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Sample records for zebrafish notochord morphogenesis

  1. Essential role for fibrillin-2 in zebrafish notochord and vascular morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Gansner, John M; Madsen, Erik C; Mecham, Robert P; Gitlin, Jonathan D

    2008-10-01

    Recent studies demonstrate that lysyl oxidase cuproenzymes are critical for zebrafish notochord formation, but the molecular mechanisms of copper-dependent notochord morphogenesis are incompletely understood. We, therefore, conducted a forward genetic screen for zebrafish mutants that exhibit notochord sensitivity to lysyl oxidase inhibition, yielding a mutant with defects in notochord and vascular morphogenesis, puff daddygw1 (pfdgw1). Meiotic mapping and cloning reveal that the pfdgw1 phenotype results from disruption of the gene encoding the extracellular matrix protein fibrillin-2, and the spatiotemporal expression of fibrillin-2 is consistent with the pfdgw1 phenotype. Furthermore, each aspect of the pfdgw1 phenotype is recapitulated by morpholino knockdown of fibrillin-2. Taken together, the data reveal a genetic interaction between fibrillin-2 and the lysyl oxidases in notochord formation and demonstrate the importance of fibrillin-2 in specific early developmental processes in zebrafish. Copyright (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Ascidian notochord morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Di; Smith, William C.

    2010-01-01

    The development of the notochord involves a complex set of cellular behaviors. While these morphogenic behaviors are common to all chordates, the ascidian provides a particularly attractive experimental model because of its relative simplicity. In particular, all notochord morphogenesis in ascidians takes place with only 40 cells, as opposed to the hundreds of cells in vertebrate models systems. Initial steps in ascidian notochord development convert a monolayer of epithelial-like cells in the pre-gastrula embryo to a cylindrical rod of single-cell diameter. Convergent extension is responsible for the intercalation of notochord cells and some degree of notochord elongation, while a second phase of elongation is observed as the notochord narrows medially and increases in volume. The mechanism by which the volume of the notochord increases differs between ascidian species. Some ascidian species produce extracellular pockets that will eventually coalesce to form a lumen running the length of the notochord, while others appear to make intercellular vacuoles. By either mechanism, the resulting notochord serves as a hydrostatic skeleton allowing for the locomotion of the swimming larva. Several basic cell behaviors, such as cell shape changes, cell rearrangement, establishment of cell polarity, and alteration of extracellular environment, are displayed in the process of notochord morphogenesis. Modern analysis of ascidian notochord morphogenesis promises to contribute to our understanding of these fundamental biological processes. PMID:17497687

  3. Ascidian notochord morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Di; Smith, William C

    2007-07-01

    The development of the notochord involves a complex set of cellular behaviors. While these morphogenic behaviors are common to all chordates, the ascidian provides a particularly attractive experimental model because of its relative simplicity. In particular, all notochord morphogenesis in ascidians takes place with only 40 cells, as opposed to the hundreds of cells in vertebrate model systems. Initial steps in ascidian notochord development convert a monolayer of epithelial-like cells in the pregastrula embryo to a cylindrical rod of single-cell diameter. Convergent extension is responsible for the intercalation of notochord cells and some degree of notochord elongation, while a second phase of elongation is observed as the notochord narrows medially and increases in volume. The mechanism by which the volume of the notochord increases differs between ascidian species. Some ascidians produce extracellular pockets that will eventually coalesce to form a lumen running the length of the notochord; whereas others do not. By either mechanism, the resulting notochord serves as a hydrostatic skeleton allowing for the locomotion of the swimming larva. Several basic cell behaviors, such as cell shape changes, cell rearrangement, establishment of cell polarity, and alteration of extracellular environment, are displayed in the process of notochord morphogenesis. Modern analysis of ascidian notochord morphogenesis promises to contribute to our understanding of these fundamental biological processes. Copyright 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Critical early roles for col27a1a and col27a1b in zebrafish notochord morphogenesis, vertebral mineralization and post-embryonic axial growth.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Helena E; Lang, Michael R; Pace, James M; Parichy, David M

    2009-12-29

    Fibrillar collagens are well known for their links to human diseases, with which all have been associated except for the two most recently identified fibrillar collagens, type XXIV collagen and type XXVII collagen. To assess functions and potential disease phenotypes of type XXVII collagen, we examined its roles in zebrafish embryonic and post-embryonic development. We identified two type XXVII collagen genes in zebrafish, col27a1a and col27a1b. Both col27a1a and col27a1b were expressed in notochord and cartilage in the embryo and early larva. To determine sites of type XXVII collagen function, col27a1a and col27a1b were knocked down using morpholino antisense oligonucleotides. Knockdown of col27a1a singly or in conjunction with col27a1b resulted in curvature of the notochord at early stages and formation of scoliotic curves as well as dysmorphic vertebrae at later stages. These defects were accompanied by abnormal distributions of cells and protein localization in the notochord, as visualized by transmission electron microscopy, as well as delayed vertebral mineralization as detected histologically. Together, our findings indicate a key role for type XXVII collagen in notochord morphogenesis and axial skeletogenesis and suggest a possible human disease phenotype.

  5. Sequence analysis of zebrafish chondromodulin-1 and expression profile in the notochord and chondrogenic regions during cartilage morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sachdev, S W; Dietz, U H; Oshima, Y; Lang, M R; Knapik, E W; Hiraki, Y; Shukunami, C

    2001-07-01

    Chondromodulin-I (ChM-I) is suggested in higher vertebrate systems to function as a key regulatory protein for cartilage development. To further understand the process of chondrogenesis and the function of ChM-I, we have cloned the zebrafish cDNA for chondromodulin-1 (chm1) and have mapped the chm1 gene locus. The expression profile of chm1 was determined during zebrafish embryonic development and compared to that of type II collagen (col2a1). Maternal chm1 transcripts were detected before midblastula transition and zygotic expression of chm1 was first observed in the notochord at the 10-somite stage. At later developmental stages, chm1 expression was detected in areas surrounding the otic vesicles, in the developing craniofacial cartilage elements, and in the chondrogenic region of the pectoral fins.

  6. Notochord vacuoles are lysosome-related organelles that function in axis and spine morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Kathryn; Bagwell, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    The notochord plays critical structural and signaling roles during vertebrate development. At the center of the vertebrate notochord is a large fluid-filled organelle, the notochord vacuole. Although these highly conserved intracellular structures have been described for decades, little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in their biogenesis and maintenance. Here we show that zebrafish notochord vacuoles are specialized lysosome-related organelles whose formation and maintenance requires late endosomal trafficking regulated by the vacuole-specific Rab32a and H+-ATPase–dependent acidification. We establish that notochord vacuoles are required for body axis elongation during embryonic development and identify a novel role in spine morphogenesis. Thus, the vertebrate notochord plays important structural roles beyond early development. PMID:23460678

  7. Notochord vacuoles are lysosome-related organelles that function in axis and spine morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Kathryn; Bagwell, Jennifer; Bagnat, Michel

    2013-03-04

    The notochord plays critical structural and signaling roles during vertebrate development. At the center of the vertebrate notochord is a large fluid-filled organelle, the notochord vacuole. Although these highly conserved intracellular structures have been described for decades, little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in their biogenesis and maintenance. Here we show that zebrafish notochord vacuoles are specialized lysosome-related organelles whose formation and maintenance requires late endosomal trafficking regulated by the vacuole-specific Rab32a and H(+)-ATPase-dependent acidification. We establish that notochord vacuoles are required for body axis elongation during embryonic development and identify a novel role in spine morphogenesis. Thus, the vertebrate notochord plays important structural roles beyond early development.

  8. Notochord Morphogenesis in Mice: Current Understanding & Open Questions

    PubMed Central

    Balmer, Sophie; Nowotschin, Sonja; Hadjantonakis, Anna-Katerina

    2016-01-01

    The notochord is the structure which defines chordates. It is a rod-like mesodermal structure that runs the anterior-posterior length of the embryo, adjacent to the ventral neural tube. The notochord plays a critical role in embryonic tissue patterning, for example the dorsal-ventral patterning of the neural tube. The cells that will come to form the notochord are specified at gastrulation. Axial mesodermal cells arising at the anterior primitive streak migrate anteriorly as the precursors of the notochord and populate the notochordal plate. Interestingly, even though a lot of interest has centered on investigating the functional and structural roles of the notochord, we still have a very rudimentary understanding of notochord morphogenesis. The events driving the formation of the notochord are rapid, taking place over the period of approximately a day in mice. In this commentary we provide an overview of our current understanding of mouse notochord morphogenesis, from the initial specification of axial mesendodermal cells at the primitive streak, the emergence of these cells at the midline on the surface of the embryo, to their submergence and organization of the stereotypically positioned notochord. We will also discuss some key open questions. PMID:26845388

  9. Notochord morphogenesis in mice: Current understanding & open questions.

    PubMed

    Balmer, Sophie; Nowotschin, Sonja; Hadjantonakis, Anna-Katerina

    2016-05-01

    The notochord is a structure common to all chordates, and the feature that the phylum Chordata has been named after. It is a rod-like mesodermal structure that runs the anterior-posterior length of the embryo, adjacent to the ventral neural tube. The notochord plays a critical role in embryonic tissue patterning, for example the dorsal-ventral patterning of the neural tube. The cells that will come to form the notochord are specified at gastrulation. Axial mesodermal cells arising at the anterior primitive streak migrate anteriorly as the precursors of the notochord and populate the notochordal plate. Yet, even though a lot of interest has centered on investigating the functional and structural roles of the notochord, we still have a very rudimentary understanding of notochord morphogenesis. The events driving the formation of the notochord are rapid, taking place over the period of approximately a day in mice. In this commentary, we provide an overview of our current understanding of mouse notochord morphogenesis, from the initial specification of axial mesendodermal cells at the primitive streak, the emergence of these cells at the midline on the surface of the embryo, to their submergence and organization of the stereotypically positioned notochord. We will also discuss some key open questions. Developmental Dynamics 245:547-557, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Axial protocadherin (AXPC) regulates cell fate during notochordal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yoder, Michael D; Gumbiner, Barry M

    2011-11-01

    The separation and specification of mesoderm into the notochord and somites involves members of the non-clustered δ-protocadherins. Axial (AXPC) and paraxial (PAPC) protocadherins are expressed in the early dorsal mesoderm and later become refined to the developing notochordal and somitic mesoderm, respectively. The role of PAPC in this process has been studied extensively, but the role of AXPC is poorly understood. Partial knockdown of AXPC causes a specific bent-axis phenotype, while more severe knockdown results in the loss of notochord formation. The inability of these embryos to develop a notochord is not due to a cell-sorting event via changes in cell adhesion during gastrulation, but rather this defect is manifested through the loss of axial mesoderm specification, but not general mesoderm induction. The results presented here show that AXPC functions in notochord morphogenesis by directing cell-fate decisions rather than cell-cell adhesion. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. The mouse homeobox gene Noto regulates node morphogenesis, notochordal ciliogenesis, and left–right patterning

    PubMed Central

    Beckers, Anja; Alten, Leonie; Viebahn, Christoph; Andre, Philipp; Gossler, Achim

    2007-01-01

    The mouse homeobox gene Noto represents the homologue of zebrafish floating head (flh) and is expressed in the organizer node and in the nascent notochord. Previous analyses suggested that Noto is required exclusively for the formation of the caudal part of the notochord. Here, we show that Noto is also essential for node morphogenesis, controlling ciliogenesis in the posterior notochord, and the establishment of laterality, whereas organizer functions in anterior–posterior patterning are apparently not compromised. In mutant embryos, left–right asymmetry of internal organs and expression of laterality markers was randomized. Mutant posterior notochord regions were variable in size and shape, cilia were shortened with highly irregular axonemal microtubuli, and basal bodies were, in part, located abnormally deep in the cytoplasm. The transcription factor Foxj1, which regulates the dynein gene Dnahc11 and is required for the correct anchoring of basal bodies in lung epithelial cells, was down-regulated in mutant nodes. Likewise, the transcription factor Rfx3, which regulates cilia growth, was not expressed in Noto mutants, and various other genes important for cilia function or assembly such as Dnahc5 and Nphp3 were down-regulated. Our results establish Noto as an essential regulator of node morphogenesis and ciliogenesis in the posterior notochord, and suggest Noto acts upstream of Foxj1 and Rfx3. PMID:17884984

  12. Egfl6 is involved in zebrafish notochord development.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xueqian; Wang, Xin; Yuan, Wei; Chai, Renjie; Liu, Dong

    2015-08-01

    The epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeat motif defines a superfamily of diverse protein involved in regulating a variety of cellular and physiological processes, such as cell cycle, cell adhesion, proliferation, migration, and neural development. Egfl6, an EGF protein, also named MAGE was first cloned in human tissue. Up to date, the study of zebrafish Egfl6 expression pattern and functional analysis of Egfl6 involved in embryonic development of vertebrate in vivo is thus far lacking. Here we reported that Egfl6 was involved in zebrafish notochord development. It was shown that Egfl6 mRNA was expressed in zebrafish, developing somites, fin epidermis, pharyngeal arches, and hindbrain region. Particularly the secreted Egfl6 protein was significantly accumulated in notochord. Loss of Egfl6 function in zebrafish embryos resulted in curved body with distorted notochord in the posterior trunk. It was observed that expression of all Notch ligand and receptors in notochord of 28 hpf Egfl6 morphants was not affected, except notch2, which was up-regulated. We found that inhibition of Notch signaling by DAPT efficiently rescued notochord developmental defect of Egfl6 deficiency embryos.

