models, respectively, we have shown that the initial pool of oocytes is the only source of germ cells throughout the life span of the mice and that no adult oogenesis ever occurs under physiological conditions. Our findings clearly show that there are no GSCs that contribute to adult oogenesis in mice and that the initial pool of oocytes formed in early life is the only source of germ cells throughout the entire reproductive life span.

  17. Differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into osteogenic or hematopoietic lineages: a dose-dependent effect of osterix over-expression.

    PubMed

    Kärner, Elerin; Unger, Christian; Cerny, Radim; Ahrlund-Richter, Lars; Ganss, Bernhard; Dilber, M Sirac; Wendel, Mikael

    2009-02-01

    Enhanced differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (HESCs), induced by genetic modification could potentially generate a vast number of diverse cell types. Such genetic modifications have frequently been achieved by over-expression of individual regulatory proteins. However, careful evaluation of the expression levels is critical, since this might have important implications for the differentiation potential of HESCs. To date, attempts to promote osteogenesis by means of gene transfer into HESCs using the early bone "master" transcription factor osterix (Osx) have not been reported. In this study, we attained HESC subpopulations expressing two significantly different levels of Osx, following lentiviral gene transfer. Both subpopulations exhibited spontaneous differentiation and reduced expression of markers characteristic of the pluripotent phenotype, such as SSEA3, Tra1-60, and Nanog, In order to promote bone differentiation, the cells were treated with ascorbic acid, beta-glycerophosphate and dexamethasone. The high level of Osx, compared to endogenous levels found in primary human osteoblasts, did not enhance osteogenic differentiation, and did not up-regulate collagen I expression. We show that the high Osx levels instead induced the commitment towards the hematopoietic-endothelial lineage-by up-regulating the expression of CD34 and Gata1. However, low levels of Osx up-regulated collagen I, bone sialoprotein and osteocalcin. Conversely, forced high level expression of the homeobox transcription factor HoxB4, a known regulator for early hematopoiesis, promoted osteogenesis in HESCs, while low levels of HoxB4 lead to hematopoietic gene expression.

  18. The earliest known sauropod dinosaur.

    PubMed

    Buffetaut, E; Suteethorn, V; Cuny, G; Tong, H; Le Loeuff, J; Khansubha, S; Jongautchariyakul, S

    2000-09-07

    Sauropods were a very successful group of dinosaurs during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, but their earlier history is poorly known. Until now, the earliest reported sauropod bones were from the Early Jurassic, and the only tentative evidence of earlier sauropods was in the form of controversial footprints. Here we report the discovery of an incomplete sauropod skeleton from the Late Triassic period of Thailand, which provides the first osteological evidence of pre-Jurassic sauropods. This dinosaur is markedly different from prosauropods and substantiates theoretical predictions that there was a fairly long period of sauropod evolution during the Triassic.

  19. Explorationists and dinosaurs

    SciTech Connect

    French, W.S. )

    1993-02-01

    The exploration industry is changing, exploration technology is changing and the explorationist's job is changing. Resource companies are diversifying internationally and their central organizations are providing advisors rather than services. As a result, the relationship between the resource company and the contractor is changing. Resource companies are promoting standards so that all contract services in all parts of the world will look the same to their advisors. Contractors, for competitive reasons, want to look [open quotes]different[close quotes] from other contractors. The resource companies must encourage competition between contractors to insure the availability of new technology but must also resist the current trend of burdening the contractor with more and more of the risk involved in exploration. It is becoming more and more obvious that geophysical expenditures represent the best [open quotes]value added[close quotes] expenditures in exploration and development budgets. As a result, seismic-related contractors represent the growth component of our industry. The predominant growth is in 3-D seismic technology, and this growth is being further propelled by the computational power of the new generation of massively parallel computers and by recent advances in computer graphic techniques. Interpretation of seismic data involves the analysis of wavelet shapes and amplitudes prior to stacking the data. Thus, modern interpretation involves understanding compressional waves, shear waves, and propagating modes which create noise and interference. Modern interpretation and processing are carried out simultaneously, iteratively, and interactively and involve many physics-related concepts. These concepts are not merely tools for the interpretation, they are the interpretation. Explorationists who do not recognize this fact are going the way of the dinosaurs.

  20. Allometry in dinosaurs and mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-03-01

    The proportions of the leg bones change as the size of an animal becomes larger since the mass of the animal increases at a faster rate than the cross-sectional area of its leg bones. For the case of elastic similarity (in which the longitudinal stress in the legs remains constant in animals of all sizes), the diameter d and length L of the femur should be related as d = A L3/2. For geometric similarity (in which all dimensions are scaled by the same factor), d = A L. For animals with femora longer than 20 cm, we find the power law relationship to be d = A Lb with b = 1.13 +/- 0.06 for extant mammals (the largest mammal being Loxodonta africana with a 1.00-m-long femur) and b = 1.18 +/- 0.02 for dinosaurs (the largest dinosaur being Brachiosaurus brancai with a 2.03-m-long femur). These data show that extinct dinosaurs and extant animals scale in the same basic manner. The large sauropods (with femora twice as long as found in elephants) scale in a manner consistent with extrapolation of the scaling shown by extant mammals. These results argue that extinct dinosaurs moved in a manner very similar to extant mammals.

  1. A New Day for Dinosaurs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kritsky, Gene

    1987-01-01

    Presents a series of activities that use dinosaurs as a theme for teaching biological and geological concepts. The activities can be adapted for use with middle school through college level biology students. Exercises address such topics as: evolutionary relationships of vertebrates; Mesozoic ecology; animal tracks; and mineral replacement…

  2. Fossil quality and naming dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Benton, Michael J

    2008-12-23

    The intense interest in dinosaurs through the past 30 years might have led to an increase in poor practice in naming new species. A review of the data shows that the reverse is the case. For 130 years, from the 1820s to the 1950s, most new species of dinosaurs were based on scrappy and incomplete material. After 1960, the majority of new species have been based on complete skulls or skeletons, and sometimes on materials from several individuals. This switch in the quality of type specimens corresponds to the recent explosive renaissance of interest in dinosaurs, during which the number of new species named per year has risen, from three or four in the 1950s, to thirty or more today. The pattern of specimen quality varies by continent, with the highest proportion of new species based on good material in North America, then Asia, then South America, then Africa and finally Europe. This ranking reflects a complex pattern of perhaps overstudy in Europe, immensely rich reserves of new dinosaur materials in North America and Asia, and a relative paucity in South America and Africa.

  3. The End of the Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frankel, Charles

    1999-10-01

    The discovery of the giant Chicxulub impact crater, buried off the coast of Mexico, unveiled the solution to one of Earth's greatest mysteries--what killed the dinosaurs. Scientists uncovered physical evidence to explain the mass extinction that rocked the Earth 65 million years ago. Step-by-step, The End of the Dinosaurs: Chicxulub Crater and Mass Extinctions tells this great scientific detective story. Charles Frankel recounts the birth of the cosmic hypothesis, which holds that the crash of a meteor on the Earth's surface killed two-thirds of life and all the dinosaurs. He first provides a dramatic account of the impact and its aftermath. Frankel then goes on to detail the controversy that preceded the acceptance of the cosmic hypothesis, the search for the crater, its discovery and ongoing exploration, and the effect of the giant impact on the biosphere. In addition, he reviews other mass extinctions in the fossil record and the threat of asteroids and comets to our planet today. More than 70 photographs and diagrams enhance and help illustrate the material. Filled with drama and interesting science, The End of the Dinosaurs will readily appeal to both the general reader fascinated with the subject and the specialist always searching for more clues to this great mystery. Charles Frankel has written a number of articles on the earth sciences in books and magazines. His many books include Volcanoes of the Solar System (Cambridge University Press 1996).

  4. In vitro high-capacity assay to quantify the clonal heterogeneity in trilineage potential of mesenchymal stem cells reveals a complex hierarchy of lineage commitment.

    PubMed

    Russell, Katie C; Phinney, Donald G; Lacey, Michelle R; Barrilleaux, Bonnie L; Meyertholen, Kristin E; O'Connor, Kim C

    2010-04-01

    In regenerative medicine, bone marrow is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for a broad range of cellular therapies. This research addresses a basic prerequisite to realize the therapeutic potential of MSCs by developing a novel high-capacity assay to quantify the clonal heterogeneity in potency that is inherent to MSC preparations. The assay utilizes a 96-well format to (1) classify MSCs according to colony-forming efficiency as a measure of proliferation capacity and trilineage potential to exhibit adipo-, chondro-, and osteogenesis as a measure of multipotency and (2) preserve a frozen template of MSC clones of known potency for future use. The heterogeneity in trilineage potential of normal bone marrow MSCs is more complex than previously reported: all eight possible categories of trilineage potential were detected. In this study, the average colony-forming efficiency of MSC preparations was 55-62%, and tripotent MSCs accounted for nearly 50% of the colony-forming cells. The multiple phenotypes detected in this study infer a more convoluted hierarchy of lineage commitment than described in the literature. Greater cell amplification, colony-forming efficiency, and colony diameter for tri- versus unipotent clones suggest that MSC proliferation may be a function of potency. CD146 may be a marker of multipotency, with approximately 2-fold difference in mean fluorescence intensity between tri- and unipotent clones. The significance of these findings is discussed in the context of the efficacy of MSC therapies. The in vitro assay described herein will likely have numerous applications given the importance of heterogeneity to the therapeutic potential of MSCs.

  5. Conditional induction of Math1 specifies embryonic stem cells to cerebellar granule neuron lineage and promotes differentiation into mature granule neurons.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Rupali; Kumar, Manoj; Peineau, Stéphane; Csaba, Zsolt; Mani, Shyamala; Gressens, Pierre; El Ghouzzi, Vincent

    2013-04-01

    Directing differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to specific neuronal subtype is critical for modeling disease pathology in vitro. An attractive means of action would be to combine regulatory differentiation factors and extrinsic inductive signals added to the culture medium. In this study, we have generated mature cerebellar granule neurons by combining a temporally controlled transient expression of Math1, a master gene in granule neuron differentiation, with inductive extrinsic factors involved in cerebellar development. Using a Tetracyclin-On transactivation system, we overexpressed Math1 at various stages of ESCs differentiation and found that the yield of progenitors was considerably increased when Math1 was induced during embryonic body stage. Math1 triggered expression of Mbh1 and Mbh2, two target genes directly involved in granule neuron precursor formation and strong expression of early cerebellar territory markers En1 and NeuroD1. Three weeks after induction, we observed a decrease in the number of glial cells and an increase in that of neurons albeit still immature. Combining Math1 induction with extrinsic factors specifically increased the number of neurons that expressed Pde1c, Zic1, and GABAα6R characteristic of mature granule neurons, formed "T-shaped" axons typical of granule neurons, and generated synaptic contacts and action potentials in vitro. Finally, in vivo implantation of Math1-induced progenitors into young adult mice resulted in cell migration and settling of newly generated neurons in the cerebellum. These results show that conditional induction of Math1 drives ESCs toward the cerebellar fate and indicate that acting on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors is a powerful means to modulate ESCs differentiation and maturation into a specific neuronal lineage.

  6. Epidemiologic study of tumors in dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Rothschild, B M; Tanke, D H; Helbling, M; Martin, L D

    2003-11-01

    Occasional reports in isolated fragments of dinosaur bones have suggested that tumors might represent a population phenomenon. Previous study of humans has demonstrated that vertebral radiology is a powerful diagnostic tool for population screening. The epidemiology of tumors in dinosaurs was here investigated by fluoroscopically screening dinosaur vertebrae for evidence of tumors. Computerized tomography (CT) and cross-sections were obtained where appropriate. Among more than 10,000 specimens x-rayed, tumors were only found in Cretaceous hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs). These included hemangiomas and metastatic cancer (previously identified in dinosaurs), desmoplastic fibroma, and osteoblastoma. The epidemiology of tumors in dinosaurs seems to reflect a familial pattern. A genetic propensity or environmental mutagens are suspected.

  7. The Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fastovsky, David E.; Weishampel, David B.

    2005-02-01

    Written for non-specialists, this detailed survey of dinosaur origins, diversity, and extinction is designed as a series of successive essays covering important and timely topics in dinosaur paleobiology, such as "warm-bloodedness," birds as living dinosaurs, the new, non-flying feathered dinosaurs, dinosaur functional morphology, and cladistic methods in systematics. Its explicitly phylogenetic approach to the group is that taken by dinosaur specialists. The book is not an edited compilation of the works of many individuals, but a unique, cohesive perspective on Dinosauria. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of new, specially commissioned illustrations by John Sibbick, world-famous illustrator of dinosaurs, the volume includes multi-page drawings as well as sketches and diagrams. First edition Hb (1996): 0-521-44496-9 David E. Fastovsky is Professor of Geosciences at the University of Rhode Island. Fastovsky, the author of numerous scientific publications dealing with Mesozoic vertebrate faunas and their ancient environments, is also scientific co-Editor of Geology. He has undertaken extensive fieldwork studying dinosaurs and their environments in Montana, North Dakota, Arizona, Mexico, and Mongolia. David B. Weishampel is a professor at the Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Weishampel is best known for discovering, researching, and naming several rare European dinosaur species. During the 1980s Weishampel gained fame for his work with American paleontologist Jack Horner and later named the famous plant-eating, egg-laying Orodromeus, Horner. Now, a decade after his pioneering studies with Horner, Weishampel is most widely known for his current work on the Romanian dinosaur fauna. He is the author and co-author of many titles, including The Dinosaur Papers, 1676-1906 (Norton, 2003); The Dinosauria, (University of California, 1990); and Dinosaurs of the East Coast, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

  8. New developmental evidence clarifies the evolution of wrist bones in the dinosaur-bird transition.

    PubMed

    Botelho, João Francisco; Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; Smith-Paredes, Daniel; Nuñez-León, Daniel; Salinas-Saavedra, Miguel; Ruiz-Flores, Macarena; Vargas, Alexander O

    2014-09-01

    From early dinosaurs with as many as nine wrist bones, modern birds evolved to develop only four ossifications. Their identity is uncertain, with different labels used in palaeontology and developmental biology. We examined embryos of several species and studied chicken embryos in detail through a new technique allowing whole-mount immunofluorescence of the embryonic cartilaginous skeleton. Beyond previous controversy, we establish that the proximal-anterior ossification develops from a composite radiale+intermedium cartilage, consistent with fusion of radiale and intermedium observed in some theropod dinosaurs. Despite previous claims that the development of the distal-anterior ossification does not support the dinosaur-bird link, we found its embryonic precursor shows two distinct regions of both collagen type II and collagen type IX expression, resembling the composite semilunate bone of bird-like dinosaurs (distal carpal 1+distal carpal 2). The distal-posterior ossification develops from a cartilage referred to as "element x," but its position corresponds to distal carpal 3. The proximal-posterior ossification is perhaps most controversial: It is labelled as the ulnare in palaeontology, but we confirm the embryonic ulnare is lost during development. Re-examination of the fossil evidence reveals the ulnare was actually absent in bird-like dinosaurs. We confirm the proximal-posterior bone is a pisiform in terms of embryonic position and its development as a sesamoid associated to a tendon. However, the pisiform is absent in bird-like dinosaurs, which are known from several articulated specimens. The combined data provide compelling evidence of a remarkable evolutionary reversal: A large, ossified pisiform re-evolved in the lineage leading to birds, after a period in which it was either absent, nonossified, or very small, consistently escaping fossil preservation. The bird wrist provides a modern example of how developmental and paleontological data illuminate

  9. First ceratosaurian dinosaur from Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzgerald, Erich M. G.; Carrano, Matthew T.; Holland, Timothy; Wagstaff, Barbara E.; Pickering, David; Rich, Thomas H.; Vickers-Rich, Patricia

    2012-05-01

    The basal theropod dinosaur clade Ceratosauria, and its subclade Abelisauroidea, is characteristic of late Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate faunas in western Gondwana (South America, Africa, Madagascar, and India) and Europe. Yet unambiguous records of ceratosaurs have hitherto been absent from Australia, where the theropod assemblage appears to include several typically Laurasian clades. Here, we report the first evidence of ceratosaurs (and potentially abelisauroids) from eastern Gondwana--a diagnostic astragalocalcaneum from the Aptian (121-125 Ma) of Victoria, Australia. Ceratosauria thus occurred in both western and eastern Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous. This fossil adds to the poorly known dinosaur fauna of Australia, a major clade of basal theropods, emphasising that its mid-Cretaceous theropod diversity was surprisingly cosmopolitan despite relative geographic isolation, including clades that have been thought to be typical of both Gondwana and Laurasia--Ceratosauria, Spinosauridae, Carcharodontosauria, Tyrannosauroidea, and Deinonychosauria. Such a contemporaneous association of theropod clades is unknown from other Gondwanan continents and questions the views that the late Mesozoic dinosaur fauna of Australia was dominated by Gondwanan or Laurasian elements, extreme isolation, relictualism, and/or novelty as a `centre of origin'. The cosmopolitan theropod fauna of Australia probably reflects the global distribution of these clades early in their history, prior to significant continental breakup.

  10. First ceratosaurian dinosaur from Australia.

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Erich M G; Carrano, Matthew T; Holland, Timothy; Wagstaff, Barbara E; Pickering, David; Rich, Thomas H; Vickers-Rich, Patricia

    2012-05-01

    The basal theropod dinosaur clade Ceratosauria, and its subclade Abelisauroidea, is characteristic of late Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate faunas in western Gondwana (South America, Africa, Madagascar, and India) and Europe. Yet unambiguous records of ceratosaurs have hitherto been absent from Australia, where the theropod assemblage appears to include several typically Laurasian clades. Here, we report the first evidence of ceratosaurs (and potentially abelisauroids) from eastern Gondwana--a diagnostic astragalocalcaneum from the Aptian (121-125 Ma) of Victoria, Australia. Ceratosauria thus occurred in both western and eastern Gondwana during the Early Cretaceous. This fossil adds to the poorly known dinosaur fauna of Australia, a major clade of basal theropods, emphasising that its mid-Cretaceous theropod diversity was surprisingly cosmopolitan despite relative geographic isolation, including clades that have been thought to be typical of both Gondwana and Laurasia--Ceratosauria, Spinosauridae, Carcharodontosauria, Tyrannosauroidea, and Deinonychosauria. Such a contemporaneous association of theropod clades is unknown from other Gondwanan continents and questions the views that the late Mesozoic dinosaur fauna of Australia was dominated by Gondwanan or Laurasian elements, extreme isolation, relictualism, and/or novelty as a 'centre of origin'. The cosmopolitan theropod fauna of Australia probably reflects the global distribution of these clades early in their history, prior to significant continental breakup.

  11. Body size distribution of the dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    O'Gorman, Eoin J; Hone, David W E

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutionary pressures and adaptations? Here, we address this question by comparing the distribution of maximum species body size for dinosaurs to an extensive set of extant and extinct vertebrate groups. We also examine the body size distribution of dinosaurs by various sub-groups, time periods and formations. We find that dinosaurs exhibit a strong skew towards larger species, in direct contrast to modern day vertebrates. This pattern is not solely an artefact of bias in the fossil record, as demonstrated by contrasting distributions in two major extinct groups and supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs exhibited a fundamentally different life history strategy to other terrestrial vertebrates. A disparity in the size distribution of the herbivorous Ornithischia and Sauropodomorpha and the largely carnivorous Theropoda suggests that this pattern may have been a product of a divergence in evolutionary strategies: herbivorous dinosaurs rapidly evolved large size to escape predation by carnivores and maximise digestive efficiency; carnivores had sufficient resources among juvenile dinosaurs and non-dinosaurian prey to achieve optimal success at smaller body size.

  12. The precise temporal calibration of dinosaur origins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsicano, Claudia A.; Irmis, Randall B.; Mancuso, Adriana C.; Mundil, Roland; Chemale, Farid

    2016-01-01

    Dinosaurs have been major components of ecosystems for over 200 million years. Although different macroevolutionary scenarios exist to explain the Triassic origin and subsequent rise to dominance of dinosaurs and their closest relatives (dinosauromorphs), all lack critical support from a precise biostratigraphically independent temporal framework. The absence of robust geochronologic age control for comparing alternative scenarios makes it impossible to determine if observed faunal differences vary across time, space, or a combination of both. To better constrain the origin of dinosaurs, we produced radioisotopic ages for the Argentinian Chañares Formation, which preserves a quintessential assemblage of dinosaurian precursors (early dinosauromorphs) just before the first dinosaurs. Our new high-precision chemical abrasion thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-TIMS) U-Pb zircon ages reveal that the assemblage is early Carnian (early Late Triassic), 5- to 10-Ma younger than previously thought. Combined with other geochronologic data from the same basin, we constrain the rate of dinosaur origins, demonstrating their relatively rapid origin in a less than 5-Ma interval, thus halving the temporal gap between assemblages containing only dinosaur precursors and those with early dinosaurs. After their origin, dinosaurs only gradually dominated mid- to high-latitude terrestrial ecosystems millions of years later, closer to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  13. Comment on "Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs".

    PubMed

    D'Emic, M D

    2015-05-29

    Grady et al. (Reports, 13 June 2014, p. 1268) suggested that nonavian dinosaur metabolism was neither endothermic nor ectothermic but an intermediate physiology termed "mesothermic." However, rates were improperly scaled and phylogenetic, physiological, and temporal categories of animals were conflated during analyses. Accounting for these issues suggests that nonavian dinosaurs were on average as endothermic as extant placental mammals.

  14. The precise temporal calibration of dinosaur origins.

    PubMed

    Marsicano, Claudia A; Irmis, Randall B; Mancuso, Adriana C; Mundil, Roland; Chemale, Farid

    2016-01-19

    Dinosaurs have been major components of ecosystems for over 200 million years. Although different macroevolutionary scenarios exist to explain the Triassic origin and subsequent rise to dominance of dinosaurs and their closest relatives (dinosauromorphs), all lack critical support from a precise biostratigraphically independent temporal framework. The absence of robust geochronologic age control for comparing alternative scenarios makes it impossible to determine if observed faunal differences vary across time, space, or a combination of both. To better constrain the origin of dinosaurs, we produced radioisotopic ages for the Argentinian Chañares Formation, which preserves a quintessential assemblage of dinosaurian precursors (early dinosauromorphs) just before the first dinosaurs. Our new high-precision chemical abrasion thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-TIMS) U-Pb zircon ages reveal that the assemblage is early Carnian (early Late Triassic), 5- to 10-Ma younger than previously thought. Combined with other geochronologic data from the same basin, we constrain the rate of dinosaur origins, demonstrating their relatively rapid origin in a less than 5-Ma interval, thus halving the temporal gap between assemblages containing only dinosaur precursors and those with early dinosaurs. After their origin, dinosaurs only gradually dominated mid- to high-latitude terrestrial ecosystems millions of years later, closer to the Triassic-Jurassic boundary.

  15. Children's Tacit and Explicit Understandings of Dinosaurs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barba, Robertta H.

    The purpose of this cross-age study was to investigate elementary students' (N=120) tacit and explicit understandings of dinosaurs. Detailed analysis of audiotaped interviews of children's performance during a Piagetian-type clinical interview suggests that children's conceptual understandings of dinosaurs are first developed at a tacit level from…

  16. Body Size Distribution of the Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    O’Gorman, Eoin J.; Hone, David W. E.

    2012-01-01

    The distribution of species body size is critically important for determining resource use within a group or clade. It is widely known that non-avian dinosaurs were the largest creatures to roam the Earth. There is, however, little understanding of how maximum species body size was distributed among the dinosaurs. Do they share a similar distribution to modern day vertebrate groups in spite of their large size, or did they exhibit fundamentally different distributions due to unique evolutionary pressures and adaptations? Here, we address this question by comparing the distribution of maximum species body size for dinosaurs to an extensive set of extant and extinct vertebrate groups. We also examine the body size distribution of dinosaurs by various sub-groups, time periods and formations. We find that dinosaurs exhibit a strong skew towards larger species, in direct contrast to modern day vertebrates. This pattern is not solely an artefact of bias in the fossil record, as demonstrated by contrasting distributions in two major extinct groups and supports the hypothesis that dinosaurs exhibited a fundamentally different life history strategy to other terrestrial vertebrates. A disparity in the size distribution of the herbivorous Ornithischia and Sauropodomorpha and the largely carnivorous Theropoda suggests that this pattern may have been a product of a divergence in evolutionary strategies: herbivorous dinosaurs rapidly evolved large size to escape predation by carnivores and maximise digestive efficiency; carnivores had sufficient resources among juvenile dinosaurs and non-dinosaurian prey to achieve optimal success at smaller body size. PMID:23284818

  17. The precise temporal calibration of dinosaur origins

    PubMed Central

    Marsicano, Claudia A.; Irmis, Randall B.; Mancuso, Adriana C.; Mundil, Roland; Chemale, Farid

    2016-01-01

    Dinosaurs have been major components of ecosystems for over 200 million years. Although different macroevolutionary scenarios exist to explain the Triassic origin and subsequent rise to dominance of dinosaurs and their closest relatives (dinosauromorphs), all lack critical support from a precise biostratigraphically independent temporal framework. The absence of robust geochronologic age control for comparing alternative scenarios makes it impossible to determine if observed faunal differences vary across time, space, or a combination of both. To better constrain the origin of dinosaurs, we produced radioisotopic ages for the Argentinian Chañares Formation, which preserves a quintessential assemblage of dinosaurian precursors (early dinosauromorphs) just before the first dinosaurs. Our new high-precision chemical abrasion thermal ionization mass spectrometry (CA-TIMS) U–Pb zircon ages reveal that the assemblage is early Carnian (early Late Triassic), 5- to 10-Ma younger than previously thought. Combined with other geochronologic data from the same basin, we constrain the rate of dinosaur origins, demonstrating their relatively rapid origin in a less than 5-Ma interval, thus halving the temporal gap between assemblages containing only dinosaur precursors and those with early dinosaurs. After their origin, dinosaurs only gradually dominated mid- to high-latitude terrestrial ecosystems millions of years later, closer to the Triassic–Jurassic boundary. PMID:26644579

  18. Adaptive radiation of multituberculate mammals before the extinction of dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Gregory P; Evans, Alistair R; Corfe, Ian J; Smits, Peter D; Fortelius, Mikael; Jernvall, Jukka

    2012-03-14

    The Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction approximately 66 million years ago is conventionally thought to have been a turning point in mammalian evolution. Prior to that event and for the first two-thirds of their evolutionary history, mammals were mostly confined to roles as generalized, small-bodied, nocturnal insectivores, presumably under selection pressures from dinosaurs. Release from these pressures, by extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, triggered ecological diversification of mammals. Although recent individual fossil discoveries have shown that some mammalian lineages diversified ecologically during the Mesozoic era, comprehensive ecological analyses of mammalian groups crossing the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary are lacking. Such analyses are needed because diversification analyses of living taxa allow only indirect inferences of past ecosystems. Here we show that in arguably the most evolutionarily successful clade of Mesozoic mammals, the Multituberculata, an adaptive radiation began at least 20 million years before the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs and continued across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Disparity in dental complexity, which relates to the range of diets, rose sharply in step with generic richness and disparity in body size. Moreover, maximum dental complexity and body size demonstrate an adaptive shift towards increased herbivory. This dietary expansion tracked the ecological rise of angiosperms and suggests that the resources that were available to multituberculates were relatively unaffected by the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Taken together, our results indicate that mammals were able to take advantage of new ecological opportunities in the Mesozoic and that at least some of these opportunities persisted through the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Similar broad-scale ecomorphological inventories of other radiations may help to constrain the possible causes of mass extinctions.

  19. Dynamic Locomotor Capabilities Revealed by Early Dinosaur Trackmakers from Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Jeffrey A.; Marsicano, Claudia A.; Smith, Roger M. H.

    2009-01-01

    Background A new investigation of the sedimentology and ichnology of the Early Jurassic Moyeni tracksite in Lesotho, southern Africa has yielded new insights into the behavior and locomotor dynamics of early dinosaurs. Methodology/Principal Findings The tracksite is an ancient point bar preserving a heterogeneous substrate of varied consistency and inclination that includes a ripple-marked riverbed, a bar slope, and a stable algal-matted bar top surface. Several basal ornithischian dinosaurs and a single theropod dinosaur crossed its surface within days or perhaps weeks of one another, but responded to substrate heterogeneity differently. Whereas the theropod trackmaker accommodated sloping and slippery surfaces by gripping the substrate with its pedal claws, the basal ornithischian trackmakers adjusted to the terrain by changing between quadrupedal and bipedal stance, wide and narrow gauge limb support (abduction range = 31°), and plantigrade and digitigrade foot posture. Conclusions/Significance The locomotor adjustments coincide with changes in substrate consistency along the trackway and appear to reflect ‘real time’ responses to a complex terrain. It is proposed that these responses foreshadow important locomotor transformations characterizing the later evolution of the two main dinosaur lineages. Ornithischians, which shifted from bipedal to quadrupedal posture at least three times in their evolutionary history, are shown to have been capable of adopting both postures early in their evolutionary history. The substrate-gripping behavior demonstrated by the early theropod, in turn, is consistent with the hypothesized function of pedal claws in bird ancestors. PMID:19806213

  20. The last polar dinosaurs: high diversity of latest Cretaceous arctic dinosaurs in Russia.

    PubMed

    Godefroit, Pascal; Golovneva, Lina; Shchepetov, Sergei; Garcia, Géraldine; Alekseev, Pavel

    2009-04-01

    A latest Cretaceous (68 to 65 million years ago) vertebrate microfossil assemblage discovered at Kakanaut in northeastern Russia reveals that dinosaurs were still highly diversified in Arctic regions just before the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event. Dinosaur eggshell fragments, belonging to hadrosaurids and non-avian theropods, indicate that at least several latest Cretaceous dinosaur taxa could reproduce in polar region and were probably year-round residents of high latitudes. Palaeobotanical data suggest that these polar dinosaurs lived in a temperate climate (mean annual temperature about 10 degrees C), but the climate was apparently too cold for amphibians and ectothermic reptiles. The high diversity of Late Maastrichtian dinosaurs in high latitudes, where ectotherms are absent, strongly questions hypotheses according to which dinosaur extinction was a result of temperature decline, caused or not by the Chicxulub impact.

  1. The last polar dinosaurs: high diversity of latest Cretaceous arctic dinosaurs in Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godefroit, Pascal; Golovneva, Lina; Shchepetov, Sergei; Garcia, Géraldine; Alekseev, Pavel

    2009-04-01

    A latest Cretaceous (68 to 65 million years ago) vertebrate microfossil assemblage discovered at Kakanaut in northeastern Russia reveals that dinosaurs were still highly diversified in Arctic regions just before the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction event. Dinosaur eggshell fragments, belonging to hadrosaurids and non-avian theropods, indicate that at least several latest Cretaceous dinosaur taxa could reproduce in polar region and were probably year-round residents of high latitudes. Palaeobotanical data suggest that these polar dinosaurs lived in a temperate climate (mean annual temperature about 10°C), but the climate was apparently too cold for amphibians and ectothermic reptiles. The high diversity of Late Maastrichtian dinosaurs in high latitudes, where ectotherms are absent, strongly questions hypotheses according to which dinosaur extinction was a result of temperature decline, caused or not by the Chicxulub impact.

  2. Theory and Practice of Lineage Tracing.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Ya-Chieh

    2015-11-01

    Lineage tracing is a method that delineates all progeny produced by a single cell or a group of cells. The possibility of performing lineage tracing initiated the field of Developmental Biology and continues to revolutionize Stem Cell Biology. Here, I introduce the principles behind a successful lineage-tracing experiment. In addition, I summarize and compare different methods for conducting lineage tracing and provide examples of how these strategies can be implemented to answer fundamental questions in development and regeneration. The advantages and limitations of each method are also discussed.

  3. The Theory and Practice of Lineage Tracing

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Ya-Chieh

    2015-01-01

    Lineage tracing is a method that delineates all progeny produced by a single cell or a group of cells. The possibility of performing lineage tracing initiated the field of Developmental Biology, and continues to revolutionize Stem Cell Biology. Here, I introduce the principles behind a successful lineage-tracing experiment. In addition, I summarize and compare different methods for conducting lineage tracing and provide examples of how these strategies can be implemented to answer fundamental questions in development and regeneration. The advantages and limitations of each method are also discussed. PMID:26284340

  4. Wear biomechanics in the slicing dentition of the giant horned dinosaur Triceratops

    PubMed Central

    Erickson, Gregory M.; Sidebottom, Mark A.; Kay, David I.; Turner, Kevin T.; Ip, Nathan; Norell, Mark A.; Sawyer, W. Gregory; Krick, Brandon A.