  13. Essential role for the alpha 1 chain of type VIII collagen in zebrafish notochord formation.

    PubMed

    Gansner, John M; Gitlin, Jonathan D

    2008-12-01

    Several zebrafish mutants identified in large-scale forward genetic screens exhibit notochord distortion. We now report the cloning and further characterization of one such mutant, gulliver(m208) (gul(m208)). The notochord defect in gul(m208) mutants is exacerbated under conditions of copper depletion or lysyl oxidase cuproenzyme inhibition that are without a notochord effect on wild-type embryos. The gul(m208) phenotype results from a missense mutation in the gene encoding Col8a1, a lysyl oxidase substrate, and morpholino knockdown of col8a1 recapitulates the notochord distortion observed in gul(m208) mutants. Of interest, the amino acid mutated in gul(m208) Col8a1 is highly conserved, and the equivalent substitution in a closely related human protein, COL10A1, causes Schmid metaphyseal chondrodysplasia. Taken together, the data identify a new protein essential for notochord morphogenesis, extend our understanding of gene-nutrient interactions in early development, and suggest that human mutations in COL8A1 may cause structural birth defects. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. ngs (notochord granular surface) gene encodes a novel type of intermediate filament family protein essential for notochord maintenance in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Tong, Xiangjun; Xia, Zhidan; Zu, Yao; Telfer, Helena; Hu, Jing; Yu, Jingyi; Liu, Huan; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen; Lin, Shuo; Zhang, Bo

    2013-01-25

    The notochord is an important organ involved in embryonic patterning and locomotion. In zebrafish, the mature notochord consists of a single stack of fully differentiated, large vacuolated cells called chordocytes, surrounded by a single layer of less differentiated notochordal epithelial cells called chordoblasts. Through genetic analysis of zebrafish lines carrying pseudo-typed retroviral insertions, a mutant exhibiting a defective notochord with a granular appearance was isolated, and the corresponding gene was identified as ngs (notochord granular surface), which was specifically expressed in the notochord. In the mutants, the notochord started to degenerate from 32 hours post-fertilization, and the chordocytes were then gradually replaced by smaller cells derived from chordoblasts. The granular notochord phenotype was alleviated by anesthetizing the mutant embryos with tricaine to prevent muscle contraction and locomotion. Phylogenetic analysis showed that ngs encodes a new type of intermediate filament (IF) family protein, which we named chordostatin based on its function. Under the transmission electron microcopy, bundles of 10-nm-thick IF-like filaments were enriched in the chordocytes of wild-type zebrafish embryos, whereas the chordocytes in ngs mutants lacked IF-like structures. Furthermore, chordostatin-enhanced GFP (EGFP) fusion protein assembled into a filamentous network specifically in chordocytes. Taken together, our work demonstrates that ngs encodes a novel type of IF protein and functions to maintain notochord integrity for larval development and locomotion. Our work sheds light on the mechanisms of notochord structural maintenance, as well as the evolution and biological function of IF family proteins.

  15. Structural requirements for PACSIN/Syndapin operation during zebrafish embryonic notochord development.

    PubMed

    Edeling, Melissa A; Sanker, Subramaniam; Shima, Takaki; Umasankar, P K; Höning, Stefan; Kim, Hye Y; Davidson, Lance A; Watkins, Simon C; Tsang, Michael; Owen, David J; Traub, Linton M

    2009-12-03

    PACSIN/Syndapin proteins are membrane-active scaffolds that participate in endocytosis. The structure of the Drosophila Syndapin N-terminal EFC domain reveals a crescent shaped antiparallel dimer with a high affinity for phosphoinositides and a unique membrane-inserting prong upon the concave surface. Combined structural, biochemical and reverse genetic approaches in zebrafish define an important role for Syndapin orthologue, Pacsin3, in the early formation of the notochord during embryonic development. In pacsin3-morphant embryos, midline convergence of notochord precursors is defective as axial mesodermal cells fail to polarize, migrate and differentiate properly. The pacsin3 morphant phenotype of a stunted body axis and contorted trunk is rescued by ectopic expression of Drosophila Syndapin, and depends critically on both the prong that protrudes from the surface of the bowed Syndapin EFC domain and the ability of the antiparallel dimer to bind tightly to phosphoinositides. Our data confirm linkage between directional migration, endocytosis and cell specification during embryonic morphogenesis and highlight a key role for Pacsin3 in this coupling in the notochord.

  16. ngs (Notochord Granular Surface) Gene Encodes a Novel Type of Intermediate Filament Family Protein Essential for Notochord Maintenance in Zebrafish*

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xiangjun; Xia, Zhidan; Zu, Yao; Telfer, Helena; Hu, Jing; Yu, Jingyi; Liu, Huan; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen; Lin, Shuo; Zhang, Bo

    2013-01-01

    The notochord is an important organ involved in embryonic patterning and locomotion. In zebrafish, the mature notochord consists of a single stack of fully differentiated, large vacuolated cells called chordocytes, surrounded by a single layer of less differentiated notochordal epithelial cells called chordoblasts. Through genetic analysis of zebrafish lines carrying pseudo-typed retroviral insertions, a mutant exhibiting a defective notochord with a granular appearance was isolated, and the corresponding gene was identified as ngs (notochord granular surface), which was specifically expressed in the notochord. In the mutants, the notochord started to degenerate from 32 hours post-fertilization, and the chordocytes were then gradually replaced by smaller cells derived from chordoblasts. The granular notochord phenotype was alleviated by anesthetizing the mutant embryos with tricaine to prevent muscle contraction and locomotion. Phylogenetic analysis showed that ngs encodes a new type of intermediate filament (IF) family protein, which we named chordostatin based on its function. Under the transmission electron microcopy, bundles of 10-nm-thick IF-like filaments were enriched in the chordocytes of wild-type zebrafish embryos, whereas the chordocytes in ngs mutants lacked IF-like structures. Furthermore, chordostatin-enhanced GFP (EGFP) fusion protein assembled into a filamentous network specifically in chordocytes. Taken together, our work demonstrates that ngs encodes a novel type of IF protein and functions to maintain notochord integrity for larval development and locomotion. Our work sheds light on the mechanisms of notochord structural maintenance, as well as the evolution and biological function of IF family proteins. PMID:23132861

  17. Chondroitin 6-O-sulfotransferases are required for morphogenesis of the notochord in the ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Jun; Yoshida, Keita; Sasakura, Yasunori; Fujiwara, Shigeki

    2014-12-01

    Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is a sulfated polysaccharide chain that binds to various core proteins to form proteoglycans. The amount and position of sulfate groups in CS are variable among different tissues, and are determined by specific sulfotransferases. Although the ascidians are the closest relatives of vertebrates, the functions of their sulfotransferases have not been studied. The genome of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis contains eight genes encoding proteins similar to chondroitin 6-O-sulfotransferases (C6STs), which appear to have independently diverged in the ascidian lineage during evolution. Among them, Ci-C6ST-like1 and Ci-C6ST-like7 were predominantly expressed in the developing notochord. In addition, they were weakly expressed in the neural tube. The disruption of either one of them affected the convergent extension movement of notochordal cells. Presumptive notochord cells coming from both sides of the embryo did not intercalate. The results suggest that both of them are necessary. In some cases, the anterior neural tube failed to close. Forced expression of Ci-C6ST-like1 or Ci-C6ST-like7 in the notochord restored the normal intercalation of notochordal cells, indicating that the effects of morpholino oligos are specific. Ci-C6ST-like1 and Ci-C6ST-like7 are required for the morphogenesis of the notochord in the ascidian embryo. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Transient infection of the zebrafish notochord with E. coli induces chronic inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen-Chi, Mai; Phan, Quang Tien; Gonzalez, Catherine; Dubremetz, Jean-François; Levraud, Jean-Pierre; Lutfalla, Georges

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish embryos and larvae are now well-established models in which to study infectious diseases. Infections with non-pathogenic Gram-negative Escherichia coli induce a strong and reproducible inflammatory response. Here, we study the cellular response of zebrafish larvae when E. coli bacteria are injected into the notochord and describe the effects. First, we provide direct evidence that the notochord is a unique organ that is inaccessible to leukocytes (macrophages and neutrophils) during the early stages of inflammation. Second, we show that notochord infection induces a host response that is characterised by rapid clearance of the bacteria, strong leukocyte recruitment around the notochord and prolonged inflammation that lasts several days after bacteria clearance. During this inflammatory response, il1b is first expressed in macrophages and subsequently at high levels in neutrophils. Moreover, knock down of il1b alters the recruitment of neutrophils to the notochord, demonstrating the important role of this cytokine in the maintenance of inflammation in the notochord. Eventually, infection of the notochord induces severe defects of the notochord that correlate with neutrophil degranulation occurring around this tissue. This is the first in vivo evidence that neutrophils can degranulate in the absence of a direct encounter with a pathogen. Persistent inflammation, neutrophil infiltration and restructuring of the extracellular matrix are defects that resemble those seen in bone infection and in some chondropathies. As the notochord is a transient embryonic structure that is closely related to cartilage and bone and that contributes to vertebral column formation, we propose infection of the notochord in zebrafish larvae as a new model to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cartilage and bone inflammation. PMID:24973754

  19. Transient infection of the zebrafish notochord with E. coli induces chronic inflammation.

    PubMed

    Nguyen-Chi, Mai; Phan, Quang Tien; Gonzalez, Catherine; Dubremetz, Jean-François; Levraud, Jean-Pierre; Lutfalla, Georges

    2014-07-01

    Zebrafish embryos and larvae are now well-established models in which to study infectious diseases. Infections with non-pathogenic Gram-negative Escherichia coli induce a strong and reproducible inflammatory response. Here, we study the cellular response of zebrafish larvae when E. coli bacteria are injected into the notochord and describe the effects. First, we provide direct evidence that the notochord is a unique organ that is inaccessible to leukocytes (macrophages and neutrophils) during the early stages of inflammation. Second, we show that notochord infection induces a host response that is characterised by rapid clearance of the bacteria, strong leukocyte recruitment around the notochord and prolonged inflammation that lasts several days after bacteria clearance. During this inflammatory response, il1b is first expressed in macrophages and subsequently at high levels in neutrophils. Moreover, knock down of il1b alters the recruitment of neutrophils to the notochord, demonstrating the important role of this cytokine in the maintenance of inflammation in the notochord. Eventually, infection of the notochord induces severe defects of the notochord that correlate with neutrophil degranulation occurring around this tissue. This is the first in vivo evidence that neutrophils can degranulate in the absence of a direct encounter with a pathogen. Persistent inflammation, neutrophil infiltration and restructuring of the extracellular matrix are defects that resemble those seen in bone infection and in some chondropathies. As the notochord is a transient embryonic structure that is closely related to cartilage and bone and that contributes to vertebral column formation, we propose infection of the notochord in zebrafish larvae as a new model to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cartilage and bone inflammation. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. Mechanical control of notochord morphogenesis by extra-embryonic tissues in mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Imuta, Yu; Koyama, Hiroshi; Shi, Dongbo; Eiraku, Mototsugu; Fujimori, Toshihiko; Sasaki, Hiroshi