    2015-01-01

    Herbivorous reptiles rarely evolve occluding dentitions that allow for the mastication (chewing) of plant matter. Conversely, most herbivorous mammals have occluding teeth with complex tissue architectures that self-wear to complex morphologies for orally processing plants. Dinosaurs stand out among reptiles in that several lineages acquired the capacity to masticate. In particular, the horned ceratopsian dinosaurs, among the most successful Late Cretaceous dinosaurian lineages, evolved slicing dentitions for the exploitation of tough, bulky plant matter. We show how Triceratops, a 9-m-long ceratopsian, and its relatives evolved teeth that wore during feeding to create fullers (recessed central regions on cutting blades) on the chewing surfaces. This unique morphology served to reduce friction during feeding. It was achieved through the evolution of a complex suite of osseous dental tissues rivaling the complexity of mammalian dentitions. Tribological (wear) properties of the tissues are preserved in ~66-million-year-old teeth, allowing the creation of a sophisticated three-dimensional biomechanical wear model that reveals how the complexes synergistically wore to create these implements. These findings, along with similar discoveries in hadrosaurids (duck-billed dinosaurs), suggest that tissue-mediated changes in dental morphology may have played a major role in the remarkable ecological diversification of these clades and perhaps other dinosaurian clades capable of mastication. PMID:26601198

  5. Wear biomechanics in the slicing dentition of the giant horned dinosaur Triceratops.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Gregory M; Sidebottom, Mark A; Kay, David I; Turner, Kevin T; Ip, Nathan; Norell, Mark A; Sawyer, W Gregory; Krick, Brandon A

    2015-06-01

    Herbivorous reptiles rarely evolve occluding dentitions that allow for the mastication (chewing) of plant matter. Conversely, most herbivorous mammals have occluding teeth with complex tissue architectures that self-wear to complex morphologies for orally processing plants. Dinosaurs stand out among reptiles in that several lineages acquired the capacity to masticate. In particular, the horned ceratopsian dinosaurs, among the most successful Late Cretaceous dinosaurian lineages, evolved slicing dentitions for the exploitation of tough, bulky plant matter. We show how Triceratops, a 9-m-long ceratopsian, and its relatives evolved teeth that wore during feeding to create fullers (recessed central regions on cutting blades) on the chewing surfaces. This unique morphology served to reduce friction during feeding. It was achieved through the evolution of a complex suite of osseous dental tissues rivaling the complexity of mammalian dentitions. Tribological (wear) properties of the tissues are preserved in ~66-million-year-old teeth, allowing the creation of a sophisticated three-dimensional biomechanical wear model that reveals how the complexes synergistically wore to create these implements. These findings, along with similar discoveries in hadrosaurids (duck-billed dinosaurs), suggest that tissue-mediated changes in dental morphology may have played a major role in the remarkable ecological diversification of these clades and perhaps other dinosaurian clades capable of mastication.

  6. The Origin and Evolution of Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sereno, Paul C.

    Phylogenetic studies and new fossil evidence have yielded fundamental insights into the pattern and timing of dinosaur evolution and the emergence of functionally modern birds. The dinosaurian radiation began in the Middle Triassic and significantly predates their rise to global dominance by the end of the period. The phylogenetic history of ornithischian and saurichian dinosaurs reveals evolutionary trends such as increasing body size. Adaptations to herbivory dinosaurs were not tightly correlated with marked floral changes. Dinosaurian biogeography during the era of continental breakup principally involved dispersal and regional extinction.

  7. Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism

    PubMed Central

    Sander, P Martin; Christian, Andreas; Clauss, Marcus; Fechner, Regina; Gee, Carole T; Griebeler, Eva-Maria; Gunga, Hanns-Christian; Hummel, Jürgen; Mallison, Heinrich; Perry, Steven F; Preuschoft, Holger; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Remes, Kristian; Tütken, Thomas; Wings, Oliver; Witzel, Ulrich

    2011-01-01

    The herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were the largest terrestrial animals ever, surpassing the largest herbivorous mammals by an order of magnitude in body mass. Several evolutionary lineages among Sauropoda produced giants with body masses in excess of 50 metric tonnes by conservative estimates. With body mass increase driven by the selective advantages of large body size, animal lineages will increase in body size until they reach the limit determined by the interplay of bauplan, biology, and resource availability. There is no evidence, however, that resource availability and global physicochemical parameters were different enough in the Mesozoic to have led to sauropod gigantism. We review the biology of sauropod dinosaurs in detail and posit that sauropod gigantism was made possible by a specific combination of plesiomorphic characters (phylogenetic heritage) and evolutionary innovations at different levels which triggered a remarkable evolutionary cascade. Of these key innovations, the most important probably was the very long neck, the most conspicuous feature of the sauropod bauplan. Compared to other herbivores, the long neck allowed more efficient food uptake than in other large herbivores by covering a much larger feeding envelope and making food accessible that was out of the reach of other herbivores. Sauropods thus must have been able to take up more energy from their environment than other herbivores. The long neck, in turn, could only evolve because of the small head and the extensive pneumatization of the sauropod axial skeleton, lightening the neck. The small head was possible because food was ingested without mastication. Both mastication and a gastric mill would have limited food uptake rate. Scaling relationships between gastrointestinal tract size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) suggest that sauropods compensated for the lack of particle reduction with long retention times, even at high uptake rates. The

  8. Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism.

    PubMed

    Sander, P Martin; Christian, Andreas; Clauss, Marcus; Fechner, Regina; Gee, Carole T; Griebeler, Eva-Maria; Gunga, Hanns-Christian; Hummel, Jürgen; Mallison, Heinrich; Perry, Steven F; Preuschoft, Holger; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Remes, Kristian; Tütken, Thomas; Wings, Oliver; Witzel, Ulrich

    2011-02-01

    The herbivorous sauropod dinosaurs of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods were the largest terrestrial animals ever, surpassing the largest herbivorous mammals by an order of magnitude in body mass. Several evolutionary lineages among Sauropoda produced giants with body masses in excess of 50 metric tonnes by conservative estimates. With body mass increase driven by the selective advantages of large body size, animal lineages will increase in body size until they reach the limit determined by the interplay of bauplan, biology, and resource availability. There is no evidence, however, that resource availability and global physicochemical parameters were different enough in the Mesozoic to have led to sauropod gigantism. We review the biology of sauropod dinosaurs in detail and posit that sauropod gigantism was made possible by a specific combination of plesiomorphic characters (phylogenetic heritage) and evolutionary innovations at different levels which triggered a remarkable evolutionary cascade. Of these key innovations, the most important probably was the very long neck, the most conspicuous feature of the sauropod bauplan. Compared to other herbivores, the long neck allowed more efficient food uptake than in other large herbivores by covering a much larger feeding envelope and making food accessible that was out of the reach of other herbivores. Sauropods thus must have been able to take up more energy from their environment than other herbivores. The long neck, in turn, could only evolve because of the small head and the extensive pneumatization of the sauropod axial skeleton, lightening the neck. The small head was possible because food was ingested without mastication. Both mastication and a gastric mill would have limited food uptake rate. Scaling relationships between gastrointestinal tract size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) suggest that sauropods compensated for the lack of particle reduction with long retention times, even at high uptake rates. The

  9. Bony cranial ornamentation linked to rapid evolution of gigantic theropod dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gates, Terry A.; Organ, Chris; Zanno, Lindsay E.

    2016-09-01

    Exaggerated cranial structures such as crests and horns, hereafter referred to collectively as ornaments, are pervasive across animal species. These structures perform vital roles in visual communication and physical interactions within and between species. Yet the origin and influence of ornamentation on speciation and ecology across macroevolutionary time scales remains poorly understood for virtually all animals. Here, we explore correlative evolution of osseous cranial ornaments with large body size in theropod dinosaurs using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We find that body size evolved directionally toward phyletic giantism an order of magnitude faster in theropod species possessing ornaments compared with unadorned lineages. In addition, we find a body mass threshold below which bony cranial ornaments do not originate. Maniraptoriform dinosaurs generally lack osseous cranial ornaments despite repeatedly crossing this body size threshold. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for a shift in selective pressures on socio-sexual display mechanisms in theropods coincident with the evolution of pennaceous feathers.

  10. Bony cranial ornamentation linked to rapid evolution of gigantic theropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Gates, Terry A; Organ, Chris; Zanno, Lindsay E

    2016-09-27

    Exaggerated cranial structures such as crests and horns, hereafter referred to collectively as ornaments, are pervasive across animal species. These structures perform vital roles in visual communication and physical interactions within and between species. Yet the origin and influence of ornamentation on speciation and ecology across macroevolutionary time scales remains poorly understood for virtually all animals. Here, we explore correlative evolution of osseous cranial ornaments with large body size in theropod dinosaurs using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We find that body size evolved directionally toward phyletic giantism an order of magnitude faster in theropod species possessing ornaments compared with unadorned lineages. In addition, we find a body mass threshold below which bony cranial ornaments do not originate. Maniraptoriform dinosaurs generally lack osseous cranial ornaments despite repeatedly crossing this body size threshold. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for a shift in selective pressures on socio-sexual display mechanisms in theropods coincident with the evolution of pennaceous feathers.

  11. Bony cranial ornamentation linked to rapid evolution of gigantic theropod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Gates, Terry A.; Organ, Chris; Zanno, Lindsay E.

    2016-01-01

    Exaggerated cranial structures such as crests and horns, hereafter referred to collectively as ornaments, are pervasive across animal species. These structures perform vital roles in visual communication and physical interactions within and between species. Yet the origin and influence of ornamentation on speciation and ecology across macroevolutionary time scales remains poorly understood for virtually all animals. Here, we explore correlative evolution of osseous cranial ornaments with large body size in theropod dinosaurs using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We find that body size evolved directionally toward phyletic giantism an order of magnitude faster in theropod species possessing ornaments compared with unadorned lineages. In addition, we find a body mass threshold below which bony cranial ornaments do not originate. Maniraptoriform dinosaurs generally lack osseous cranial ornaments despite repeatedly crossing this body size threshold. Our study provides novel, quantitative support for a shift in selective pressures on socio-sexual display mechanisms in theropods coincident with the evolution of pennaceous feathers. PMID:27676310

  12. An evolutionary cascade model for sauropod dinosaur gigantism--overview, update and tests.

    PubMed

    Sander, P Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM). This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades ("Reproduction", "Feeding", "Head and neck", "Avian-style lung", and "Metabolism"). Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait "Very high body mass". Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits) were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size.

  13. An Evolutionary Cascade Model for Sauropod Dinosaur Gigantism - Overview, Update and Tests

    PubMed Central

    Sander, P. Martin

    2013-01-01

    Sauropod dinosaurs are a group of herbivorous dinosaurs which exceeded all other terrestrial vertebrates in mean and maximal body size. Sauropod dinosaurs were also the most successful and long-lived herbivorous tetrapod clade, but no abiological factors such as global environmental parameters conducive to their gigantism can be identified. These facts justify major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size. Contributions to this research program have come from many fields and can be synthesized into a biological evolutionary cascade model of sauropod dinosaur gigantism (sauropod gigantism ECM). This review focuses on the sauropod gigantism ECM, providing an updated version based on the contributions to the PLoS ONE sauropod gigantism collection and on other very recent published evidence. The model consist of five separate evolutionary cascades (“Reproduction”, “Feeding”, “Head and neck”, “Avian-style lung”, and “Metabolism”). Each cascade starts with observed or inferred basal traits that either may be plesiomorphic or derived at the level of Sauropoda. Each trait confers hypothetical selective advantages which permit the evolution of the next trait. Feedback loops in the ECM consist of selective advantages originating from traits higher in the cascades but affecting lower traits. All cascades end in the trait “Very high body mass”. Each cascade is linked to at least one other cascade. Important plesiomorphic traits of sauropod dinosaurs that entered the model were ovipary as well as no mastication of food. Important evolutionary innovations (derived traits) were an avian-style respiratory system and an elevated basal metabolic rate. Comparison with other tetrapod lineages identifies factors limiting body size. PMID:24205267

  14. Dinosaurs in the year of Darwin.

    PubMed

    Dodson, Peter

    2009-09-01

    This special issue of The Anatomical Record explores the recent advances in the functional morphology and paleobiology of dinosaurs. Although Darwin did not study dinosaurs because paleontology was in its infancy a century and half ago, he considered both paleontology and anatomy as essential subjects for establishing the validity of evolution. The study of dinosaurs constitutes a vigorous subdiscipline within vertebrate paleontology, and anatomists and evolutionary functional morphologists constitute an especially creative subgroup within dinosaur paleontology. The collection of 17 papers presented in this issue encompass cranial anatomy, postcranial anatomy, and paleobiology of dinosaurs and other archosaurs. Soft tissue subjects include studies of brain structure, jaw adductor muscles, and keratinous appendages of the skull. Taxonomically, it includes four papers with a focus on theropods, including Tyrannosaurus, five papers dealing with ceratopsians, three papers on hadrosaurs, and one on ankylosaurs. Modern anatomical techniques such as CT scanning, finite element analysis, and high resolution histology are emphasized. The visual presentation of results of these studies is spectacular. Results include the first-ever life history table of a plant-eating dinosaur; a determination of the head orientation of Tyrannosaurus and its relatives based on interpretation of the semicircular canals. The claws of Velociraptor appear to best adapted for tree climbing, but not for horrific predatory activities. Pachyrhinosaurus evidently used its massive head for head butting. The tail club of the armored dinosaur Euoplocephalus had the structural integrity to be used as a weapon. The pages abound with insights such as these. Dinosaurs once dead for millions of years live again!

  15. New insights into dinosaur jaw muscle anatomy.

    PubMed

    Holliday, Casey M

    2009-09-01

    Jaw muscles are key components of the head and critical to testing hypotheses of soft-tissue homology, skull function, and evolution. Dinosaurs evolved an extraordinary diversity of cranial forms adapted to a variety of feeding behaviors. However, disparate evolutionary transformations in head shape and function among dinosaurs and their living relatives, birds and crocodylians, impair straightforward reconstructions of muscles, and other important cephalic soft tissues. This study presents the osteological correlates and inferred soft tissue anatomy of the jaw muscles and relevant neurovasculature in the temporal region of the dinosaur head. Hypotheses of jaw muscle homology were tested across a broad range archosaur and sauropsid taxa to more accurately infer muscle attachments in the adductor chambers of non-avian dinosaurs. Many dinosaurs likely possessed m. levator pterygoideus, a trait shared with lepidosaurs but not extant archosaurs. Several major clades of dinosaurs (e.g., Ornithopoda, Ceratopsidae, Sauropoda) eliminated the epipterygoid, thus impacting interpretations of m. pseudotemporalis profundus. M. pseudotemporalis superficialis most likely attached to the caudoventral surface of the laterosphenoid, a trait shared with extant archosaurs. Although mm. adductor mandibulae externus profundus and medialis likely attached to the caudal half of the dorsotemporal fossa and coronoid process, clear osteological correlates separating the individual bellies are rare. Most dinosaur clades possess osteological correlates indicative of a pterygoideus ventralis muscle that attaches to the lateral surface of the mandible, although the muscle may have extended as far as the jugal in some taxa (e.g., hadrosaurs, tyrannosaurs). The cranial and mandibular attachments of mm adductor mandibulae externus superficialis and adductor mandibulae posterior were consistent across all taxa studied. These new data greatly increase the interpretive resolution of head anatomy in

  16. Dinosaur extinction: closing the '3 m gap'.

    PubMed

    Lyson, Tyler R; Bercovici, Antoine; Chester, Stephen G B; Sargis, Eric J; Pearson, Dean; Joyce, Walter G

    2011-12-23

    Modern debate regarding the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs was ignited by the publication of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) asteroid impact theory and has seen 30 years of dispute over the position of the stratigraphically youngest in situ dinosaur. A zone devoid of dinosaur fossils reported from the last 3 m of the Upper Cretaceous, coined the '3 m gap', has helped drive controversy. Here, we report the discovery of the stratigraphically youngest in situ dinosaur specimen: a ceratopsian brow horn found in a poorly rooted, silty, mudstone floodplain deposit located no more than 13 cm below the palynologically defined boundary. The K-T boundary is identified using three criteria: (i) decrease in Cretaceous palynomorphs without subsequent recovery, (ii) the existence of a 'fern spike', and (iii) correlation to a nearby stratigraphic section where primary extraterrestrial impact markers are present (e.g. iridium anomaly, spherules, shocked quartz). The in situ specimen demonstrates that a gap devoid of non-avian dinosaur fossils does not exist and is inconsistent with the hypothesis that non-avian dinosaurs were extinct prior to the K-T boundary impact event.

  17. First Dinosaur Tracks from the Arabian Peninsula

    PubMed Central

    Schulp, Anne S.; Al-Wosabi, Mohammed; Stevens, Nancy J.

    2008-01-01

    Background The evolutionary history of Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrates from the Arabian Peninsula is virtually unknown. Despite vast exposures of rocky outcrops, only a handful of fossils have yet been described from the region. Here we report a multi-taxon dinosaur track assemblage near Madar village, 47 km north of Sana'a, Republic of Yemen. This represents the first dinosaur tracksite from the Arabian Peninsula, and the only multi-taxon dinosaur ichnosite in the Middle East. Methodology/Findings Measurements were taken directly from trackway impressions, following standard ichnological conventions. The presence of bipedal trackmakers is evidenced by a long series of pes imprints preserving smoothly rounded posterior margins, no evidence of a hallux, bluntly rounded digit tips and digital divarication angles characteristic of ornithopod dinosaurs. Nearby, eleven parallel quadrupedal trackways document a sauropod herd that included large and small individuals traveling together. Based on the morphology of manus impressions along with a narrow-gauged stance, the quadrupedal trackways were made by non-titanosauriform neosauropods. Additional isolated tracks and trackways of sauropod and ornithopod dinosaurs are preserved nearby. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, these discoveries present the most evocative window to date into the evolutionary history of dinosaurs of the Arabian Peninsula. Given the limited Mesozoic terrestrial record from the region, this discovery is of both temporal and geographic significance, and massive exposures of similarly-aged outcrops nearby offer great promise for future discoveries. PMID:18493306

  18. High-content image informatics of the structural nuclear protein NuMA parses trajectories for stem/progenitor cell lineages and oncogenic transformation.

    PubMed

    Vega, Sebastián L; Liu, Er; Arvind, Varun; Bushman, Jared; Sung, Hak-Joon; Becker, Matthew L; Lelièvre, Sophie; Kohn, Joachim; Vidi, Pierre-Alexandre; Moghe, Prabhas V

    2017-02-01

    Stem and progenitor cells that exhibit significant regenerative potential and critical roles in cancer initiation and progression remain difficult to characterize. Cell fates are determined by reciprocal signaling between the cell microenvironment and the nucleus; hence parameters derived from nuclear remodeling are ideal candidates for stem/progenitor cell characterization. Here we applied high-content, single cell analysis of nuclear shape and organization to examine stem and progenitor cells destined to distinct differentiation endpoints, yet undistinguishable by conventional methods. Nuclear descriptors defined through image informatics classified mesenchymal stem cells poised to either adipogenic or osteogenic differentiation, and oligodendrocyte precursors isolated from different regions of the brain and destined to distinct astrocyte subtypes. Nuclear descriptors also revealed early changes in stem cells after chemical oncogenesis, allowing the identification of a class of cancer-mitigating biomaterials. To capture the metrology of nuclear changes, we developed a simple and quantitative "imaging-derived" parsing index, which reflects the dynamic evolution of the high-dimensional space of nuclear organizational features. A comparative analysis of parsing outcomes via either nuclear shape or textural metrics of the nuclear structural protein NuMA indicates the nuclear shape alone is a weak phenotypic predictor. In contrast, variations in the NuMA organization parsed emergent cell phenotypes and discerned emergent stages of stem cell transformation, supporting a prognosticating role for this protein in the outcomes of nuclear functions.

  19. Engraftment and Lineage Potential of Adult Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells Is Compromised Following Short-Term Culture in the Presence of an Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Antagonist

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Angel; Torres-Coronado, Monica; Tran, Chy-Anh; Vu, Hieu; Epps, Elizabeth W.; Chung, Janet; Gonzalez, Nancy; Blanchard, Suzette

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy for HIV/AIDS is a promising alternative to lifelong antiretroviral therapy. One of the limitations of this approach is the number and quality of stem cells available for transplant following in vitro manipulations associated with stem cell isolation and genetic modification. The development of methods to increase the number of autologous, gene-modified stem cells available for transplantation would overcome this barrier. Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) from adult growth factor-mobilized peripheral blood were cultured in the presence of an aryl hydrocarbon receptor antagonist (AhRA) previously shown to expand HSPC from umbilical cord blood. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of the hematopoietic potential of minimally cultured (MC-HSPC) or expanded HSPC (Exp-HSPC) was performed using an immunodeficient mouse model of transplantation. Our results demonstrate robust, multilineage engraftment of both MC-HSPC and Exp-HSPC although estimates of expansion based on stem cell phenotype were not supported by a corresponding increase in in vivo engrafting units. Bone marrow of animals transplanted with either MC-HSPC or Exp-HSPC contained secondary engrafting cells verifying the presence of primitive stem cells in both populations. However, the frequency of in vivo engrafting units among the more primitive CD34+/CD90+ HSPC population was significantly lower in Exp-HSPC compared with MC-HSPC. Exp-HSPC also produced fewer lymphoid progeny and more myeloid progeny than MC-HSPC. These results reveal that in vitro culture of adult HSPC in AhRA maintains but does not increase the number of in vivo engrafting cells and that HSPC expanded in vitro contain defects in lymphopoiesis as assessed in this model system. Further investigation is required before implementation of this approach in the clinical setting. PMID:25003230

  20. All about Dinosaurs. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    Dinosaurs were the rulers of the land 65 million years ago. In this videotape, children learn more about the different kinds of dinosaurs by viewing vivid illustrations and fossil discoveries. Students compare the dinosaurs to their modern kin--snakes, lizards, and crocodiles. Students also listen to different theories to try to answer the big…

  1. The Great Dinosaur Feud: Science against All Odds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James; Carpinelli, Amy

    2008-01-01

    In the 19th century, the race to uncover dinosaur fossils and name new dinosaur species inspired two rival scientists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, to behave in ways that were the antithesis of scientific methods. Subterfuge, theft, and espionage were the ingredients of the Great Dinosaur Feud. Because students often enjoy…

  2. PDGF, TGF-beta, and FGF signaling is important for differentiation and growth of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs): transcriptional profiling can identify markers and signaling pathways important in differentiation of MSCs into adipogenic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic lineages.

    PubMed

    Ng, Felicia; Boucher, Shayne; Koh, Susie; Sastry, Konduru S R; Chase, Lucas; Lakshmipathy, Uma; Choong, Cleo; Yang, Zheng; Vemuri, Mohan C; Rao, Mahendra S; Tanavde, Vivek

    2008-07-15

    We compared the transcriptomes of marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with differentiated adipocytes, osteocytes, and chondrocytes derived from these MSCs. Using global gene-expression profiling arrays to detect RNA transcripts, we have identified markers that are specific for MSCs and their differentiated progeny. Further, we have also identified pathways that MSCs use to differentiate into adipogenic, chondrogenic, and osteogenic lineages. We identified activin-mediated transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta signaling, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) signaling and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling as the key pathways involved in MSC differentiation. The differentiation of MSCs into these lineages is affected when these pathways are perturbed by inhibitors of cell surface receptor function. Since growth and differentiation are tightly linked processes, we also examined the importance of these 3 pathways in MSC growth. These 3 pathways were necessary and sufficient for MSC growth. Inhibiting any of these pathways slowed MSC growth, whereas a combination of TGF-beta, PDGF, and beta-FGF was sufficient to grow MSCs in a serum-free medium up to 5 passages. Thus, this study illustrates it is possible to predict signaling pathways active in cellular differentiation and growth using microarray data and experimentally verify these predictions.

  3. Conserved loci of leaf and stem rust fungi of wheat share synteny interrupted by lineage-specific influx of repeat elements

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Wheat leaf rust (Puccinia triticina Eriks; Pt) and stem rust (P. graminis f.sp. tritici; Pgt) are significant economic pathogens having similar host ranges and life cycles, but different alternate hosts. The Pt genome, currently estimated at 135 Mb, is significantly larger than Pgt, at ...

  4. Efficient and robust differentiation of endothelial cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells via lineage control with VEGF and cyclic AMP

    PubMed Central

    Ikuno, Takeshi; Masumoto, Hidetoshi; Yamamizu, Kohei; Yoshioka, Miki; Minakata, Kenji; Ikeda, Tadashi; Sakata, Ryuzo; Yamashita, Jun K.

    2017-01-01

    Blood vessels are essential components for many tissues and organs. Thus, efficient induction of endothelial cells (ECs) from human pluripotent stem cells is a key method for generating higher tissue structures entirely from stem cells. We previously established an EC differentiation system with mouse pluripotent stem cells to show that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is essential to induce ECs and that cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) synergistically enhances VEGF effects. Here we report an efficient and robust EC differentiation method from human pluripotent stem cell lines based on a 2D monolayer, serum-free culture. We controlled the direction of differentiation from mesoderm to ECs using stage-specific stimulation with VEGF and cAMP combined with the elimination of non-responder cells at early EC stage. This “stimulation-elimination” method robustly achieved very high efficiency (>99%) and yield (>10 ECs from 1 hiPSC input) of EC differentiation, with no purification of ECs after differentiation. We believe this method will be a valuable technological basis broadly for regenerative medicine and 3D tissue engineering. PMID:28288160

  5. Luminal progenitors restrict their lineage potential during mammary gland development.

    PubMed

    Rodilla, Veronica; Dasti, Alessandro; Huyghe, Mathilde; Lafkas, Daniel; Laurent, Cécile; Reyal, Fabien; Fre, Silvia

    2015-02-01

    The hierarchical relationships between stem cells and progenitors that guide mammary gland morphogenesis are still poorly defined. While multipotent basal stem cells have been found within the myoepithelial compartment, the in vivo lineage potential of luminal progenitors is unclear. Here we used the expression of the Notch1 receptor, previously implicated in mammary gland development and tumorigenesis, to elucidate the hierarchical organization of mammary stem/progenitor cells by lineage tracing. We found that Notch1 expression identifies multipotent stem cells in the embryonic mammary bud, which progressively restrict their lineage potential during mammary ductal morphogenesis to exclusively generate an ERαneg luminal lineage postnatally. Importantly, our results show that Notch1-labelled cells represent the alveolar progenitors that expand during pregnancy and survive multiple successive involutions. This study reveals that postnatal luminal epithelial cells derive from distinct self-sustained lineages that may represent the cells of origin of different breast cancer subtypes.

  6. Luminal Progenitors Restrict Their Lineage Potential during Mammary Gland Development

    PubMed Central

    Rodilla, Veronica; Dasti, Alessandro; Huyghe, Mathilde; Lafkas, Daniel; Laurent, Cécile; Reyal, Fabien; Fre, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    The hierarchical relationships between stem cells and progenitors that guide mammary gland morphogenesis are still poorly defined. While multipotent basal stem cells have been found within the myoepithelial compartment, the in vivo lineage potential of luminal progenitors is unclear. Here we used the expression of the Notch1 receptor, previously implicated in mammary gland development and tumorigenesis, to elucidate the hierarchical organization of mammary stem/progenitor cells by lineage tracing. We found that Notch1 expression identifies multipotent stem cells in the embryonic mammary bud, which progressively restrict their lineage potential during mammary ductal morphogenesis to exclusively generate an ERαneg luminal lineage postnatally. Importantly, our results show that Notch1-labelled cells represent the alveolar progenitors that expand during pregnancy and survive multiple successive involutions. This study reveals that postnatal luminal epithelial cells derive from distinct self-sustained lineages that may represent the cells of origin of different breast cancer subtypes. PMID:25688859

  7. Forearm posture and mobility in quadrupedal dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    VanBuren, Collin S; Bonnan, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Quadrupedality evolved four independent times in dinosaurs; however, the constraints associated with these transitions in limb anatomy and function remain poorly understood, in particular the evolution of forearm posture and rotational ability (i.e., active pronation and supination). Results of previous qualitative studies are inconsistent, likely due to an inability to quantitatively assess the likelihood of their conclusions. We attempt to quantify antebrachial posture and mobility using the radius bone because its morphology is distinct between extant sprawled taxa with a limited active pronation ability and parasagittal taxa that have an enhanced ability to actively pronate the manus. We used a sliding semi-landmark, outline-based geometric morphometric approach of the proximal radial head and a measurement of the angle of curvature of the radius in a sample of 189 mammals, 49 dinosaurs, 35 squamates, 16 birds, and 5 crocodilians. Our results of radial head morphology showed that quadrupedal ceratopsians, bipedal non-hadrosaurid ornithopods, and theropods had limited pronation/supination ability, and sauropodomorphs have unique radial head morphology that likely allowed limited rotational ability. However, the curvature of the radius showed that no dinosaurian clade had the ability to cross the radius about the ulna, suggesting parallel antebrachial elements for all quadrupedal dinosaurs. We conclude that the bipedal origins of all quadrupedal dinosaur clades could have allowed for greater disparity in forelimb posture than previously appreciated, and future studies on dinosaur posture should not limit their classifications to the overly simplistic extant dichotomy.

  8. The evolution of dinosaur tooth enamel microstructure.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Sunny H

    2011-02-01

    The evolution of tooth enamel microstructure in both extinct and extant mammalian groups has been extensively documented, but is poorly known in reptiles, including dinosaurs. Previous intensive sampling of dinosaur tooth enamel microstructure revealed that: (1) the three-dimensional arrangement of enamel types and features within a tooth-the schmelzmuster-is most useful in diagnosing dinosaur clades at or around the family level; (2) enamel microstructure complexity is correlated with tooth morphology complexity and not necessarily with phylogenetic position; and (3) there is a large amount of homoplasy within Theropoda but much less within Ornithischia. In this study, the examination of the enamel microstructure of 28 additional dinosaur taxa fills in taxonomic gaps of previous studies and reinforces the aforementioned conclusions. Additionally, these new specimens reveal that within clades such as Sauropodomorpha, Neotheropoda, and Euornithopoda, the more basal taxa have simpler enamel that is a precursor to the more complex enamel of more derived taxa and that schmelzmusters evolve in a stepwise fashion. In the particularly well-sampled clade of Euornithopoda, correlations between the evolution of dental and enamel characters could be drawn. The ancestral schmelzmuster for Genasauria remains ambiguous due to the dearth of basal ornithischian teeth available for study. These new specimens provide new insights into the evolution of tooth enamel microstructure in dinosaurs, emphasizing the importance of thorough sampling within broadly inclusive clades, especially among their more basal members.

  9. Forearm Posture and Mobility in Quadrupedal Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    VanBuren, Collin S.; Bonnan, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Quadrupedality evolved four independent times in dinosaurs; however, the constraints associated with these transitions in limb anatomy and function remain poorly understood, in particular the evolution of forearm posture and rotational ability (i.e., active pronation and supination). Results of previous qualitative studies are inconsistent, likely due to an inability to quantitatively assess the likelihood of their conclusions. We attempt to quantify antebrachial posture and mobility using the radius bone because its morphology is distinct between extant sprawled taxa with a limited active pronation ability and parasagittal taxa that have an enhanced ability to actively pronate the manus. We used a sliding semi-landmark, outline-based geometric morphometric approach of the proximal radial head and a measurement of the angle of curvature of the radius in a sample of 189 mammals, 49 dinosaurs, 35 squamates, 16 birds, and 5 crocodilians. Our results of radial head morphology showed that quadrupedal ceratopsians, bipedal non-hadrosaurid ornithopods, and theropods had limited pronation/supination ability, and sauropodomorphs have unique radial head morphology that likely allowed limited rotational ability. However, the curvature of the radius showed that no dinosaurian clade had the ability to cross the radius about the ulna, suggesting parallel antebrachial elements for all quadrupedal dinosaurs. We conclude that the bipedal origins of all quadrupedal dinosaur clades could have allowed for greater disparity in forelimb posture than previously appreciated, and future studies on dinosaur posture should not limit their classifications to the overly simplistic extant dichotomy. PMID:24058633

  10. Temporal and phylogenetic evolution of the sauropod dinosaur body plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Karl T.; Mannion, Philip D.; Falkingham, Peter L.; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Hutchinson, John R.; Otero, Alejandro; Sellers, William I.; Sullivan, Corwin; Stevens, Kent A.; Allen, Vivian

    2016-03-01

    The colossal size and body plan of sauropod dinosaurs are unparalleled in terrestrial vertebrates. However, to date, there have been only limited attempts to examine temporal and phylogenetic patterns in the sauropod bauplan. Here, we combine three-dimensional computational models with phylogenetic reconstructions to quantify the evolution of whole-body shape and body segment properties across the sauropod radiation. Limitations associated with the absence of soft tissue preservation in fossils result in large error bars about mean absolute body shape predictions. However, applying any consistent skeleton : body volume ratio to all taxa does yield changes in body shape that appear concurrent with major macroevolutionary events in sauropod history. A caudad shift in centre-of-mass (CoM) in Middle Triassic Saurischia, associated with the evolution of bipedalism in various dinosaur lineages, was reversed in Late Triassic sauropodomorphs. A craniad CoM shift coincided with the evolution of quadrupedalism in the Late Triassic, followed by a more striking craniad shift in Late Jurassic-Cretaceous titanosauriforms, which included the largest sauropods. These craniad CoM shifts are strongly correlated with neck enlargement, a key innovation in sauropod evolution and pivotal to their gigantism. By creating a much larger feeding envelope, neck elongation is thought to have increased feeding efficiency and opened up trophic niches that were inaccessible to other herbivores. However, we find that relative neck size and CoM position are not strongly correlated with inferred feeding habits. Instead the craniad CoM positions of titanosauriforms appear closely linked with locomotion and environmental distributions, potentially contributing to the continued success of this group until the end-Cretaceous, with all other sauropods having gone extinct by the early Late Cretaceous.

  11. Temporal and phylogenetic evolution of the sauropod dinosaur body plan

    PubMed Central

    Bates, Karl T.; Mannion, Philip D.; Falkingham, Peter L.; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Hutchinson, John R.; Otero, Alejandro; Sellers, William I.; Sullivan, Corwin; Stevens, Kent A.; Allen, Vivian

    2016-01-01

    The colossal size and body plan of sauropod dinosaurs are unparalleled in terrestrial vertebrates. However, to date, there have been only limited attempts to examine temporal and phylogenetic patterns in the sauropod bauplan. Here, we combine three-dimensional computational models with phylogenetic reconstructions to quantify the evolution of whole-body shape and body segment properties across the sauropod radiation. Limitations associated with the absence of soft tissue preservation in fossils result in large error bars about mean absolute body shape predictions. However, applying any consistent skeleton : body volume ratio to all taxa does yield changes in body shape that appear concurrent with major macroevolutionary events in sauropod history. A caudad shift in centre-of-mass (CoM) in Middle Triassic Saurischia, associated with the evolution of bipedalism in various dinosaur lineages, was reversed in Late Triassic sauropodomorphs. A craniad CoM shift coincided with the evolution of quadrupedalism in the Late Triassic, followed by a more striking craniad shift in Late Jurassic–Cretaceous titanosauriforms, which included the largest sauropods. These craniad CoM shifts are strongly correlated with neck enlargement, a key innovation in sauropod evolution and pivotal to their gigantism. By creating a much larger feeding envelope, neck elongation is thought to have increased feeding efficiency and opened up trophic niches that were inaccessible to other herbivores. However, we find that relative neck size and CoM position are not strongly correlated with inferred feeding habits. Instead the craniad CoM positions of titanosauriforms appear closely linked with locomotion and environmental distributions, potentially contributing to the continued success of this group until the end-Cretaceous, with all other sauropods having gone extinct by the early Late Cretaceous. PMID:27069652

  12. Temporal and phylogenetic evolution of the sauropod dinosaur body plan.

    PubMed

    Bates, Karl T; Mannion, Philip D; Falkingham, Peter L; Brusatte, Stephen L; Hutchinson, John R; Otero, Alejandro; Sellers, William I; Sullivan, Corwin; Stevens, Kent A; Allen, Vivian

    2016-03-01

    The colossal size and body plan of sauropod dinosaurs are unparalleled in terrestrial vertebrates. However, to date, there have been only limited attempts to examine temporal and phylogenetic patterns in the sauropod bauplan. Here, we combine three-dimensional computational models with phylogenetic reconstructions to quantify the evolution of whole-body shape and body segment properties across the sauropod radiation. Limitations associated with the absence of soft tissue preservation in fossils result in large error bars about mean absolute body shape predictions. However, applying any consistent skeleton : body volume ratio to all taxa does yield changes in body shape that appear concurrent with major macroevolutionary events in sauropod history. A caudad shift in centre-of-mass (CoM) in Middle Triassic Saurischia, associated with the evolution of bipedalism in various dinosaur lineages, was reversed in Late Triassic sauropodomorphs. A craniad CoM shift coincided with the evolution of quadrupedalism in the Late Triassic, followed by a more striking craniad shift in Late Jurassic-Cretaceous titanosauriforms, which included the largest sauropods. These craniad CoM shifts are strongly correlated with neck enlargement, a key innovation in sauropod evolution and pivotal to their gigantism. By creating a much larger feeding envelope, neck elongation is thought to have increased feeding efficiency and opened up trophic niches that were inaccessible to other herbivores. However, we find that relative neck size and CoM position are not strongly correlated with inferred feeding habits. Instead the craniad CoM positions of titanosauriforms appear closely linked with locomotion and environmental distributions, potentially contributing to the continued success of this group until the end-Cretaceous, with all other sauropods having gone extinct by the early Late Cretaceous.

  13. Tunasniyoj, a dinosaur tracksite from the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary of Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Apesteguía, Sebastián; Gallina, Pablo A

    2011-03-01

    Here we report a superbly preserved and profusely represented five-ichnotaxa dinosaur track assemblage near Icla village, 100 km southeast of Sucre, Bolivia. As preserved in reddish Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary aeolian sandstones, this rich and uncommon assemblage is, additionally, the oldest dinosaur tracksite for Bolivia. Four trackmakers were identified in the area: three quadrupedal and one bipedal, all of them with tracks of around 35 cm in lenght. One of the quadrupedals is represented by no less than five adult individuals (ichnotaxon A), and four purported juveniles (ichnotaxon B) walking in association. The other two quadrupedals (ichnotaxa C and D) involve four trackways, and the last, the bipedal trackmaker (ichnotaxon E), is represented by one trackway. The five ichnotaxa represented in the "Palmar de Tunasniyoj" could be tentatively assigned to the following trackmakers: Ichnotaxa A and B are assigned to basal stegosaurians; ichnotaxon C to a basal tyreophoran, perhaps related to the ankylosaur lineage; ichnotaxon D to the Ankylosauria, and ichnotaxon E to Theropoda. The Tunasniyoj assemblage, the oldest dinosaur tracksite for Bolivia, includes the oldest known evidence assigned to ankylosaurs and stegosaurs for South America.

  14. Evidence of progenitor cells of glandular and myoepithelial cell lineages in the human adult female breast epithelium: a new progenitor (adult stem) cell concept.

    PubMed

    Boecker, Werner; Buerger, Horst

    2003-10-01

    Although experimental data clearly confirm the existence of self-renewing mammary stem cells, the characteristics of such progenitor cells have never been satisfactorily defined. Using a double immunofluorescence technique for simultaneous detection of the basal cytokeratin 5, the glandular cytokeratins 8/18 and the myoepithelial differentiation marker smooth muscle actin (SMA), we were able to demonstrate the presence of CK5+ cells in human adult breast epithelium. These cells have the potential to differentiate to either glandular (CK8/18+) or myoepithelial cells (SMA+) through intermediary cells (CK5+ and CK8/18+ or SMA+). We therefore proceeded on the assumption that the CK5+ cells are phenotypically and behaviourally progenitor (committed adult stem) cells of human breast epithelium. Furthermore, we furnish evidence that most of these progenitor cells are located in the luminal epithelium of the ductal lobular tree. Based on data obtained in extensive analyses of proliferative breast disease lesions, we have come to regard usual ductal hyperplasia as a progenitor cell-derived lesion, whereas most breast cancers seem to evolve from differentiated glandular cells. Double immunofluorescence experiments provide a new tool to characterize phenotypically progenitor (adult stem) cells and their progenies. This model has been shown to be of great value for a better understanding not only of normal tissue regeneration but also of proliferative breast disease. Furthermore, this model provides a new tool for unravelling further the regulatory mechanisms that govern normal and pathological cell growth.

  15. Piscivory in the feathered dinosaur Microraptor.

    PubMed

    Xing, Lida; Persons, W Scott; Bell, Phil R; Xu, Xing; Zhang, Jianping; Miyashita, Tetsuto; Wang, Fengping; Currie, Philip J

    2013-08-01

    The largest specimen of the four-winged dromaeosaurid dinosaur Microraptor gui includes preserved gut contents. Previous reports of gut contents and considerations of functional morphology have indicated that Microraptor hunted in an arboreal environment. The new specimen demonstrates that this was not strictly the case, and offers unique insights into the ecology of nonavian dinosaurs early in the evolution of flight. The preserved gut contents are composed of teleost fish remains. Several morphological adaptations of Microraptor are identified as consistent with a partially piscivorous diet, including dentition with reduced serrations and forward projecting teeth on the anterior of the dentary. The feeding habits of Microraptor can now be understood better than that of any other carnivorous nonavian dinosaur, and Microraptor appears to have been an opportunistic and generalist feeder, able to exploit the most common prey in both the arboreal and aquatic microhabitats of the Early Cretaceous Jehol ecosystem.

  16. Gideon Mantell and the Discovery of Dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dean, Dennis R.

    1999-01-01

    Gideon Mantell and the Discovery of Dinosaurs is a scholarly yet accessible biography--the first in a generation--of a pioneering dinosaur hunter and scholar. Gideon Mantell discovered the Iguanodon (a famous tale set right in this book) and several other dinosaur species, spent over twenty-five years restoring Iguanodon fossils, and helped establish the idea of an Age of Reptiles that ended with their extinction at the conclusion of the Mesozoic Era. He had significant interaction with such well-known figures as James Parkinson, Georges Cuvier, Charles Lyell, Roderick Murchison, Charles Darwin, and Richard Owen. Dennis Dean, a well-known scholar of geology and the Victorian era, here places Mantell's career in its cultural context, employing original research in archives throughout the world, including the previously unexamined Mantell family papers in New Zealand.

  17. Metabolism of dinosaurs as determined from their growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2015-09-01

    A model based on cellular properties is used to analyze the mass growth curves of 20 dinosaurs. This analysis yields the first measurement of the average cellular metabolism of dinosaurs. The organismal metabolism is also determined. The cellular metabolism of dinosaurs is found to decrease with mass at a slower rate than is observed in extant animals. The organismal metabolism increases with the mass of the dinosaur. These results come from both the Saurischia and Ornithischia branches of Dinosauria, suggesting that the observed metabolic features were common to all dinosaurs. The results from dinosaurs are compared to data from extant placental and marsupial mammals, a monotreme, and altricial and precocial birds, reptiles, and fish. Dinosaurs had cellular and organismal metabolisms in the range observed in extant mesotherms.

  18. Metabolism of dinosaurs as determined from their growth.

    PubMed

    Lee, Scott A

    2015-09-01

    A model based on cellular properties is used to analyze the mass growth curves of 20 dinosaurs. This analysis yields the first measurement of the average cellular metabolism of dinosaurs. The organismal metabolism is also determined. The cellular metabolism of dinosaurs is found to decrease with mass at a slower rate than is observed in extant animals. The organismal metabolism increases with the mass of the dinosaur. These results come from both the Saurischia and Ornithischia branches of Dinosauria, suggesting that the observed metabolic features were common to all dinosaurs. The results from dinosaurs are compared to data from extant placental and marsupial mammals, a monotreme, and altricial and precocial birds, reptiles, and fish. Dinosaurs had cellular and organismal metabolisms in the range observed in extant mesotherms.

  19. Do feathered dinosaurs exist? Testing the hypothesis on neontological and paleontological evidence.

    PubMed

    Feduccia, Alan; Lingham-Soliar, Theagarten; Hinchliffe, J Richard

    2005-11-01

    Spain. In the second part of the study we examine evidence relating to the most critical character thought to link birds to derived theropods, a tridactyl hand composed of digits 1-2-3. We maintain the evidence supports interpretation of bird wing digit identity as 2,3,4, which appears different from that in theropod dinosaurs. The phylogenetic significance of Chinese microraptors is also discussed, with respect to bird origins and flight origins. We suggest that a possible solution to the disparate data is that Aves plus bird-like maniraptoran theropods (e.g., microraptors and others) may be a separate clade, distinctive from the main lineage of Theropoda, a remnant of the early avian radiation, exhibiting all stages of flight and flightlessness.

  20. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2014-05-01

    Finding topics that inspire students is an important aspect of any physics course. Virtually everyone is fascinated by Tyrannosaurus rex, and the excitement of the class is palpable when we explore scaling effects in T. rex and other bipedal theropod dinosaurs as part of our discussion of mechanics and elasticity. In this paper, we explore the role of longitudinal stress in the femur bones due to the weight of the dinosaur in determining how the geometry of the femur changes with size of the theropod. This is one area of allometry the study of how different biological characteristics scale with size.

  1. Geochemical and mineralogical studies of dinosaur bone from the Morrison Formation at Dinosaur Ridge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Modreski, P.J.

    2001-01-01

    The dinosaur bones first discovered in 1877 in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation at Morrison, Colorado were the first major find of dinosaur skeletons in the western U.S. and led to the recognition of four new dinosaur genera (Apatosaurus, Allosaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus). Eight articles dealing with these bones which appeared as research reports in the annual reports of the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge from 1990-1999 are condensed and summarized with some additional comments. Two of the articles are about the mineralogy and preservation of the bones; two are about the physical description of the bone occurrence; two are about the history of the site, and two are about use of novel instrumental methods (ground-penetrating radar and a directional scintillometer) to search for new bones.

  2. What lies beneath: sub-articular long bone shape scaling in eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs suggests different locomotor adaptations for gigantism.

    PubMed

    Bonnan, Matthew F; Wilhite, D Ray; Masters, Simon L; Yates, Adam M; Gardner, Christine K; Aguiar, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs both evolved lineages of huge terrestrial herbivores. Although significantly more saurischian dinosaurs were giants than eutherians, the long bones of both taxa scale similarly and suggest that locomotion was dynamically similar. However, articular cartilage is thin in eutherian mammals but thick in saurischian dinosaurs, differences that could have contributed to, or limited, how frequently gigantism evolved. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that sub-articular bone, which supports the articular cartilage, changes shape in different ways between terrestrial mammals and dinosaurs with increasing size. Our sample consisted of giant mammal and reptile taxa (i.e., elephants, rhinos, sauropods) plus erect and non-erect outgroups with thin and thick articular cartilage. Our results show that eutherian mammal sub-articular shape becomes narrow with well-defined surface features as size increases. In contrast, this region in saurischian dinosaurs expands and remains gently convex with increasing size. Similar trends were observed in non-erect outgroup taxa (monotremes, alligators), showing that the trends we report are posture-independent. These differences support our hypothesis that sub-articular shape scales differently between eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs. Our results show that articular cartilage thickness and sub-articular shape are correlated. In mammals, joints become ever more congruent and thinner with increasing size, whereas archosaur joints remained both congruent and thick, especially in sauropods. We suggest that gigantism occurs less frequently in mammals, in part, because joints composed of thin articular cartilage can only become so congruent before stress cannot be effectively alleviated. In contrast, frequent gigantism in saurischian dinosaurs may be explained, in part, by joints with thick articular cartilage that can deform across large areas with increasing load.

  3. What Lies Beneath: Sub-Articular Long Bone Shape Scaling in Eutherian Mammals and Saurischian Dinosaurs Suggests Different Locomotor Adaptations for Gigantism

    PubMed Central

    Bonnan, Matthew F.; Wilhite, D. Ray; Masters, Simon L.; Yates, Adam M.; Gardner, Christine K.; Aguiar, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs both evolved lineages of huge terrestrial herbivores. Although significantly more saurischian dinosaurs were giants than eutherians, the long bones of both taxa scale similarly and suggest that locomotion was dynamically similar. However, articular cartilage is thin in eutherian mammals but thick in saurischian dinosaurs, differences that could have contributed to, or limited, how frequently gigantism evolved. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that sub-articular bone, which supports the articular cartilage, changes shape in different ways between terrestrial mammals and dinosaurs with increasing size. Our sample consisted of giant mammal and reptile taxa (i.e., elephants, rhinos, sauropods) plus erect and non-erect outgroups with thin and thick articular cartilage. Our results show that eutherian mammal sub-articular shape becomes narrow with well-defined surface features as size increases. In contrast, this region in saurischian dinosaurs expands and remains gently convex with increasing size. Similar trends were observed in non-erect outgroup taxa (monotremes, alligators), showing that the trends we report are posture-independent. These differences support our hypothesis that sub-articular shape scales differently between eutherian mammals and saurischian dinosaurs. Our results show that articular cartilage thickness and sub-articular shape are correlated. In mammals, joints become ever more congruent and thinner with increasing size, whereas archosaur joints remained both congruent and thick, especially in sauropods. We suggest that gigantism occurs less frequently in mammals, in part, because joints composed of thin articular cartilage can only become so congruent before stress cannot be effectively alleviated. In contrast, frequent gigantism in saurischian dinosaurs may be explained, in part, by joints with thick articular cartilage that can deform across large areas with increasing load. PMID:24130690

  4. New Horned Dinosaurs from Utah Provide Evidence for Intracontinental Dinosaur Endemism

    PubMed Central

    Sampson, Scott D.; Loewen, Mark A.; Farke, Andrew A.; Roberts, Eric M.; Forster, Catherine A.; Smith, Joshua A.; Titus, Alan L.

    2010-01-01

    Background During much of the Late Cretaceous, a shallow, epeiric sea divided North America into eastern and western landmasses. The western landmass, known as Laramidia, although diminutive in size, witnessed a major evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs. Other than hadrosaurs (duck-billed dinosaurs), the most common dinosaurs were ceratopsids (large-bodied horned dinosaurs), currently known only from Laramidia and Asia. Remarkably, previous studies have postulated the occurrence of latitudinally arrayed dinosaur “provinces,” or “biomes,” on Laramidia. Yet this hypothesis has been challenged on multiple fronts and has remained poorly tested. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we describe two new, co-occurring ceratopsids from the Upper Cretaceous Kaiparowits Formation of Utah that provide the strongest support to date for the dinosaur provincialism hypothesis. Both pertain to the clade of ceratopsids known as Chasmosaurinae, dramatically increasing representation of this group from the southern portion of the Western Interior Basin of North America. Utahceratops gettyi gen. et sp. nov.—characterized by short, rounded, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and an elongate frill with a deep median embayment—is recovered as the sister taxon to Pentaceratops sternbergii from the late Campanian of New Mexico. Kosmoceratops richardsoni gen. et sp. nov.—characterized by elongate, laterally projecting supraorbital horncores and a short, broad frill adorned with ten well developed hooks—has the most ornate skull of any known dinosaur and is closely allied to Chasmosaurus irvinensis from the late Campanian of Alberta. Conclusions/Significance Considered in unison, the phylogenetic, stratigraphic, and biogeographic evidence documents distinct, co-occurring chasmosaurine taxa north and south on the diminutive landmass of Laramidia. The famous Triceratops and all other, more nested chasmosaurines are postulated as descendants of forms previously restricted

  5. Human urine-derived stem cells can be induced into osteogenic lineage by silicate bioceramics via activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Guan, Junjie; Zhang, Jieyuan; Guo, Shangchun; Zhu, Hongyi; Zhu, Zhenzhong; Li, Haiyan; Wang, Yang; Zhang, Changqing; Chang, Jiang

    2015-07-01

    Human urine-derived stem cells (USCs) have great application potential for cytotherapy as they can be obtained by non-invasive and simple methods. Silicate bioceramics, including calcium silicate (CS), can stimulate osteogenic differentiation of stem cells. However, the effects of silicate bioceramics on osteogenic differentiation of USCs have not been reported. In this study, at first, we investigated the effects of CS ion extracts on proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of USCs, as well as the related mechanism. CS particles were incorporated into poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) to obtain PLGA/CS composite scaffolds. USCs were then seeded onto these scaffolds, which were subsequently transplanted into nude mice to analyze the osteogenic differentiation of USCs and mineralization of extracellular matrix formed by USCs in vivo. The results showed that CS ion extracts significantly enhanced cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, calcium deposition, and expression of certain osteoblast-related genes and proteins. In addition, cardamonin, a Wnt/β-catenin signaling inhibitor, reduced the stimulatory effects of CS ion extracts on osteogenic differentiation of USCs, indicating that the observed osteogenic differentiation of USCs induced by CS ion extracts involves Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Furthermore, histological analysis showed that PLGA/CS composite scaffolds significantly enhanced the osteogenic differentiation of USCs in vivo. Taken together, these results suggest the therapeutic potential of combining USCs and PLGA/CS scaffolds in bone tissue regeneration.

  6. VEGFA-dependent and -independent pathways synergise to drive Scl expression and initiate programming of the blood stem cell lineage in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Ciau-Uitz, Aldo; Pinheiro, Philip; Kirmizitas, Arif; Zuo, Jie; Patient, Roger

    2013-01-01

    The first haematopoietic stem cells share a common origin with the dorsal aorta and derive from putative adult haemangioblasts in the dorsal lateral plate (DLP) mesoderm. Here we show that the transcription factor (TF) stem cell leukaemia (Scl/Tal1) is crucial for development of these adult haemangioblasts in Xenopus and establish the regulatory cascade controlling its expression. We show that VEGFA produced in the somites is required to initiate adult haemangioblast programming in the adjacent DLP by establishing endogenous VEGFA signalling. This response depends on expression of the VEGF receptor Flk1, driven by Fli1 and Gata2. Scl activation requires synergy between this VEGFA-controlled pathway and a VEGFA-independent pathway controlled by Fli1, Gata2 and Etv2/Etsrp/ER71, which also drives expression of the Scl partner Lmo2. Thus, the two ETS factors Fli1 and Etv6, which drives the VEGFA expression in both somites and the DLP, sit at the top of the adult haemangioblast gene regulatory network (GRN). Furthermore, Gata2 is initially activated by Fli1 but later maintained by another ETS factor, Etv2. We also establish that Flk1 and Etv2 act independently in the two pathways to Scl activation. Thus, detailed temporal, epistatic measurements of key TFs and VEGFA plus its receptor have enabled us to build a Xenopus adult haemangioblast GRN. PMID:23637333

  7. Single-cell lineage tracking analysis reveals that an established cell line comprises putative cancer stem cells and their heterogeneous progeny

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Sachiko; Rancourt, Ann; Sato, Yukiko; Satoh, Masahiko S.

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian cell culture has been used in many biological studies on the assumption that a cell line comprises putatively homogeneous clonal cells, thereby sharing similar phenotypic features. This fundamental assumption has not yet been fully tested; therefore, we developed a method for the chronological analysis of individual HeLa cells. The analysis was performed by live cell imaging, tracking of every single cell recorded on imaging videos, and determining the fates of individual cells. We found that cell fate varied significantly, indicating that, in contrast to the assumption, the HeLa cell line is composed of highly heterogeneous cells. Furthermore, our results reveal that only a limited number of cells are immortal and renew themselves, giving rise to the remaining cells. These cells have reduced reproductive ability, creating a functionally heterogeneous cell population. Hence, the HeLa cell line is maintained by the limited number of immortal cells, which could be putative cancer stem cells. PMID:27003384

  8. Transient Downregulation of Nanog and Oct4 Induced by DETA/NO Exposure in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Leads to Mesodermal/Endodermal Lineage Differentiation.

    PubMed

    Mora-Castilla, Sergio; Tejedo, Juan R; Tapia-Limonchi, Rafael; Díaz, Irene; Hitos, Ana B; Cahuana, Gladys M; Hmadcha, Abdelkrim; Martín, Franz; Soria, Bernat; Bedoya, Francisco J

    2014-01-01

    The function of pluripotency genes in differentiation is a matter of investigation. We report here that Nanog and Oct4 are reexpressed in two mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) lines following exposure to the differentiating agent DETA/NO. Both cell lines express a battery of both endoderm and mesoderm markers following induction of differentiation with DETA/NO-based protocols. Confocal analysis of cells undergoing directed differentiation shows that the majority of cells expressing Nanog express also endoderm genes such as Gata4 and FoxA2 (75.4% and 96.2%, resp.). Simultaneously, mRNA of mesodermal markers Flk1 and Mef2c are also regulated by the treatment. Acetylated histone H3 occupancy at the promoter of Nanog is involved in the process of reexpression. Furthermore, Nanog binding to the promoter of Brachyury leads to repression of this gene, thus disrupting mesendoderm transition.

  9. Pax6 Is Essential for the Maintenance and Multi-Lineage Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells, and for Neuronal Incorporation into the Adult Olfactory Bulb

    PubMed Central

    Curto, Gloria G.; Nieto-Estévez, Vanesa; Hurtado-Chong, Anahí; Valero, Jorge; Gómez, Carmela; Alonso, José R.; Weruaga, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    The paired type homeobox 6 (Pax6) transcription factor (TF) regulates multiple aspects of neural stem cell (NSC) and neuron development in the embryonic central nervous system. However, less is known about the role of Pax6 in the maintenance and differentiation of adult NSCs and in adult neurogenesis. Using the +/SeyDey mouse, we have analyzed how Pax6 heterozygosis influences the self-renewal and proliferation of adult olfactory bulb stem cells (aOBSCs). In addition, we assessed its influence on neural differentiation, neuronal incorporation, and cell death in the adult OB, both in vivo and in vitro. Our results indicate that the Pax6 mutation alters Nestin+-cell proliferation in vivo, as well as self-renewal, proliferation, and survival of aOBSCs in vitro although a subpopulation of +/SeyDey progenitors is able to expand partially similar to wild-type progenitors. This mutation also impairs aOBSC differentiation into neurons and oligodendrocytes, whereas it increases cell death while preserving astrocyte survival and differentiation. Furthermore, Pax6 heterozygosis causes a reduction in the variety of neurochemical interneuron subtypes generated from aOBSCs in vitro and in the incorporation of newly generated neurons into the OB in vivo. Our findings support an important role of Pax6 in the maintenance of aOBSCs by regulating cell death, self-renewal, and cell fate, as well as in neuronal incorporation into the adult OB. They also suggest that deregulation of the cell cycle machinery and TF expression in aOBSCs which are deficient in Pax6 may be at the origin of the phenotypes observed in this adult NSC population. PMID:25117830

  10. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Dimensions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott A.

    2014-01-01

    Finding topics that inspire students is an important aspect of any physics course. Virtually everyone is fascinated by "Tyrannosaurus rex," and the excitement of the class is palpable when we explore scaling effects in "T. rex" and other bipedal theropod dinosaurs as part of our discussion of mechanics and elasticity. In this…

  11. Large Mesozoic mammals fed on young dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yaoming; Meng, Jin; Wang, Yuanqing; Li, Chuankui

    2005-01-13

    Mesozoic mammals are commonly portrayed as shrew- or rat-sized animals that were mainly insectivorous, probably nocturnal and lived in the shadow of dinosaurs. The largest known Mesozoic mammal represented by substantially complete remains is Repenomamus robustus, a triconodont mammal from the Lower Cretaceous of Liaoning, China. An adult individual of R. robustus was the size of a Virginia opossum. Here we report a new species of the genus, represented by a skeleton with most of the skull and postcranium preserved in articulation. The new species is 50% larger than R. robustus in skull length. In addition, stomach contents associated with a skeleton of R. robustus reveal remains of a juvenile Psittacosaurus, a ceratopsian dinosaur. Our discoveries constitute the first direct evidence that some triconodont mammals were carnivorous and fed on small vertebrates, including young dinosaurs, and also show that Mesozoic mammals had a much greater range of body sizes than previously known. We suggest that Mesozoic mammals occupied diverse niches and that some large mammals probably competed with dinosaurs for food and territory.

  12. Prospective identification of hematopoietic lineage choice by deep learning.

    PubMed

    Buggenthin, Felix; Buettner, Florian; Hoppe, Philipp S; Endele, Max; Kroiss, Manuel; Strasser, Michael; Schwarzfischer, Michael; Loeffler, Dirk; Kokkaliaris, Konstantinos D; Hilsenbeck, Oliver; Schroeder, Timm; Theis, Fabian J; Marr, Carsten

    2017-02-20

    Differentiation alters molecular properties of stem and progenitor cells, leading to changes in their shape and movement characteristics. We present a deep neural network that prospectively predicts lineage choice in differentiating primary hematopoietic progenitors using image patches from brightfield microscopy and cellular movement. Surprisingly, lineage choice can be detected up to three generations before conventional molecular markers are observable. Our approach allows identification of cells with differentially expressed lineage-specifying genes without molecular labeling.

  13. Dinosaur incubation periods directly determined from growth-line counts in embryonic teeth show reptilian-grade development

    PubMed Central

    Erickson, Gregory M.; Zelenitsky, Darla K.; Kay, David Ian; Norell, Mark A.

    2017-01-01

    Birds stand out from other egg-laying amniotes by producing relatively small numbers of large eggs with very short incubation periods (average 11–85 d). This aspect promotes high survivorship by limiting exposure to predation and environmental perturbation, allows for larger more fit young, and facilitates rapid attainment of adult size. Birds are living dinosaurs; their rapid development has been considered to reflect the primitive dinosaurian condition. Here, nonavian dinosaurian incubation periods in both small and large ornithischian taxa are empirically determined through growth-line counts in embryonic teeth. Our results show unexpectedly slow incubation (2.8 and 5.8 mo) like those of outgroup reptiles. Developmental and physiological constraints would have rendered tooth formation and incubation inherently slow in other dinosaur lineages and basal birds. The capacity to determine incubation periods in extinct egg-laying amniotes has implications for dinosaurian embryology, life history strategies, and survivorship across the Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction event. PMID:28049837

  14. [Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs from different regions].

    PubMed

    Yang, Qun; Wang, Yi-lin

    2007-12-01

    Raman microscopic spectra in the higher wave number region were obtained from 7 fossil dinosaurs specimens from different regions. The specimens of fossil dinosaurs are different parts of bone. The Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs indicate the high similarity among peak positions of different fossil dinosaurs; but important differences exist in the spectral peak figures. In the wave number region of 1000-1800 cm(-1) the Raman spectra of the same bone part fossils from different regions are very similar, example similarities between spectra of Lufeing backbone head and Yua nmou backbone head; Lufeng limb bone and Wuding limb bone. There are relations between the same bone part spectra of different fossil dinosaurs. The characteristic does not relate to regions. Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs cannot be used to distinguish fossil source, although the part of bone can be used as an indicator to narrow the range of possible geographical origins.

  15. Dinosaur morphological diversity and the end-Cretaceous extinction.

    PubMed

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Butler, Richard J; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Norell, Mark A

    2012-05-01

    The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago is a perpetual topic of fascination, and lasting debate has focused on whether dinosaur biodiversity was in decline before end-Cretaceous volcanism and bolide impact. Here we calculate the morphological disparity (anatomical variability) exhibited by seven major dinosaur subgroups during the latest Cretaceous, at both global and regional scales. Our results demonstrate both geographic and clade-specific heterogeneity. Large-bodied bulk-feeding herbivores (ceratopsids and hadrosauroids) and some North American taxa declined in disparity during the final two stages of the Cretaceous, whereas carnivorous dinosaurs, mid-sized herbivores, and some Asian taxa did not. Late Cretaceous dinosaur evolution, therefore, was complex: there was no universal biodiversity trend and the intensively studied North American record may reveal primarily local patterns. At least some dinosaur groups, however, did endure long-term declines in morphological variability before their extinction.

  16. STEM?!?!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrill, Jen

    2012-01-01

    The author's son has been an engineer since birth. He never asked "why" as a toddler, it was always "how's it work?" So that he wanted a STEM-based home education was no big surprise. In this article, the author considers what kind of curricula would work best for her complex kid.

  17. Lineage sorting in apes.

    PubMed

    Mailund, Thomas; Munch, Kasper; Schierup, Mikkel Heide

    2014-01-01

    Recombination allows different parts of the genome to have different genealogical histories. When a species splits in two, allelic lineages sort into the two descendant species, and this lineage sorting varies along the genome. If speciation events are close in time, the lineage sorting process may be incomplete at the second speciation event and lead to gene genealogies that do not match the species phylogeny. We review different recent approaches to model lineage sorting along the genome and show how it is possible to learn about population sizes, natural selection, and recombination rates in ancestral species from application of these models to genome alignments of great ape species.

  18. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) dictates osteogenic and/or chondrogenic lineage commitment of mesenchymal stem cells under dynamic compression.

    PubMed

    Pelaez, Daniel; Arita, Nestor; Cheung, Herman S

    2012-01-27

    Elucidating the intracellular signaling cascades which lead to differentiation programs can be a daunting but necessary task. Even more so when the nature of the differentiating stimuli can elicit different biochemical responses yet achieve the same functional outcome. In the field of cartilage and bone regeneration the importance of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway has been a controversial issue as of late. Whether differentiation results from a soluble chemical induction or a microenvironmental cue on the cells seems to have a determining effect on the role that this pathway plays in ultimate cell fate. Here we explore the role of the ERK1/2 pathway on the mechanical induction of chondrogenesis of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The cells were encapsulated in fibrin gel scaffolds and subjected to a dynamic mechanical compression stimulus previously demonstrated to induce chondrogenic differentiation of the cells with and without the addition of PD98059, a selective inhibitor for the ERK1/2 pathway. Samples were then analyzed by RT-PCR and histochemical staining for markers of both chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation. Our results show that dynamic compression induces the chondrogenic differentiation of the cells and that inhibition of the ERK1/2 pathway completely abolishes this chondrogenic response. On the other hand, inhibition of ERK1/2 under dynamic compression augments the osteogenic response of the cells and significantly increases their expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), collagen type I (COLI) and osteocalcin (OCN) (P<0.05). These results were confirmed by the histochemical staining where dynamically compressed samples show staining for sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) while the inhibited and compressed samples show no sGAG but present positive staining for microcalcifications. These results would suggest that the activation of ERK1/2 can determine the ultimate cell fate between the chondrogenic and

  19. Superiority, competition, and opportunism in the evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Benton, Michael J; Ruta, Marcello; Lloyd, Graeme T

    2008-09-12

    The rise and diversification of the dinosaurs in the Late Triassic, from 230 to 200 million years ago, is a classic example of an evolutionary radiation with supposed competitive replacement. A comparison of evolutionary rates and morphological disparity of basal dinosaurs and their chief "competitors," the crurotarsan archosaurs, shows that dinosaurs exhibited lower disparity and an indistinguishable rate of character evolution. The radiation of Triassic archosaurs as a whole is characterized by declining evolutionary rates and increasing disparity, suggesting a decoupling of character evolution from body plan variety. The results strongly suggest that historical contingency, rather than prolonged competition or general "superiority," was the primary factor in the rise of dinosaurs.

  20. The second Jurassic dinosaur rush and the dawn of dinomania.

    PubMed

    Brinkman, Paul D

    2010-09-01

    During the second Jurassic dinosaur rush museum paleontologists raced to display the world's first mounted sauropod dinosaur. The American Museum of Natural History triumphed in 1905 when its Brontosaurus debuted before an admiring crowd of wealthy New Yorkers. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago and other institutions were quick to follow with their own sauropod displays. Thereafter, dinomania spread far and wide, and big, showpiece dinosaurs became a museum staple. This brief but intensely competitive period of acquisitiveness fostered important Jurassic dinosaur revisions and crucial innovations in paleontological field and lab techniques.

  1. Locomotion speeds from trackways: Predatory dinosaurs moved faster than herbivorous dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2014-03-01

    Fossilized trackways from dinosaurs leaves evidence of their locomotion from the stride length S and foot length F which yields the leg length L. From studies of living animals, it is known that a walking animal has a relative stride length RSL (= S/L) less than 2 and a running animal has a RSL greater than 2. A statistical analysis was performed of trackways associated with three groups of herbivorous dinosaurs: sauropods (N = 23), the armored ankylosaurs and stegosaurs (N = 10), and the unarmored ornithopods (N = 23) as well as the predatory theropods (N = 35). The average RSL of the sauropods and the armored dinosaurs were both 0.9 +/- 0.3. The ornithopods had an average RSL of 1.2 +/- 0.2. None of the trackways associated with herbivorous dinosaurs have an RSL greater than 1.5, indicating that they were all walking. The theropods showed the fastest and most varied locomomtion: their highest average RSL was 1.8 +/- 0.7. Nine of the theropod trackways had an RSL greater than 2.0, indicating that the dinosaurs were running when they made those trackways. One of the theropod trackways had an RSL of 4.5, indicating that it was running very fast compared to its body length.