    2014-05-01

    Mammalian embryos develop in coordination with extraembryonic tissues, which support embryonic development by implanting embryos into the uterus, supplying nutrition, providing a confined niche, and also providing patterning signals to embryos. Here, we show that in mouse embryos, the expansion of the amniotic cavity (AC), which is formed between embryonic and extraembryonic tissues, provides the mechanical forces required for a type of morphogenetic movement of the notochord known as convergent extension (CE) in which the cells converge to the midline and the tissue elongates along the antero-posterior (AP) axis. The notochord is stretched along the AP axis, and the expansion of the AC is required for CE. Both mathematical modeling and physical simulation showed that a rectangular morphology of the early notochord caused the application of anisotropic force along the AP axis to the notochord through the isotropic expansion of the AC. AC expansion acts upstream of planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling, which regulates CE movement. Our results highlight the importance of extraembryonic tissues as a source of the forces that control the morphogenesis of embryos. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. FAS/FASL are dysregulated in chordoma and their loss-of-function impairs zebrafish notochord formation

    PubMed Central

    Libera, Laura; Boari, Nicola; Mortini, Pietro; Bellipanni, Gianfranco; Giordano, Antonio; Cotelli, Franco; Riva, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Chordoma is a rare malignant tumor that recapitulates the notochord phenotype and is thought to derive from notochord remnants not correctly regressed during development. Apoptosis is necessary for the proper notochord development in vertebrates, and the apoptotic pathway mediated by Fas and Fasl has been demonstrated to be involved in notochord cells regression. This study was conducted to investigate the expression of FAS/FASL pathway in a cohort of skull base chordomas and to analyze the role of fas/fasl homologs in zebrafish notochord formation. FAS/FASL expression was found to be dysregulated in chordoma leading to inactivation of the downstream Caspases in the samples analyzed. Both fas and fasl were specifically expressed in zebrafish notochord sorted cells. fas and fasl loss-of-function mainly resulted in larvae with notochord multi-cell-layer jumps organization, larger vacuolated notochord cells, defects in the peri-notochordal sheath structure and in vertebral mineralization. Interestingly, we observed the persistent expression of ntla and col2a1a, the zebrafish homologs of the human T gene and COL2A1 respectively, which are specifically up-regulated in chordoma. These results demonstrate for the first time the dysregulation of FAS/FASL in chordoma and their role in notochord formation in the zebrafish model, suggesting their possible implication in chordoma onset. PMID:25071022

  2. FAS/FASL are dysregulated in chordoma and their loss-of-function impairs zebrafish notochord formation.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Luca; Pistocchi, Anna; Libera, Laura; Boari, Nicola; Mortini, Pietro; Bellipanni, Gianfranco; Giordano, Antonio; Cotelli, Franco; Riva, Paola

    2014-07-30

    Chordoma is a rare malignant tumor that recapitulates the notochord phenotype and is thought to derive from notochord remnants not correctly regressed during development. Apoptosis is necessary for the proper notochord development in vertebrates, and the apoptotic pathway mediated by Fas and Fasl has been demonstrated to be involved in notochord cells regression. This study was conducted to investigate the expression of FAS/FASL pathway in a cohort of skull base chordomas and to analyze the role of fas/fasl homologs in zebrafish notochord formation. FAS/FASL expression was found to be dysregulated in chordoma leading to inactivation of the downstream Caspases in the samples analyzed. Both fas and fasl were specifically expressed in zebrafish notochord sorted cells. fas and fasl loss-of-function mainly resulted in larvae with notochord multi-cell-layer jumps organization, larger vacuolated notochord cells, defects in the peri-notochordal sheath structure and in vertebral mineralization. Interestingly, we observed the persistent expression of ntla and col2a1a, the zebrafish homologs of the human T gene and COL2A1 respectively, which are specifically up-regulated in chordoma. These results demonstrate for the first time the dysregulation of FAS/FASL in chordoma and their role in notochord formation in the zebrafish model, suggesting their possible implication in chordoma onset.

  3. Discovery, characterization and expression of a novel zebrafish gene, znfr, important for notochord formation.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yan; Zou, Peng; Liu, Yao; Deng, Fengjiao

    2010-06-01

    Genes specifically expressed in the notochord may be crucial for proper notochord development. Using the digital differential display program offered by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, we identified a novel EST sequence from a zebrafish ovary library (No. XM_701450). The full-length cDNA of this transcript was cloned by performing 3' and 5'-RACE and was further confirmed by PCR and sequencing. The resulting 614 bp gene was found to encode a novel 94 amino acid protein that did not share significant homology with any other known protein. Characterization of the genomic sequence revealed that the gene spanned 4.9 kb and was composed of four exons and three introns. RT-PCR gene expression analysis revealed that our gene of interest was expressed in ovary, kidney, brain, mature oocytes and during the early stages of embryogenesis. During embryonic development, znfr mRNA was found to be expressed in the embryonic shield, chordamesoderm and the vacuolated notochord cells by in situ hybridization. Based on this information, we hypothesize that this novel gene is an important maternal factor required for zebrafish notochord formation during early embryonic development. We have thus named this gene znfr (zebrafish notochord formation related).

  4. Znrg, a novel gene expressed mainly in the developing notochord of zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yaping; Xu, Yan; Li, Jianzhen; Liu, Yao; Zhang, Zhe; Deng, Fengjiao

    2010-06-01

    The notochord, a defining characteristic of the chordate embryo is a critical midline structure required for axial skeletal formation in vertebrates, and acts as a signaling center throughout embryonic development. We utilized the digital differential display program of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and identified a contig of expressed sequence tags (no. Dr. 83747) from the zebrafish ovary library in Genbank. Full-length cDNA of the identified gene was cloned by 5'- and 3'- RACE, and the resulting sequence was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing. The cDNA clone contains 2,505 base pairs and encodes a novel protein of 707 amino acids that shares no significant homology with any known proteins. This gene was expressed in mature oocytes and at the one-cell stage, and persisted until the 5th day of development, as determined by RT-PCR. Transcripts were detected by whole-mount RNA in situ hybridization from the two-cell stage to 72 h of embryonic development. This gene was uniformly distributed from the cleavage stage up to the blastula stage. During early gastrulation, it was present in the dorsal region, and became restricted to the notochord and pectoral fin at 48 and 72 h of embryonic development. Based on its abundance in the notochord, we hypothesized that the novel gene may play an important role in notochord development in zebrafish; we named this gene, zebrafish notochord-related gene, or znrg.

  5. Zebrafish scarb2a insertional mutant reveals a novel function for the Scarb2/Limp2 receptor in notochord development.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Tellez, Abigail; Zampedri, Cecilia; Ramos-Balderas, Jose L; García-Hernández, Fernando; Maldonado, Ernesto

    2016-04-01

    Scarb2 or Limp2 belong to a subfamily of Scavenger receptors described as lysosomal transmembrane glycosylated receptors, that are mutated in the human syndrome AMRF (action myoclonus-renal failure). The zebrafish insertional mutant scarb2a(hi1463Tg) has notochord defects, the notochord is a defining feature of chordates running along the center of the longitudinal axis and it is essential for forming the spinal column in all vertebrates. There are three paralogous scarb2 genes in zebrafish; scarb2a, scarb2b, and scarb2c. Both Scarb2a and Scarb2b proteins lack the classical di-leucine motif. We found that scarb2a(hi1463Tg) homozygous zebrafish embryos have a null mutation impairing vacuole formation in the notochord and simultaneously disrupting proper formation of the basement membrane resulting in its thickening at the ventral side of the notochord, which may be the cause for the anomalous upward bending observed in the trunk. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we detected scarb2a mRNA expression in the notochord and in the brain early in development. However, it is puzzling that scarb2a notochord mRNA expression is short-lived in the presumptive notochord and precedes the complete differentiation of the notochord. This work describes a novel function for the Scarb2 receptor as an essential glycoprotein for notochord development. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. A zebrafish model of chordoma initiated by notochord-driven expression of HRASV12

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Alexa; Vasilyev, Aleksandr; Tomar, Ritu; Selig, Martin K.; Nielsen, G. Petur; Peterson, Randall T.; Drummond, Iain A.; Haber, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Chordoma is a malignant tumor thought to arise from remnants of the embryonic notochord, with its origin in the bones of the axial skeleton. Surgical resection is the standard treatment, usually in combination with radiation therapy, but neither chemotherapeutic nor targeted therapeutic approaches have demonstrated success. No animal model and only few chordoma cell lines are available for preclinical drug testing, and, although no druggable genetic drivers have been identified, activation of EGFR and downstream AKT-PI3K pathways have been described. Here, we report a zebrafish model of chordoma, based on stable transgene-driven expression of HRASV12 in notochord cells during development. Extensive intra-notochordal tumor formation is evident within days of transgene expression, ultimately leading to larval death. The zebrafish tumors share characteristics of human chordoma as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. The mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin, which has some demonstrated activity in a chordoma cell line, delays the onset of tumor formation in our zebrafish model, and improves survival of tumor-bearing fish. Consequently, the HRASV12-driven zebrafish model of chordoma could enable high-throughput screening of potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of this refractory cancer. PMID:24311731

  7. A zebrafish model of chordoma initiated by notochord-driven expression of HRASV12.

    PubMed

    Burger, Alexa; Vasilyev, Aleksandr; Tomar, Ritu; Selig, Martin K; Nielsen, G Petur; Peterson, Randall T; Drummond, Iain A; Haber, Daniel A

    2014-07-01

    Chordoma is a malignant tumor thought to arise from remnants of the embryonic notochord, with its origin in the bones of the axial skeleton. Surgical resection is the standard treatment, usually in combination with radiation therapy, but neither chemotherapeutic nor targeted therapeutic approaches have demonstrated success. No animal model and only few chordoma cell lines are available for preclinical drug testing, and, although no druggable genetic drivers have been identified, activation of EGFR and downstream AKT-PI3K pathways have been described. Here, we report a zebrafish model of chordoma, based on stable transgene-driven expression of HRASV12 in notochord cells during development. Extensive intra-notochordal tumor formation is evident within days of transgene expression, ultimately leading to larval death. The zebrafish tumors share characteristics of human chordoma as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. The mTORC1 inhibitor rapamycin, which has some demonstrated activity in a chordoma cell line, delays the onset of tumor formation in our zebrafish model, and improves survival of tumor-bearing fish. Consequently, the HRASV12-driven zebrafish model of chordoma could enable high-throughput screening of potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of this refractory cancer. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Muscular contractions in the zebrafish embryo are necessary to reveal thiuram-induced notochord distortions

    SciTech Connect

    Teraoka, Hiroki; Urakawa, Satsuki; Nanba, Satomi

    2006-04-01

    Dithiocarbamates form a large group of chemicals that have numerous uses in agriculture and medicine. It has been reported that dithiocarbamates, including thiuram (tetramethylthiuram disulfide), cause wavy distortions of the notochord in zebrafish and other fish embryos. In the present study, we investigated the mechanism underlying the toxicity of thiuram in zebrafish embryos. When embryos were exposed to thiuram (2-1000 nM: 0.48-240 {mu}g/L) from 3 h post fertilization (hpf) (30% epiboly) until 24 hpf (Prim-5), all embryos develop wavy notochords, disorganized somites, and have shortened yolk sac extensions. The thiuram response was specific and did not cause growth retardation ormore » mortality at 24 hpf. The thiuram-dependent responses showed the same concentration dependence with a waterborne EC{sub 5} values of approximately 7 nM. Morphometric measurements revealed that thiuram does not affect the rate of notochord lengthening. However, the rate of overall body lengthening was significantly reduced in thiuram-exposed animals. Other dithiocarbamates, such as ziram, caused similar malformations to thiuram. While expression of genes involved in somitogenesis was not affected, the levels of notochord-specific transcripts were altered after the onset of malformations. Distortion of the notochord started precisely at 18 hpf, which is concomitant with onset of spontaneous rhythmic trunk contractions. Abolishment of spontaneous contractions using tricaine, {alpha}-bungarotoxin, and a paralytic mutant sofa potato, resulted in normal notochord morphology in the presence of thiuram. These results indicate that muscle activity is necessary to reveal the underlying functional deficit and suggest that the developmental target of dithiocarbamates impairs trunk plasticity through an unknown mechanism.« less

  9. Analyzing notochord segmentation and intervertebral disc formation using the twhh:gfp transgenic zebrafish model.

    PubMed

    Haga, Yutaka; Dominique, Vincent J; Du, Shao Jun

    2009-10-01

    To characterize the process of vertebral segmentation and disc formation in living animals, we analyzed tiggy-winkle hedgehog (twhh):green fluorescent protein (gfp) and sonic hedgehog (shh):gfp transgenic zebrafish models that display notochord-specific GFP expression. We found that they showed distinct patterns of expression in the intervertebral discs of late stage fish larvae and adult zebrafish. A segmented pattern of GFP expression was detected in the intervertebral disc of twhh:gfp transgenic fish. In contrast, little GFP expression was found in the intervertebral disc of shh:gfp transgenic fish. Treating twhh:gfp transgenic zebrafish larvae with exogenous retinoic acid (RA), a teratogenic factor on normal development, resulted in disruption of notochord segmentation and formation of oversized vertebrae. Histological analysis revealed that the oversized vertebrae are likely due to vertebral fusion. These studies demonstrate that the twhh:gfp transgenic zebrafish is a useful model for studying vertebral segmentation and disc formation, and moreover, that RA signaling may play a role in this process.