  2. Skull ecomorphology of megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the dinosaur park formation (upper campanian) of Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Mallon, Jordan C; Anderson, Jason S

    2013-01-01

    Megaherbivorous dinosaur coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has long puzzled researchers, owing to the mystery of how so many large herbivores (6-8 sympatric species, in many instances) could coexist on such a small (4-7 million km(2)) landmass. Various explanations have been put forth, one of which-dietary niche partitioning-forms the focus of this study. Here, we apply traditional morphometric methods to the skulls of megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta to infer the ecomorphology of these animals and to test the niche partitioning hypothesis. We find evidence for niche partitioning not only among contemporaneous ankylosaurs, ceratopsids, and hadrosaurids, but also within these clades at the family and subfamily levels. Consubfamilial ceratopsids and hadrosaurids differ insignificantly in their inferred ecomorphologies, which may explain why they rarely overlap stratigraphically: interspecific competition prevented their coexistence.

  3. Skull Ecomorphology of Megaherbivorous Dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (Upper Campanian) of Alberta, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Mallon, Jordan C.; Anderson, Jason S.

    2013-01-01

    Megaherbivorous dinosaur coexistence on the Late Cretaceous island continent of Laramidia has long puzzled researchers, owing to the mystery of how so many large herbivores (6–8 sympatric species, in many instances) could coexist on such a small (4–7 million km2) landmass. Various explanations have been put forth, one of which–dietary niche partitioning–forms the focus of this study. Here, we apply traditional morphometric methods to the skulls of megaherbivorous dinosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation (upper Campanian) of Alberta to infer the ecomorphology of these animals and to test the niche partitioning hypothesis. We find evidence for niche partitioning not only among contemporaneous ankylosaurs, ceratopsids, and hadrosaurids, but also within these clades at the family and subfamily levels. Consubfamilial ceratopsids and hadrosaurids differ insignificantly in their inferred ecomorphologies, which may explain why they rarely overlap stratigraphically: interspecific competition prevented their coexistence. PMID:23874409

  4. Models for the rise of the dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Benton, Michael J; Forth, Jonathan; Langer, Max C

    2014-01-20

    Dinosaurs arose in the early Triassic in the aftermath of the greatest mass extinction ever and became hugely successful in the Mesozoic. Their initial diversification is a classic example of a large-scale macroevolutionary change. Diversifications at such deep-time scales can now be dissected, modelled and tested. New fossils suggest that dinosaurs originated early in the Middle Triassic, during the recovery of life from the devastating Permo-Triassic mass extinction. Improvements in stratigraphic dating and a new suite of morphometric and comparative evolutionary numerical methods now allow a forensic dissection of one of the greatest turnovers in the history of life. Such studies mark a move from the narrative to the analytical in macroevolutionary research, and they allow us to begin to answer the proposal of George Gaylord Simpson, to explore adaptive radiations using numerical methods.

  5. Avian paternal care had dinosaur origin.

    PubMed

    Varricchio, David J; Moore, Jason R; Erickson, Gregory M; Norell, Mark A; Jackson, Frankie D; Borkowski, John J

    2008-12-19

    The repeated discovery of adult dinosaurs in close association with egg clutches leads to speculation over the type and extent of care exhibited by these extinct animals for their eggs and young. To assess parental care in Cretaceous troodontid and oviraptorid dinosaurs, we examined clutch volume and the bone histology of brooding adults. In comparison to four archosaur care regressions, the relatively large clutch volumes of Troodon, Oviraptor, and Citipati scale most closely with a bird-paternal care model. Clutch-associated adults lack the maternal and reproductively associated histologic features common to extant archosaurs. Large clutch volumes and a suite of reproductive features shared only with birds favor paternal care, possibly within a polygamous mating system. Paternal care in both troodontids and oviraptorids indicates that this care system evolved before the emergence of birds and represents birds' ancestral condition. In extant birds and over most adult sizes, paternal and biparental care correspond to the largest and smallest relative clutch volumes, respectively.

  6. Hanford: The evolution of a dinosaur

    SciTech Connect

    Fulton, J.

    1995-11-01

    This article describes how the Westinghouse Hanford Company is reinventing the US DOE`s Hanford Site, turning a 1940s-era dinosaur into a 1990s-style business. The major topics covered include the following: breaking the logjam by ending the inefficient cost-plus days; Concentrating resources on resolving urgent safety issues; contract reform with more incentive, greater risk; finally reengineering: the next step.

  7. Origin of postcranial skeletal pneumaticity in dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Wedel, Mathew J

    2006-06-01

    The sauropodomorph Thecodontosaurus caducus and theropod Coelophysis bauri are the earliest known dinosaurs with postcranial skeletal pneumaticity. In both taxa, postcranial pneumatic features are confined to the cervical vertebrae. This distribution of pneumaticity in the skeleton is most consistent with pneumatization by diverticula of cervical air sacs similar to those of birds. Other hypotheses, including pneumatization by diverticula of the lungs, larynx and trachea, or cranial air spaces, are less well-supported.

  8. If Dung Beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) Arose in Association with Dinosaurs, Did They Also Suffer a Mass Co-Extinction at the K-Pg Boundary?

    PubMed Central

    Gunter, Nicole L.; Weir, Tom A.; Cameron, Stephen L.

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary success of beetles and numerous other terrestrial insects is generally attributed to co-radiation with flowering plants but most studies have focused on herbivorous or pollinating insects. Non-herbivores represent a significant proportion of beetle diversity yet potential factors that influence their diversification have been largely unexamined. In the present study, we examine the factors driving diversification within the Scarabaeidae, a speciose beetle family with a range of both herbivorous and non-herbivorous ecologies. In particular, it has been long debated whether the key event in the evolution of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) was an adaptation to feeding on dinosaur or mammalian dung. Here we present molecular evidence to show that the origin of dung beetles occurred in the middle of the Cretaceous, likely in association with dinosaur dung, but more surprisingly the timing is consistent with the rise of the angiosperms. We hypothesize that the switch in dinosaur diet to incorporate more nutritious and less fibrous angiosperm foliage provided a palatable dung source that ultimately created a new niche for diversification. Given the well-accepted mass extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, we examine a potential co-extinction of dung beetles due to the loss of an important evolutionary resource, i.e., dinosaur dung. The biogeography of dung beetles is also examined to explore the previously proposed “out of Africa” hypothesis. Given the inferred age of Scarabaeinae as originating in the Lower Cretaceous, the major radiation of dung feeders prior to the Cenomanian, and the early divergence of both African and Gondwanan lineages, we hypothesise that that faunal exchange between Africa and Gondwanaland occurred during the earliest evolution of the Scarabaeinae. Therefore we propose that both Gondwanan vicariance and dispersal of African lineages is responsible for present day distribution of

  9. If Dung Beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) Arose in Association with Dinosaurs, Did They Also Suffer a Mass Co-Extinction at the K-Pg Boundary?

    PubMed

    Gunter, Nicole L; Weir, Tom A; Slipinksi, Adam; Bocak, Ladislav; Cameron, Stephen L

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary success of beetles and numerous other terrestrial insects is generally attributed to co-radiation with flowering plants but most studies have focused on herbivorous or pollinating insects. Non-herbivores represent a significant proportion of beetle diversity yet potential factors that influence their diversification have been largely unexamined. In the present study, we examine the factors driving diversification within the Scarabaeidae, a speciose beetle family with a range of both herbivorous and non-herbivorous ecologies. In particular, it has been long debated whether the key event in the evolution of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) was an adaptation to feeding on dinosaur or mammalian dung. Here we present molecular evidence to show that the origin of dung beetles occurred in the middle of the Cretaceous, likely in association with dinosaur dung, but more surprisingly the timing is consistent with the rise of the angiosperms. We hypothesize that the switch in dinosaur diet to incorporate more nutritious and less fibrous angiosperm foliage provided a palatable dung source that ultimately created a new niche for diversification. Given the well-accepted mass extinction of non-avian dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, we examine a potential co-extinction of dung beetles due to the loss of an important evolutionary resource, i.e., dinosaur dung. The biogeography of dung beetles is also examined to explore the previously proposed "out of Africa" hypothesis. Given the inferred age of Scarabaeinae as originating in the Lower Cretaceous, the major radiation of dung feeders prior to the Cenomanian, and the early divergence of both African and Gondwanan lineages, we hypothesise that that faunal exchange between Africa and Gondwanaland occurred during the earliest evolution of the Scarabaeinae. Therefore we propose that both Gondwanan vicariance and dispersal of African lineages is responsible for present day distribution of

  10. Cockroaches probably cleaned up after dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Vršanský, Peter; van de Kamp, Thomas; Azar, Dany; Prokin, Alexander; Vidlička, L'ubomír; Vagovič, Patrik

    2013-01-01

    Dinosaurs undoubtedly produced huge quantities of excrements. But who cleaned up after them? Dung beetles and flies with rapid development were rare during most of the Mesozoic. Candidates for these duties are extinct cockroaches (Blattulidae), whose temporal range is associated with herbivorous dinosaurs. An opportunity to test this hypothesis arises from coprolites to some extent extruded from an immature cockroach preserved in the amber of Lebanon, studied using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. 1.06% of their volume is filled by particles of wood with smooth edges, in which size distribution directly supports their external pre-digestion. Because fungal pre-processing can be excluded based on the presence of large particles (combined with small total amount of wood) and absence of damages on wood, the likely source of wood are herbivore feces. Smaller particles were broken down biochemically in the cockroach hind gut, which indicates that the recent lignin-decomposing termite and cockroach endosymbionts might have been transferred to the cockroach gut upon feeding on dinosaur feces.

  11. Dinosaur Peptides Suggest Mechanisms of Protein Survival

    SciTech Connect

    San Antonio, James D.; Schweitzer, Mary H.; Jensen, Shane T.; Kalluri, Raghu; Buckley, Michael; Orgel, Joseph P.R.O.

    2011-09-16

    Eleven collagen peptide sequences recovered from chemical extracts of dinosaur bones were mapped onto molecular models of the vertebrate collagen fibril derived from extant taxa. The dinosaur peptides localized to fibril regions protected by the close packing of collagen molecules, and contained few acidic amino acids. Four peptides mapped to collagen regions crucial for cell-collagen interactions and tissue development. Dinosaur peptides were not represented in more exposed parts of the collagen fibril or regions mediating intermolecular cross-linking. Thus functionally significant regions of collagen fibrils that are physically shielded within the fibril may be preferentially preserved in fossils. These results show empirically that structure-function relationships at the molecular level could contribute to selective preservation in fossilized vertebrate remains across geological time, suggest a 'preservation motif', and bolster current concepts linking collagen structure to biological function. This non-random distribution supports the hypothesis that the peptides are produced by the extinct organisms and suggests a chemical mechanism for survival.

  12. Cockroaches Probably Cleaned Up after Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Vršanský, Peter; van de Kamp, Thomas; Azar, Dany; Prokin, Alexander; Vidlička, L'ubomír; Vagovič, Patrik

    2013-01-01

    Dinosaurs undoubtedly produced huge quantities of excrements. But who cleaned up after them? Dung beetles and flies with rapid development were rare during most of the Mesozoic. Candidates for these duties are extinct cockroaches (Blattulidae), whose temporal range is associated with herbivorous dinosaurs. An opportunity to test this hypothesis arises from coprolites to some extent extruded from an immature cockroach preserved in the amber of Lebanon, studied using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. 1.06% of their volume is filled by particles of wood with smooth edges, in which size distribution directly supports their external pre-digestion. Because fungal pre-processing can be excluded based on the presence of large particles (combined with small total amount of wood) and absence of damages on wood, the likely source of wood are herbivore feces. Smaller particles were broken down biochemically in the cockroach hind gut, which indicates that the recent lignin-decomposing termite and cockroach endosymbionts might have been transferred to the cockroach gut upon feeding on dinosaur feces. PMID:24324610

  13. Revisiting the Estimation of Dinosaur Growth Rates

    PubMed Central

    Myhrvold, Nathan P.

    2013-01-01

    Previous growth-rate studies covering 14 dinosaur taxa, as represented by 31 data sets, are critically examined and reanalyzed by using improved statistical techniques. The examination reveals that some previously reported results cannot be replicated by using the methods originally reported; results from new methods are in many cases different, in both the quantitative rates and the qualitative nature of the growth, from results in the prior literature. Asymptotic growth curves, which have been hypothesized to be ubiquitous, are shown to provide best fits for only four of the 14 taxa. Possible reasons for non-asymptotic growth patterns are discussed; they include systematic errors in the age-estimation process and, more likely, a bias toward younger ages among the specimens analyzed. Analysis of the data sets finds that only three taxa include specimens that could be considered skeletally mature (i.e., having attained 90% of maximum body size predicted by asymptotic curve fits), and eleven taxa are quite immature, with the largest specimen having attained less than 62% of predicted asymptotic size. The three taxa that include skeletally mature specimens are included in the four taxa that are best fit by asymptotic curves. The totality of results presented here suggests that previous estimates of both maximum dinosaur growth rates and maximum dinosaur sizes have little statistical support. Suggestions for future research are presented. PMID:24358133

  14. A theropod dinosaur embryo and the affinities of the flaming cliffs dinosaur eggs.

    PubMed

    Norell, M A; Clark, J M; Demberelyin, D; Rhinchen, B; Chiappe, L M; Davidson, A R; McKenna, M C; Altangerel, P; Novacek, M J

    1994-11-04

    An embryonic skeleton of a nonavian theropod dinosaur was found preserved in an egg from Upper Cretaceous rocks in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Cranial features identify the embryo as a member of Oviraptoridae. Two embryo-sized skulls of dromaeosaurids, similar to that of Velociraptor, were also recovered in the nest. The eggshell microstructure is similar to that of ratite birds and is of a type common in the Djadokhta Formation at the Flaming Cliffs (Bayn Dzak). Discovery of a nest of such eggs at the Flaming Cliffs in 1923, beneath the Oviraptor philoceratops holotype, suggests that this dinosaur may have been a brooding adult.

  15. "Teachosaurus" and "Learnoceratops": Dinosaurs as a Motivating Cross-Curricular Theme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duggan, Denis

    2011-01-01

    The author takes a look into the benefits that dinosaurs may bring to the classroom. He discusses how he used dinosaurs as a cross-curricular theme to improve children's understanding and knowledge of science concepts. To investigate what a child might learn from dinosaurs, he started by comparing the many non-fiction dinosaur books using the…

  16. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion II

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott

    2015-01-01

    In the second paper of this series, the effect of transverse femoral stresses due to locomotion in theropod dinosaurs of different sizes was examined for the case of an unchanging leg geometry. Students are invariably thrilled to learn about theropod dinosaurs, and this activity applies the concepts of torque and stress to the issue of theropod…

  17. 36 CFR 7.63 - Dinosaur National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Dinosaur National Monument. 7.63 Section 7.63 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.63 Dinosaur National Monument. (a)...

  18. 36 CFR 7.63 - Dinosaur National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Dinosaur National Monument. 7.63 Section 7.63 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.63 Dinosaur National Monument. (a)...

  19. 36 CFR 7.63 - Dinosaur National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Dinosaur National Monument. 7.63 Section 7.63 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.63 Dinosaur National Monument. (a)...

  20. 36 CFR 7.63 - Dinosaur National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Dinosaur National Monument. 7.63 Section 7.63 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.63 Dinosaur National Monument. (a)...

  1. 36 CFR 7.63 - Dinosaur National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Dinosaur National Monument. 7.63 Section 7.63 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.63 Dinosaur National Monument. (a)...

  2. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Scott

    2015-01-01

    In our first article on scaling in theropod dinosaurs, the longitudinal stress in the leg bones due to supporting the weight of the animal was studied and found not to control the dimensions of the femur. As a continuation of our study of elasticity in dinosaur bones, we now examine the transverse stress in the femur due to locomotion and find…

  3. "Dinosaurs." Kindergarten. Anchorage School District Elementary Science Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herminghaus, Trisha, Ed.

    This unit contains 15 lessons on dinosaurs for kindergarten children. It provides a materials list, supplementary materials list, use of process skill terminology, unit objectives, vocabulary, six major dinosaurs, and background information. Lessons are: (1) "Webbing"; (2) "Introduction to the Big Six"; (3) "Paleontology…

  4. Young Scientists Explore Dinosaurs. Book 8 Primary Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penn, Linda

    Designed to present interesting facts about science and to heighten the curiosity of primary age students, this book contains activities about the natural world and numerous black and white illustrations. Activities that focus on the dinosaur are organized into five sections. These include: (1) "Dinosaur Facts/Then and Now" (exploring…

  5. The oldest dinosaur? A Middle Triassic dinosauriform from Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Nesbitt, Sterling J; Barrett, Paul M; Werning, Sarah; Sidor, Christian A; Charig, Alan J

    2013-02-23

    The rise of dinosaurs was a major event in vertebrate history, but the timing of the origin and early diversification of the group remain poorly constrained. Here, we describe Nyasasaurus parringtoni gen. et sp. nov., which is identified as either the earliest known member of, or the sister-taxon to, Dinosauria. Nyasasaurus possesses a unique combination of dinosaur character states and an elevated growth rate similar to that of definitive early dinosaurs. It demonstrates that the initial dinosaur radiation occurred over a longer timescale than previously thought (possibly 15 Myr earlier), and that dinosaurs and their immediate relatives are better understood as part of a larger Middle Triassic archosauriform radiation. The African provenance of Nyasasaurus supports a southern Pangaean origin for Dinosauria.

  6. The oldest dinosaur? A Middle Triassic dinosauriform from Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Barrett, Paul M.; Werning, Sarah; Sidor, Christian A.; Charig, Alan J.

    2013-01-01

    The rise of dinosaurs was a major event in vertebrate history, but the timing of the origin and early diversification of the group remain poorly constrained. Here, we describe Nyasasaurus parringtoni gen. et sp. nov., which is identified as either the earliest known member of, or the sister–taxon to, Dinosauria. Nyasasaurus possesses a unique combination of dinosaur character states and an elevated growth rate similar to that of definitive early dinosaurs. It demonstrates that the initial dinosaur radiation occurred over a longer timescale than previously thought (possibly 15 Myr earlier), and that dinosaurs and their immediate relatives are better understood as part of a larger Middle Triassic archosauriform radiation. The African provenance of Nyasasaurus supports a southern Pangaean origin for Dinosauria. PMID:23221875

  7. Phylogenetic lineages in Entomophthoromycota

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Entomophthoromycota Humber is one of five major phylogenetic lineages among the former phylum Zygomycota. These early terrestrial fungi share evolutionarily ancestral characters such as coenocytic mycelium and gametangiogamy as a sexual process resulting in zygospore formation. Previous molecular st...

  8. Myocardial Lineage Development

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Sylvia M.; Yelon, Deborah; Conlon, Frank L.; Kirby, Margaret L.

    2010-01-01

    The myocardium of the heart is composed of multiple highly specialized myocardial lineages, including those of the ventricular and atrial myocardium, and the specialized conduction system. Specification and maturation of each of these lineages during heart development is a highly ordered, ongoing process involving multiple signaling pathways and their intersection with transcriptional regulatory networks. Here, we attempt to summarize and compare much of what we know about specification and maturation of myocardial lineages from studies in several different vertebrate model systems. To date, most research has focused on early specification, and while there is still more to learn, less is known about factors that promote subsequent maturation of myocardial lineages required to build the functioning adult heart. PMID:21148449

  9. 76 FR 7232 - Notice of Inventory Completion: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Dinosaur...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-09

    ... Service, Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur, CO AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur... culturally affiliated with the human remains may contact Dinosaur National Monument. Disposition of the...

  10. Computational modelling of locomotor muscle moment arms in the basal dinosaur Lesothosaurus diagnosticus: assessing convergence between birds and basal ornithischians.

    PubMed

    Bates, Karl T; Maidment, Susannah C R; Allen, Vivian; Barrett, Paul M

    2012-03-01

    Ornithischia (the 'bird-hipped' dinosaurs) encompasses bipedal, facultative quadrupedal and quadrupedal taxa. Primitive ornithischians were small bipeds, but large body size and obligate quadrupedality evolved independently in all major ornithischian lineages. Numerous pelvic and hind limb features distinguish ornithischians from the majority of other non-avian dinosaurs. However, some of these features, notably a retroverted pubis and elongate iliac preacetabular process, appeared convergently in maniraptoran theropods, and were inherited by their avian descendants. During maniraptoran/avian evolution these pelvic modifications led to significant changes in the functions of associated muscles, involving alterations to the moment arms and the activation patterns of pelvic musculature. However, the functions of these features in ornithischians and their influence on locomotion have not been tested and remain poorly understood. Here, we provide quantitative tests of bipedal ornithischian muscle function using computational modelling to estimate 3D hind limb moment arms for the most complete basal ornithischian, Lesothosaurus diagnosticus. This approach enables sensitivity analyses to be carried out to explore the effects of uncertainties in muscle reconstructions of extinct taxa, and allows direct comparisons to be made with similarly constructed models of other bipedal dinosaurs. This analysis supports some previously proposed qualitative inferences of muscle function in basal ornithischians. However, more importantly, this work highlights ambiguities in the roles of certain muscles, notably those inserting close to the hip joint. Comparative analysis reveals that moment arm polarities and magnitudes in Lesothosaurus, basal tetanuran theropods and the extant ostrich are generally similar. However, several key differences are identified, most significantly in comparisons between the moment arms of muscles associated with convergent osteological features in

  11. Computational modelling of locomotor muscle moment arms in the basal dinosaur Lesothosaurus diagnosticus: assessing convergence between birds and basal ornithischians

    PubMed Central

    Bates, Karl T; Maidment, Susannah C R; Allen, Vivian; Barrett, Paul M

    2012-01-01

    Ornithischia (the ‘bird-hipped’ dinosaurs) encompasses bipedal, facultative quadrupedal and quadrupedal taxa. Primitive ornithischians were small bipeds, but large body size and obligate quadrupedality evolved independently in all major ornithischian lineages. Numerous pelvic and hind limb features distinguish ornithischians from the majority of other non-avian dinosaurs. However, some of these features, notably a retroverted pubis and elongate iliac preacetabular process, appeared convergently in maniraptoran theropods, and were inherited by their avian descendants. During maniraptoran/avian evolution these pelvic modifications led to significant changes in the functions of associated muscles, involving alterations to the moment arms and the activation patterns of pelvic musculature. However, the functions of these features in ornithischians and their influence on locomotion have not been tested and remain poorly understood. Here, we provide quantitative tests of bipedal ornithischian muscle function using computational modelling to estimate 3D hind limb moment arms for the most complete basal ornithischian, Lesothosaurus diagnosticus. This approach enables sensitivity analyses to be carried out to explore the effects of uncertainties in muscle reconstructions of extinct taxa, and allows direct comparisons to be made with similarly constructed models of other bipedal dinosaurs. This analysis supports some previously proposed qualitative inferences of muscle function in basal ornithischians. However, more importantly, this work highlights ambiguities in the roles of certain muscles, notably those inserting close to the hip joint. Comparative analysis reveals that moment arm polarities and magnitudes in Lesothosaurus, basal tetanuran theropods and the extant ostrich are generally similar. However, several key differences are identified, most significantly in comparisons between the moment arms of muscles associated with convergent osteological features in

  12. Does morphological convergence imply functional similarity? A test using the evolution of quadrupedalism in ornithischian dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Barrett, Paul M

    2012-09-22

    Convergent morphologies are thought to indicate functional similarity, arising because of a limited number of evolutionary or developmental pathways. Extant taxa displaying convergent morphologies are used as analogues to assess function in extinct taxa with similar characteristics. However, functional studies of extant taxa have shown that functional similarity can arise from differing morphologies, calling into question the paradigm that form and function are closely related. We test the hypothesis that convergent skeletal morphology indicates functional similarity in the fossil record using ornithischian dinosaurs. The rare transition from bipedality to quadrupedality occurred at least three times independently in this clade, resulting in a suite of convergent osteological characteristics. We use homology rather than analogy to provide an independent line of evidence about function, reconstructing soft tissues using the extant phylogenetic bracket and applying biomechanical concepts to produce qualitative assessments of muscle leverage. We also optimize character changes to investigate the sequence of character acquisition. Different lineages of quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaur stood and walked differently from each other, falsifying the hypothesis that osteological convergence indicates functional similarity. The acquisition of features correlated with quadrupedalism generally occurs in the same order in each clade, suggesting underlying developmental mechanisms that act as evolutionary constraints.

  13. A Middle Jurassic abelisaurid from Patagonia and the early diversification of theropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Pol, Diego; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2012-08-22

    Abelisaurids are a clade of large, bizarre predatory dinosaurs, most notable for their high, short skulls and extremely reduced forelimbs. They were common in Gondwana during the Cretaceous, but exceedingly rare in the Northern Hemisphere. The oldest definitive abelisaurids so far come from the late Early Cretaceous of South America and Africa, and the early evolutionary history of the clade is still poorly known. Here, we report a new abelisaurid from the Middle Jurassic of Patagonia, Eoabelisaurus mefi gen. et sp. nov., which predates the so far oldest known secure member of this lineage by more than 40 Myr. The almost complete skeleton reveals the earliest evolutionary stages of the distinctive features of abelisaurids, such as the modification of the forelimb, which started with a reduction of the distal elements. The find underlines the explosive radiation of theropod dinosaurs in the Middle Jurassic and indicates an unexpected diversity of ceratosaurs at that time. The apparent endemism of abelisauroids to southern Gondwana during Pangean times might be due to the presence of a large, central Gondwanan desert. This indicates that, apart from continent-scale geography, aspects such as regional geography and climate are important to reconstruct the biogeographical history of Mesozoic vertebrates.

  14. From dinosaurs to modern bird diversity: extending the time scale of adaptive radiation.

    PubMed

    Moen, Daniel; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-05-01

    What explains why some groups of organisms, like birds, are so species rich? And what explains their extraordinary ecological diversity, ranging from large, flightless birds to small migratory species that fly thousand of kilometers every year? These and similar questions have spurred great interest in adaptive radiation, the diversification of ecological traits in a rapidly speciating group of organisms. Although the initial formulation of modern concepts of adaptive radiation arose from consideration of the fossil record, rigorous attempts to identify adaptive radiation in the fossil record are still uncommon. Moreover, most studies of adaptive radiation concern groups that are less than 50 million years old. Thus, it is unclear how important adaptive radiation is over temporal scales that span much larger portions of the history of life. In this issue, Benson et al. test the idea of a "deep-time" adaptive radiation in dinosaurs, compiling and using one of the most comprehensive phylogenetic and body-size datasets for fossils. Using recent phylogenetic statistical methods, they find that in most clades of dinosaurs there is a strong signal of an "early burst" in body-size evolution, a predicted pattern of adaptive radiation in which rapid trait evolution happens early in a group's history and then slows down. They also find that body-size evolution did not slow down in the lineage leading to birds, hinting at why birds survived to the present day and diversified. This paper represents one of the most convincing attempts at understanding deep-time adaptive radiations.

  15. Does morphological convergence imply functional similarity? A test using the evolution of quadrupedalism in ornithischian dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Maidment, Susannah C. R.; Barrett, Paul M.

    2012-01-01

    Convergent morphologies are thought to indicate functional similarity, arising because of a limited number of evolutionary or developmental pathways. Extant taxa displaying convergent morphologies are used as analogues to assess function in extinct taxa with similar characteristics. However, functional studies of extant taxa have shown that functional similarity can arise from differing morphologies, calling into question the paradigm that form and function are closely related. We test the hypothesis that convergent skeletal morphology indicates functional similarity in the fossil record using ornithischian dinosaurs. The rare transition from bipedality to quadrupedality occurred at least three times independently in this clade, resulting in a suite of convergent osteological characteristics. We use homology rather than analogy to provide an independent line of evidence about function, reconstructing soft tissues using the extant phylogenetic bracket and applying biomechanical concepts to produce qualitative assessments of muscle leverage. We also optimize character changes to investigate the sequence of character acquisition. Different lineages of quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaur stood and walked differently from each other, falsifying the hypothesis that osteological convergence indicates functional similarity. The acquisition of features correlated with quadrupedalism generally occurs in the same order in each clade, suggesting underlying developmental mechanisms that act as evolutionary constraints. PMID:22719033

  16. A Middle Jurassic abelisaurid from Patagonia and the early diversification of theropod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Pol, Diego; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.

    2012-01-01

    Abelisaurids are a clade of large, bizarre predatory dinosaurs, most notable for their high, short skulls and extremely reduced forelimbs. They were common in Gondwana during the Cretaceous, but exceedingly rare in the Northern Hemisphere. The oldest definitive abelisaurids so far come from the late Early Cretaceous of South America and Africa, and the early evolutionary history of the clade is still poorly known. Here, we report a new abelisaurid from the Middle Jurassic of Patagonia, Eoabelisaurus mefi gen. et sp. nov., which predates the so far oldest known secure member of this lineage by more than 40 Myr. The almost complete skeleton reveals the earliest evolutionary stages of the distinctive features of abelisaurids, such as the modification of the forelimb, which started with a reduction of the distal elements. The find underlines the explosive radiation of theropod dinosaurs in the Middle Jurassic and indicates an unexpected diversity of ceratosaurs at that time. The apparent endemism of abelisauroids to southern Gondwana during Pangean times might be due to the presence of a large, central Gondwanan desert. This indicates that, apart from continent-scale geography, aspects such as regional geography and climate are important to reconstruct the biogeographical history of Mesozoic vertebrates. PMID:22628475

  17. A new North American therizinosaurid and the role of herbivory in 'predatory' dinosaur evolution.

    PubMed

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Gillette, David D; Albright, L Barry; Titus, Alan L

    2009-10-07

    Historically, ecomorphological inferences regarding theropod (i.e. 'predatory') dinosaurs were guided by an assumption that they were singularly hypercarnivorous. A recent plethora of maniraptoran discoveries has produced evidence challenging this notion. Here, we report on a new species of maniraptoran theropod, Nothronychus graffami sp. nov. Relative completeness of this specimen permits a phylogenetic reassessment of Therizinosauria-the theropod clade exhibiting the most substantial anatomical evidence of herbivory. In the most comprehensive phylogenetic study of the clade conducted to date, we recover Therizinosauria as the basalmost maniraptoran lineage. Using concentrated changes tests, we present evidence for correlated character evolution among herbivorous and hypercarnivorous taxa and propose ecomorphological indicators for future interpretations of diet among maniraptoran clades. Maximum parsimony optimizations of character evolution within our study indicate an ancestral origin for dietary plasticity and facultative herbivory (omnivory) within the clade. These findings suggest that hypercarnivory in paravian dinosaurs is a secondarily derived dietary specialization and provide a potential mechanism for the invasion of novel morpho- and ecospace early in coelurosaurian evolution-the loss of obligate carnivory and origin of dietary opportunism.

  18. A new North American therizinosaurid and the role of herbivory in ‘predatory’ dinosaur evolution

    PubMed Central

    Zanno, Lindsay E.; Gillette, David D.; Albright, L. Barry; Titus, Alan L.

    2009-01-01

    Historically, ecomorphological inferences regarding theropod (i.e. ‘predatory’) dinosaurs were guided by an assumption that they were singularly hypercarnivorous. A recent plethora of maniraptoran discoveries has produced evidence challenging this notion. Here, we report on a new species of maniraptoran theropod, Nothronychus graffami sp. nov. Relative completeness of this specimen permits a phylogenetic reassessment of Therizinosauria—the theropod clade exhibiting the most substantial anatomical evidence of herbivory. In the most comprehensive phylogenetic study of the clade conducted to date, we recover Therizinosauria as the basalmost maniraptoran lineage. Using concentrated changes tests, we present evidence for correlated character evolution among herbivorous and hypercarnivorous taxa and propose ecomorphological indicators for future interpretations of diet among maniraptoran clades. Maximum parsimony optimizations of character evolution within our study indicate an ancestral origin for dietary plasticity and facultative herbivory (omnivory) within the clade. These findings suggest that hypercarnivory in paravian dinosaurs is a secondarily derived dietary specialization and provide a potential mechanism for the invasion of novel morpho- and ecospace early in coelurosaurian evolution—the loss of obligate carnivory and origin of dietary opportunism. PMID:19605396

  19. Early crocodylomorph increases top tier predator diversity during rise of dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Drymala, Susan; Nesbitt, Sterling J; Schneider, Vincent P

    2015-03-19

    Triassic predatory guild evolution reflects a period of ecological flux spurred by the catastrophic end-Permian mass extinction and terminating with the global ecological dominance of dinosaurs in the early Jurassic. In responding to this dynamic ecospace, terrestrial predator diversity attained new levels, prompting unique trophic webs with a seeming overabundance of carnivorous taxa and the evolution of entirely new predatory clades. Key among these was Crocodylomorpha, the largest living reptiles and only one of two archosaurian lineages that survive to the present day. In contrast to their existing role as top, semi-aquatic predators, the earliest crocodylomorphs were generally small-bodied, terrestrial faunivores, occupying subsidiary (meso) predator roles. Here we describe Carnufex carolinensis a new, unexpectedly large-bodied taxon with a slender and ornamented skull from the Carnian Pekin Formation (~231 Ma), representing one of the oldest and earliest diverging crocodylomorphs described to date. Carnufex bridges a problematic gap in the early evolution of pseudosuchians by spanning key transitions in bauplan evolution and body mass near the origin of Crocodylomorpha. With a skull length of >50 cm, the new taxon documents a rare instance of crocodylomorphs ascending to top-tier predator guilds in the equatorial regions of Pangea prior to the dominance of dinosaurs.

  20. Early crocodylomorph increases top tier predator diversity during rise of dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Zanno, Lindsay E.; Drymala, Susan; Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Schneider, Vincent P.

    2015-01-01

    Triassic predatory guild evolution reflects a period of ecological flux spurred by the catastrophic end-Permian mass extinction and terminating with the global ecological dominance of dinosaurs in the early Jurassic. In responding to this dynamic ecospace, terrestrial predator diversity attained new levels, prompting unique trophic webs with a seeming overabundance of carnivorous taxa and the evolution of entirely new predatory clades. Key among these was Crocodylomorpha, the largest living reptiles and only one of two archosaurian lineages that survive to the present day. In contrast to their existing role as top, semi-aquatic predators, the earliest crocodylomorphs were generally small-bodied, terrestrial faunivores, occupying subsidiary (meso) predator roles. Here we describe Carnufex carolinensis a new, unexpectedly large-bodied taxon with a slender and ornamented skull from the Carnian Pekin Formation (~231 Ma), representing one of the oldest and earliest diverging crocodylomorphs described to date. Carnufex bridges a problematic gap in the early evolution of pseudosuchians by spanning key transitions in bauplan evolution and body mass near the origin of Crocodylomorpha. With a skull length of >50 cm, the new taxon documents a rare instance of crocodylomorphs ascending to top-tier predator guilds in the equatorial regions of Pangea prior to the dominance of dinosaurs. PMID:25787306

  1. A New Saurolophine Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Far Eastern Russia

    PubMed Central

    Godefroit, Pascal; Bolotsky, Yuri L.; Lauters, Pascaline

    2012-01-01

    Background Four main dinosaur sites have been investigated in latest Cretaceous deposits from the Amur/Heilongjiang Region: Jiayin and Wulaga in China (Yuliangze Formation), Blagoveschensk and Kundur in Russia (Udurchukan Formation). More than 90% of the bones discovered in these localities belong to hollow-crested lambeosaurine saurolophids, but flat-headed saurolophines are also represented: Kerberosaurus manakini at Blagoveschensk and Wulagasaurus dongi at Wulaga. Methodology/Principal Findings Herein we describe a new saurolophine dinosaur, Kundurosaurus nagornyi gen. et sp. nov., from the Udurchukan Formation (Maastrichtian) of Kundur, represented by disarticulated cranial and postcranial material. This new taxon is diagnosed by four autapomorphies. Conclusions/Significance A phylogenetic analysis of saurolophines indicates that Kundurosaurus nagornyi is nested within a rather robust clade including Edmontosaurus spp., Saurolophus spp., and Prosaurolophus maximus, possibly as a sister-taxon for Kerberosaurus manakini also from the Udurchukan Formation of Far Eastern Russia. The high diversity and mosaic distribution of Maastrichtian hadrosaurid faunas in the Amur-Heilongjiang region are the result of a complex palaeogeographical history and imply that many independent hadrosaurid lineages dispersed without any problem between western America and eastern Asia at the end of the Cretaceous. PMID:22666331

  2. Avian-like breathing mechanics in maniraptoran dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Codd, Jonathan R; Manning, Phillip L; Norell, Mark A; Perry, Steven F

    2008-01-22

    In 1868 Thomas Huxley first proposed that dinosaurs were the direct ancestors of birds and subsequent analyses have identified a suite of 'avian' characteristics in theropod dinosaurs. Ossified uncinate processes are found in most species of extant birds and also occur in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. Their presence in these dinosaurs represents another morphological character linking them to Aves, and further supports the presence of an avian-like air-sac respiratory system in theropod dinosaurs, prior to the evolution of flight. Here we report a phylogenetic analysis of the presence of uncinate processes in Aves and non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs indicating that these were homologous structures. Furthermore, recent work on Canada geese has demonstrated that uncinate processes are integral to the mechanics of avian ventilation, facilitating both inspiration and expiration. In extant birds, uncinate processes function to increase the mechanical advantage for movements of the ribs and sternum during respiration. Our study presents a mechanism whereby uncinate processes, in conjunction with lateral and ventral movements of the sternum and gastral basket, affected avian-like breathing mechanics in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs.

  3. A palaeoequatorial ornithischian and new constraints on early dinosaur diversification.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Paul M; Butler, Richard J; Mundil, Roland; Scheyer, Torsten M; Irmis, Randall B; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2014-09-22

    Current characterizations of early dinosaur evolution are incomplete: existing palaeobiological and phylogenetic scenarios are based on a fossil record dominated by saurischians and the implications of the early ornithischian record are often overlooked. Moreover, the timings of deep phylogenetic divergences within Dinosauria are poorly constrained owing to the absence of a rigorous chronostratigraphical framework for key Late Triassic-Early Jurassic localities. A new dinosaur from the earliest Jurassic of the Venezuelan Andes is the first basal ornithischian recovered from terrestrial deposits directly associated with a precise radioisotopic date and the first-named dinosaur from northern South America. It expands the early palaeogeographical range of Ornithischia to palaeoequatorial regions, an area sometimes thought to be devoid of early dinosaur taxa, and offers insights into early dinosaur growth rates, the evolution of sociality and the rapid tempo of the global dinosaur radiation following the end-Triassic mass extinction, helping to underscore the importance of the ornithischian record in broad-scale discussions of early dinosaur history.

  4. A palaeoequatorial ornithischian and new constraints on early dinosaur diversification

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Paul M.; Butler, Richard J.; Mundil, Roland; Scheyer, Torsten M.; Irmis, Randall B.; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2014-01-01

    Current characterizations of early dinosaur evolution are incomplete: existing palaeobiological and phylogenetic scenarios are based on a fossil record dominated by saurischians and the implications of the early ornithischian record are often overlooked. Moreover, the timings of deep phylogenetic divergences within Dinosauria are poorly constrained owing to the absence of a rigorous chronostratigraphical framework for key Late Triassic–Early Jurassic localities. A new dinosaur from the earliest Jurassic of the Venezuelan Andes is the first basal ornithischian recovered from terrestrial deposits directly associated with a precise radioisotopic date and the first-named dinosaur from northern South America. It expands the early palaeogeographical range of Ornithischia to palaeoequatorial regions, an area sometimes thought to be devoid of early dinosaur taxa, and offers insights into early dinosaur growth rates, the evolution of sociality and the rapid tempo of the global dinosaur radiation following the end-Triassic mass extinction, helping to underscore the importance of the ornithischian record in broad-scale discussions of early dinosaur history. PMID:25100698

  5. Avian-like breathing mechanics in maniraptoran dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Codd, Jonathan R; Manning, Phillip L; Norell, Mark A; Perry, Steven F

    2007-01-01

    In 1868 Thomas Huxley first proposed that dinosaurs were the direct ancestors of birds and subsequent analyses have identified a suite of ‘avian’ characteristics in theropod dinosaurs. Ossified uncinate processes are found in most species of extant birds and also occur in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. Their presence in these dinosaurs represents another morphological character linking them to Aves, and further supports the presence of an avian-like air-sac respiratory system in theropod dinosaurs, prior to the evolution of flight. Here we report a phylogenetic analysis of the presence of uncinate processes in Aves and non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs indicating that these were homologous structures. Furthermore, recent work on Canada geese has demonstrated that uncinate processes are integral to the mechanics of avian ventilation, facilitating both inspiration and expiration. In extant birds, uncinate processes function to increase the mechanical advantage for movements of the ribs and sternum during respiration. Our study presents a mechanism whereby uncinate processes, in conjunction with lateral and ventral movements of the sternum and gastral basket, affected avian-like breathing mechanics in extinct non-avian maniraptoran dinosaurs. PMID:17986432

  6. Dinosaur or Phoenix: Nuclear Bombers in the 21st Century

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-12

    REPORT DATE 02-04-10 2. REPORT TYPE Master’s Thesis 3. DATES COVERED 31-07-09 to 16-06-10 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dinosaur or Phoenix: Nuclear...WARFIGHTING SCHOOL DINOSAUR OR PHOENIX: NUCLEAR BOMBERS IN THE 21ST CENTURY by John W. Morehead Colonel, United States Air Force A paper...can argue Secretary Gates’ decision to halt development of a follow-on bomber indicates the DOD views nuclear bombers as dinosaurs no longer needed as

  7. Fossilized excreta associated to dinosaurs in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souto, P. R. F.; Fernandes, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    This work provides an updated register of the main occurrences of fossilized excreta (coprolites and urolites) associated with dinosaurs found in the Brazil. The goal is to provide a relevant guide to the interpretation of the environment in the context of Gondwana. In four geographic areas, the excreta are recovered from Cretaceous sedimentary deposits in outcrops of the Bauru and São Luis basins and the Upper Jurassic aeolian deposits of the Parana Basin in the state of São Paulo. The coprolites were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence methods. The results of these analyses reveal compositions that differ from the surrounding matrix, indicating a partial substitution of the organic material due to the feeding habits of the producers. Additionally, we describe the urolite excavations in epirelief and hyporelief, the result of gravitational flow the impact from urine jets on sand. These are associated with ornithopod and theropod dinosaur footprints preserved in the aeolian flagstones of the Botucatu Formation, Parana Basin.

  8. Response to Comments on "Evidence for mesothermy in dinosaurs".

    PubMed

    Grady, John M; Enquist, Brian J; Dettweiler-Robinson, Eva; Wright, Natalie A; Smith, Felisa A

    2015-05-29

    D'Emic and Myhrvold raise a number of statistical and methodological issues with our recent analysis of dinosaur growth and energetics. However, their critiques and suggested improvements lack biological and statistical justification.

  9. Fossil Footprints: How Fast Was That Dinosaur Moving?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caton, Randall; Otts, Charlotte

    1999-01-01

    Describes an activity in which students construct relationships between their leg lengths, stride lengths, and movements in order to estimate the speeds of the dinosaurs that made various fossilized tracks. (WRM)

  10. A troodontid dinosaur from the latest Cretaceous of India.

    PubMed

    Goswami, A; Prasad, G V R; Verma, O; Flynn, J J; Benson, R B J

    2013-01-01

    Troodontid dinosaurs share a close ancestry with birds and were distributed widely across Laurasia during the Cretaceous. Hundreds of occurrences of troodontid bones, and their highly distinctive teeth, are known from North America, Europe and Asia. Thus far, however, they remain unknown from Gondwanan landmasses. Here we report the discovery of a troodontid tooth from the uppermost Cretaceous Kallamedu Formation in the Cauvery Basin of South India. This is the first Gondwanan record for troodontids, extending their geographic range by nearly 10,000 km, and representing the first confirmed non-avian tetanuran dinosaur from the Indian subcontinent. This small-bodied maniraptoran dinosaur is an unexpected and distinctly 'Laurasian' component of an otherwise typical 'Gondwanan' tetrapod assemblage, including notosuchian crocodiles, abelisauroid dinosaurs and gondwanathere mammals. This discovery raises the question of whether troodontids dispersed to India from Laurasia in the Late Cretaceous, or whether a broader Gondwanan distribution of troodontids remains to be discovered.

  11. Incubation times of dinosaur eggs via embryonic metabolism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott A.

    2016-08-01

    The incubation times for the eggs of 21 dinosaurs are determined from an estimate of their embyronic metabolic rate and the mass of the hatchlings via a mass growth model based on conservation of energy. Embryos in extant birds and crocodiles are studied in order to determine the best model for embryonic metabolism and growth. These results are used to develop a theoretical model that predicts the incubation times of an egg. This model is applied to dinosaur eggs and provides a unique window into dinosaur reproduction. The dinosaurs studied come from both Saurischia and Ornithischia. The incubation times vary from about 28 days for Archaeopteryx lithographica to about 76 days for Alamosaurus sanjuanensis.

  12. A new carnivorous dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen archipelago.

    PubMed

    Göhlich, Ursula B; Chiappe, Luis M

    2006-03-16

    Small Late Jurassic theropod dinosaurs are rare worldwide. In Europe these carnivorous dinosaurs are represented primarily by only two skeletons of Compsognathus, neither of which is well preserved. Here we describe a small new theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period of Schamhaupten in southern Germany. Being exquisitely preserved and complete from the snout to the distal third of the tail, the new fossil is the best-preserved predatory, non-avian dinosaur in Europe. It possesses a suite of characters that support its identification as a basal coelurosaur. A cladistic analysis indicates that the new taxon is closer to maniraptorans than to tyrannosauroids, grouping it with taxa often considered to be compsognathids. Large portions of integument are preserved along its tail. The absence of feathers or feather-like structures in a fossil phylogenetically nested within feathered theropods indicates that the evolution of these integumentary structures might be more complex than previously thought.

  13. Mesozoic dinosaurs from Brazil and their biogeographic implications.

    PubMed

    Bittencourt, Jonathas S; Langer, Max C

    2011-03-01

    The record of dinosaur body-fossils in the Brazilian Mesozoic is restricted to the Triassic of Rio Grande do Sul and Cretaceous of various parts of the country. This includes 21 named species, two of which were regarded as nomina dubia, and 19 consensually assigned to Dinosauria. Additional eight supraspecific taxa have been identified based on fragmentary specimens and numerous dinosaur footprints known in Brazil. In fact, most Brazilian specimens related to dinosaurs are composed of isolated teeth and vertebrae. Despite the increase of fieldwork during the last decade, there are still no dinosaur body-fossils of Jurassic age and the evidence of ornithischians in Brazil is very limited. Dinosaur faunas from this country are generally correlated with those from other parts of Gondwana throughout the Mesozoic. During the Late Triassic, there is a close correspondence to Argentina and other south-Pangaea areas. Mid-Cretaceous faunas of northeastern Brazil resemble those of coeval deposits of North Africa and Argentina. Southern hemisphere spinosaurids are restricted to Africa and Brazil, whereas abelisaurids are still unknown in the Early Cretaceous of the latter. Late Cretaceous dinosaur assemblages of south-central Brazil are endemic only to genus or, more conspicuously, to species level, sharing closely related taxa with Argentina, Madagascar, Indo-Pakistan and, to a lesser degree, continental Africa.

  14. Dinosaur: A Refined Open-Source Peptide MS Feature Detector

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In bottom-up mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics, peptide isotopic and chromatographic traces (features) are frequently used for label-free quantification in data-dependent acquisition MS but can also be used for the improved identification of chimeric spectra or sample complexity characterization. Feature detection is difficult because of the high complexity of MS proteomics data from biological samples, which frequently causes features to intermingle. In addition, existing feature detection algorithms commonly suffer from compatibility issues, long computation times, or poor performance on high-resolution data. Because of these limitations, we developed a new tool, Dinosaur, with increased speed and versatility. Dinosaur has the functionality to sample algorithm computations through quality-control plots, which we call a plot trail. From the evaluation of this plot trail, we introduce several algorithmic improvements to further improve the robustness and performance of Dinosaur, with the detection of features for 98% of MS/MS identifications in a benchmark data set, and no other algorithm tested in this study passed 96% feature detection. We finally used Dinosaur to reimplement a published workflow for peptide identification in chimeric spectra, increasing chimeric identification from 26% to 32% over the standard workflow. Dinosaur is operating-system-independent and is freely available as open source on https://github.com/fickludd/dinosaur. PMID:27224449

  15. Heme compounds in dinosaur trabecular bone.

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, M H; Marshall, M; Carron, K; Bohle, D S; Busse, S C; Arnold, E V; Barnard, D; Horner, J R; Starkey, J R

    1997-06-10

    Six independent lines of evidence point to the existence of heme-containing compounds and/or hemoglobin breakdown products in extracts of trabecular tissues of the large theropod dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. These include signatures from nuclear magnetic resonance and electron spin resonance that indicate the presence of a paramagnetic compound consistent with heme. In addition, UV/visible spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography data are consistent with the Soret absorbance characteristic of this molecule. Resonance Raman profiles are also consistent with a modified heme structure. Finally, when dinosaurian tissues were extracted for protein fragments and were used to immunize rats, the resulting antisera reacted positively with purified avian and mammalian hemoglobins. The most parsimonious explanation of this evidence is the presence of blood-derived hemoglobin compounds preserved in the dinosaurian tissues.

  16. Common Avian Infection Plagued the Tyrant Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Wolff, Ewan D. S.; Salisbury, Steven W.; Horner, John R.; Varricchio, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Tyrannosaurus rex and other tyrannosaurid fossils often display multiple, smooth-edged full-thickness erosive lesions on the mandible, either unilaterally or bilaterally. The cause of these lesions in the Tyrannosaurus rex specimen FMNH PR2081 (known informally by the name ‘Sue’) has previously been attributed to actinomycosis, a bacterial bone infection, or bite wounds from other tyrannosaurids. Methodology/Principal Findings We conducted an extensive survey of tyrannosaurid specimens and identified ten individuals with full-thickness erosive lesions. These lesions were described, measured and photographed for comparison with one another. We also conducted an extensive survey of related archosaurs for similar lesions. We show here that these lesions are consistent with those caused by an avian parasitic infection called trichomonosis, which causes similar abnormalities on the mandible of modern birds, in particular raptors. Conclusions/Significance This finding represents the first evidence for the ancient evolutionary origin of an avian transmissible disease in non-avian theropod dinosaurs. It also provides a valuable insight into the palaeobiology of these now extinct animals. Based on the frequency with which these lesions occur, we hypothesize that tyrannosaurids were commonly infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan. For tyrannosaurid populations, the only non-avian dinosaur group that show trichomonosis-type lesions, it is likely that the disease became endemic and spread as a result of antagonistic intraspecific behavior, consumption of prey infected by a Trichomonas gallinae-like protozoan and possibly even cannibalism. The severity of trichomonosis-related lesions in specimens such as Tyrannosaurus rex FMNH PR2081 and Tyrannosaurus rex MOR 980, strongly suggests that these animals died as a direct result of this disease, mostly likely through starvation. PMID:19789646

  17. Direct somatic lineage conversion

    PubMed Central

    Tanabe, Koji; Haag, Daniel; Wernig, Marius

    2015-01-01

    The predominant view of embryonic development and cell differentiation has been that rigid and even irreversible epigenetic marks are laid down along the path of cell specialization ensuring the proper silencing of unrelated lineage programmes. This model made the prediction that specialized cell types are stable and cannot be redirected into other lineages. Accordingly, early attempts to change the identity of somatic cells had little success and was limited to conversions between closely related cell types. Nuclear transplantation experiments demonstrated, however, that specialized cells even from adult mammals can be reprogrammed into a totipotent state. The discovery that a small combination of transcription factors can reprogramme cells to pluripotency without the need of oocytes further supported the view that these epigenetic barriers can be overcome much easier than assumed, but the extent of this flexibility was still unclear. When we showed that a differentiated mesodermal cell can be directly converted to a differentiated ectodermal cell without a pluripotent intermediate, it was suggested that in principle any cell type could be converted into any other cell type. Indeed, the work of several groups in recent years has provided many more examples of direct somatic lineage conversions. Today, the question is not anymore whether a specific cell type can be generated by direct reprogramming but how it can be induced. PMID:26416679

  18. Neuroblast lineage identification and lineage-specific Hox gene action during postembryonic development of the subesophageal ganglion in the Drosophila central brain.

    PubMed

    Kuert, Philipp A; Hartenstein, Volker; Bello, Bruno C; Lovick, Jennifer K; Reichert, Heinrich

    2014-06-15

    The central brain of Drosophila consists of the supraesophageal ganglion (SPG) and the subesophageal ganglion (SEG), both of which are generated by neural stem cell-like neuroblasts during embryonic and postembryonic development. Considerable information has been obtained on postembryonic development of the neuroblasts and their lineages in the SPG. In contrast, very little is known about neuroblasts, neural lineages, or any other aspect of the postembryonic development in the SEG. Here we characterize the neuroanatomy of the larval SEG in terms of tracts, commissures, and other landmark features as compared to a thoracic ganglion. We then use clonal MARCM labeling to identify all adult-specific neuroblast lineages in the late larval SEG and find a surprisingly small number of neuroblast lineages, 13 paired and one unpaired. The Hox genes Dfd, Scr, and Antp are expressed in a lineage-specific manner in these lineages during postembryonic development. Hox gene loss-of-function causes lineage-specific defects in axonal targeting and reduction in neural cell numbers. Moreover, it results in the formation of novel ectopic neuroblast lineages. Apoptosis block also results in ectopic lineages suggesting that Hox genes are required for lineage-specific termination of proliferation through programmed cell death. Taken together, our findings show that postembryonic development in the SEG is mediated by a surprisingly small set of identified lineages and requires lineage-specific Hox gene action to ensure the correct formation of adult-specific neurons in the Drosophila brain.

  19. DinoViz: Exploring the History and Nature of Science through the Progression of Dinosaur Visualization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2011-01-01

    Dinosaurs in the middle school classroom can be exciting. These extinct reptiles are both an exotic subject and familiar to our students. Because students are inherently interested, dinosaurs can serve as an effective portal for the integration of biology, geology, ecology, and the history and nature of science. The field of dinosaur study is…

  20. Air-filled postcranial bones in theropod dinosaurs: physiological implications and the 'reptile'-bird transition.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Butler, Richard J; Carrano, Matthew T; O'Connor, Patrick M

    2012-02-01

    Pneumatic (air-filled) postcranial bones are unique to birds among extant tetrapods. Unambiguous skeletal correlates of postcranial pneumaticity first appeared in the Late Triassic (approximately 210 million years ago), when they evolved independently in several groups of bird-line archosaurs (ornithodirans). These include the theropod dinosaurs (of which birds are extant representatives), the pterosaurs, and sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Postulated functions of skeletal pneumatisation include weight reduction in large-bodied or flying taxa, and density reduction resulting in energetic savings during foraging and locomotion. However, the influence of these hypotheses on the early evolution of pneumaticity has not been studied in detail previously. We review recent work on the significance of pneumaticity for understanding the biology of extinct ornithodirans, and present detailed new data on the proportion of the skeleton that was pneumatised in 131 non-avian theropods and Archaeopteryx. This includes all taxa known from significant postcranial remains. Pneumaticity of the cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae occurred early in theropod evolution. This 'common pattern' was conserved on the line leading to birds, and is likely present in Archaeopteryx. Increases in skeletal pneumaticity occurred independently in as many as 12 lineages, highlighting a remarkably high number of parallel acquisitions of a bird-like feature among non-avian theropods. Using a quantitative comparative framework, we show that evolutionary increases in skeletal pneumaticity are significantly concentrated in lineages with large body size, suggesting that mass reduction in response to gravitational constraints at large body sizes influenced the early evolution of pneumaticity. However, the body size threshold for extensive pneumatisation is lower in theropod lineages more closely related to birds (maniraptorans). Thus, relaxation of the relationship between body size and pneumatisation preceded

  1. A Comparison of Culture Characteristics between Human Amniotic Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Dental Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Yusoff, Nurul Hidayat; Alshehadat, Saaid Ayesh; Azlina, Ahmad; Kannan, Thirumulu Ponnuraj; Hamid, Suzina Sheikh Abdul

    2015-04-01

    In the past decade, the field of stem cell biology is of major interest among researchers due to its broad therapeutic potential. Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialised cell types. Stem cells can be classified into two main types: adult stem cells (adult tissues) and embryonic stem cells (embryos formed during the blastocyst phase of embryological development). This review will discuss two types of adult mesenchymal stem cells, dental stem cells and amniotic stem cells, with respect to their differentiation lineages, passage numbers and animal model studies. Amniotic stem cells have a greater number of differentiation lineages than dental stem cells. On the contrary, dental stem cells showed the highest number of passages compared to amniotic stem cells. For tissue regeneration based on animal studies, amniotic stem cells showed the shortest time to regenerate in comparison with dental stem cells.

  2. Fossilized melanosomes and the colour of Cretaceous dinosaurs and birds.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fucheng; Kearns, Stuart L; Orr, Patrick J; Benton, Michael J; Zhou, Zhonghe; Johnson, Diane; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin

    2010-02-25

    Spectacular fossils from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group of northeastern China have greatly expanded our knowledge of the diversity and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and early birds, and contributed to our understanding of the origin of birds, of flight, and of feathers. Pennaceous (vaned) feathers and integumentary filaments are preserved in birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs, but little is known of their microstructure. Here we report that melanosomes (colour-bearing organelles) are not only preserved in the pennaceous feathers of early birds, but also in an identical manner in integumentary filaments of non-avian dinosaurs, thus refuting recent claims that the filaments are partially decayed dermal collagen fibres. Examples of both eumelanosomes and phaeomelanosomes have been identified, and they are often preserved in life position within the structure of partially degraded feathers and filaments. Furthermore, the data here provide empirical evidence for reconstructing the colours and colour patterning of these extinct birds and theropod dinosaurs: for example, the dark-coloured stripes on the tail of the theropod dinosaur Sinosauropteryx can reasonably be inferred to have exhibited chestnut to reddish-brown tones.

  3. Diachronism between extinction time of terrestrial and marine dinosaurs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, H. J.

    1988-01-01

    The dinosaur eggs of southern France occur in continental, fine-grained red-beds, rich in carbonate. The last eggs in the region occur in the magnetic polarity interval 30 normal. Estimates of the accumulation rate of these sediments on the basis of the magneto-stratigraphy leads to placement of the time of disappearance of the dinosaurs in this region of 200,000 to 400,000 years earlier than the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. In the Red Deer Valley, Canada, estimates of average accumulation rate lead to a time of disappearance of the dinosaurs of 135,000 to 157,000 years earlier than the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. In the central part of Poland, in the Nasilow Quarry, the paleomagnetic pattern shows 7 m of chalk of reversed polarity containing in its upper part the marine Cretaceous-Tertiary biostratigraphic boundary. A greensand deposit contains numerous re-deposited Maastrichtian fossils. The fossils show no signs of wear and are of very different sizes including 1 mm thick juvenile belemnites. The deposit was described as a lag-sediment. Among the various fossils are teeth of mosasaurs. Thus there is coincidence in time between the extinction of mosasaurs and other Cretaceous organisms. This leads to the conclusion, that extinction of terrestrial dinosaurs took place earlier than extinction of marine dinosaurs at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.

  4. Mountain building triggered late cretaceous North American megaherbivore dinosaur radiation.

    PubMed

    Gates, Terry A; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Zanno, Lindsay E

    2012-01-01

    Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB). Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone.

  5. Mountain Building Triggered Late Cretaceous North American Megaherbivore Dinosaur Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Gates, Terry A.; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Zanno, Lindsay E.

    2012-01-01

    Prior studies of Mesozoic biodiversity document a diversity peak for dinosaur species in the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous, yet have failed to provide explicit causal mechanisms. We provide evidence that a marked increase in North American dinosaur biodiversity can be attributed to dynamic orogenic episodes within the Western Interior Basin (WIB). Detailed fossil occurrences document an association between the shift from Sevier-style, latitudinally arrayed basins to smaller Laramide-style, longitudinally arrayed basins and a well substantiated decreased geographic range/increased taxonomic diversity of megaherbivorous dinosaur species. Dispersal-vicariance analysis demonstrates that the nearly identical biogeographic histories of the megaherbivorous dinosaur clades Ceratopsidae and Hadrosauridae are attributable to rapid diversification events within restricted basins and that isolation events are contemporaneous with known tectonic activity in the region. SymmeTREE analysis indicates that megaherbivorous dinosaur clades exhibited significant variation in diversification rates throughout the Late Cretaceous. Phylogenetic divergence estimates of fossil clades offer a new lower boundary on Laramide surficial deformation that precedes estimates based on sedimentological data alone. PMID:22876302

  6. Feedback, Lineages and Self-Organizing Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Calof, Anne L.; Lowengrub, John S.; Lander, Arthur D.

    2016-01-01

    Feedback regulation of cell lineage progression plays an important role in tissue size homeostasis, but whether such feedback also plays an important role in tissue morphogenesis has yet to be explored. Here we use mathematical modeling to show that a particular feedback architecture in which both positive and negative diffusible signals act on stem and/or progenitor cells leads to the appearance of bistable or bi-modal growth behaviors, ultrasensitivity to external growth cues, local growth-driven budding, self-sustaining elongation, and the triggering of self-organization in the form of lamellar fingers. Such behaviors arise not through regulation of cell cycle speeds, but through the control of stem or progenitor self-renewal. Even though the spatial patterns that arise in this setting are the result of interactions between diffusible factors with antagonistic effects, morphogenesis is not the consequence of Turing-type instabilities. PMID:26989903

  7. Tracing the Tumor Lineage

    PubMed Central

    Navin, Nicholas E.; Hicks, James

    2010-01-01

    Defining the pathways through which tumors progress is critical to our understanding and treatment of cancer. We do not routinely sample patients at multiple time points during the progression of their disease, and thus our research is limited to inferring progression a posteriori from the examination of a single tumor sample. Despite this limitation, inferring progression is possible because the tumor genome contains a natural history of the mutations that occur during the formation of the tumor mass. There are two approaches to reconstructing a lineage of progression: (1) inter-tumor comparisons, and (2) intra-tumor comparisons. The inter-tumor approach consists of taking single samples from large collections of tumors and comparing the complexity of the genomes to identify early and late mutations. The intra-tumor approach involves taking multiple samples from individual heterogeneous tumors to compare divergent clones and reconstruct a phylogenetic lineage. Here we discuss how these approaches can be used to interpret the current models for tumor progression. We also compare data from primary and metastatic copy number profiles to shed light on the final steps of breast cancer progression. Finally, we discuss how recent technical advances in single cell genomics will herald a new era in understanding the fundamental basis of tumor heterogeneity and progression. PMID:20537601

  8. First complete sauropod dinosaur skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas and the evolution of sauropod dentition.

    PubMed

    Chure, Daniel; Britt, Brooks B; Whitlock, John A; Wilson, Jeffrey A

    2010-04-01

    Sauropod dinosaur bones are common in Mesozoic terrestrial sediments, but sauropod skulls are exceedingly rare--cranial materials are known for less than one third of sauropod genera and even fewer are known from complete skulls. Here we describe the first complete sauropod skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas, Abydosaurus mcintoshi, n. gen., n. sp., known from 104.46 +/- 0.95 Ma (megannum) sediments from Dinosaur National Monument, USA. Abydosaurus shares close ancestry with Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the fossil record ca. 45 million years earlier and had substantially broader teeth. A survey of tooth shape in sauropodomorphs demonstrates that sauropods evolved broad crowns during the Early Jurassic but did not evolve narrow crowns until the Late Jurassic, when they occupied their greatest range of crown breadths. During the Cretaceous, brachiosaurids and other lineages independently underwent a marked diminution in tooth breadth, and before the latest Cretaceous broad-crowned sauropods were extinct on all continental landmasses. Differential survival and diversification of narrow-crowned sauropods in the Late Cretaceous appears to be a directed trend that was not correlated with changes in plant diversity or abundance, but may signal a shift towards elevated tooth replacement rates and high-wear dentition. Sauropods lacked many of the complex herbivorous adaptations present within contemporaneous ornithischian herbivores, such as beaks, cheeks, kinesis, and heterodonty. The spartan design of sauropod skulls may be related to their remarkably small size--sauropod skulls account for only 1/200th of total body volume compared to 1/30th body volume in ornithopod dinosaurs.

  9. First complete sauropod dinosaur skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas and the evolution of sauropod dentition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chure, Daniel; Britt, Brooks B.; Whitlock, John A.; Wilson, Jeffrey A.

    2010-04-01

    Sauropod dinosaur bones are common in Mesozoic terrestrial sediments, but sauropod skulls are exceedingly rare—cranial materials are known for less than one third of sauropod genera and even fewer are known from complete skulls. Here we describe the first complete sauropod skull from the Cretaceous of the Americas, Abydosaurus mcintoshi, n. gen., n. sp., known from 104.46 ± 0.95 Ma (megannum) sediments from Dinosaur National Monument, USA. Abydosaurus shares close ancestry with Brachiosaurus, which appeared in the fossil record ca. 45 million years earlier and had substantially broader teeth. A survey of tooth shape in sauropodomorphs demonstrates that sauropods evolved broad crowns during the Early Jurassic but did not evolve narrow crowns until the Late Jurassic, when they occupied their greatest range of crown breadths. During the Cretaceous, brachiosaurids and other lineages independently underwent a marked diminution in tooth breadth, and before the latest Cretaceous broad-crowned sauropods were extinct on all continental landmasses. Differential survival and diversification of narrow-crowned sauropods in the Late Cretaceous appears to be a directed trend that was not correlated with changes in plant diversity or abundance, but may signal a shift towards elevated tooth replacement rates and high-wear dentition. Sauropods lacked many of the complex herbivorous adaptations present within contemporaneous ornithischian herbivores, such as beaks, cheeks, kinesis, and heterodonty. The spartan design of sauropod skulls may be related to their remarkably small size—sauropod skulls account for only 1/200th of total body volume compared to 1/30th body volume in ornithopod dinosaurs.

  10. Dental Disparity and Ecological Stability in Bird-like Dinosaurs prior to the End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction.

    PubMed

    Larson, Derek W; Brown, Caleb M; Evans, David C

    2016-05-23

    The causes, rate, and selectivity of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction continue to be highly debated [1-5]. Extinction patterns in small, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including birds) are important for understanding extant biodiversity and present an enigma considering the survival of crown group birds (Neornithes) and the extinction of their close kin across the end-Cretaceous boundary [6]. Because of the patchy Cretaceous fossil record of small maniraptorans [7-12], this important transition has not been closely examined in this group. Here, we test the hypothesis that morphological disparity in bird-like dinosaurs was decreasing leading up to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, as has been hypothesized in some dinosaurs [13, 14]. To test this, we examined tooth morphology, an ecological indicator in fossil reptiles [15-19], from over 3,100 maniraptoran teeth from four groups (Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae, Richardoestesia, and cf. Aves) across the last 18 million years of the Cretaceous. We demonstrate that tooth disparity, a proxy for variation in feeding ecology, shows no significant decline leading up to the extinction event within any of the groups. Tooth morphospace occupation also remains static over this time interval except for increased size during the early Maastrichtian. Our data provide strong support that extinction within this group occurred suddenly after a prolonged period of ecological stability. To explain this sudden extinction of toothed maniraptorans and the survival of Neornithes, we propose that diet may have been an extinction filter and suggest that granivory associated with an edentulous beak was a key ecological trait in the survival of some lineages.