  10. The Morphogenesis of Cranial Sutures in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Topczewska, Jolanta M.; Shoela, Ramy A.; Tomaszewski, Joanna P.; Mirmira, Rupa B.; Gosain, Arun K.

    2016-01-01

    Using morphological, histological, and TEM analyses of the cranium, we provide a detailed description of bone and suture growth in zebrafish. Based on expression patterns and localization, we identified osteoblasts at different degrees of maturation. Our data confirm that, unlike in humans, zebrafish cranial sutures maintain lifelong patency to sustain skull growth. The cranial vault develops in a coordinated manner resulting in a structure that protects the brain. The zebrafish cranial roof parallels that of higher vertebrates and contains five major bones: one pair of frontal bones, one pair of parietal bones, and the supraoccipital bone. Parietal and frontal bones are formed by intramembranous ossification within a layer of mesenchyme positioned between the dermal mesenchyme and meninges surrounding the brain. The supraoccipital bone has an endochondral origin. Cranial bones are separated by connective tissue with a distinctive architecture of osteogenic cells and collagen fibrils. Here we show RNA in situ hybridization for col1a1a, col2a1a, col10a1, bglap/osteocalcin, fgfr1a, fgfr1b, fgfr2, fgfr3, foxq1, twist2, twist3, runx2a, runx2b, sp7/osterix, and spp1/ osteopontin, indicating that the expression of genes involved in suture development in mammals is preserved in zebrafish. We also present methods for examining the cranium and its sutures, which permit the study of the mechanisms involved in suture patency as well as their pathological obliteration. The model we develop has implications for the study of human disorders, including craniosynostosis, which affects 1 in 2,500 live births. PMID:27829009

  11. Fusaric acid induces a notochord malformation in zebrafish via copper chelation.

    PubMed

    Yin, Emily S; Rakhmankulova, Malika; Kucera, Kaury; de Sena Filho, Jose Guedes; Portero, Carolina E; Narváez-Trujillo, Alexandra; Holley, Scott A; Strobel, Scott A

    2015-08-01

    Over a thousand extracts were tested for phenotypic effects in developing zebrafish embryos to identify bioactive molecules produced by endophytic fungi. One extract isolated from Fusarium sp., a widely distributed fungal genus found in soil and often associated with plants, induced an undulated notochord in developing zebrafish embryos. The active compound was isolated and identified as fusaric acid. Previous literature has shown this phenotype to be associated with copper chelation from the active site of lysyl oxidase, but the ability of fusaric acid to bind copper ions has not been well described. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that fusaric acid is a modest copper chelator with a binding constant of 4.4 × 10(5) M(-1). These results shed light on the toxicity of fusaric acid and the potential teratogenic effects of consuming plants infected with Fusarium sp.

  12. Segmentation of the zebrafish axial skeleton relies on notochord sheath cells and not on the segmentation clock

    PubMed Central

    Lleras Forero, Laura; Narayanan, Rachna; Huitema, Leonie FA; VanBergen, Maaike; Apschner, Alexander; Peterson-Maduro, Josi; Logister, Ive; Valentin, Guillaume

    2018-01-01

    Segmentation of the axial skeleton in amniotes depends on the segmentation clock, which patterns the paraxial mesoderm and the sclerotome. While the segmentation clock clearly operates in teleosts, the role of the sclerotome in establishing the axial skeleton is unclear. We severely disrupt zebrafish paraxial segmentation, yet observe a largely normal segmentation process of the chordacentra. We demonstrate that axial entpd5+ notochord sheath cells are responsible for chordacentrum mineralization, and serve as a marker for axial segmentation. While autonomous within the notochord sheath, entpd5 expression and centrum formation show some plasticity and can respond to myotome pattern. These observations reveal for the first time the dynamics of notochord segmentation in a teleost, and are consistent with an autonomous patterning mechanism that is influenced, but not determined by adjacent paraxial mesoderm. This behavior is not consistent with a clock-type mechanism in the notochord. PMID:29624170

  13. Segmentation of the zebrafish axial skeleton relies on notochord sheath cells and not on the segmentation clock.

    PubMed

    Lleras Forero, Laura; Narayanan, Rachna; Huitema, Leonie Fa; VanBergen, Maaike; Apschner, Alexander; Peterson-Maduro, Josi; Logister, Ive; Valentin, Guillaume; Morelli, Luis G; Oates, Andrew C; Schulte-Merker, Stefan

    2018-04-06

    Segmentation of the axial skeleton in amniotes depends on the segmentation clock, which patterns the paraxial mesoderm and the sclerotome. While the segmentation clock clearly operates in teleosts, the role of the sclerotome in establishing the axial skeleton is unclear. We severely disrupt zebrafish paraxial segmentation, yet observe a largely normal segmentation process of the chordacentra. We demonstrate that axial entpd5+ notochord sheath cells are responsible for chordacentrum mineralization, and serve as a marker for axial segmentation. While autonomous within the notochord sheath, entpd5 expression and centrum formation show some plasticity and can respond to myotome pattern. These observations reveal for the first time the dynamics of notochord segmentation in a teleost, and are consistent with an autonomous patterning mechanism that is influenced, but not determined by adjacent paraxial mesoderm. This behavior is not consistent with a clock-type mechanism in the notochord. © 2018, Lleras Forero et al.

  14. The small molecule Mek1/2 inhibitor U0126 disrupts the chordamesoderm to notochord transition in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Thomas A; Cavodeassi, Florencia; Erdélyi, Ferenc; Szabó, Gábor; Lele, Zsolt

    2008-04-17

    Key molecules involved in notochord differentiation and function have been identified through genetic analysis in zebrafish and mice, but MEK1 and 2 have so far not been implicated in this process due to early lethality (Mek1-/-) and functional redundancy (Mek2-/-) in the knockout animals. Here, we reveal a potential role for Mek1/2 during notochord development by using the small molecule Mek1/2 inhibitor U0126 which blocks phosphorylation of the Mek1/2 target gene Erk1/2 in vivo. Applying the inhibitor from early gastrulation until the 18-somite stage produces a specific and consistent phenotype with lack of dark pigmentation, shorter tail and an abnormal, undulated notochord. Using morphological analysis, in situ hybridization, immunhistochemistry, TUNEL staining and electron microscopy, we demonstrate that in treated embryos the chordamesoderm to notochord transition is disrupted and identify disorganization in the medial layer of the perinotochordal basement mebrane as the probable cause of the undulations and bulges in the notochord. We also examined and excluded FGF as the upstream signal during this process. Using the small chemical U0126, we have established a novel link between MAPK-signaling and notochord differentiation. Our phenotypic analysis suggests a potential connection between the MAPK-pathway, the COPI-mediated intracellular transport and/or the copper-dependent posttranslational regulatory processes during notochord differentiation.

  15. Distinct patterns of notochord mineralization in zebrafish coincide with the localization of Osteocalcin isoform 1 during early vertebral centra formation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In chondrichthyans, basal osteichthyans and tetrapods, vertebral bodies have cartilaginous anlagen that subsequently mineralize (chondrichthyans) or ossify (osteichthyans). Chondrocytes that form the vertebral centra derive from somites. In teleost fish, vertebral centrum formation starts in the absence of cartilage, through direct mineralization of the notochord sheath. In a second step, the notochord is surrounded by somite-derived intramembranous bone. In several small teleost species, including zebrafish (Danio rerio), even haemal and neural arches form directly as intramembranous bone and only modified caudalmost arches remain cartilaginous. This study compares initial patterns of mineralization in different regions of the vertebral column in zebrafish. We ask if the absence or presence of cartilaginous arches influences the pattern of notochord sheath mineralization. Results To reveal which cells are involved in mineralization of the notochord sheath we identify proliferating cells, we trace mineralization on the histological level and we analyze cell ultrastructure by TEM. Moreover, we localize proteins and genes that are typically expressed by skeletogenic cells such as Collagen type II, Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and Osteocalcin (Oc). Mineralization of abdominal and caudal vertebrae starts with a complete ring within the notochord sheath and prior to the formation of the bony arches. In contrast, notochord mineralization of caudal fin centra starts with a broad ventral mineral deposition, associated with the bases of the modified cartilaginous arches. Similar, arch-related, patterns of mineralization occur in teleosts that maintain cartilaginous arches throughout the spine. Throughout the entire vertebral column, we were able to co-localize ALP-positive signal with chordacentrum mineralization sites, as well as Collagen II and Oc protein accumulation in the mineralizing notochord sheath. In the caudal fin region, ALP and Oc signals were clearly

  16. Distinct patterns of notochord mineralization in zebrafish coincide with the localization of Osteocalcin isoform 1 during early vertebral centra formation.

    PubMed

    Bensimon-Brito, Anabela; Cardeira, João; Cancela, Maria Leonor; Huysseune, Ann; Witten, Paul Eckhard

    2012-10-09

    In chondrichthyans, basal osteichthyans and tetrapods, vertebral bodies have cartilaginous anlagen that subsequently mineralize (chondrichthyans) or ossify (osteichthyans). Chondrocytes that form the vertebral centra derive from somites. In teleost fish, vertebral centrum formation starts in the absence of cartilage, through direct mineralization of the notochord sheath. In a second step, the notochord is surrounded by somite-derived intramembranous bone. In several small teleost species, including zebrafish (Danio rerio), even haemal and neural arches form directly as intramembranous bone and only modified caudalmost arches remain cartilaginous. This study compares initial patterns of mineralization in different regions of the vertebral column in zebrafish. We ask if the absence or presence of cartilaginous arches influences the pattern of notochord sheath mineralization. To reveal which cells are involved in mineralization of the notochord sheath we identify proliferating cells, we trace mineralization on the histological level and we analyze cell ultrastructure by TEM. Moreover, we localize proteins and genes that are typically expressed by skeletogenic cells such as Collagen type II, Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and Osteocalcin (Oc). Mineralization of abdominal and caudal vertebrae starts with a complete ring within the notochord sheath and prior to the formation of the bony arches. In contrast, notochord mineralization of caudal fin centra starts with a broad ventral mineral deposition, associated with the bases of the modified cartilaginous arches. Similar, arch-related, patterns of mineralization occur in teleosts that maintain cartilaginous arches throughout the spine.Throughout the entire vertebral column, we were able to co-localize ALP-positive signal with chordacentrum mineralization sites, as well as Collagen II and Oc protein accumulation in the mineralizing notochord sheath. In the caudal fin region, ALP and Oc signals were clearly produced both by the

  17. Copper pyrithione, a booster biocide, induces abnormal muscle and notochord architecture in zebrafish embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Almond, Kelly M; Trombetta, Louis D

    2017-09-01

    The metal pyrithiones, principally zinc (ZnPT) and copper (CuPT), are replacing tributyltin (TBT) as antifouling agents. Zebrafish embryos were exposed within the first hour after fertilization to 12 and 64 µg/L of CuPT for 24 h. Morphological abnormalities in notochord and muscle architecture were observed at 96 h post fertilization (hpf). TEM revealed abnormal electron dense deposits in the notochord sheath and muscle fiber degeneration in animals treated with 12 µg/L of CuPT. Embryos that were exposed to 64 µg/L of CuPT displayed severe muscle fiber degeneration including abnormal A and I band patterning and altered z disk arrangement. Abnormalities in the notochord sheath, swelling of the mitochondria and numerous lipid whorls were also noted. Total antioxidant capacity was significantly decreased in embryos exposed to 12 and 64 µg/L of CuPT. Acridine orange staining revealed an increase in apoptosis particularly in the brain, eye, heart and tail regions of both treatment groups. Apoptosis was confirmed with an increase in caspase 3/7 activity in both treatment groups. Severe alternations in primary motor neuron axon extensions, slow tonic muscle fibers and fast twitch fibers were observed in CuPT treated embryos. There was a significant upregulation in sonic hedgehog and myod1 expression at 24 hpf in the 12 µg/L treatment group. Exposed zebrafish embryos showed ultra-structural hallmarks of peroxidative injury and cell death via apoptosis. These changes question the use of copper pyrithione as an antifouling agent.