  11. Instruction of hematopoietic lineage choice by cytokine signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Endele, Max; Etzrodt, Martin; Schroeder, Timm

    2014-12-10

    Hematopoiesis is the cumulative consequence of finely tuned signaling pathways activated through extrinsic factors, such as local niche signals and systemic hematopoietic cytokines. Whether extrinsic factors actively instruct the lineage choice of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells or are only selectively allowing survival and proliferation of already intrinsically lineage-committed cells has been debated over decades. Recent results demonstrated that cytokines can instruct lineage choice. However, the precise function of individual cytokine-triggered signaling molecules in inducing cellular events like proliferation, lineage choice, and differentiation remains largely elusive. Signal transduction pathways activated by different cytokine receptors are highly overlapping, but support the production of distinct hematopoietic lineages. Cellular context, signaling dynamics, and the crosstalk of different signaling pathways determine the cellular response of a given extrinsic signal. New tools to manipulate and continuously quantify signaling events at the single cell level are therefore required to thoroughly interrogate how dynamic signaling networks yield a specific cellular response. - Highlights: • Recent studies provided definite proof for lineage-instructive action of cytokines. • Signaling pathways involved in hematopoietic lineage instruction remain elusive. • New tools are emerging to quantitatively study dynamic signaling networks over time.

  12. A Unique Late Triassic Dinosauromorph Assemblage Reveals Dinosaur Ancestral Anatomy and Diet.

    PubMed

    Cabreira, Sergio Furtado; Kellner, Alexander Wilhelm Armin; Dias-da-Silva, Sérgio; Roberto da Silva, Lúcio; Bronzati, Mario; Marsola, Júlio Cesar de Almeida; Müller, Rodrigo Temp; Bittencourt, Jonathas de Souza; Batista, Brunna Jul'Armando; Raugust, Tiago; Carrilho, Rodrigo; Brodt, André; Langer, Max Cardoso

    2016-11-21

    Dinosauromorpha includes dinosaurs and other much less diverse dinosaur precursors of Triassic age, such as lagerpetids [1]. Joint occurrences of these taxa with dinosaurs are rare but more common during the latest part of that period (Norian-Rhaetian, 228-201 million years ago [mya]) [2, 3]. In contrast, the new lagerpetid and saurischian dinosaur described here were unearthed from one of the oldest rock units with dinosaur fossils worldwide, the Carnian (237-228 mya) Santa Maria Formation of south Brazil [4], a record only matched in age by much more fragmentary remains from Argentina [5]. This is the first time nearly complete dinosaur and non-dinosaur dinosauromorph remains are found together in the same excavation, clearly showing that these animals were contemporaries since the first stages of dinosaur evolution. The new lagerpetid preserves the first skull, scapular and forelimb elements, plus associated vertebrae, known for the group, revealing how dinosaurs acquired several of their typical anatomical traits. Furthermore, a novel phylogenetic analysis shows the new dinosaur as the most basal Sauropodomorpha. Its plesiomorphic teeth, strictly adapted to faunivory, provide crucial data to infer the feeding behavior of the first dinosaurs.

  13. Bird embryos uncover homology and evolution of the dinosaur ankle.

    PubMed

    Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Mpodozis, Jorge; Vargas, Alexander O

    2015-11-13

    The anklebone (astragalus) of dinosaurs presents a characteristic upward projection, the 'ascending process' (ASC). The ASC is present in modern birds, but develops a separate ossification centre, and projects from the calcaneum in most species. These differences have been argued to make it non-comparable to dinosaurs. We studied ASC development in six different orders of birds using traditional techniques and spin-disc microscopy for whole-mount immunofluorescence. Unexpectedly, we found the ASC derives from the embryonic intermedium, an ancient element of the tetrapod ankle. In some birds it comes in contact with the astragalus, and, in others, with the calcaneum. The fact that the intermedium fails to fuse early with the tibiale and develops an ossification centre is unlike any other amniotes, yet resembles basal, amphibian-grade tetrapods. The ASC originated in early dinosaurs along changes to upright posture and locomotion, revealing an intriguing combination of functional innovation and reversion in its evolution.

  14. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-03-01

    In the second paper1 of this series, the effect of transverse femoral stresses due to locomotion in theropod dinosaurs of different sizes was examined for the case of an unchanging leg geometry. Students are invariably thrilled to learn about theropod dinosaurs, and this activity applies the concepts of torque and stress to the issue of theropod locomotion. In this paper, our model calculation of Ref. 1 is extended to incorporate the fact that larger animals run with straighter legs. As in Ref. 1, students use geometric data for the femora of theropod dinosaurs to analyze their locomotion abilities. This can either be an in-class activity or given as a homework problem. Larger theropods are found to be less athletic in their movements than smaller theropods since the stresses in the femora of large theropods are closer to breaking their legs than smaller theropods.

  15. Epidermal and dermal integumentary structures of ankylosaurian dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Arbour, Victoria M; Burns, Michael E; Bell, Phil R; Currie, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    Ankylosaurian dinosaurs are most notable for their abundant and morphologically diverse osteoderms, which would have given them a spiky appearance in life. Isolated osteoderms are relatively common and provide important information about the structure of the ankylosaur dermis, but fossilized impressions of the soft-tissue epidermis of ankylosaurs are rare. Nevertheless, well-preserved integument exists on several ankylosaur fossils that shows osteoderms were covered by a single epidermal scale, but one or many millimeter-sized ossicles may be present under polygonal, basement epidermal scales. Evidence for the taxonomic utility of ankylosaurid epidermal scale architecture is presented for the first time. This study builds on previous osteological work that argues for a greater diversity of ankylosaurids in the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta than has been traditionally recognized and adds to the hypothesis that epidermal skin impressions are taxonomically relevant across diverse dinosaur clades.

  16. The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benton, Michael J.; Shishkin, Mikhail A.; Unwin, David M.; Kurochkin, Evgenii N.

    2003-12-01

    The former Soviet Union covers a vast area of land, and over the last 200 years, many dozens of extraordinary dinosaurs and other fossil amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals have been found in Mesozoic rocks in its territories. The Permo-Triassic of the Ural Mountains of Russia have produced hundreds of superb specimens, and many of the dinosaurs from Mongolia are unique. This is the first compilation in any Western language of this large body of Russian research and the first time so much of this research, previously unexplored by the West, has been introduced in English. The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia is written by a unique mix of Russian and Western palaeontologists, and provides an entrée to a range of fossil faunas, in particular reptiles, that have been little known outside Russia. It will undoubtedly become a major reference work for all vertebrate palaeontologists.

  17. Biomechanics (Communication arising): prey attack by a large theropod dinosaur.

    PubMed

    Frazzetta, T H; Kardong, Kenneth V

    2002-03-28

    Prey-capture strategies in carnivorous dinosaurs have been inferred from the biomechanical features of their tooth structure, the estimated bite force produced, and their diet. Rayfield et al. have used finite-element analysis (FEA) to investigate such structure-function relationships in Allosaurus fragilis, and have found that the skull was designed to bear more stress than could be generated by simple biting. They conclude that this large theropod dinosaur delivered a chop-and-slash 'hatchet' blow to its prey, which it approached with its mouth wide open before driving its upper tooth row downwards. We argue that this mode of predation is unlikely, and that the FEA results, which relate to an 'overengineered' skull, are better explained by the biomechanical demands of prey capture. Understanding the mechanics of predation is important to our knowledge of the feeding habits of carnivorous dinosaurs and for accurate reconstruction their lifestyles.

  18. Bird embryos uncover homology and evolution of the dinosaur ankle

    PubMed Central

    Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Mpodozis, Jorge; Vargas, Alexander O

    2015-01-01

    The anklebone (astragalus) of dinosaurs presents a characteristic upward projection, the ‘ascending process' (ASC). The ASC is present in modern birds, but develops a separate ossification centre, and projects from the calcaneum in most species. These differences have been argued to make it non-comparable to dinosaurs. We studied ASC development in six different orders of birds using traditional techniques and spin–disc microscopy for whole-mount immunofluorescence. Unexpectedly, we found the ASC derives from the embryonic intermedium, an ancient element of the tetrapod ankle. In some birds it comes in contact with the astragalus, and, in others, with the calcaneum. The fact that the intermedium fails to fuse early with the tibiale and develops an ossification centre is unlike any other amniotes, yet resembles basal, amphibian-grade tetrapods. The ASC originated in early dinosaurs along changes to upright posture and locomotion, revealing an intriguing combination of functional innovation and reversion in its evolution. PMID:26563435

  19. The First Dinosaur from Washington State and a Review of Pacific Coast Dinosaurs from North America

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    We describe the first diagnostic dinosaur fossil from Washington State. The specimen, which consists of a proximal left femur, was recovered from the shallow marine rocks of the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Cedar District Formation (Nanaimo Group) and is interpreted as pertaining to a large theropod on the basis of its hollow medullary cavity and proximally placed fourth trochanter. The Washington theropod represents one of the northernmost occurrences of a Mesozoic dinosaur on the west coast of the United States and one of only a handful from the Pacific coast of Laramidia during the Cretaceous. Its isolated nature and preservation in marine rocks suggest that the element was washed in from a nearby fluvial system. If the femur pertains to a tyrannosauroid, which seems likely given its size and the widespread occurrence of the group across Laramidia during Late Cretaceous times, then it would represent an earlier occurrence of large body size than previously recognized (complete femur length estimated at 1.2 meters). Uncertainty surrounding the latitude of deposition of the Nanaimo Group (i.e., the Baja-British Columbia hypothesis) precludes assigning the Washington theropod to either of the putative northern or southern biogeographic provinces of Laramidia. PMID:25993090

  20. The first dinosaur from Washington State and a review of Pacific coast dinosaurs from North America.

    PubMed

    Peecook, Brandon R; Sidor, Christian A

    2015-01-01

    We describe the first diagnostic dinosaur fossil from Washington State. The specimen, which consists of a proximal left femur, was recovered from the shallow marine rocks of the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Cedar District Formation (Nanaimo Group) and is interpreted as pertaining to a large theropod on the basis of its hollow medullary cavity and proximally placed fourth trochanter. The Washington theropod represents one of the northernmost occurrences of a Mesozoic dinosaur on the west coast of the United States and one of only a handful from the Pacific coast of Laramidia during the Cretaceous. Its isolated nature and preservation in marine rocks suggest that the element was washed in from a nearby fluvial system. If the femur pertains to a tyrannosauroid, which seems likely given its size and the widespread occurrence of the group across Laramidia during Late Cretaceous times, then it would represent an earlier occurrence of large body size than previously recognized (complete femur length estimated at 1.2 meters). Uncertainty surrounding the latitude of deposition of the Nanaimo Group (i.e., the Baja-British Columbia hypothesis) precludes assigning the Washington theropod to either of the putative northern or southern biogeographic provinces of Laramidia.

  1. Sauropod dinosaurs evolved moderately sized genomes unrelated to body size.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Brusatte, Stephen L; Stein, Koen

    2009-12-22

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs include the largest land animals to have ever lived, some reaching up to 10 times the mass of an African elephant. Despite their status defining the upper range for body size in land animals, it remains unknown whether sauropodomorphs evolved larger-sized genomes than non-avian theropods, their sister taxon, or whether a relationship exists between genome size and body size in dinosaurs, two questions critical for understanding broad patterns of genome evolution in dinosaurs. Here we report inferences of genome size for 10 sauropodomorph taxa. The estimates are derived from a Bayesian phylogenetic generalized least squares approach that generates posterior distributions of regression models relating genome size to osteocyte lacunae volume in extant tetrapods. We estimate that the average genome size of sauropodomorphs was 2.02 pg (range of species means: 1.77-2.21 pg), a value in the upper range of extant birds (mean = 1.42 pg, range: 0.97-2.16 pg) and near the average for extant non-avian reptiles (mean = 2.24 pg, range: 1.05-5.44 pg). The results suggest that the variation in size and architecture of genomes in extinct dinosaurs was lower than the variation found in mammals. A substantial difference in genome size separates the two major clades within dinosaurs, Ornithischia (large genomes) and Saurischia (moderate to small genomes). We find no relationship between body size and estimated genome size in extinct dinosaurs, which suggests that neutral forces did not dominate the evolution of genome size in this group.

  2. Sauropod dinosaurs evolved moderately sized genomes unrelated to body size

    PubMed Central

    Organ, Chris L.; Brusatte, Stephen L.; Stein, Koen

    2009-01-01

    Sauropodomorph dinosaurs include the largest land animals to have ever lived, some reaching up to 10 times the mass of an African elephant. Despite their status defining the upper range for body size in land animals, it remains unknown whether sauropodomorphs evolved larger-sized genomes than non-avian theropods, their sister taxon, or whether a relationship exists between genome size and body size in dinosaurs, two questions critical for understanding broad patterns of genome evolution in dinosaurs. Here we report inferences of genome size for 10 sauropodomorph taxa. The estimates are derived from a Bayesian phylogenetic generalized least squares approach that generates posterior distributions of regression models relating genome size to osteocyte lacunae volume in extant tetrapods. We estimate that the average genome size of sauropodomorphs was 2.02 pg (range of species means: 1.77–2.21 pg), a value in the upper range of extant birds (mean = 1.42 pg, range: 0.97–2.16 pg) and near the average for extant non-avian reptiles (mean = 2.24 pg, range: 1.05–5.44 pg). The results suggest that the variation in size and architecture of genomes in extinct dinosaurs was lower than the variation found in mammals. A substantial difference in genome size separates the two major clades within dinosaurs, Ornithischia (large genomes) and Saurischia (moderate to small genomes). We find no relationship between body size and estimated genome size in extinct dinosaurs, which suggests that neutral forces did not dominate the evolution of genome size in this group. PMID:19793755

  3. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-01-01

    Many inferences on the biology, behaviour and ecology of extinct vertebrates are based on the reconstruction of the musculature and rely considerably on its accuracy. Although the advent of digital reconstruction techniques has facilitated the creation and testing of musculoskeletal hypotheses in recent years, muscle strain capabilities have rarely been considered. Here, a digital modelling approach using the freely available visualization and animation software Blender is applied to estimate cranial muscle length changes and optimal and maximal possible gape in different theropod dinosaurs. Models of living archosaur taxa (Alligator mississippiensis, Buteo buteo) were used in an extant phylogenetically bracketed framework to validate the method. Results of this study demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis and Erlikosaurus andrewsi show distinct differences in the recruitment of the jaw adductor musculature and resulting gape, confirming previous dietary and ecological assumptions. While the carnivorous taxa T. rex and Allo. fragilis were capable of a wide gape and sustained muscle force, the herbivorous therizinosaurian E. andrewsi was constrained to small gape angles. PMID:26716007

  4. Estimating cranial musculoskeletal constraints in theropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Lautenschlager, Stephan

    2015-11-01

    Many inferences on the biology, behaviour and ecology of extinct vertebrates are based on the reconstruction of the musculature and rely considerably on its accuracy. Although the advent of digital reconstruction techniques has facilitated the creation and testing of musculoskeletal hypotheses in recent years, muscle strain capabilities have rarely been considered. Here, a digital modelling approach using the freely available visualization and animation software Blender is applied to estimate cranial muscle length changes and optimal and maximal possible gape in different theropod dinosaurs. Models of living archosaur taxa (Alligator mississippiensis, Buteo buteo) were used in an extant phylogenetically bracketed framework to validate the method. Results of this study demonstrate that Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus fragilis and Erlikosaurus andrewsi show distinct differences in the recruitment of the jaw adductor musculature and resulting gape, confirming previous dietary and ecological assumptions. While the carnivorous taxa T. rex and Allo. fragilis were capable of a wide gape and sustained muscle force, the herbivorous therizinosaurian E. andrewsi was constrained to small gape angles.

  5. Dynamics of dental evolution in ornithopod dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strickson, Edward; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Benton, Michael J.; Stubbs, Thomas L.

    2016-07-01

    Ornithopods were key herbivorous dinosaurs in Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems, with a variety of tooth morphologies. Several clades, especially the ‘duck-billed’ hadrosaurids, became hugely diverse and abundant almost worldwide. Yet their evolutionary dynamics have been disputed, particularly whether they diversified in response to events in plant evolution. Here we focus on their remarkable dietary adaptations, using tooth and jaw characters to examine changes in dental disparity and evolutionary rate. Ornithopods explored different areas of dental morphospace throughout their evolution, showing a long-term expansion. There were four major evolutionary rate increases, the first among basal iguanodontians in the Middle-Late Jurassic, and the three others among the Hadrosauridae, above and below the split of their two major clades, in the middle of the Late Cretaceous. These evolutionary bursts do not correspond to times of plant diversification, including the radiation of the flowering plants, and suggest that dental innovation rather than coevolution with major plant clades was a major driver in ornithopod evolution.

  6. Global aspects of dinosaur distribution and evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Sues, H.

    1988-02-01

    Late Jurassic dinosaurian assemblages show close taxonomic correspondence over wide geographical ranges. Presently available if meager evidence suggests that this is also the case for Early Cretaceous communities. Cretaceous dinosaurian assemblages of Campanian and Maastrichtian age show considerable geographical differentiation but also some wide-ranging genera. Northern Hemisphere terrestrial ecosystems were dominated by hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, both herbivores with advanced capabilities for oral food-processing, whereas Southern Hemisphere biota were characterized by the abundance of titanosaurid sauropods, which relied on gut processing. Very close taxonomic similarities exist between the Campanian and early Maastrichtian dinosaurian assemblages of Mongolia and western North America, which, in part, is matched by similarities among other tetrapods such as mammals. Endemic dinosaurs in the Southern Hemisphere appear to reflect major changes in continental configuration. Some evidence exists for interchange of fuanal elements between North and South America. In absence of late Maastrichtian dinosaurian assemblages from most regions, scenarios concerning the terminal Cretaceous extinction of the Dinosauria should be regarded with caution because they are exclusively based on the conditions in western North America.

  7. Dynamics of dental evolution in ornithopod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Strickson, Edward; Prieto-Márquez, Albert; Benton, Michael J.; Stubbs, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    Ornithopods were key herbivorous dinosaurs in Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems, with a variety of tooth morphologies. Several clades, especially the ‘duck-billed’ hadrosaurids, became hugely diverse and abundant almost worldwide. Yet their evolutionary dynamics have been disputed, particularly whether they diversified in response to events in plant evolution. Here we focus on their remarkable dietary adaptations, using tooth and jaw characters to examine changes in dental disparity and evolutionary rate. Ornithopods explored different areas of dental morphospace throughout their evolution, showing a long-term expansion. There were four major evolutionary rate increases, the first among basal iguanodontians in the Middle-Late Jurassic, and the three others among the Hadrosauridae, above and below the split of their two major clades, in the middle of the Late Cretaceous. These evolutionary bursts do not correspond to times of plant diversification, including the radiation of the flowering plants, and suggest that dental innovation rather than coevolution with major plant clades was a major driver in ornithopod evolution. PMID:27412496

  8. On hematopoietic stem cell fate.

    PubMed

    Metcalf, Donald

    2007-06-01

    Multipotential hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) maintain blood-cell formation throughout life. Here, Metcalf considers the origin and heterogeneity of HSCs, their ability to self-generate, and their commitment to the various hematopoietic lineages.

  9. Scaling in Theropod Dinosaurs: Femoral Bone Strength and Locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott

    2015-02-01

    In our first article1 on scaling in theropod dinosaurs, the longitudinal stress in the leg bones due to supporting the weight of the animal was studied and found not to control the dimensions of the femur. As a continuation of our study of elasticity in dinosaur bones, we now examine the transverse stress in the femur due to locomotion and find that this effect is important for the geometry of the bone. We find that larger theropods (including Tyrannosaurus rex) were less athletic than smaller theropods.

  10. Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: implications for hypotheses of dinosaur/angiosperm co-evolution.

    PubMed

    Butler, R J; Barrett, P M; Kenrick, P; Penn, M G

    2009-03-01

    Palaeobiologists frequently attempt to identify examples of co-evolutionary interactions over extended geological timescales. These hypotheses are often intuitively appealing, as co-evolution is so prevalent in extant ecosystems, and are easy to formulate; however, they are much more difficult to test than their modern analogues. Among the more intriguing deep time co-evolutionary scenarios are those that relate changes in Cretaceous dinosaur faunas to the primary radiation of flowering plants. Demonstration of temporal congruence between the diversifications of co-evolving groups is necessary to establish whether co-evolution could have occurred in such cases, but is insufficient to prove whether it actually did take place. Diversity patterns do, however, provide a means for falsifying such hypotheses. We have compiled a new database of Cretaceous dinosaur and plant distributions from information in the primary literature. This is used as the basis for plotting taxonomic diversity and occurrence curves for herbivorous dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Stegosauria, Ankylosauria, Ornithopoda, Ceratopsia, Pachycephalosauria and herbivorous theropods) and major groups of plants (angiosperms, Bennettitales, cycads, cycadophytes, conifers, Filicales and Ginkgoales) that co-occur in dinosaur-bearing formations. Pairwise statistical comparisons were made between various floral and faunal groups to test for any significant similarities in the shapes of their diversity curves through time. We show that, with one possible exception, diversity patterns for major groups of herbivorous dinosaurs are not positively correlated with angiosperm diversity. In other words, at the level of major clades, there is no support for any diffuse co-evolutionary relationship between herbivorous dinosaurs and flowering plants. The diversification of Late Cretaceous pachycephalosaurs (excluding the problematic taxon Stenopelix) shows a positive correlation, but this might be spuriously related to

  11. Existence of reserve quiescent stem cells in adults, from amphibians to humans.

    PubMed

    Young, H E

    2004-01-01

    Several theories have been proposed to explain the phenomenon of tissue restoration in amphibians and higher order animals. These theories include dedifferentiation of damaged tissues, transdifferentiation of lineage-committed stem cells, and activation of quiescent stem cells. Young and colleagues demonstrated that connective tissues throughout the body contain multiple populations of quiescent lineage-committed progenitor stem cells and lineage-uncommitted pluripotent stem cells. Subsequent cloning and cell sorting studies identified quiescent lineage-uncommitted pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells, capable of forming any mesodermal cell type, and pluripotent epiblastic-like stem cells, capable of forming any somatic cell type. Based on their studies, they propose at least 11 categories of quiescent reserve stem cells resident within postnatal animals, including humans. These categories are pluripotent epiblastic-like stem cells, pluripotent ectodermal stem cells, pluripotent epidermal stem cells, pluripotent neuronal stem cells, pluripotent neural crest stem cells, pluripotent mesenchymal (mesodermal) stem cells, pluripotent endodermal stem cells, multipotent progenitor stem cells, tripotent progenitor stem cells, bipotent progenitor stem cells, and unipotent progenitor stem cells. Thus, activation of quiescent reserve stem cells, i.e., lineage-committed progenitor stem cells and lineage-uncommitted pluripotent stem cells, resident within the connective tissues could provide for the continual maintenance and repair of the postnatal organism after birth.

  12. The first 50Myr of dinosaur evolution: macroevolutionary pattern and morphological disparity.

    PubMed

    Brusatte, Stephen L; Benton, Michael J; Ruta, Marcello; Lloyd, Graeme T

    2008-12-23

    The evolutionary radiation of dinosaurs in the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic was a pivotal event in the Earth's history but is poorly understood, as previous studies have focused on vague driving mechanisms and have not untangled different macroevolutionary components (origination, diversity, abundance and disparity). We calculate the morphological disparity (morphospace occupation) of dinosaurs throughout the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic and present new measures of taxonomic diversity. Crurotarsan archosaurs, the primary dinosaur 'competitors', were significantly more disparate than dinosaurs throughout the Triassic, but underwent a devastating extinction at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. However, dinosaur disparity showed only a slight non-significant increase after this event, arguing against the hypothesis of ecological release-driven morphospace expansion in the Early Jurassic. Instead, the main jump in dinosaur disparity occurred between the Carnian and Norian stages of the Triassic. Conversely, dinosaur diversity shows a steady increase over this time, and measures of diversification and faunal abundance indicate that the Early Jurassic was a key episode in dinosaur evolution. Thus, different aspects of the dinosaur radiation (diversity, disparity and abundance) were decoupled, and the overall macroevolutionary pattern of the first 50Myr of dinosaur evolution is more complex than often considered.

  13. Metric-Asaurus: Conceptualizing Scale Using Dinosaur Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gloyna, Lisa; West, Sandra; Martin, Patti; Browning, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    For middle school students who have seen only pictures of dinosaurs in books, in the movies, or on the internet, trying to comprehend the size of these gargantuan animals can be difficult. This lesson provides a way for students to visualize changing scale through studying extinct organisms and to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the…

  14. Dinosaur demise in light of their alleged perennial polar residency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewy, Zeev

    2016-12-01

    The end-Cretaceous biological crisis is represented by the demise of the non-avian dinosaurs. However, most crucial biologically was the elimination of the photosynthesizing marine phyto- and zooplankton forming the base of the marine food chain. Their abrupt demise attests to sunlight screening darkening the atmosphere for a few years. Alvarez et al. (Science 208:1095-1108, 1980. doi: 10.1126/science.208.44) noticed in deep marine end-Cretaceous sediments an anomalous rise in the chemical element iridium (Ir), which is rare on planet Earth and thus suggests an extraterrestrial origin through an impact of a large asteroid. This impact would have ejected enormous quantities of particles and aerosols, shading the solar illumination as attested to by the elimination of the marine photosynthesizing plankton. Such a dark period must have affected life on land. The apparent cold-blooded non-avian dinosaurs, which were used to living in open terrains to absorb the solar illumination, became inactive during the dark period and were incapable of withstanding predators. This was in contrast to cold-blooded crocodilians, turtles and lizards that could hide in refuge sites on land and in the water. Dinosaur relics discovered in Cretaceous Polar Regions were attributed to perennial residents, surviving the nearly half-year-long dark winter despite their ability to leave. The polar concentrations of disarticulated dinosaur bones were suggested as having resulted from a catastrophic burial of a population by floods. However, this should have fossilized complete skeletons. Alternatively, herds of dinosaurs living in high latitudes might have been sexually driven to spend the half year of continuously illuminated polar summer for mating rather than for nourishment, in which the lower latitudes provided as well. The aggressive mating competitions would have left victims among the rivals and of young ones incidentally trampled over, all being consumed and their skeletons

  15. Growth patterns in brooding dinosaurs reveals the timing of sexual maturity in non-avian dinosaurs and genesis of the avian condition.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Gregory M; Curry Rogers, Kristina; Varricchio, David J; Norell, Mark A; Xu, Xing

    2007-10-22

    The timing of sexual maturation in non-avian dinosaurs is not known. In extant squamates and crocodilians it occurs in conjunction with the initial slowing of growth rates as adult size is approached. In birds (living dinosaurs) on the other hand, reproductive activity begins well after somatic maturity. Here we used growth line counts and spacing in all of the known brooding non-avian dinosaurs to determine the stages of development when they perished. It was revealed that sexual maturation occurred well before full adult size was reached-the primitive reptilian condition. In this sense, the life history and physiology of non-avian dinosaurs was not like that of modern birds. Palaeobiological ramifications of these findings include the potential to deduce reproductive lifespan, fecundity and reproductive population sizes in non-avian dinosaurs, as well as aid in the identification of secondary sexual characteristics.

  16. Pathologic bone tissues in a Turkey vulture and a nonavian dinosaur: implications for interpreting endosteal bone and radial fibrolamellar bone in fossil dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Chinsamy, Anusuya; Tumarkin-Deratzian, Allison

    2009-09-01

    We report on similar pathological bone microstructure in an extant turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and a nonavian dinosaur from Transylvania. Both these individuals exhibit distinctive periosteal reactive bone deposition accompanied by endosteal bone deposits in the medullary cavity. Our findings have direct implications on the two novel bone tissues recently described among nonavian dinosaurs, radial fibrolamellar bone tissue and medullary bone tissue. On the basis of the observed morphology of the periosteal reactive bone in the turkey vulture and the Transylvanian dinosaur, we propose that the radial fibrolamellar bone tissues observed in mature dinosaurs may have had a pathological origin. Our analysis also shows that on the basis of origin, location, and morphology, pathologically derived endosteal bone tissue can be similar to medullary bone tissues described in nonavian dinosaurs. As such, we caution the interpretation of all endosteally derived bone tissue as homologous to avian medullary bone.

  17. Observations on continuously growing roots of the sloth and the K14-Eda transgenic mice indicate that epithelial stem cells can give rise to both the ameloblast and root epithelium cell lineage creating distinct tooth patterns.

    PubMed

    Tummers, Mark; Thesleff, Irma

    2008-01-01

    Root development is traditionally associated with the formation of Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS), whose fragments give rise to the epithelial cell rests of Malassez (ERM). The HERS is formed by depletion of the core of stellate reticulum cells, the putative stem cells, in the cervical loop, leaving only a double layer of the basal epithelium with limited growth capacity. The continuously growing incisor of the rodent is subdivided into a crown analog half on the labial side, with a cervical loop containing a large core of stellate reticulum, and its progeny gives rise to enamel producing. The lingual side is known as the root analog and gives rise to ERM. We show that the lingual cervical loop contains a small core of stellate reticulum cells and suggest that it acts as a functional stem cell niche. Similarly we show that continuously growing roots represented by the sloth molar and K14-Eda transgenic incisor maintain a cervical loop with a small core of stellate reticulum cells around the entire circumference of the tooth and do not form a HERS, and still give rise to ERM. We propose that HERS is not a necessary structure to initiate root formation. Moreover, we conclude that crown vs. root formation, i.e. the production of enamel vs. cementum, and the differentiation of the epithelial cells into ameloblasts vs. ERM, can be regulated independently from the regulation of stem cell maintenance. This developmental flexibility may underlie the developmental and evolutionary diversity in tooth patterning.

  18. Evidence for endothermic ancestors of crocodiles at the stem of archosaur evolution.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Roger S; Bennett-Stamper, Christina L; Johnston, Sonya D; Carrier, David R; Grigg, Gordon C

    2004-01-01

    Physiological, anatomical, and developmental features of the crocodilian heart support the paleontological evidence that the ancestors of living crocodilians were active and endothermic, but the lineage reverted to ectothermy when it invaded the aquatic, ambush predator niche. In endotherms, there is a functional nexus between high metabolic rates, high blood flow rates, and complete separation of high systemic blood pressure from low pulmonary blood pressure in a four-chambered heart. Ectotherms generally lack all of these characteristics, but crocodilians retain a four-chambered heart. However, crocodilians have a neurally controlled, pulmonary bypass shunt that is functional in diving. Shunting occurs outside of the heart and involves the left aortic arch that originates from the right ventricle, the foramen of Panizza between the left and right aortic arches, and the cog-tooth valve at the base of the pulmonary artery. Developmental studies show that all of these uniquely crocodilian features are secondarily derived, indicating a shift from the complete separation of blood flow of endotherms to the controlled shunting of ectotherms. We present other evidence for endothermy in stem archosaurs and suggest that some dinosaurs may have inherited the trait.

  19. What drove reversions to quadrupedality in ornithischian dinosaurs? Testing hypotheses using centre of mass modelling.

    PubMed

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Henderson, Donald M; Barrett, Paul M

    2014-11-01

    The exceptionally rare transition to quadrupedalism from bipedal ancestors occurred on three independent occasions in ornithischian dinosaurs. The possible driving forces behind these transitions remain elusive, but several hypotheses-including the development of dermal armour and the expansion of head size and cranial ornamentation-have been proposed to account for this major shift in stance. We modelled the position of the centre of mass (CoM) in several exemplar ornithischian taxa and demonstrate that the anterior shifts in CoM position associated with the development of an enlarged skull ornamented with horns and frills for display/defence may have been one of the drivers promoting ceratopsian quadrupedality. A posterior shift in CoM position coincident with the development of extensive dermal armour in thyreophorans demonstrates this cannot have been a primary causative mechanism for quadrupedality in this clade. Quadrupedalism developed in response to different selective pressures in each ornithischian lineage, indicating different evolutionary pathways to convergent quadrupedal morphology.

  20. Bird-like anatomy, posture, and behavior revealed by an early jurassic theropod dinosaur resting trace

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milner, A.R.C.; Harris, J.D.; Lockley, M.G.; Kirkland, J.I.; Matthews, N.A.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic (???198 millionyear- old) lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity. Conclusions/Significance: The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods.

  1. Bird-Like Anatomy, Posture, and Behavior Revealed by an Early Jurassic Theropod Dinosaur Resting Trace

    PubMed Central

    Milner, Andrew R. C.; Harris, Jerald D.; Lockley, Martin G.; Kirkland, James I.; Matthews, Neffra A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Fossil tracks made by non-avian theropod dinosaurs commonly reflect the habitual bipedal stance retained in living birds. Only rarely-captured behaviors, such as crouching, might create impressions made by the hands. Such tracks provide valuable information concerning the often poorly understood functional morphology of the early theropod forelimb. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we describe a well-preserved theropod trackway in a Lower Jurassic (∼198 million-year-old) lacustrine beach sandstone in the Whitmore Point Member of the Moenave Formation in southwestern Utah. The trackway consists of prints of typical morphology, intermittent tail drags and, unusually, traces made by the animal resting on the substrate in a posture very similar to modern birds. The resting trace includes symmetrical pes impressions and well-defined impressions made by both hands, the tail, and the ischial callosity. Conclusions/Significance The manus impressions corroborate that early theropods, like later birds, held their palms facing medially, in contrast to manus prints previously attributed to theropods that have forward-pointing digits. Both the symmetrical resting posture and the medially-facing palms therefore evolved by the Early Jurassic, much earlier in the theropod lineage than previously recognized, and may characterize all theropods. PMID:19259260

  2. No evidence for directional evolution of body mass in herbivorous theropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Zanno, Lindsay E; Makovicky, Peter J

    2013-01-22

    The correlation between large body size and digestive efficiency has been hypothesized to have driven trends of increasing mass in herbivorous clades by means of directional selection. Yet, to date, few studies have investigated this relationship from a phylogenetic perspective, and none, to our knowledge, with regard to trophic shifts. Here, we reconstruct body mass in the three major subclades of non-avian theropod dinosaurs whose ecomorphology is correlated with extrinsic evidence of at least facultative herbivory in the fossil record--all of which also achieve relative gigantism (more than 3000 kg). Ordinary least-squares regressions on natural log-transformed mean mass recover significant correlations between increasing mass and geological time. However, tests for directional evolution in body mass find no support for a phylogenetic trend, instead favouring passive models of trait evolution. Cross-correlation of sympatric taxa from five localities in Asia reveals that environmental influences such as differential habitat sampling and/or taphonomic filtering affect the preserved record of dinosaurian body mass in the Cretaceous. Our results are congruent with studies documenting that behavioural and/or ecological factors may mitigate the benefit of increasing mass in extant taxa, and suggest that the hypothesis can be extrapolated to herbivorous lineages across geological time scales.