  18. Coordinating cell and tissue behavior during zebrafish neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Araya, Claudio; Ward, Laura C; Girdler, Gemma C; Miranda, Miguel

    2016-03-01

    The development of a vertebrate neural epithelium with well-organized apico-basal polarity and a central lumen is essential for its proper function. However, how this polarity is established during embryonic development and the potential influence of surrounding signals and tissues on such organization has remained less understood. In recent years the combined superior transparency and genetics of the zebrafish embryo has allowed for in vivo visualization and quantification of the cellular and molecular dynamics that govern neural tube structure. Here, we discuss recent studies revealing how co-ordinated cell-cell interactions coupled with adjacent tissue dynamics are critical to regulate final neural tissue architecture. Furthermore, new findings show how the spatial regulation and timing of orientated cell division is key in defining precise lumen formation at the tissue midline. In addition, we compare zebrafish neurulation with that of amniotes and amphibians in an attempt to understand the conserved cellular mechanisms driving neurulation and resolve the apparent differences among animals. Zebrafish neurulation not only offers fundamental insights into early vertebrate brain development but also the opportunity to explore in vivo cell and tissue dynamics during complex three-dimensional animal morphogenesis. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. The notochord breaks bilateral symmetry by controlling cell shapes in the zebrafish laterality organ.

    PubMed

    Compagnon, Julien; Barone, Vanessa; Rajshekar, Srivarsha; Kottmeier, Rita; Pranjic-Ferscha, Kornelija; Behrndt, Martin; Heisenberg, Carl-Philipp

    2014-12-22

    Kupffer's vesicle (KV) is the zebrafish organ of laterality, patterning the embryo along its left-right (LR) axis. Regional differences in cell shape within the lumen-lining KV epithelium are essential for its LR patterning function. However, the processes by which KV cells acquire their characteristic shapes are largely unknown. Here, we show that the notochord induces regional differences in cell shape within KV by triggering extracellular matrix (ECM) accumulation adjacent to anterior-dorsal (AD) regions of KV. This localized ECM deposition restricts apical expansion of lumen-lining epithelial cells in AD regions of KV during lumen growth. Our study provides mechanistic insight into the processes by which KV translates global embryonic patterning into regional cell shape differences required for its LR symmetry-breaking function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Mis-expression of grainyhead-like transcription factors in zebrafish leads to defects in enveloping layer (EVL) integrity, cellular morphogenesis and axial extension.

    PubMed

    Miles, Lee B; Darido, Charbel; Kaslin, Jan; Heath, Joan K; Jane, Stephen M; Dworkin, Sebastian

    2017-12-14

    The grainyhead-like (grhl) transcription factors play crucial roles in craniofacial development, epithelial morphogenesis, neural tube closure, and dorso-ventral patterning. By utilising the zebrafish to differentially regulate expression of family members grhl2b and grhl3, we show that both genes regulate epithelial migration, particularly convergence-extension (CE) type movements, during embryogenesis. Genetic deletion of grhl3 via CRISPR/Cas9 results in failure to complete epiboly and pre-gastrulation embryonic rupture, whereas morpholino (MO)-mediated knockdown of grhl3 signalling leads to aberrant neural tube morphogenesis at the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB), a phenotype likely due to a compromised overlying enveloping layer (EVL). Further disruptions of grhl3-dependent pathways (through co-knockdown of grhl3 with target genes spec1 and arhgef19) confirm significant MHB morphogenesis and neural tube closure defects. Concomitant MO-mediated disruption of both grhl2b and grhl3 results in further extensive CE-like defects in body patterning, notochord and somite morphogenesis. Interestingly, over-expression of either grhl2b or grhl3 also leads to numerous phenotypes consistent with disrupted cellular migration during gastrulation, including embryo dorsalisation, axial duplication and impaired neural tube migration leading to cyclopia. Taken together, our study ascribes novel roles to the Grhl family in the context of embryonic development and morphogenesis.

  1. BMP antagonism by Noggin is required in presumptive notochord cells for mammalian foregut morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Fausett, Sarah R; Brunet, Lisa J; Klingensmith, John

    2014-07-01

    Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF) is a serious human birth defect, in which the esophagus ends before reaching the stomach, and is aberrantly connected with the trachea. Several mouse models of EA/TEF have recently demonstrated that proper dorsal/ventral (D/V) patterning of the primitive anterior foregut endoderm is essential for correct compartmentalization of the trachea and esophagus. Here we elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms underlying the EA/TEF that occurs in mice lacking the BMP antagonist Noggin, which display correct dorsal/ventral patterning. To clarify the mechanism of this malformation, we use spatiotemporal manipulation of Noggin and BMP receptor 1A conditional alleles during foregut development. Surprisingly, we find that the expression of Noggin in the compartmentalizing endoderm is not required to generate distinct tracheal and esophageal tubes. Instead, we show that Noggin and BMP signaling attenuation are required in the early notochord to correctly resolve notochord cells from the dorsal foregut endoderm, which in turn, appears to be a prerequisite for foregut compartmentalization. Collectively, our findings support an emerging model for a mechanism underlying EA/TEF in which impaired notochord resolution from the early endoderm causes the foregut to be hypo-cellular just prior to the critical period of compartmentalization. Our further characterizations suggest that Noggin may regulate a cell rearrangement process that involves reciprocal E-cadherin and Zeb1 expression in the resolving notochord cells. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Notochord alters the permissiveness of myotome for pathfinding by an identified motoneuron in embryonic zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Beattie, C E; Eisen, J S

    1997-02-01

    During zebrafish development, identified motoneurons innervate cell-specific regions of each trunk myotome. One motoneuron, CaP, extends an axon along the medial surface of the ventral myotome. To learn how this pathway is established during development, the CaP axon was used as an assay to ask whether other regions of the myotome were permissive for normal CaP pathfinding. Native myotomes were replaced with donor myotomes in normal or reversed dorsoventral orientations and CaP pathfinding was assayed. Ventral myotomes were permissive for CaP axons, even when they were taken from older embryos, suggesting that the CaP pathway remained present on ventral myotome throughout development. Dorsal myotomes from young embryos were also permissive for CaP axons, however, older dorsal myotomes were non-permissive, showing that permissiveness of dorsal myotome for normal CaP pathfinding diminished over time. This process appears to depend on signals from the embryo, since dorsal myotomes matured in vitro remained permissive for CaP axons. Genetic mosaics between wild-type and floating head mutant embryos revealed notochord involvement in dorsal myotome change of permissiveness. Dorsal and ventral myotomes from both younger and older floating head mutant embryos were permissive for CaP axons. These data suggest that initially both dorsal and ventral myotomes are permissive for CaP axons but as development proceeds, there is a notochord-dependent decrease in permissiveness of dorsal myotome for CaP axonal outgrowth. This change participates in restricting the CaP pathway to the ventral myotome and thus to neuromuscular specificity.

  3. A novel zebrafish mutant with wavy-notochord: an effective biological index for monitoring the copper pollution of water from natural resources.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yau-Hung; Lin, Ji-Sheng

    2011-02-01

    We identified a novel zebrafish mutant that has wavy-notochord phenotypes, such as severely twisted notochord and posterior malformations, but has normal melanocytes. Histological evidences showed that proliferating vacuolar cells extended their growth to the muscle region, and consequently caused the wavy-notochord phenotypes. Interestingly, those malformations can be greatly reversed by exposure with copper, suggesting that copper plays an important role on wavy-notochord phenotypes. In addition, after long-term copper exposure, the surviving larvae derived from wavy-notochord mutants displayed bone malformations, such as twisted axial skeleton and osteophyte. These phenotypic changes and molecular evidences of wavy-notochord mutants are highly similar to those embryos whose lysyl oxidases activities have been inactivated. Taken together, we propose that (i) the putative mutated genes of this wavy-notochord mutant might be highly associated with the lysyl oxidase genes in zebrafish; and (ii) this fish model is an effective tool for monitoring copper pollution of water from natural resources. Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. A zebrafish sox9 gene required for cartilage morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Yan, Yi-Lin; Miller, Craig T; Nissen, Robert M; Singer, Amy; Liu, Dong; Kirn, Anette; Draper, Bruce; Willoughby, John; Morcos, Paul A; Amsterdam, Adam; Chung, Bon-Chu; Westerfield, Monte; Haffter, Pascal; Hopkins, Nancy; Kimmel, Charles; Postlethwait, John H; Nissen, Robert

    2002-11-01

    The molecular genetic mechanisms of cartilage construction are incompletely understood. Zebrafish embryos homozygous for jellyfish (jef) mutations show craniofacial defects and lack cartilage elements of the neurocranium, pharyngeal arches, and pectoral girdle similar to humans with campomelic dysplasia. We show that two alleles of jef contain mutations in sox9a, one of two zebrafish orthologs of the human transcription factor SOX9. A mutation induced by ethyl nitrosourea changed a conserved nucleotide at a splice junction and severely reduced splicing of sox9a transcript. A retrovirus insertion into sox9a disrupted its DNA-binding domain. Inhibiting splicing of the sox9a transcript in wild-type embryos with splice site-directed morpholino antisense oligonucleotides produced a phenotype like jef mutant larvae, and caused sox9a transcript to accumulate in the nucleus; this accumulation can serve as an assay for the efficacy of a morpholino independent of phenotype. RNase-protection assays showed that in morpholino-injected animals, the percent of splicing inhibition decreased from 80% at 28 hours post fertilization to 45% by 4 days. Homozygous mutant embryos had greatly reduced quantities of col2a1 message, the major collagen of cartilage. Analysis of dlx2 expression showed that neural crest specification and migration was normal in jef (sox9a) embryos. Confocal images of living embryos stained with BODIPY-ceramide revealed at single-cell resolution the formation of precartilage condensations in mutant embryos. Besides the lack of overt cartilage differentiation, pharyngeal arch condensations in jef (sox9a) mutants lacked three specific morphogenetic behaviors: the stacking of chondrocytes into orderly arrays, the individuation of pharyngeal cartilage organs and the proper shaping of individual cartilages. Despite the severe reduction of cartilages, analysis of titin expression showed normal muscle patterning in jef (sox9a) mutants. Likewise, calcein labeling

  5. Development of a transgenic zebrafish model expressing GFP in the notochord, somite and liver directed by the hfe2 gene promoter.

    PubMed

    Bian, Yue-Hong; Xu, Cheng; Li, Junling; Xu, Jin; Zhang, Hongwei; Du, Shao Jun

    2011-08-01

    Hemojuvelin, also known as RGMc, is encoded by hfe2 gene that plays an important role in iron homeostasis. hfe2 is specifically expressed in the notochord, developing somite and skeletal muscles during development. The molecular regulation of hfe2 expression is, however, not clear. We reported here the characterization of hfe2 gene expression and the regulation of its tissue-specific expression in zebrafish embryos. We demonstrated that the 6 kb 5'-flanking sequence upstream of the ATG start codon in the zebrafish hfe2 gene could direct GFP specific expression in the notochord, somites, and skeletal muscle of zebrafish embryos, recapitulating the expression pattern of the endogenous gene. However, the Tg(hfe2:gfp) transgene is also expressed in the liver of fish embryos, which did not mimic the expression of the endogenous hfe2 at the early stage. Nevertheless, the Tg(hfe2:gfp) transgenic zebrafish provides a useful model to study liver development. Treating Tg(hfe2:gfp) transgenic zebrafish embryos with valproic acid, a liver development inhibitor, significantly inhibited GFP expression in zebrafish. Together, these data indicate that the tissue specific expression of hfe2 in the notochord, somites and muscles is regulated by regulatory elements within the 6 kb 5'-flanking sequence of the hfe2 gene. Moreover, the Tg(hfe2:gfp) transgenic zebrafish line provides a useful model system for analyzing liver development in zebrafish.

  6. Zebrafish zic2 controls formation of periocular neural crest and choroid fissure morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sedykh, Irina; Yoon, Baul; Roberson, Laura; Moskvin, Oleg; Dewey, Colin N; Grinblat, Yevgenya

    2017-09-01

    The vertebrate retina develops in close proximity to the forebrain and neural crest-derived cartilages of the face and jaw. Coloboma, a congenital eye malformation, is associated with aberrant forebrain development (holoprosencephaly) and with craniofacial defects (frontonasal dysplasia) in humans, suggesting a critical role for cross-lineage interactions during retinal morphogenesis. ZIC2, a zinc-finger transcription factor, is linked to human holoprosencephaly. We have previously used morpholino assays to show zebrafish zic2 functions in the developing forebrain, retina and craniofacial cartilage. We now report that zebrafish with genetic lesions in zebrafish zic2 orthologs, zic2a and zic2b, develop with retinal coloboma and craniofacial anomalies. We demonstrate a requirement for zic2 in restricting pax2a expression and show evidence that zic2 function limits Hh signaling. RNA-seq transcriptome analysis identified an early requirement for zic2 in periocular neural crest as an activator of alx1, a transcription factor with essential roles in craniofacial and ocular morphogenesis in human and zebrafish. Collectively, these data establish zic2 mutant zebrafish as a powerful new genetic model for in-depth dissection of cell interactions and genetic controls during craniofacial complex development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Zic1 and Zic4 regulate zebrafish roof plate specification and hindbrain ventricle morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Elsen, Gina E.; Choi, Louis; Millen, Kathleen; Grinblat, Yevgenya; Prince, Victoria E.

    2008-01-01

    During development, the lumen of the neural tube develops into a system of brain cavities or ventricles, which play important roles in normal CNS function. We have established that the formation of the hindbrain (4th) ventricle in zebrafish is dependent upon the pleiotropic functions of the genes implicated in human Dandy Walker Malformation, Zic1 and Zic4. Using morpholino knockdown we show that zebrafish Zic1 and Zic4 are required for normal morphogenesis of the 4th ventricle. In Zic1 and/or Zic4 morphants the ventricle does not open properly, but remains completely or partially fused from the level of rhombomere (r) 2 towards the posterior. In the absence of Zic function early hindbrain regionalization and neural crest development remain unaffected, but dorsal hindbrain progenitor cell proliferation is significantly reduced. Importantly, we find that Zic1 and Zic4 are required for development of the dorsal roof plate. In Zic morphants expression of roof plate markers, including lmx1b.1 and lmx1b.2, is disrupted. We further demonstrate that zebrafish Lmx1b function is required for both hindbrain roof plate development and 4th ventricle morphogenesis, confirming that roof plate formation is a critical component of ventricle development. Finally, we show that dorsal rhombomere boundary signaling centers depend on Zic1 and Zic4 function and on roof plate signals, and provide evidence that these boundary signals are also required for ventricle morphogenesis. In summary, we conclude that Zic1 and Zic4 control zebrafish 4th ventricle morphogenesis by regulating multiple mechanisms including cell proliferation and fate specification in the dorsal hindbrain. PMID:18191121

  8. Zinc finger protein 219-like (ZNF219L) and Sox9a regulate synuclein-γ2 (sncgb) expression in the developing notochord of zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lien, Huang-Wei; Yang, Chung-Hsiang; Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Liao, Yung-Feng; Han, Yu-San; Huang, Chang-Jen

    2013-12-13

    Zebrafish synuclein-γ2 (sncgb) has been reported to be expressed specifically in the notochord. However, the mechanism by which the sncgb gene promoter is regulated has not been described. In this paper, we demonstrate that Zinc finger protein 219-like (ZNF219L) and sox9a are involved in the regulation of sncgb gene expression. Furthermore, we observed that over-expression of both ZNF219L and Sox9a resulted in increased sncgb expression. In addition, ZNF219L is physically associated with Sox9a, and simultaneous morpholino knockdown of znf219L and sox9a caused a synergistic decrease of sncgb expression in the notochord. Taken together, our results reveal that coordination of ZNF219L with Sox9a is involved in the regulation of notochord-specific expression of sncgb. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. A novel zinc finger protein 219-like (ZNF219L) is involved in the regulation of collagen type 2 alpha 1a (col2a1a) gene expression in zebrafish notochord.

    PubMed

    Lien, Huang-Wei; Yang, Chung-Hsiang; Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Hung, Chin-Chun; Liao, Wei-Hao; Hwang, Pung-Pung; Han, Yu-San; Huang, Chang-Jen

    2013-01-01

    The notochord is required for body plan patterning in vertebrates, and defects in notochord development during embryogenesis can lead to diseases affecting the adult. It is therefore important to elucidate the gene regulatory mechanism underlying notochord formation. In this study, we cloned the zebrafish zinc finger 219-like (ZNF219L) based on mammalian ZNF219, which contains nine C2H2-type zinc finger domains. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we found that znf219L mRNA is mainly expressed in the zebrafish midbrain-hindbrain boundary, hindbrain, and notochord during development. The znf219L morpholino knockdown caused partial abnormal notochord phenotype and reduced expression of endogenous col2a1a in the notochord specifically. In addition, ZNF219L could recognize binding sites with GGGGG motifs and trigger augmented activity of the col2a1a promoter in a luciferase assay. Furthermore, in vitro binding experiments revealed that ZNF219L recognizes the GGGGG motifs in the promoter region of the zebrafish col2a1a gene through its sixth and ninth zinc finger domains. Taken together, our results reveal that ZNF219L is involved in regulating the expression of col2a1a in zebrafish notochord specifically.

  10. A Novel Zinc Finger Protein 219-like (ZNF219L) is Involved in the Regulation of Collagen Type 2 Alpha 1a (col2a1a) Gene Expression in Zebrafish Notochord

    PubMed Central

    Lien, Huang-Wei; Yang, Chung-Hsiang; Cheng, Chia-Hsiung; Hung, Chin-Chun; Liao, Wei-Hao; Hwang, Pung-Pung; Han, Yu-San; Huang, Chang-Jen

    2013-01-01

    The notochord is required for body plan patterning in vertebrates, and defects in notochord development during embryogenesis can lead to diseases affecting the adult. It is therefore important to elucidate the gene regulatory mechanism underlying notochord formation. In this study, we cloned the zebrafish zinc finger 219-like (ZNF219L) based on mammalian ZNF219, which contains nine C2H2-type zinc finger domains. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we found that znf219L mRNA is mainly expressed in the zebrafish midbrain-hindbrain boundary, hindbrain, and notochord during development. The znf219L morpholino knockdown caused partial abnormal notochord phenotype and reduced expression of endogenous col2a1a in the notochord specifically. In addition, ZNF219L could recognize binding sites with GGGGG motifs and trigger augmented activity of the col2a1a promoter in a luciferase assay. Furthermore, in vitro binding experiments revealed that ZNF219L recognizes the GGGGG motifs in the promoter region of the zebrafish col2a1a gene through its sixth and ninth zinc finger domains. Taken together, our results reveal that ZNF219L is involved in regulating the expression of col2a1a in zebrafish notochord specifically. PMID:24155663

  11. Morphogenesis of the node and notochord: the cellular basis for the establishment and maintenance of left-right asymmetry in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jeffrey D; Anderson, Kathryn V

    2008-12-01

    Establishment of left-right asymmetry in the mouse embryo depends on leftward laminar fluid flow in the node, which initiates a signaling cascade that is confined to the left side of the embryo. Leftward fluid flow depends on two cellular processes: motility of the cilia that generate the flow and morphogenesis of the node, the structure where the cilia reside. Here, we provide an overview of the current understanding and unresolved questions about the regulation of ciliary motility and node structure. Analysis of mouse mutants has shown that the motile cilia must have a specific structure and length, and that they must point posteriorly to generate the necessary leftward fluid flow. However, the precise structure of the motile cilia is not clear and the mechanisms that position cilia on node cells have not been defined. The mouse node is a teardrop-shaped pit at the distal tip of the early embryo, but the morphogenetic events that create the mature node from cells derived from the primitive streak are only beginning to be characterized. Recent live imaging experiments support earlier scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies and show that node assembly is a multi-step process in which clusters of node precursors appear on the embryo surface as overlying endoderm cells are removed. We present additional SEM and confocal microscopy studies that help define the transition stages during node morphogenesis. After the initiation of left-sided signaling, the notochordal plate, which is contiguous with the node, generates a barrier at the embryonic midline that restricts the cascade of gene expression to the left side of the embryo. The field is now poised to dissect the genetic and cellular mechanisms that create and organize the specialized cells of the node and midline that are essential for left-right asymmetry. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Cell cycle progression is required for zebrafish somite morphogenesis but not segmentation clock function

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lixia; Kendrick, Christina; Jülich, Dörthe; Holley, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Cell division, differentiation and morphogenesis are coordinated during embryonic development and frequently in disarray in pathologies such as cancer. Here, we present a zebrafish mutant that ceases mitosis at the beginning of gastrulation, but undergoes axis elongation and develops blood, muscle and a beating heart. We identify the mutation as being in early mitotic inhibitor 1 (emi1), a negative regulator of the Anaphase Promoting Complex, and utilize the mutant to examine the role of the cell cycle in somitogenesis. The mutant phenotype indicates that axis elongation during the segmentation period is substantially driven by cell migration. We find that the segmentation clock, which regulates somitogenesis, functions normally in the absence of cell cycle progression and observe that mitosis is a modest source of noise for the clock. Somite morphogenesis involves the epithelialization of the somite border cells around a core of mesenchyme. As in wild-type embryos, somite boundary cells are polarized along a Fibronectin matrix in emi1−/−. The mutants also display evidence of segment polarity. However, in the absence of a normal cell cycle, somites appear to hyper-epithelialize as the internal mesenchymal cells exit the core of the somite after initial boundary formation. Thus, cell cycle progression is not required during the segmentation period for segmentation clock function but is necessary for normal segmental arrangement of epithelial borders and internal mesenchymal cells. PMID:18480162

  13. Eph regulates dorsoventral asymmetry of the notochord plate and convergent extension-mediated notochord formation.

    PubMed

    Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Ishii, Yasuo; Mikawa, Takashi

    2010-10-29

    The notochord is a signaling center required for the patterning of the vertebrate embryonic midline, however, the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the formation of this essential embryonic tissue remain unclear. The urochordate Ciona intestinalis develops a simple notochord from 40 specific postmitotic mesodermal cells. The precursors intercalate mediolaterally and establish a single array of disk-shaped notochord cells along the midline. However, the role that notochord precursor polarization, particularly along the dorsoventral axis, plays in this morphogenetic process remains poorly understood. Here we show that the notochord preferentially accumulates an apical cell polarity marker, aPKC, ventrally and a basement membrane marker, laminin, dorsally. This asymmetric accumulation of apicobasal cell polarity markers along the embryonic dorsoventral axis was sustained in notochord precursors during convergence and extension. Further, of several members of the Eph gene family implicated in cellular and tissue morphogenesis, only Ci-Eph4 was predominantly expressed in the notochord throughout cell intercalation. Introduction of a dominant-negative Ci-Eph4 to notochord precursors diminished asymmetric accumulation of apicobasal cell polarity markers, leading to defective intercalation. In contrast, misexpression of a dominant-negative mutant of a planar cell polarity gene Dishevelled preserved asymmetric accumulation of aPKC and laminin in notochord precursors, although their intercalation was incomplete. Our data support a model in which in ascidian embryos Eph-dependent dorsoventral polarity of notochord precursors plays a crucial role in mediolateral cell intercalation and is required for proper notochord morphogenesis.