  3. No evidence for directional evolution of body mass in herbivorous theropod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Zanno, Lindsay E.; Makovicky, Peter J.

    2013-01-01

    The correlation between large body size and digestive efficiency has been hypothesized to have driven trends of increasing mass in herbivorous clades by means of directional selection. Yet, to date, few studies have investigated this relationship from a phylogenetic perspective, and none, to our knowledge, with regard to trophic shifts. Here, we reconstruct body mass in the three major subclades of non-avian theropod dinosaurs whose ecomorphology is correlated with extrinsic evidence of at least facultative herbivory in the fossil record—all of which also achieve relative gigantism (more than 3000 kg). Ordinary least-squares regressions on natural log-transformed mean mass recover significant correlations between increasing mass and geological time. However, tests for directional evolution in body mass find no support for a phylogenetic trend, instead favouring passive models of trait evolution. Cross-correlation of sympatric taxa from five localities in Asia reveals that environmental influences such as differential habitat sampling and/or taphonomic filtering affect the preserved record of dinosaurian body mass in the Cretaceous. Our results are congruent with studies documenting that behavioural and/or ecological factors may mitigate the benefit of increasing mass in extant taxa, and suggest that the hypothesis can be extrapolated to herbivorous lineages across geological time scales. PMID:23193135

  4. Rates of dinosaur limb evolution provide evidence for exceptional radiation in Mesozoic birds.

    PubMed

    Benson, Roger B J; Choiniere, Jonah N

    2013-10-07

    Birds are the most diverse living tetrapod group and are a model of large-scale adaptive radiation. Neontological studies suggest a radiation within the avian crown group, long after the origin of flight. However, deep time patterns of bird evolution remain obscure because only limited fossil data have been considered. We analyse cladogenesis and limb evolution on the entire tree of Mesozoic theropods, documenting the dinosaur-bird transition and immediate origins of powered flight. Mesozoic birds inherited constraints on forelimb evolution from non-flying ancestors, and species diversification rates did not accelerate in the earliest flying taxa. However, Early Cretaceous short-tailed birds exhibit both phenotypic release of the hindlimb and increased diversification rates, unparalleled in magnitude at any other time in the first 155 Myr of theropod evolution. Thus, a Cretaceous adaptive radiation of stem-group birds was enabled by restructuring of the terrestrial locomotor module, which represents a key innovation. Our results suggest two phases of radiation in Avialae: with the Cretaceous diversification overwritten by extinctions of stem-group birds at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary, and subsequent diversification of the crown group. Our findings illustrate the importance of fossil data for understanding the macroevolutionary processes generating modern biodiversity.

  5. A phylogenetic study of the section moduli of the humerus in bipedal theropod dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott; Richards, Zachary

    The section modulus of a bone is a measure of its ability to resist bending torques. Carnivorous dinosaurs including Tyrannosauroidea and Allosauroidea had strong humeri, presumably to hold struggling prey during hunting. The herbivorous dinosaurs of Ornithomimosauria had weak arm bones. This is believed to reflect the fact that their arms were never subjected to large bending torques. The unusual dinosaurs of Therizinosauria had arms as strong as found in the carnivorous dinosaurs. This is consistent with the hypothesis that their manus suggests a digging lifestyle. Other groups including Oviraptorosauria, Troodontidae, Dromaeosauridae and Compsognathidae are also examined.

  6. The melanocyte lineage in development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Mort, Richard L.; Jackson, Ian J.; Patton, E. Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Melanocyte development provides an excellent model for studying more complex developmental processes. Melanocytes have an apparently simple aetiology, differentiating from the neural crest and migrating through the developing embryo to specific locations within the skin and hair follicles, and to other sites in the body. The study of pigmentation mutations in the mouse provided the initial key to identifying the genes and proteins involved in melanocyte development. In addition, work on chicken has provided important embryological and molecular insights, whereas studies in zebrafish have allowed live imaging as well as genetic and transgenic approaches. This cross-species approach is powerful and, as we review here, has resulted in a detailed understanding of melanocyte development and differentiation, melanocyte stem cells and the role of the melanocyte lineage in diseases such as melanoma. PMID:25670789

  7. Mast cell diversion of T-lineage precursor cells by the essential T-lineage transcription factor GATA-3

    PubMed Central

    Taghon, Tom; Yui, Mary A.; Rothenberg, Ellen V.

    2011-01-01

    GATA-3 is essential for T cell development from the earliest stages. However, highly abundant GATA-3 can drive T-lineage precursors to a non-T fate, depending on Notch signaling and developmental stage. GATA-3 overexpression blocked pro-T cell survival when Notch-Delta signals were present, but enhanced viability in their absence. In double-negative (DN1) and DN2 but not DN3 fetal thymocytes, GATA-3 overexpression rapidly induced mast cell lineage respecification with high frequency by direct transcriptional reprogramming. Normal DN2 thymocytes also displayed mast cell potential, when interleukin 3 and stem cell factor were added in the absence of Notch signaling. Our results suggest a close relationship between the pro-T and mast cell programs and a new role for Notch in T-lineage fidelity. PMID:17603486

  8. An Early Cretaceous heterodontosaurid dinosaur with filamentous integumentary structures.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Xiao-Ting; You, Hai-Lu; Xu, Xing; Dong, Zhi-Ming

    2009-03-19

    Ornithischia is one of the two major groups of dinosaurs, with heterodontosauridae as one of its major clades. Heterodontosauridae is characterized by small, gracile bodies and a problematic phylogenetic position. Recent phylogenetic work indicates that it represents the most basal group of all well-known ornithischians. Previous heterodontosaurid records are mainly from the Early Jurassic period (205-190 million years ago) of Africa. Here we report a new heterodontosaurid, Tianyulong confuciusi gen. et sp. nov., from the Early Cretaceous period (144-99 million years ago) of western Liaoning Province, China. Tianyulong extends the geographical distribution of heterodontosaurids to Asia and confirms the clade's previously questionable temporal range extension into the Early Cretaceous period. More surprisingly, Tianyulong bears long, singular and unbranched filamentous integumentary (outer skin) structures. This represents the first confirmed report, to our knowledge, of filamentous integumentary structures in an ornithischian dinosaur.

  9. An abelisauroid theropod dinosaur from the Turonian of Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Farke, Andrew A; Sertich, Joseph J W

    2013-01-01

    Geophysical evidence strongly supports the complete isolation of India and Madagascar (Indo-Madagascar) by ∼100 million years ago, though sparse terrestrial fossil records from these regions prior to ∼70 million years ago have limited insights into their biogeographic history during the Cretaceous. A new theropod dinosaur, Dahalokely tokana, from Turonian-aged (∼90 million years old) strata of northernmost Madagascar is represented by a partial axial column. Autapomorphies include a prominently convex prezygoepipophyseal lamina on cervical vertebrae and a divided infraprezygapophyseal fossa through the mid-dorsal region, among others. Phylogenetic analysis definitively recovers the species as an abelisauroid theropod and weakly as a noasaurid. Dahalokely is the only known dinosaur from the interval during which Indo-Madagascar likely existed as a distinct landmass, but more complete material is needed to evaluate whether or not it is more closely related to later abelisauroids of Indo-Madagascar or those known elsewhere in Gondwana.

  10. Body temperatures in dinosaurs: what can growth curves tell us?

    PubMed

    Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    To estimate the body temperature (BT) of seven dinosaurs Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) used an equation that predicts BT from the body mass and maximum growth rate (MGR) with the latter preserved in ontogenetic growth trajectories (BT-equation). The results of these authors evidence inertial homeothermy in Dinosauria and suggest that, due to overheating, the maximum body size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. In this paper, I revisit this hypothesis of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006). I first studied whether BTs derived from the BT-equation of today's crocodiles, birds and mammals are consistent with core temperatures of animals. Second, I applied the BT-equation to a larger number of dinosaurs than Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) did. In particular, I estimated BT of Archaeopteryx (from two MGRs), ornithischians (two), theropods (three), prosauropods (three), and sauropods (nine). For extant species, the BT value estimated from the BT-equation was a poor estimate of an animal's core temperature. For birds, BT was always strongly overestimated and for crocodiles underestimated; for mammals the accuracy of BT was moderate. I argue that taxon-specific differences in the scaling of MGR (intercept and exponent of the regression line, log-log-transformed) and in the parameterization of the Arrhenius model both used in the BT-equation as well as ecological and evolutionary adaptations of species cause these inaccuracies. Irrespective of the found inaccuracy of BTs estimated from the BT-equation and contrary to the results of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) I found no increase in BT with increasing body mass across all dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda) studied. This observation questions that, due to overheating, the maximum size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. However, the general high inaccuracy of dinosaurian BTs derived from the BT-equation makes a reliable test of whether body size in dinosaurs was ultimately limited

  11. Body Temperatures in Dinosaurs: What Can Growth Curves Tell Us?

    PubMed Central

    Griebeler, Eva Maria

    2013-01-01

    To estimate the body temperature (BT) of seven dinosaurs Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) used an equation that predicts BT from the body mass and maximum growth rate (MGR) with the latter preserved in ontogenetic growth trajectories (BT-equation). The results of these authors evidence inertial homeothermy in Dinosauria and suggest that, due to overheating, the maximum body size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. In this paper, I revisit this hypothesis of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006). I first studied whether BTs derived from the BT-equation of today’s crocodiles, birds and mammals are consistent with core temperatures of animals. Second, I applied the BT-equation to a larger number of dinosaurs than Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) did. In particular, I estimated BT of Archaeopteryx (from two MGRs), ornithischians (two), theropods (three), prosauropods (three), and sauropods (nine). For extant species, the BT value estimated from the BT-equation was a poor estimate of an animal’s core temperature. For birds, BT was always strongly overestimated and for crocodiles underestimated; for mammals the accuracy of BT was moderate. I argue that taxon-specific differences in the scaling of MGR (intercept and exponent of the regression line, log-log-transformed) and in the parameterization of the Arrhenius model both used in the BT-equation as well as ecological and evolutionary adaptations of species cause these inaccuracies. Irrespective of the found inaccuracy of BTs estimated from the BT-equation and contrary to the results of Gillooly, Alleen, and Charnov (2006) I found no increase in BT with increasing body mass across all dinosaurs (Sauropodomorpha, Sauropoda) studied. This observation questions that, due to overheating, the maximum size in Dinosauria was ultimately limited by BT. However, the general high inaccuracy of dinosaurian BTs derived from the BT-equation makes a reliable test of whether body size in dinosaurs was ultimately

  12. Locomotion in ornithischian dinosaurs: an assessment using three-dimensional computational modelling.

    PubMed

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Bates, Karl T; Falkingham, Peter L; VanBuren, Collin; Arbour, Victoria; Barrett, Paul M

    2014-08-01

    Ornithischian dinosaurs were primitively bipedal with forelimbs modified for grasping, but quadrupedalism evolved in the clade on at least three occasions independently. Outside of Ornithischia, quadrupedality from bipedal ancestors has only evolved on two other occasions, making this one of the rarest locomotory transitions in tetrapod evolutionary history. The osteological and myological changes associated with these transitions have only recently been documented, and the biomechanical consequences of these changes remain to be examined. Here, we review previous approaches to understanding locomotion in extinct animals, which can be broadly split into form-function approaches using analogy based on extant animals, limb-bone scaling, and computational approaches. We then carry out the first systematic attempt to quantify changes in locomotor muscle function in bipedal and quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaurs. Using three-dimensional computational modelling of the major pelvic locomotor muscle moment arms, we examine similarities and differences among individual taxa, between quadrupedal and bipedal taxa, and among taxa representing the three major ornithischian lineages (Thyreophora, Ornithopoda, Marginocephalia). Our results suggest that the ceratopsid Chasmosaurus and the ornithopod Hypsilophodon have relatively low moment arms for most muscles and most functions, perhaps suggesting poor locomotor performance in these taxa. Quadrupeds have higher abductor moment arms than bipeds, which we suggest is due to the overall wider bodies of the quadrupeds modelled. A peak in extensor moment arms at more extended hip angles and lower medial rotator moment arms in quadrupeds than in bipeds may be due to a more columnar hindlimb and loss of medial rotation as a form of lateral limb support in quadrupeds. We are not able to identify trends in moment arm evolution across Ornithischia as a whole, suggesting that the bipedal ancestry of ornithischians did not constrain the

  13. Gigantism and comparative life-history parameters of tyrannosaurid dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Gregory M; Makovicky, Peter J; Currie, Philip J; Norell, Mark A; Yerby, Scott A; Brochu, Christopher A

    2004-08-12

    How evolutionary changes in body size are brought about by variance in developmental timing and/or growth rates (also known as heterochrony) is a topic of considerable interest in evolutionary biology. In particular, extreme size change leading to gigantism occurred within the dinosaurs on multiple occasions. Whether this change was brought about by accelerated growth, delayed maturity or a combination of both processes is unknown. A better understanding of relationships between non-avian dinosaur groups and the newfound capacity to reconstruct their growth curves make it possible to address these questions quantitatively. Here we study growth patterns within the Tyrannosauridae, the best known group of large carnivorous dinosaurs, and determine the developmental means by which Tyrannosaurus rex, weighing 5,000 kg and more, grew to be one of the most enormous terrestrial carnivorous animals ever. T. rex had a maximal growth rate of 2.1 kg d(-1), reached skeletal maturity in two decades and lived for up to 28 years. T. rex's great stature was primarily attained by accelerating growth rates beyond that of its closest relatives.

  14. Retrodeformation and muscular reconstruction of ornithomimosaurian dinosaur crania

    PubMed Central

    Rayfield, Emily J.

    2015-01-01

    Ornithomimosaur dinosaurs evolved lightweight, edentulous skulls that possessed keratinous rhamphothecae. Understanding the anatomy of these taxa allows for a greater understanding of “ostrich-mimic” dinosaurs and character change during theropod dinosaur evolution. However, taphonomic processes during fossilisation often distort fossil remains. Retrodeformation offers a means by which to recover a hypothesis of the original anatomy of the specimen, and 3D scanning technologies present a way to constrain and document the retrodeformation process. Using computed tomography (CT) scan data, specimen specific retrodeformations were performed on three-dimensionally preserved but taphonomically distorted skulls of the deinocheirid Garudimimus brevipes Barsbold, 1981 and the ornithomimids Struthiomimus altus Lambe, 1902 and Ornithomimus edmontonicus Sternberg, 1933. This allowed for a reconstruction of the adductor musculature, which was then mapped onto the crania, from which muscle mechanical advantage and bite forces were calculated pre- and post-retrodeformation. The extent of the rhamphotheca was varied in each taxon to represent morphologies found within modern Aves. Well constrained retrodeformation allows for increased confidence in anatomical and functional analysis of fossil specimens and offers an opportunity to more fully understand the soft tissue anatomy of extinct taxa. PMID:26213655

  15. Dinosaur Metabolism and the Allometry of Maximum Growth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Myhrvold, Nathan P.

    2016-01-01

    The allometry of maximum somatic growth rate has been used in prior studies to classify the metabolic state of both extant vertebrates and dinosaurs. The most recent such studies are reviewed, and their data is reanalyzed. The results of allometric regressions on growth rate are shown to depend on the choice of independent variable; the typical choice used in prior studies introduces a geometric shear transformation that exaggerates the statistical power of the regressions. The maximum growth rates of extant groups are found to have a great deal of overlap, including between groups with endothermic and ectothermic metabolism. Dinosaur growth rates show similar overlap, matching the rates found for mammals, reptiles and fish. The allometric scaling of growth rate with mass is found to have curvature (on a log-log scale) for many groups, contradicting the prevailing view that growth rate allometry follows a simple power law. Reanalysis shows that no correlation between growth rate and basal metabolic rate (BMR) has been demonstrated. These findings drive a conclusion that growth rate allometry studies to date cannot be used to determine dinosaur metabolism as has been previously argued. PMID:27828977

  16. A second look at the colors of the dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Turner, Derek D

    2016-02-01

    In earlier work, I predicted that we would probably not be able to determine the colors of the dinosaurs. I lost this epistemic bet against science in dramatic fashion when scientists discovered that it is possible to draw inferences about dinosaur coloration based on the microstructure of fossil feathers (Vinther et al., 2008). This paper is an exercise in philosophical error analysis. I examine this episode with two questions in mind. First, does this case lend any support to epistemic optimism about historical science? Second, under what conditions is it rational to make predictions about what questions scientists will or will not be able answer? In reply to the first question, I argue that the recent work on the colors of the dinosaurs matters less to the debate about the epistemology of historical science than it might seem. In reply to the second question, I argue that it is difficult to specify a policy that would rule out the failed bet without also being too conservative.

  17. An overview of the dinosaur fossil record from Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubilar-Rogers, David; Otero, Rodrigo A.; Yury-Yáñez, Roberto E.; Vargas, Alexander O.; Gutstein, Carolina S.

    2012-08-01

    In Chile, the record of dinosaurs in Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments is often restricted to footprints, with few skeletal remains. Tetanuran theropods are known in the Upper Jurassic, and bones of titanosaur sauropods in the Late Cretaceous, including partial skeletons (e.g. Atacamatitan chilensis Kellner et al.). Also from the late Cretaceous, an ornithopod vertebra, a pair of theropod teeth and one tarsometatarsus of a gaviiform bird (Neogaeornis wetzeli Lambrecht) have been reported. The Cenozoic fossil record comprises abundant and well-preserved marine birds from Eocene and Miocene units, with a specially abundant record of Sphenisciformes and less frequently, Procellariiformes. There is an excellent Miocene-Pliocene record of other birds such as Odontopterygiformes, including the most complete skeleton ever found of a pelagornithid, Pelagornis chilensis Mayr and Rubilar-Rogers. Fossil birds are also known from Pliocene and Pleistocene strata. A remarkable collection of birds was discovered in lacustrine sediments of late Pleistocene age associated to human activity. The perspectives in the study of dinosaurs in Chile are promising because plenty of material stored in institutional collections is not described yet. The record of Chilean dinosaurs is relevant for understanding the dynamics and evolution of this group of terrestrial animals in the western edge of Gondwana, while Cenozoic birds from the Region may contribute to the understanding of current biogeography for instance, the effect of the emergence and establishment of the Humboldt Current.

  18. Vascularised endosteal bone tissue in armoured sauropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Chinsamy, Anusuya; Cerda, Ignacio; Powell, Jaime

    2016-04-26

    The presence of well-vascularised, endosteal bone in the medullary region of long bones of nonavian dinosaurs has been invoked as being homologous to medullary bone, a specialised bone tissue formed during ovulation in birds. However, similar bone tissues can result as a pathological response in modern birds and in nonavian dinosaurs, and has also been reported in an immature nonavian dinosaur. Here we report on the occurrence of well-vascularised endosteally formed bone tissue in three skeletal elements of armoured titanosaur sauropods from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina: i) within the medullary cavity of a metatarsal, ii) inside a pneumatic cavity of a posterior caudal vertebra, iii) in intra-trabecular spaces in an osteoderm. We show that considering the criteria of location, origin (or development), and histology, these endosteally derived tissues in the saltasaurine titanosaurs could be described as either medullary bone or pathological bone. Furthermore, we show that similar endosteally formed well-vascularised bone tissue is fairly widely distributed among nondinosaurian Archosauriformes, and are not restricted to long bones, but can occur in the axial, and dermal skeleton. We propose that independent evidence is required to verify whether vascularised endosteal bone tissues in extinct archosaurs are pathological or reproductive in nature.

  19. A Late Cretaceous ceratopsian dinosaur from Europe with Asian affinities.

    PubMed

    Osi, Attila; Butler, Richard J; Weishampel, David B

    2010-05-27

    Ceratopsians (horned dinosaurs) represent a highly diverse and abundant radiation of non-avian dinosaurs known primarily from the Cretaceous period (65-145 million years ago). This radiation has been considered to be geographically limited to Asia and western North America, with only controversial remains reported from other continents. Here we describe new ceratopsian cranial material from the Late Cretaceous of Iharkút, Hungary, from a coronosaurian ceratopsian, Ajkaceratops kozmai. Ajkaceratops is most similar to 'bagaceratopsids' such as Bagaceratops and Magnirostris, previously known only from Late Cretaceous east Asia. The new material unambiguously demonstrates that ceratopsians occupied Late Cretaceous Europe and, when considered with the recent discovery of possible leptoceratopsid teeth from Sweden, indicates that the clade may have reached Europe on at least two independent occasions. European Late Cretaceous dinosaur faunas have been characterized as consisting of a mix of endemic 'relictual' taxa and 'Gondwanan' taxa, with typical Asian and North American groups largely absent. Ajkaceratops demonstrates that this prevailing biogeographical hypothesis is overly simplified and requires reassessment. Iharkút was part of the western Tethyan archipelago, a tectonically complex series of island chains between Africa and Europe, and the occurrence of a coronosaurian ceratopsian in this locality may represent an early Late Cretaceous 'island-hopping' dispersal across the Tethys Ocean.

  20. Vascularised endosteal bone tissue in armoured sauropod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Chinsamy, Anusuya; Cerda, Ignacio; Powell, Jaime

    2016-01-01

    The presence of well-vascularised, endosteal bone in the medullary region of long bones of nonavian dinosaurs has been invoked as being homologous to medullary bone, a specialised bone tissue formed during ovulation in birds. However, similar bone tissues can result as a pathological response in modern birds and in nonavian dinosaurs, and has also been reported in an immature nonavian dinosaur. Here we report on the occurrence of well-vascularised endosteally formed bone tissue in three skeletal elements of armoured titanosaur sauropods from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina: i) within the medullary cavity of a metatarsal, ii) inside a pneumatic cavity of a posterior caudal vertebra, iii) in intra-trabecular spaces in an osteoderm. We show that considering the criteria of location, origin (or development), and histology, these endosteally derived tissues in the saltasaurine titanosaurs could be described as either medullary bone or pathological bone. Furthermore, we show that similar endosteally formed well-vascularised bone tissue is fairly widely distributed among nondinosaurian Archosauriformes, and are not restricted to long bones, but can occur in the axial, and dermal skeleton. We propose that independent evidence is required to verify whether vascularised endosteal bone tissues in extinct archosaurs are pathological or reproductive in nature. PMID:27112710

  1. Ancient wolf lineages in India.

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Dinesh K; Maldonado, Jesus E; Jhala, Yadrendradev V; Fleischer, Robert C

    2004-01-01

    All previously obtained wolf (Canis lupus) and dog (Canis familiaris) mitochondrial (mt) DNA sequences fall within an intertwined and shallow clade (the 'wolf-dog' clade). We sequenced mtDNA of recent and historical samples from 45 wolves from throughout lowland peninsular India and 23 wolves from the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau and compared these sequences with all available wolf and dog sequences. All 45 lowland Indian wolves have one of four closely related haplotypes that form a well-supported, divergent sister lineage to the wolf-dog clade. This unique lineage may have been independent for more than 400,000 years. Although seven Himalayan wolves from western and central Kashmir fall within the widespread wolf-dog clade, one from Ladakh in eastern Kashmir, nine from Himachal Pradesh, four from Nepal and two from Tibet form a very different basal clade. This lineage contains five related haplotypes that probably diverged from other canids more than 800,000 years ago, but we find no evidence of current barriers to admixture. Thus, the Indian subcontinent has three divergent, ancient and apparently parapatric mtDNA lineages within the morphologically delineated wolf. No haplotypes of either novel lineage are found within a sample of 37 Indian (or other) dogs. Thus, we find no evidence that these two taxa played a part in the domestication of canids. PMID:15101402

  2. Sexual maturity in growing dinosaurs does not fit reptilian growth models.

    PubMed

    Lee, Andrew H; Werning, Sarah

    2008-01-15

    Recent histological studies suggest relatively rapid growth in dinosaurs. However, the timing of reproductive maturity (RM) in dinosaurs is poorly known because unambiguous indicators of RM are rare. One exception is medullary bone (MB), which is an ephemeral bony tissue that forms before ovulation in the marrow cavities of birds as a calcium source for eggshelling. Recently, MB also was described in a single specimen of the saurischian dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. Here, we report two other occurrences of MB: in another saurischian dinosaur, Allosaurus, and in the ornithischian dinosaur Tenontosaurus. We show by counting lines of arrested growth and performing growth curve reconstructions that Tenontosaurus, Allosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus were reproductively mature by 8, 10, and 18 years, respectively. RM in these dinosaurs coincided with a transition from growth acceleration to deceleration. It also far precedes predictions based on the growth rates of living reptiles scaled to similar size. Despite relatively rapid growth, dinosaurs were similar to reptiles in that RM developed before reaching asymptotic size. However, this reproductive strategy also occurs in medium- to large-sized mammals and correlates with a strategy of prolonged multiyear growth. RM in actively growing individuals suggests that these dinosaurs were born relatively precocial and experienced high adult mortality. The origin of the modern avian reproductive strategy in ornithuran birds likely coincided with their extreme elevations in growth rate and truncations to growth duration.

  3. Dental stem cells and their sources.

    PubMed

    Sedgley, Christine M; Botero, Tatiana M

    2012-07-01

    The search for more accessible mesenchymal stem cells than those found in bone marrow has propelled interest in dental tissues. Human dental stem/progenitor cells (collectively termed dental stem cells [DSCs]) that have been isolated and characterized include dental pulp stem cells, stem cells from exfoliated deciduous teeth, stem cells from apical papilla, periodontal ligament stem cells, and dental follicle progenitor cells. Common characteristics of these cell populations are the capacity for self-renewal and the ability to differentiate into multiple lineages. In vitro and animal studies have shown that DSCs can differentiate into osseous, odontogenic, adipose, endothelial, and neural-like tissues.

  4. K-Pg events facilitated lineage transitions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Procheş, Şerban; Polgar, Gianluca; Marshall, David J.

    2014-01-01

    We use dated phylogenetic trees for tetrapod vertebrates to identify lineages that shifted between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in terms of feeding or development, and to assess the timing of such events. Both stem and crown lineage ages indicate a peak in transition events in correspondence with the K-Pg mass extinction. This meets the prediction that changes in competitive pressure and resource availability following mass extinction events should facilitate such transitions. PMID:24919699

  5. K-Pg events facilitated lineage transitions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Procheş, Serban; Polgar, Gianluca; Marshall, David J

    2014-06-01

    We use dated phylogenetic trees for tetrapod vertebrates to identify lineages that shifted between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in terms of feeding or development, and to assess the timing of such events. Both stem and crown lineage ages indicate a peak in transition events in correspondence with the K-Pg mass extinction. This meets the prediction that changes in competitive pressure and resource availability following mass extinction events should facilitate such transitions.

  6. Phylogeny, Histology and Inferred Body Size Evolution in a New Rhabdodontid Dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of Hungary

    PubMed Central

    Ősi, Attila; Prondvai, Edina; Butler, Richard; Weishampel, David B.

    2012-01-01

    Background Rhabdodontid ornithopod dinosaurs are characteristic elements of Late Cretaceous European vertebrate faunas and were previously collected from lower Campanian to Maastrichtian continental deposits. Phylogenetic analyses have placed rhabdodontids among basal ornithopods as the sister taxon to the clade consisting of Tenontosaurus, Dryosaurus, Camptosaurus, and Iguanodon. Recent studies considered Zalmoxes, the best known representative of the clade, to be significantly smaller than closely related ornithopods such as Tenontosaurus, Camptosaurus, or Rhabdodon, and concluded that it was probably an island dwarf that inhabited the Maastrichtian Haţeg Island. Methodology/Principal Findings Rhabdodontid remains from the Santonian of western Hungary provide evidence for a new, small-bodied form, which we assign to Mochlodon vorosi n. sp. The new species is most similar to the early Campanian M. suessi from Austria, and the close affinities of the two species is further supported by the results of a global phylogenetic analysis of ornithischian dinosaurs. Bone histological studies of representatives of all rhabdodontids indicate a similar adult body length of 1.6–1.8 m in the Hungarian and Austrian species, 2.4–2.5 m in the subadults of both Zalmoxes robustus and Z. shqiperorum and a much larger, 5–6 m adult body length in Rhabdodon. Phylogenetic mapping of femoral lengths onto the results of the phylogenetic analysis suggests a femoral length of around 340 mm as the ancestral state for Rhabdodontidae, close to the adult femoral lengths known for Zalmoxes (320–333 mm). Conclusions/Significance Our analysis of body size evolution does not support the hypothesis of autapomorhic nanism for Zalmoxes. However, Rhabdodon is reconstructed as having undergone autapomorphic giantism and the reconstructed small femoral length (245 mm) of Mochlodon is consistent with a reduction in size relative to the ancestral rhabdodontid condition. Our results imply a pre

  7. The Earliest Thymic T Cell Progenitors Sustain B Cell and Myeloid Lineage Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Luc, Sidinh; Luis, Tiago C.; Boukarabila, Hanane; Macaulay, Iain C.; Buza-Vidas, Natalija; Bouriez-Jones, Tiphaine; Lutteropp, Michael; Woll, Petter S.; Loughran, Stephen J.; Mead, Adam J.; Hultquist, Anne; Brown, John; Mizukami, Takuo; Matsuoka, Sahoko; Ferry, Helen; Anderson, Kristina; Duarte, Sara; Atkinson, Deborah; Soneji, Shamit; Domanski, Aniela; Farley, Alison; Sanjuan-Pla, Alejandra; Carella, Cintia; Patient, Roger; de Bruijn, Marella; Enver, Tariq; Nerlov, Claus; Blackburn, Clare; Godin, Isabelle; Jacobsen, Sten Eirik W.

    2012-01-01

    The stepwise commitment from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow (BM) to T lymphocyte-restricted progenitors in the thymus represents a paradigm for understanding the requirement for distinct extrinsic cues during different stages of lineage restriction from multipotent to lineage restricted progenitors. However, the commitment stage at which progenitors migrate from the BM to the thymus remains unclear. Here we provide functional and molecular evidence at the single cell level that the earliest progenitors in the neonatal thymus possessed combined granulocyte-monocyte, T and B lymphocyte, but not megakaryocyte-erythroid lineage potential. These potentials were identical to those of thymus-seeding progenitors in the BM, which were closely related at the molecular level. These findings establish the distinct lineage-restriction stage at which the T lineage commitment transits from the BM to the remote thymus. PMID:22344248

  8. Directional DNA methylation changes and complex intermediate states accompany lineage specificity in the adult hematopoietic compartment.

    PubMed

    Hodges, Emily; Molaro, Antoine; Dos Santos, Camila O; Thekkat, Pramod; Song, Qiang; Uren, Philip J; Park, Jin; Butler, Jason; Rafii, Shahin; McCombie, W Richard; Smith, Andrew D; Hannon, Gregory J

    2011-10-07

    DNA methylation has been implicated as an epigenetic component of mechanisms that stabilize cell-fate decisions. Here, we have characterized the methylomes of human female hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) and mature cells from the myeloid and lymphoid lineages. Hypomethylated regions (HMRs) associated with lineage-specific genes were often methylated in the opposing lineage. In HSPCs, these sites tended to show intermediate, complex patterns that resolve to uniformity upon differentiation, by increased or decreased methylation. Promoter HMRs shared across diverse cell types typically display a constitutive core that expands and contracts in a lineage-specific manner to fine-tune the expression of associated genes. Many newly identified intergenic HMRs, both constitutive and lineage specific, were enriched for factor binding sites with an implied role in genome organization and regulation of gene expression, respectively. Overall, our studies represent an important reference data set and provide insights into directional changes in DNA methylation as cells adopt terminal fates.

  9. Transcriptional Regulators of the Trophoblast Lineage in Mammals with Hemochorial Placentation

    PubMed Central

    Knott, Jason G.; Paul, Soumen

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian reproduction is critically dependent on the trophoblast cell lineage, which assures proper establishment of maternal-fetal interactions during pregnancy. Specification of trophoblast cell lineage begins with the development of the trophectoderm (TE) in preimplantation embryos. Subsequently, other trophoblast cell types arise with progression of pregnancy. Studies with transgenic animal models as well as trophoblast stem/progenitor cells have implicated distinct transcriptional and epigenetic regulators in trophoblast lineage development. This review focuses on our current understanding of transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms regulating specification, determination, maintenance and differentiation of trophoblast cells. PMID:25190503

  10. Blood cells of Drosophila: cell lineages and role in host defence.

    PubMed

    Meister, Marie

    2004-02-01

    Drosophila haemopoiesis gives rise to three independent cell lineages: plasmatocytes, crystal cells and lamellocytes. The regulation of Drosophila stem cell proliferation and lineage specification involves transactivators and signalling pathways, many of which have mammalian counterparts that control haemopoietic processes. Drosophila plasmatocytes are professional phagocytes that resemble the monocyte/macrophage lineage, crystal cells play a critical role in defence-related melanisation, and lamellocytes encapsulate large invaders. Crystal cells and lamellocytes have no clear mammalian homologues. Research into the molecular mechanisms that underlie the various immune functions of Drosophila blood cells, such as non-self recognition, is now taking wing.