  14. Role of notochord cells and sclerotome-derived cells in vertebral column development in fugu, Takifugu rubripes: histological and gene expression analyses.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Takamasa; Freeha, Khalid; Wu, Xiaoming; Mogi, Makoto; Uji, Susumu; Yokoi, Hayato; Suzuki, Tohru

    2016-10-01

    Despite the common structure of vertebrates, the development of the vertebral column differs widely between teleosts and tetrapods in several respects, including the ossification of the centrum and the function of the notochord. In contrast to tetrapods, vertebral development in teleosts is not fully understood, particularly for large fish with highly ossified bones. We therefore examined the histology and gene expression profile of vertebral development in fugu, Takifugu rubripes, a model organism for genomic research. Ossification of the fugu centrum is carried out by outer osteoblasts expressing col1a1, col2a1, and sparc, and the growing centra completely divide the notochord into double cone-shaped segments that function as intercentral joints. In this process, the notochord basal cells produce a thick notochord sheath exhibiting Alcian-blue-reactive cartilaginous properties and composing the intercentral ligament in cooperation with the external ligament connective tissue. Synthesis of the matrix by the basal cells was ascertained by an in vitro test. Expression of twist2 indicates that this connective tissue is descended from the embryonic sclerotome. Notochord basal cells express sox9, ihhb, shh, and col2a1a, suggesting that the signaling system involved in chondrocyte proliferation and matrix production also functions in notochord cells for notochord sheath formation. We further found that the notochord expression of both ntla and shh is maintained in the fugu vertebral column, whereas it is turned off after embryogenesis in zebrafish. Thus, our results demonstrate that, in contrast to zebrafish, a dynamic morphogenesis and molecular network continues to function in fugu until the establishment of the adult vertebral column.

  15. Visualizing morphogenesis in transgenic zebrafish embryos using BODIPY TR methyl ester dye as a vital counterstain for GFP.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Mark S; Szeto, Daniel P; Sommers-Herivel, Greg; Topczewski, Jacek; Solnica-Krezel, Lila; Kang, Hee-Chol; Johnson, Iain; Kimelman, David

    2005-02-01

    Green fluorescent protein (GFP) technology is rapidly advancing the study of morphogenesis, by allowing researchers to specifically focus on a subset of labeled cells within the living embryo. However, when imaging GFP-labeled cells using confocal microscopy, it is often essential to simultaneously visualize all of the cells in the embryo using dual-channel fluorescence to provide an embryological context for the cells expressing GFP. Although various counterstains are available, part of their fluorescence overlaps with the GFP emission spectra, making it difficult to clearly identify the cells expressing GFP. In this study, we report that a new fluorophore, BODIPY TR methyl ester dye, serves as a versatile vital counterstain for visualizing the cellular dynamics of morphogenesis within living GFP transgenic zebrafish embryos. The fluorescence of this photostable synthetic dye is spectrally separate from GFP fluorescence, allowing dual-channel, three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) confocal image data sets of living specimens to be easily acquired. These image data sets can be rendered subsequently into uniquely informative 3D and 4D visualizations using computer-assisted visualization software. We discuss a variety of immediate and potential applications of BODIPY TR methyl ester dye as a vital visualization counterstain for GFP in transgenic zebrafish embryos. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. A Rapid CRISPR/Cas-based Mutagenesis Assay in Zebrafish for Identification of Genes Involved in Thyroid Morphogenesis and Function.

    PubMed

    Trubiroha, A; Gillotay, P; Giusti, N; Gacquer, D; Libert, F; Lefort, A; Haerlingen, B; De Deken, X; Opitz, R; Costagliola, S

    2018-04-04

    The foregut endoderm gives rise to several organs including liver, pancreas, lung and thyroid with important roles in human physiology. Understanding which genes and signalling pathways regulate their development is crucial for understanding developmental disorders as well as diseases in adulthood. We exploited unique advantages of the zebrafish model to develop a rapid and scalable CRISPR/Cas-based mutagenesis strategy aiming at the identification of genes involved in morphogenesis and function of the thyroid. Core elements of the mutagenesis assay comprise bi-allelic gene invalidation in somatic mutants, a non-invasive monitoring of thyroid development in live transgenic fish, complementary analyses of thyroid function in fixed specimens and quantitative analyses of mutagenesis efficiency by Illumina sequencing of individual fish. We successfully validated our mutagenesis-phenotyping strategy in experiments targeting genes with known functions in early thyroid morphogenesis (pax2a, nkx2.4b) and thyroid functional differentiation (duox, duoxa, tshr). We also demonstrate that duox and duoxa crispants phenocopy thyroid phenotypes previously observed in human patients with bi-allelic DUOX2 and DUOXA2 mutations. The proposed combination of efficient mutagenesis protocols, rapid non-invasive phenotyping and sensitive genotyping holds great potential to systematically characterize the function of larger candidate gene panels during thyroid development and is applicable to other organs and tissues.

  17. klf2a couples mechanotransduction and zebrafish valve morphogenesis through fibronectin synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Steed, Emily; Faggianelli, Nathalie; Roth, Stéphane; Ramspacher, Caroline; Concordet, Jean-Paul; Vermot, Julien

    2016-01-01

    The heartbeat and blood flow signal to endocardial cell progenitors through mechanosensitive proteins that modulate the genetic program controlling heart valve morphogenesis. To date, the mechanism by which mechanical forces coordinate tissue morphogenesis is poorly understood. Here we use high-resolution imaging to uncover the coordinated cell behaviours leading to heart valve formation. We find that heart valves originate from progenitors located in the ventricle and atrium that generate the valve leaflets through a coordinated set of endocardial tissue movements. Gene profiling analyses and live imaging reveal that this reorganization is dependent on extracellular matrix proteins, in particular on the expression of fibronectin1b. We show that blood flow and klf2a, a major endocardial flow-responsive gene, control these cell behaviours and fibronectin1b synthesis. Our results uncover a unique multicellular layering process leading to leaflet formation and demonstrate that endocardial mechanotransduction and valve morphogenesis are coupled via cellular rearrangements mediated by fibronectin synthesis. PMID:27221222

  18. Functional and evolutionary insights from the Ciona notochord transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Wendy M; Wu, Yuye; Harder, Matthew J; Veeman, Michael T

    2017-09-15

    The notochord of the ascidian Ciona consists of only 40 cells, and is a longstanding model for studying organogenesis in a small, simple embryo. Here, we perform RNAseq on flow-sorted notochord cells from multiple stages to define a comprehensive Ciona notochord transcriptome. We identify 1364 genes with enriched expression and extensively validate the results by in situ hybridization. These genes are highly enriched for Gene Ontology terms related to the extracellular matrix, cell adhesion and cytoskeleton. Orthologs of 112 of the Ciona notochord genes have known notochord expression in vertebrates, more than twice as many as predicted by chance alone. This set of putative effector genes with notochord expression conserved from tunicates to vertebrates will be invaluable for testing hypotheses about notochord evolution. The full set of Ciona notochord genes provides a foundation for systems-level studies of notochord gene regulation and morphogenesis. We find only modest overlap between this set of notochord-enriched transcripts and the genes upregulated by ectopic expression of the key notochord transcription factor Brachyury, indicating that Brachyury is not a notochord master regulator gene as strictly defined. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. The role of the notochord in amniote vertebral column segmentation.

    PubMed

    Ward, Lizzy; Pang, Angel S W; Evans, Susan E; Stern, Claudio D

    2018-07-01

    The vertebral column is segmented, comprising an alternating series of vertebrae and intervertebral discs along the head-tail axis. The vertebrae and outer portion (annulus fibrosus) of the disc are derived from the sclerotome part of the somites, whereas the inner nucleus pulposus of the disc is derived from the notochord. Here we investigate the role of the notochord in vertebral patterning through a series of microsurgical experiments in chick embryos. Ablation of the notochord causes loss of segmentation of vertebral bodies and discs. However, the notochord cannot segment in the absence of the surrounding sclerotome. To test whether the notochord dictates sclerotome segmentation, we grafted an ectopic notochord. We find that the intrinsic segmentation of the sclerotome is dominant over any segmental information the notochord may possess, and no evidence that the chick notochord is intrinsically segmented. We propose that the segmental pattern of vertebral bodies and discs in chick is dictated by the sclerotome, which first signals to the notochord to ensure that the nucleus pulposus develops in register with the somite-derived annulus fibrosus. Later, the notochord is required for maintenance of sclerotome segmentation as the mature vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs form. These results highlight differences in vertebral development between amniotes and teleosts including zebrafish, where the notochord dictates the segmental pattern. The relative importance of the sclerotome and notochord in vertebral patterning has changed significantly during evolution. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Bmp signaling mediates endoderm pouch morphogenesis by regulating Fgf signaling in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lovely, C Ben; Swartz, Mary E; McCarthy, Neil; Norrie, Jacqueline L; Eberhart, Johann K

    2016-06-01

    The endodermal pouches are a series of reiterated structures that segment the pharyngeal arches and help pattern the vertebrate face. Multiple pathways regulate the complex process of endodermal development, including the Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) pathway. However, the role of Bmp signaling in pouch morphogenesis is poorly understood. Using genetic and chemical inhibitor approaches, we show that pouch morphogenesis requires Bmp signaling from 10-18 h post-fertilization, immediately following gastrulation. Blocking Bmp signaling during this window results in morphological defects to the pouches and craniofacial skeleton. Using genetic chimeras we show that Bmp signals directly to the endoderm for proper morphogenesis. Time-lapse imaging and analysis of reporter transgenics show that Bmp signaling is necessary for pouch outpocketing via the Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) pathway. Double loss-of-function analyses demonstrate that Bmp and Fgf signaling interact synergistically in craniofacial development. Collectively, our analyses shed light on the tissue and signaling interactions that regulate development of the vertebrate face. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  1. Bmp signaling mediates endoderm pouch morphogenesis by regulating Fgf signaling in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Swartz, Mary E.; McCarthy, Neil; Norrie, Jacqueline L.; Eberhart, Johann K.

    2016-01-01

    The endodermal pouches are a series of reiterated structures that segment the pharyngeal arches and help pattern the vertebrate face. Multiple pathways regulate the complex process of endodermal development, including the Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) pathway. However, the role of Bmp signaling in pouch morphogenesis is poorly understood. Using genetic and chemical inhibitor approaches, we show that pouch morphogenesis requires Bmp signaling from 10-18 h post-fertilization, immediately following gastrulation. Blocking Bmp signaling during this window results in morphological defects to the pouches and craniofacial skeleton. Using genetic chimeras we show that Bmp signals directly to the endoderm for proper morphogenesis. Time-lapse imaging and analysis of reporter transgenics show that Bmp signaling is necessary for pouch outpocketing via the Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) pathway. Double loss-of-function analyses demonstrate that Bmp and Fgf signaling interact synergistically in craniofacial development. Collectively, our analyses shed light on the tissue and signaling interactions that regulate development of the vertebrate face. PMID:27122171

  2. Stochasticity and Stereotypy in the Ciona Notochord

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Maia; Reeves, Wendy; Veeman, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Fate mapping with single cell resolution has typically been confined to embryos with completely stereotyped development. The lineages giving rise to the 40 cells of the Ciona notochord are invariant, but the intercalation of those cells into a single-file column is not. Here we use genetic labeling methods to fate map the Ciona notochord with both high resolution and large sample sizes. We find that the ordering of notochord cells into a single column is not random, but instead shows a distinctive signature characteristic of mediolaterally-biased intercalation. We find that patterns of cell intercalation in the notochord are somewhat stochastic but far more stereotyped than previously believed. Cell behaviors vary by lineage, with the secondary notochord lineage being much more constrained than the primary lineage. Within the primary lineage, patterns of intercalation reflect the geometry of the intercalating tissue. We identify the latest point at which notochord morphogenesis is largely stereotyped, which is shortly before the onset of mediolateral intercalation and immediately after the final cell divisions in the primary lineage. These divisions are consistently oriented along the AP axis. Our results indicate that the interplay between stereotyped and stochastic cell behaviors in morphogenesis can only be assessed by fate mapping experiments that have both cellular resolution and large sample sizes. PMID:25459659

  3. Stochasticity and stereotypy in the Ciona notochord.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Maia; Reeves, Wendy; Veeman, Michael

    2015-01-15

    Fate mapping with single cell resolution has typically been confined to embryos with completely stereotyped development. The lineages giving rise to the 40 cells of the Ciona notochord are invariant, but the intercalation of those cells into a single-file column is not. Here we use genetic labeling methods to fate map the Ciona notochord with both high resolution and large sample sizes. We find that the ordering of notochord cells into a single column is not random, but instead shows a distinctive signature characteristic of mediolaterally-biased intercalation. We find that patterns of cell intercalation in the notochord are somewhat stochastic but far more stereotyped than previously believed. Cell behaviors vary by lineage, with the secondary notochord lineage being much more constrained than the primary lineage. Within the primary lineage, patterns of intercalation reflect the geometry of the intercalating tissue. We identify the latest point at which notochord morphogenesis is largely stereotyped, which is shortly before the onset of mediolateral intercalation and immediately after the final cell divisions in the primary lineage. These divisions are consistently oriented along the AP axis. Our results indicate that the interplay between stereotyped and stochastic cell behaviors in morphogenesis can only be assessed by fate mapping experiments that have both cellular resolution and large sample sizes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Dynamic formation of microenvironments at the myotendinous junction correlates with muscle fiber morphogenesis in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Snow, Chelsi J.; Henry, Clarissa A.