  11. Multipotent Stem Cell and Reproduction.

    PubMed

    Khanlarkhani, Neda; Baazm, Maryam; Mohammadzadeh, Farzaneh; Najafi, Atefeh; Mehdinejadiani, Shayesteh; Sobhani, Aligholi

    2016-01-01

    Stem cells are self-renewing and undifferentiated cell types that can be differentiate into functional cells. Stem cells can be classified into two main types based on their source of origin: Embryonic and Adult stem cells. Stem cells also classified based on the range of differentiation potentials into Totipotent, Pluripotent, Multipotent, and Unipotent. Multipotent stem cells have the ability to differentiate into all cell types within one particular lineage. There are plentiful advantages and usages for multipotent stem cells. Multipotent Stem cells act as a significant key in procedure of development, tissue repair, and protection. The accessibility and adaptability of these amazing cells create them a great therapeutic choice for different part of medical approaches, and it becomes interesting topic in the scientific researches to found obvious method for the most advantageous use of MSC-based therapies. Recent studies in the field of stem cell biology have provided new perspectives and opportunities for the treatment of infertility disorders.

  12. Identification of Drosophila type II neuroblast lineages containing transit amplifying ganglion mother cells.

    PubMed

    Boone, Jason Q; Doe, Chris Q

    2008-08-01

    Mammalian neural stem cells generate transit amplifying progenitors that expand the neuronal population, but these type of progenitors have not been studied in Drosophila. The Drosophila larval brain contains approximately 100 neural stem cells (neuroblasts) per brain lobe, which are thought to bud off smaller ganglion mother cells (GMCs) that each produce two post-mitotic neurons. Here, we use molecular markers and clonal analysis to identify a novel neuroblast cell lineage containing "transit amplifying GMCs" (TA-GMCs). TA-GMCs differ from canonical GMCs in several ways: each TA-GMC has nuclear Deadpan, cytoplasmic Prospero, forms Prospero crescents at mitosis, and generates up to 10 neurons; canonical GMCs lack Deadpan, have nuclear Prospero, lack Prospero crescents at mitosis, and generate two neurons. We conclude that there are at least two types of neuroblast lineages: a Type I lineage where GMCs generate two neurons, and a type II lineage where TA-GMCs have longer lineages. Type II lineages allow more neurons to be produced faster than Type I lineages, which may be advantageous in a rapidly developing organism like Drosophila.

  13. Bone microstructure and developmental plasticity in birds and other dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Starck, J Matthias; Chinsamy, Anusuya

    2002-12-01

    Patterns of bone microstructure have frequently been used to deduce dynamics and processes of growth in extant and fossil tetrapods. Often, the various types of primary bone tissue have been associated with different bone deposition rates and more recently such deductions have extended to patterns observed in dinosaur bone microstructure. These previous studies are challenged by the findings of the current research, which integrates an experimental neontological approach and a paleontological comparison. We use tetracycline labeling and morphometry to study the variability of bone deposition rates in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) growing under different experimental conditions. We compare resulting patterns in bone microstructure with those found in fossil birds and other dinosaurs. We found that a single type of primary bone varies significantly in rates of growth in response to environmental conditions. Ranging between 10-50 microm per day, rates of growth overlap with the full range of bone deposition rates that were previously associated with different patterns of bone histology. Bone formation rate was significantly affected by environmental/experimental conditions, skeletal element, and age. In the quail, the experimental conditions did not result in formation of lines of arrested growth (LAGs). Because of the observed variation of bone deposition rates in response to variation in environmental conditions, we conclude that bone deposition rates measured in extant birds cannot simply be extrapolated to their fossil relatives. Additionally, we observe the variable incidence of LAGs and annuli among several dinosaur species, including fossil birds, extant sauropsids, as well as nonmammalian synapsids, and some extant mammals. This suggests that the ancestral condition of the response of bone to environmental conditions was variable. We propose that such developmental plasticity in modern birds may be reduced in association with the shortened developmental

  14. Reworking of Cretaceous dinosaurs into Paleocene channel deposits, upper Hell Creek Formation, Montana

    SciTech Connect

    Lofgren, D.L. ); Hotton, C.L. ); Runkel, A.C. )

    1990-09-01

    Dinosaur teeth from Paleocene channel fills have been interpreted as indicating dinosaur survival into the Paleocene. However, enormous potential for reworking exists because these records are restricted to large channel fills that are deeply incised into Cretaceous strata. Identification of reworked fossils is usually equivocal. This problem is illustrated by the Black Spring Coulee channel fill, a dinosaur-bearing Paleocene deposit in the upper Hell Creek Formation of eastern Montana. In this example, the reworked nature of well-preserved dinosaur bones is apparent only after detailed sedimentological and palynological analysis. Because of the potential for reworking, dinosaur remains derived from Paleocene fluvial deposits should not be assigned a Paleocene age unless the (1) are found in floodplain deposits, (2) are articulated, (3) are in channels that do not incise Cretaceous strata, or (4) are demonstrably reworked from Paleocene deposits. To date, reports of Paleocene dinosaurs do not fulfill any of these criteria. Thus, the proposal that dinosaurs persisted into the Paleocene remains unsubstantiated.

  15. The history of dinosaur footprint discoveries in Wyoming with emphasis on the Bighorn basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kvale, E.P.; Mickelson, D.L.; Hasiotis, S.T.; Johnson, G.D.

    2003-01-01

    Dinosaur traces are well known from the western United States in the Colorado Plateau region (Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona). Utah contains the greatest abundance of known and documented dinosaur footprints and trackways. Far less well known, however, is the occurrence and distribution of dinosaur footprint-bearing horizons in Wyoming. Scientific studies over the past 10 years have shown that three of the four Middle and Upper Jurassic formations in northern Wyoming contain dinosaur footprints. Two of the footprint-bearing horizons are located in geologic intervals that were once thought to have been deposited in offshore to nearshore marine settings and represent rare North American examples of Middle Jurassic (Bajocian and Bathonian) dinosaur remains. Some of these new Wyoming sites can be correlated to known dinosaur footprint-bearing horizons or intervals in Utah. Wyoming has a great potential for additional discoveries of new dinosaur footprint-bearing horizons, and further prospecting and study is warranted and will ultimately lead to a much better understanding of the geographic distribution and behavior of the potential footprint-makers. ?? Taylor and Francis Inc.

  16. Dinosaur eggshell geochemistry as an indicator of Central Asian Cretaceous paleoenvironments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montanari, S.; Higgins, P.; Norell, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Late Cretaceous fossiliferous beds of Mongolia's Gobi Desert have yielded spectacular articulated remains of an extraordinary diversity of fossil mammals, reptiles, birds, and dinosaurs. Paleoenvironmental interpretations of the deposits at these localities have ranged from arid wind-blown dune fields to more mesic, moist environments. Among the diversity of fossils, dinosaur eggshells are commonly found at these localities and dinosaur embryos, although rare, are also encountered. Dinosaur (including modern bird) eggs are constructed of calcite (CaCO3) allowing carbon and oxygen stable isotopes to be quantified to provide information about the environment the egg-laying animals were living in. Here we show that dinosaur eggshell from the Djadokhta Formation at one locality has not been significantly altered and reflects an environment that of dry-climate adapted C3 plants and isolated, ephemeral water sources during the egg-laying season. Carbonate nodules from the same eggshell-bearing layers also independently reflects a similar environmental signal. This study represents the first geochemical analysis of dinosaur remains from the Cretaceous of Mongolia and illustrates the potential of utilizing dinosaur eggshell geochemistry to reconstruct Mesozoic environments.
    Mean, n, standard deviation, and range for both carbon and oxygen isotope values for all materials sampled

  17. Dinosaur egg deposits in the Cretaceous Gyeongsang Supergroup, Korea: Diversity and paleobiological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paik, In Sung; Kim, Hyun Joo; Huh, Min

    2012-08-01

    The taphonomy and depositional environments of dinosaur-egg-bearing deposits in the Cretaceous Gyeongsang Basin, Korea, are described and their paleobiological implications are discussed in the context of global geographic occurrences, geological ages, paleoenvironments, and lithology. The general depositional environment of dinosaur egg deposits in the Gyeongsang Supergroup is interpreted as dry floodplains with a semi-arid climate and intermittent volcanic activity. The diverse floodplain paleoenvironments include fluvial plains with meandering rivers to alluvial plains with episodic sheet-flooding. Both global and Korean dinosaur-egg-bearing deposits are generally restricted to the Late Cretaceous, a phenomenon for which two possible explanations are proposed. The first possible explanation for the temporal limitation of dinosaur egg preservation involves the appearance of angiosperms in the Late Jurassic, the Late Cretaceous ecological dispersion of angiosperm trees into swamps and floodplains, and the attendant change in herbivorous dinosaurs' diets. The second possible reason is related to nesting behavior in the Cretaceous. By contrast to the temporally limited occurrence of dinosaur eggs, paleoenvironments of nesting areas are diverse, ranging from inland areas to coastal areas. These hypotheses may provide new directions for the study and understanding of dinosaur egg distribution in the context of geologic time.

  18. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  19. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  20. Origin of flight: Could 'four-winged' dinosaurs fly?

    PubMed

    Padian, Kevin; Dial, Kenneth P

    2005-11-17

    Our understanding of the origin of birds, feathers and flight has been greatly advanced by new discoveries of feathered non-avian dinosaurs, but functional analyses have not kept pace with taxonomic descriptions. Zhang and Zhou describe feathers on the tibiotarsus of a new basal enantiornithine bird from the Early Cretaceous of China. They infer, as did Xu and colleagues from similar feathers on the small non-avian theropod Microraptor found in similar deposits, that these leg feathers had aerodynamic properties and so might have been used in some kind of flight.

  1. Turanoceratops tardabilis—the first ceratopsid dinosaur from Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sues, Hans-Dieter; Averianov, Alexander

    2009-05-01

    Turanoceratops tardabilis from the Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) Bissekty Formation of Dzharakuduk, Uzbekistan, represents the first definite ceratopsid dinosaur recorded from Asia. Reexamination of the original and study of newly collected material indicate that Turanoceratops has well-developed supraorbital horns and apparently lacks a nasal horn. Turanoceratops is more derived than the more or less coeval Zuniceratops from the Moreno Hill Formation of New Mexico in the presence of double-rooted teeth and of two or three teeth in each vertical dental file.

  2. Why freshwater organisms survived the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2013-08-01

    Roughly 65.5 million years ago, a massive asteroid smashed into present-day Chicxulub, Mexico. The impact set fire to Earth's surface. Dust and ash darkened the sky, sending the planet into an "impact winter" that lasted months to years and caused the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs and half of ocean-dwelling species. However, life in inland freshwater ecosystems largely escaped this fate. To try to understand why freshwater organisms held on while ocean life failed, Robertson et al. surveyed relevant research to understand how the mechanisms of extinction would have operated differently in the two environments.

  3. Ecological interactions in dinosaur communities: influences of small offspring and complex ontogenetic life histories.

    PubMed

    Codron, Daryl; Carbone, Chris; Clauss, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    Because egg-laying meant that even the largest dinosaurs gave birth to very small offspring, they had to pass through multiple ontogenetic life stages to adulthood. Dinosaurs' successors as the dominant terrestrial vertebrate life form, the mammals, give birth to live young, and have much larger offspring and less complex ontogenetic histories. The larger number of juveniles in dinosaur as compared to mammal ecosystems represents both a greater diversity of food available to predators, and competitors for similar-sized individuals of sympatric species. Models of population abundances across different-sized species of dinosaurs and mammals, based on simulated ecological life tables, are employed to investigate how differences in predation and competition pressure influenced dinosaur communities. Higher small- to medium-sized prey availability leads to a normal body mass-species richness (M-S) distribution of carnivorous dinosaurs (as found in the theropod fossil record), in contrast to the right-skewed M-S distribution of carnivorous mammals (as found living members of the order Carnivora). Higher levels of interspecific competition leads to a left-skewed M-S distribution in herbivorous dinosaurs (as found in sauropods and ornithopods), in contrast to the normal M-S distribution of large herbivorous mammals. Thus, our models suggest that differences in reproductive strategy, and consequently ontogeny, explain observed differences in community structure between dinosaur and mammal faunas. Models also show that the largest dinosaurian predators could have subsisted on similar-sized prey by including younger life stages of the largest herbivore species, but that large predators likely avoided prey much smaller than themselves because, despite predicted higher abundances of smaller than larger-bodied prey, contributions of small prey to biomass intake would be insufficient to satisfy meat requirements. A lack of large carnivores feeding on small prey exists in mammals

  4. Feeding strategies as revealed by the section moduli of the humerus bones in bipedal theropod dinosaurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Scott; Richards, Zachary

    2015-03-01

    The section modulus of a bone is a measure of its ability to resist bending torques. Carnivorous dinosaurs presumably had strong arm bones to hold struggling prey during hunting. Some theropods are believed to have become herbivorous and such animals would not have needed such strong arms. In this work, the section moduli of the humerus bones of bipedal theropod dinosaurs (from Microvenator celer to Tyrannosaurus rex) are studied to determine the maximum bending loads their arms could withstand. The results show that bending strength is not of uniform importance to these magnificent animals. The predatory theropods had strong arms for use in hunting. In contrast, the herbivorous dinosaurs had weaker arms.

  5. Stem/Progenitor cells in vascular regeneration.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Xu, Qingbo

    2014-06-01

    A series of studies has been presented in the search for proof of circulating and resident vascular progenitor cells, which can differentiate into endothelial and smooth muscle cells and pericytes in animal and human studies. In terms of pluripotent stem cells, including embryonic stem cells, iPS, and partial-iPS cells, they display a great potential for vascular lineage differentiation. Development of stem cell therapy for treatment of vascular and ischemic diseases remains a major challenging research field. At the present, there is a clear expansion of research into mechanisms of stem cell differentiation into vascular lineages that are tested in animal models. Although there are several clinical trials ongoing that primarily focus on determining the benefits of stem cell transplantation in ischemic heart or peripheral ischemic tissues, intensive investigation for translational aspects of stem cell therapy would be needed. It is a hope that stem cell therapy for vascular diseases could be developed for clinic application in the future.

  6. The first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia.

    PubMed

    You, Hai-Lu; Azuma, Yoichi; Wang, Tao; Wang, Ya-Ming; Dong, Zhi-Ming

    2014-10-16

    Coelophysoid dinosaurs represent the earliest major radiation of neotheropods. These small-to-medium-sized agile bipeds lived throughout much of Pangaea during the Late Triassic-arly Jurassic. Previously reported coelophysoid material from Asia (excluding the Gondwanan territory of India) is limited to two specimens that comprise only limb fragments. This paper describes a new genus and species of coelophysoid, Panguraptor lufengensis, from the Lower Jurassic Lufeng Formation of Yunnan Province, China. The new taxon is represented by a well-preserved skeleton, including the skull and lower jaw, the presacral vertebral column and partial ribs, the right scapula, a partial forelimb, part of the pelvic girdle, and an almost complete hind limb. It is distinguished from other coelophysoid theropods by the unique combination of the following three character states: 1) diagonal (rostrodorsal-caudoventral) ridge on lateral surface of maxilla, within antorbital fossa, 2) elliptical, laterally facing fenestra caudodorsal to aforementioned diagonal ridge, and 3) hooked craniomedial corner of distal tarsal IV. Cladistic analysis recovers Panguraptor lufengensis deeply nested within Coelophysoidea as a member of Coelophysidae, and it is more closely related to Coelophysis than to "Syntarsus". Panguraptor represents the first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia, and provides fresh evidence supporting the hypothesis that terrestrial tetrapods tended to be distributed pan-continentally during the Early Jurassic.

  7. Ichnological evidence of Megalosaurid Dinosaurs Crossing Middle Jurassic Tidal Flats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Razzolini, Novella L.; Oms, Oriol; Castanera, Diego; Vila, Bernat; Santos, Vanda Faria Dos; Galobart, Àngel

    2016-08-01

    A new dinosaur tracksite in the Vale de Meios quarry (Serra de Aire Formation, Bathonian, Portugal)preserves more than 700 theropod tracks. They are organized in at least 80 unidirectional trackways arranged in a bimodal orientation pattern (W/NW and E/SE). Quantitative and qualitative comparisons reveal that the large tridactyl, elongated and asymmetric tracks resemble the typical Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Megalosauripus ichnogenus in all morphometric parameters. Few of the numerous tracks are preserved as elite tracks while the rest are preserved as different gradients of modified true tracks according to water content, erosive factors, radial fractures and internal overtrack formations. Taphonomical determinations are consistent with paleoenvironmental observations that indicate an inter-tidal flat located at the margin of a coastal barrier. The Megalosauripus tracks represent the oldest occurrence of this ichnotaxon and are attributed to large megalosaurid dinosaurs. Their occurrence in Vale de Meios tidal flat represents the unique paleoethological evidence of megalosaurids moving towards the lagoon, most likley during the low tide periods with feeding purposes.

  8. Histological evidence for a supraspinous ligament in sauropod dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Cerda, Ignacio A.; Casal, Gabriel A.; Martinez, Rubén D.; Ibiricu, Lucio M.

    2015-01-01

    Supraspinous ossified rods have been reported in the sacra of some derived sauropod dinosaurs. Although different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of this structure, histological evidence has never been provided to support or reject any of them. In order to establish its origin, we analyse and characterize the microstructure of the supraspinous rod of two sauropod dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina. The supraspinous ossified rod is almost entirely formed by dense Haversian bone. Remains of primary bone consist entirely of an avascular tissue composed of two types of fibre-like structures, which are coarse and longitudinally (parallel to the main axis of the element) oriented. These structures are differentiated on the basis of their optical properties under polarized light. Very thin fibrous strands are also observed in some regions. These small fibres are all oriented parallel to one another but perpendicular to the element main axis. Histological features of the primary bone tissue indicate that the sacral supraspinous rod corresponds to an ossified supraspinous ligament. The formation of this structure appears to have been a non-pathological metaplastic ossification, possibly induced by the continuous tensile forces applied to the element. PMID:26587248

  9. Histological evidence for a supraspinous ligament in sauropod dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Cerda, Ignacio A; Casal, Gabriel A; Martinez, Rubén D; Ibiricu, Lucio M

    2015-10-01

    Supraspinous ossified rods have been reported in the sacra of some derived sauropod dinosaurs. Although different hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of this structure, histological evidence has never been provided to support or reject any of them. In order to establish its origin, we analyse and characterize the microstructure of the supraspinous rod of two sauropod dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina. The supraspinous ossified rod is almost entirely formed by dense Haversian bone. Remains of primary bone consist entirely of an avascular tissue composed of two types of fibre-like structures, which are coarse and longitudinally (parallel to the main axis of the element) oriented. These structures are differentiated on the basis of their optical properties under polarized light. Very thin fibrous strands are also observed in some regions. These small fibres are all oriented parallel to one another but perpendicular to the element main axis. Histological features of the primary bone tissue indicate that the sacral supraspinous rod corresponds to an ossified supraspinous ligament. The formation of this structure appears to have been a non-pathological metaplastic ossification, possibly induced by the continuous tensile forces applied to the element.

  10. Secondary cartilage revealed in a non-avian dinosaur embryo.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Alida M; Hall, Brian K; Horner, John R

    2013-01-01

    The skull and jaws of extant birds possess secondary cartilage, a tissue that arises after bone formation during embryonic development at articulations, ligamentous and muscular insertions. Using histological analysis, we discovered secondary cartilage in a non-avian dinosaur embryo, Hypacrosaurus stebingeri (Ornithischia, Lambeosaurinae). This finding extends our previous report of secondary cartilage in post-hatching specimens of the same dinosaur species. It provides the first information on the ontogeny of avian and dinosaurian secondary cartilages, and further stresses their developmental similarities. Secondary cartilage was found in an embryonic dentary within a tooth socket where it is hypothesized to have arisen due to mechanical stresses generated during tooth formation. Two patterns were discerned: secondary cartilage is more restricted in location in this Hypacrosaurus embryo, than it is in Hypacrosaurus post-hatchlings; secondary cartilage occurs at far more sites in bird embryos and nestlings than in Hypacrosaurus. This suggests an increase in the number of sites of secondary cartilage during the evolution of birds. We hypothesize that secondary cartilage provided advantages in the fine manipulation of food and was selected over other types of tissues/articulations during the evolution of the highly specialized avian beak from the jaws of their dinosaurian ancestors.

  11. Ichnological evidence of Megalosaurid Dinosaurs Crossing Middle Jurassic Tidal Flats.

    PubMed

    Razzolini, Novella L; Oms, Oriol; Castanera, Diego; Vila, Bernat; Santos, Vanda Faria Dos; Galobart, Àngel

    2016-08-19

    A new dinosaur tracksite in the Vale de Meios quarry (Serra de Aire Formation, Bathonian, Portugal)preserves more than 700 theropod tracks. They are organized in at least 80 unidirectional trackways arranged in a bimodal orientation pattern (W/NW and E/SE). Quantitative and qualitative comparisons reveal that the large tridactyl, elongated and asymmetric tracks resemble the typical Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Megalosauripus ichnogenus in all morphometric parameters. Few of the numerous tracks are preserved as elite tracks while the rest are preserved as different gradients of modified true tracks according to water content, erosive factors, radial fractures and internal overtrack formations. Taphonomical determinations are consistent with paleoenvironmental observations that indicate an inter-tidal flat located at the margin of a coastal barrier. The Megalosauripus tracks represent the oldest occurrence of this ichnotaxon and are attributed to large megalosaurid dinosaurs. Their occurrence in Vale de Meios tidal flat represents the unique paleoethological evidence of megalosaurids moving towards the lagoon, most likley during the low tide periods with feeding purposes.

  12. Ichnological evidence of Megalosaurid Dinosaurs Crossing Middle Jurassic Tidal Flats

    PubMed Central

    Razzolini, Novella L.; Oms, Oriol; Castanera, Diego; Vila, Bernat; Santos, Vanda Faria dos; Galobart, Àngel

    2016-01-01

    A new dinosaur tracksite in the Vale de Meios quarry (Serra de Aire Formation, Bathonian, Portugal)preserves more than 700 theropod tracks. They are organized in at least 80 unidirectional trackways arranged in a bimodal orientation pattern (W/NW and E/SE). Quantitative and qualitative comparisons reveal that the large tridactyl, elongated and asymmetric tracks resemble the typical Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Megalosauripus ichnogenus in all morphometric parameters. Few of the numerous tracks are preserved as elite tracks while the rest are preserved as different gradients of modified true tracks according to water content, erosive factors, radial fractures and internal overtrack formations. Taphonomical determinations are consistent with paleoenvironmental observations that indicate an inter-tidal flat located at the margin of a coastal barrier. The Megalosauripus tracks represent the oldest occurrence of this ichnotaxon and are attributed to large megalosaurid dinosaurs. Their occurrence in Vale de Meios tidal flat represents the unique paleoethological evidence of megalosaurids moving towards the lagoon, most likley during the low tide periods with feeding purposes. PMID:27538759

  13. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Attenuating Age-Related Bone Loss

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-07-01

    into anabolic therapies for osteoporosis .1 Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation towards the bone forming osteoblastic lineage decreases as a...research into anabolic therapies for osteoporosis .1 Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation towards the bone forming osteoblastic lineage decreases...13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Osteoporosis , both age-related and post-menopausal, is a huge health problem in the United States and indeed

  14. STEM, STEM Education, STEMmania

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sanders, Mark

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the author introduces integrative STEM (science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics) education and discusses the importance of the program. The notion of integrative STEM education includes approaches that explore teaching and learning between/among any two or more of the STEM subject areas, and/or between a STEM subject…

  15. Long-Term Live Cell Imaging and Automated 4D Analysis of Drosophila Neuroblast Lineages

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Christian; Lendl, Thomas; Knoblich, Juergen A.

    2013-01-01

    The developing Drosophila brain is a well-studied model system for neurogenesis and stem cell biology. In the Drosophila central brain, around 200 neural stem cells called neuroblasts undergo repeated rounds of asymmetric cell division. These divisions typically generate a larger self-renewing neuroblast and a smaller ganglion mother cell that undergoes one terminal division to create two differentiating neurons. Although single mitotic divisions of neuroblasts can easily be imaged in real time, the lack of long term imaging procedures has limited the use of neuroblast live imaging for lineage analysis. Here we describe a method that allows live imaging of cultured Drosophila neuroblasts over multiple cell cycles for up to 24 hours. We describe a 4D image analysis protocol that can be used to extract cell cycle times and growth rates from the resulting movies in an automated manner. We use it to perform lineage analysis in type II neuroblasts where clonal analysis has indicated the presence of a transit-amplifying population that potentiates the number of neurons. Indeed, our experiments verify type II lineages and provide quantitative parameters for all cell types in those lineages. As defects in type II neuroblast lineages can result in brain tumor formation, our lineage analysis method will allow more detailed and quantitative analysis of tumorigenesis and asymmetric cell division in the Drosophila brain. PMID:24260257

  16. Transcriptional control of cell fate in the stomatal lineage

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Abigail R.; Bergmann, Dominique C.

    2015-01-01

    The Arabidopsis stomatal lineage is a microcosm of development; it undergoes selection of precursor cells, asymmetric and stem cell-like divisions, cell commitment and finally, acquisition of terminal cell fates. Recent transcriptomic approaches revealed major shifts in gene expression accompanying each fate transition, and mechanistic analysis of key bHLH transcription factors, along with mathematical modeling, has begun to unravel how these major shifts are coordinated. In addition, stomatal initiation is proving to be a tractable model for defining the genetic and epigenetic basis of stable cell identities and for understanding the integration of environmental responses into developmental programs. PMID:26550955

  17. Phylogenetic lineages in the Botryosphaeriaceae

    PubMed Central

    Crous, Pedro W.; Slippers, Bernard; Wingfield, Michael J.; Rheeder, John; Marasas, Walter F.O.; Philips, Alan J.L.; Alves, Artur; Burgess, Treena; Barber, Paul; Groenewald, Johannes Z.

    2006-01-01

    Botryosphaeria is a species-rich genus with a cosmopolitan distribution, commonly associated with dieback and cankers of woody plants. As many as 18 anamorph genera have been associated with Botryosphaeria, most of which have been reduced to synonymy under Diplodia (conidia mostly ovoid, pigmented, thick-walled), or Fusicoccum (conidia mostly fusoid, hyaline, thin-walled). However, there are numerous conidial anamorphs having morphological characteristics intermediate between Diplodia and Fusicoccum, and there are several records of species outside the Botryosphaeriaceae that have anamorphs apparently typical of Botryosphaeria s.str. Recent studies have also linked Botryosphaeria to species with pigmented, septate ascospores, and Dothiorella anamorphs, or Fusicoccum anamorphs with Dichomera synanamorphs. The aim of this study was to employ DNA sequence data of the 28S rDNA to resolve apparent lineages within the Botryosphaeriaceae. From these data, 12 clades are recognised. Two of these lineages clustered outside the Botryosphaeriaceae, namely Diplodia-like anamorphs occurring on maize, which are best accommodated in Stenocarpella (Diaporthales), as well as an unresolved clade including species of Camarosporium/Microdiplodia. We recognise 10 lineages within the Botryosphaeriaceae, including an unresolved clade (Diplodia/Lasiodiplodia/Tiarosporella), Botryosphaeria s.str. (Fusicoccum anamorphs), Macrophomina, Neoscytalidium gen. nov., Dothidotthia (Dothiorella anamorphs), Neofusicoccum gen. nov. (Botryosphaeria-like teleomorphs, Dichomera-like synanamorphs), Pseudofusicoccum gen. nov., Saccharata (Fusicoccum- and Diplodia-like synanamorphs), “Botryosphaeria” quercuum (Diplodia-like anamorph), and Guignardia (Phyllosticta anamorphs). Separate teleomorph and anamorph names are not provided for newly introduced genera, even where both morphs are known. The taxonomy of some clades and isolates (e.g. B. mamane) remains unresolved due to the absence of ex

  18. Prospecting for dinosaurs on the mining frontier: The value of information in America's Gilded Age.

    PubMed

    Rieppel, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    How much is a dinosaur worth? This essay offers an account of the way vertebrate fossils were priced in late 19th-century America to explore the process by which monetary values are established in science. Examining a long and drawn-out negotiation over the sale of an unusually rich dinosaur quarry in Wyoming, I argue that, on their own, abstract market principles did not suffice to mediate between supply and demand. Rather, people haggling over the price of dinosaur bones looked to social norms from the mineral industry for cues on how to value these rare and unusual objects, adopting a set of negotiation tactics that exploited asymmetries in the distribution of scarce information to secure the better end of the deal. On the mining frontier in America's Gilded Age, dinosaurs were thus valued in much the same way as any other scarce natural resource one could dig out of the ground, including gold, silver, and coal.

  19. Molecular analyses of dinosaur osteocytes support the presence of endogenous molecules.

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, Mary Higby; Zheng, Wenxia; Cleland, Timothy P; Bern, Marshall

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of soft, transparent microstructures in dinosaur bone consistent in morphology with osteocytes was controversial. We hypothesize that, if original, these microstructures will have molecular features in common with extant osteocytes. We present immunological and mass spectrometry evidence for preservation of proteins comprising extant osteocytes (Actin, Tubulin, PHEX, Histone H4) in osteocytes recovered from two non-avian dinosaurs. Furthermore, antibodies to DNA show localized binding to these microstructures, which also react positively with DNA intercalating stains propidium iodide (PI) and 4',6'-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride (DAPI). Each antibody binds dinosaur cells in patterns similar to extant cells. These data are the first to support preservation of multiple proteins and to present multiple lines of evidence for material consistent with DNA in dinosaurs, supporting the hypothesis that these structures were part of the once living animals. We propose mechanisms for preservation of cells and component molecules, and discuss implications for dinosaurian cellular biology.

  20. Ontogeny and the fossil record: what, if anything, is an adult dinosaur?

    PubMed

    Hone, David W E; Farke, Andrew A; Wedel, Mathew J

    2016-02-01

    Identification of the ontogenetic status of an extinct organism is complex, and yet this underpins major areas of research, from taxonomy and systematics to ecology and evolution. In the case of the non-avialan dinosaurs, at least some were reproductively mature before they were skeletally mature, and a lack of consensus on how to define an 'adult' animal causes problems for even basic scientific investigations. Here we review the current methods available to determine the age of non-avialan dinosaurs, discuss the definitions of different ontogenetic stages, and summarize the implications of these disparate definitions for dinosaur palaeontology. Most critically, a growing body of evidence suggests that many dinosaurs that would be considered 'adults' in a modern-day field study are considered 'juveniles' or 'subadults' in palaeontological contexts.

  1. Ontogeny and the fossil record: what, if anything, is an adult dinosaur?

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Identification of the ontogenetic status of an extinct organism is complex, and yet this underpins major areas of research, from taxonomy and systematics to ecology and evolution. In the case of the non-avialan dinosaurs, at least some were reproductively mature before they were skeletally mature, and a lack of consensus on how to define an ‘adult’ animal causes problems for even basic scientific investigations. Here we review the current methods available to determine the age of non-avialan dinosaurs, discuss the definitions of different ontogenetic stages, and summarize the implications of these disparate definitions for dinosaur palaeontology. Most critically, a growing body of evidence suggests that many dinosaurs that would be considered ‘adults’ in a modern-day field study are considered ‘juveniles’ or ‘subadults’ in palaeontological contexts. PMID:26888916

  2. Cretaceous anuran and dinosaur footprints from the Patuxent Formation of Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weems, R.E.; Bachman, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    Footprints of an anuran (gen. et sp. indet.), a theropod dinosaur (Megalosauropus sp.), and an ornithopod dinosaur (Amblydactylus sp.) have been recovered from the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation in Stafford County, Virginia. These footprints are the first record of terrestrial vertebrates from Cretaceous strata in Virginia, and their discovery suggests that the scarcity of bones and teeth in the Patuxent probably is an artifact of preservation. The anuran trackway provides the oldest known direct evidence for hopping locomotion among these amphibians.

  3. Embryology of Early Jurassic dinosaur from China with evidence of preserved organic remains.

    PubMed

    Reisz, Robert R; Huang, Timothy D; Roberts, Eric M; Peng, ShinRung; Sullivan, Corwin; Stein, Koen; LeBlanc, Aaron R H; Shieh, DarBin; Chang, RongSeng; Chiang, ChengCheng; Yang, Chuanwei; Zhong, Shiming

    2013-04-11

    Fossil dinosaur embryos are surprisingly rare, being almost entirely restricted to Upper Cretaceous strata that record the late stages of non-avian dinosaur evolution. Notable exceptions are the oldest known embryos from the Early Jurassic South African sauropodomorph Massospondylus and Late Jurassic embryos of a theropod from Portugal. The fact that dinosaur embryos are rare and typically enclosed in eggshells limits their availability for tissue and cellular level investigations of development. Consequently, little is known about growth patterns in dinosaur embryos, even though post-hatching ontogeny has been studied in several taxa. Here we report the discovery of an embryonic dinosaur bone bed from the Lower Jurassic of China, the oldest such occurrence in the fossil record. The embryos are similar in geological age to those of Massospondylus and are also assignable to a sauropodomorph dinosaur, probably Lufengosaurus. The preservation of numerous disarticulated skeletal elements and eggshells in this monotaxic bone bed, representing different stages of incubation and therefore derived from different nests, provides opportunities for new investigations of dinosaur embryology in a clade noted for gigantism. For example, comparisons among embryonic femora of different sizes and developmental stages reveal a consistently rapid rate of growth throughout development, possibly indicating that short incubation times were characteristic of sauropodomorphs. In addition, asymmetric radial growth of the femoral shaft and rapid expansion of the fourth trochanter suggest that embryonic muscle activation played an important role in the pre-hatching ontogeny of these dinosaurs. This discovery also provides the oldest evidence of in situ preservation of complex organic remains in a terrestrial vertebrate.

  4. Implications of ecological energetics and biophysical and developmental constraints for life history variation in dinosaurs

    SciTech Connect

    Dunham, A.E.; Overall, K.L.; Forster, C.A.; Porter, W.P.

    1988-01-01

    There has been much recent speculation concerning the nature of life history variation in dinosaurs (Case, 1978; Bakker, 1986; Horner, 1982, 1984a). The purpose of this paper is to review the data on dinosaur life histories and to examine the nature and magnitude of the demographic and physiological factors that must have constrained life history variation in this group. 145 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Ecological Interactions in Dinosaur Communities: Influences of Small Offspring and Complex Ontogenetic Life Histories