    2009-01-01

    Muscle development involves the specification and morphogenesis of muscle fibers that attach to tendons. After attachment, muscles and tendons then function as an integrated unit to transduce force to the skeletal system and stabilize joints. The attachment site is the myotendinous junction, or MTJ, and is the primary site of force transmission. We find that attachment of fast-twitch myofibers to the MTJ correlates with the formation of novel microenvironments within the MTJ. The expression or activation of two proteins involved in anchoring the intracellular cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix, Focal adhesion kinase (Fak) and β-dystroglycan is up-regulated. Conversely, the extracellular matrix protein Fibronectin (Fn) is down-regulated. This degradation of Fn as fast-twitch fibers attach to the MTJ results in Fn protein defining a novel microenvironment within the MTJ adjacent to slow-twitch, but not fast-twitch, muscle. Interestingly, however, Fak, laminin, Fn and β-dystroglycan concentrate at the MTJ in mutants that do not have slow-twitch fibers. Taken together, these data elucidate novel and dynamic microenvironments within the MTJ and indicate that MTJ morphogenesis is spatially and temporally complex. PMID:18783736

  5. Spine Patterning Is Guided by Segmentation of the Notochord Sheath.

    PubMed

    Wopat, Susan; Bagwell, Jennifer; Sumigray, Kaelyn D; Dickson, Amy L; Huitema, Leonie F A; Poss, Kenneth D; Schulte-Merker, Stefan; Bagnat, Michel

    2018-02-20

    The spine is a segmented axial structure made of alternating vertebral bodies (centra) and intervertebral discs (IVDs) assembled around the notochord. Here, we show that, prior to centra formation, the outer epithelial cell layer of the zebrafish notochord, the sheath, segments into alternating domains corresponding to the prospective centra and IVD areas. This process occurs sequentially in an anteroposterior direction via the activation of Notch signaling in alternating segments of the sheath, which transition from cartilaginous to mineralizing domains. Subsequently, osteoblasts are recruited to the mineralized domains of the notochord sheath to form mature centra. Tissue-specific manipulation of Notch signaling in sheath cells produces notochord segmentation defects that are mirrored in the spine. Together, our findings demonstrate that notochord sheath segmentation provides a template for vertebral patterning in the zebrafish spine. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Kctd10 regulates heart morphogenesis by repressing the transcriptional activity of Tbx5a in zebrafish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Xiangjun; Zu, Yao; Li, Zengpeng; Li, Wenyuan; Ying, Lingxiao; Yang, Jing; Wang, Xin; He, Shuonan; Liu, Da; Zhu, Zuoyan; Chen, Jianming; Lin, Shuo; Zhang, Bo

    2014-01-01

    The T-box transcription factor Tbx5 (Tbx5a in zebrafish) plays a crucial role in the formation of cardiac chambers in a dose-dependent manner. Its deregulation leads to congenital heart disease. However, little is known regarding its regulation. Here we isolate a zebrafish mutant with heart malformations, called 34c. The affected gene is identified as kctd10, a member of the potassium channel tetramerization domain (KCTD)-containing family. In the mutant, the expressions of the atrioventricular canal marker genes, such as tbx2b, hyaluronan synthase 2 (has2), notch1b and bmp4, are changed. The knockdown of tbx5 rescues the ectopic expression of has2, and knockdown of either tbx5a or has2 alleviates the heart defects. We show that Kctd10 directly binds to Tbx5 to repress its transcriptional activity. Our results reveal a new essential factor for cardiac development and suggest that KCTD10 could be considered as a new causative gene of congenital heart disease.

  7. Anterior-posterior regionalized gene expression in the Ciona notochord

    PubMed Central

    Veeman, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Background In the simple ascidian chordate Ciona the signaling pathways and gene regulatory networks giving rise to initial notochord induction are largely understood and the mechanisms of notochord morphogenesis are being systematically elucidated. The notochord has generally been thought of as a non-compartmentalized or regionalized organ that is not finely patterned at the level of gene expression. Quantitative imaging methods have recently shown, however, that notochord cell size, shape and behavior vary consistently along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. Results Here we screen candidate genes by whole mount in situ hybridization for potential AP asymmetry. We identify 4 genes that show non-uniform expression in the notochord. Ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) is expressed more strongly in the secondary notochord lineage than the primary. CTGF is expressed stochastically in a subset of notochord cells. A novel calmodulin-like gene (BCamL) is expressed more strongly at both the anterior and posterior tips of the notochord. A TGF-β ortholog is expressed in a gradient from posterior to anterior. The asymmetries in ERM, BCamL and TGF-β expression are evident even before the notochord cells have intercalated into a single-file column. Conclusions We conclude that the Ciona notochord is not a homogeneous tissue but instead shows distinct patterns of regionalized gene expression. PMID:24288133

  8. Anterior-posterior regionalized gene expression in the Ciona notochord.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Wendy; Thayer, Rachel; Veeman, Michael

    2014-04-01

    In the simple ascidian chordate Ciona, the signaling pathways and gene regulatory networks giving rise to initial notochord induction are largely understood and the mechanisms of notochord morphogenesis are being systematically elucidated. The notochord has generally been thought of as a non-compartmentalized or regionalized organ that is not finely patterned at the level of gene expression. Quantitative imaging methods have recently shown, however, that notochord cell size, shape, and behavior vary consistently along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. Here we screen candidate genes by whole mount in situ hybridization for potential AP asymmetry. We identify 4 genes that show non-uniform expression in the notochord. Ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) is expressed more strongly in the secondary notochord lineage than the primary. CTGF is expressed stochastically in a subset of notochord cells. A novel calmodulin-like gene (BCamL) is expressed more strongly at both the anterior and posterior tips of the notochord. A TGF-β ortholog is expressed in a gradient from posterior to anterior. The asymmetries in ERM, BCamL, and TGF-β expression are evident even before the notochord cells have intercalated into a single-file column. We conclude that the Ciona notochord is not a homogeneous tissue but instead shows distinct patterns of regionalized gene expression. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Morphogenesis and Cell Fate Determination within the Adaxial Cell Equivalence Group of the Zebrafish Myotome

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen-Chi, Mai E.; Bryson-Richardson, Robert; Sonntag, Carmen; Hall, Thomas E.; Gibson, Abigail; Sztal, Tamar; Chua, Wendy; Schilling, Thomas F.; Currie, Peter D.

    2012-01-01

    One of the central questions of developmental biology is how cells of equivalent potential—an equivalence group—come to adopt specific cellular fates. In this study we have used a combination of live imaging, single cell lineage analyses, and perturbation of specific signaling pathways to dissect the specification of the adaxial cells of the zebrafish embryo. We show that the adaxial cells are myogenic precursors that form a cell fate equivalence group of approximately 20 cells that consequently give rise to two distinct sub-types of muscle fibers: the superficial slow muscle fibers (SSFs) and muscle pioneer cells (MPs), distinguished by specific gene expression and cell behaviors. Using a combination of live imaging, retrospective and indicative fate mapping, and genetic studies, we show that MP and SSF precursors segregate at the beginning of segmentation and that they arise from distinct regions along the anterior-posterior (AP) and dorsal-ventral (DV) axes of the adaxial cell compartment. FGF signaling restricts MP cell fate in the anterior-most adaxial cells in each somite, while BMP signaling restricts this fate to the middle of the DV axis. Thus our results reveal that the synergistic actions of HH, FGF, and BMP signaling independently create a three-dimensional (3D) signaling milieu that coordinates cell fate within the adaxial cell equivalence group. PMID:23133395

  10. Emilin3 is required for notochord sheath integrity and interacts with Scube2 to regulate notochord-derived Hedgehog signals.

    PubMed

    Corallo, Diana; Schiavinato, Alvise; Trapani, Valeria; Moro, Enrico; Argenton, Francesco; Bonaldo, Paolo

    2013-11-01

    The notochord is a transient and essential structure that provides both mechanical and signaling cues to the developing vertebrate embryo. In teleosts, the notochord is composed of a core of large vacuolated cells and an outer layer of cells that secrete the notochord sheath. In this work, we have identified the extracellular matrix glycoprotein Emilin3 as a novel essential component of the zebrafish notochord sheath. The development of the notochord sheath is impaired in Emilin3 knockdown embryos. The patterning activity of the notochord is also affected by Emilin3, as revealed by the increase of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in Emilin3-depleted embryos and the decreased Hh signaling in embryos overexpressing Emilin3 in the notochord. In vitro and in vivo experiments indicate that Emilin3 modulates the availability of Hh ligands by interacting with the permissive factor Scube2 in the notochord sheath. Overall, this study reveals a new role for an EMILIN protein and reinforces the concept that structure and function of the notochord are strictly linked.

  11. Ectopic expression of hoxb2 after retinoic acid treatment or mRNA injection: disruption of hindbrain and craniofacial morphogenesis in zebrafish embryos.

    PubMed

    Yan, Y L; Jowett, T; Postlethwait, J H

    1998-12-01

    To investigate pattern formation in the vertebrate hindbrain, we isolated a full length hoxb2 cDNA clone from zebrafish. In a gene phylogeny, zebrafish hoxb2 clusters with human HOXB2, and it maps on linkage group 3 along with several other loci whose orthologues are syntenic with human HOXB2. In the hindbrain, hoxb2 is expressed at high levels in rhombomere 3 (r3), lower levels in r4, still lower in r5, and at undetectable levels in r6. In r7, r8, and the rostral spinal cord, hoxb2 is expressed at a lower level than in r5. Lateral cells appearing to emanate from r4 express both hoxb2 and dlx2, suggesting that they are neural crest. Overexpression of hoxb2 by mRNA injections into early cleavage stage embryos resulted in abnormal morphogenesis of the midbrain and rostral hindbrain, abnormal patterning in r4, fusion of cartilage elements arising from pharyngeal arches 1 and 2, and ectopic expression of krx20 and valentino (but not pax2, rtk1, or hoxb1) in the rostral hindbrain, midbrain, and, surprisingly, the eye. Treatments with retinoic acid produced a phenotype similar to that of ectopic hoxb2 expression, including ectopic krx20 (but not valentino) expression in the eye, and fusion of cartilages from pharyngeal arches 1 and 2. The results suggest that hoxb2 plays an important role in the patterning of hindbrain and pharyngeal arches in the zebrafish.

  12. Live imaging and genetic analysis of mouse notochord formation reveals regional morphogenetic mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Yamanaka, Yojiro; Tamplin, Owen J; Beckers, Anja; Gossler, Achim; Rossant, Janet

    2007-12-01

    The node and notochord have been extensively studied as signaling centers in the vertebrate embryo. The morphogenesis of these tissues, particularly in mouse, is not well understood. Using time-lapse live imaging and cell lineage tracking, we show the notochord has distinct morphogenetic origins along the anterior-posterior axis. The anterior head process notochord arises independently of the node by condensation of dispersed cells. The trunk notochord is derived from the node and forms by convergent extension. The tail notochord forms by node-derived progenitors that actively migrate toward the posterior. We also reveal distinct genetic regulation within these different regions. We show that Foxa2 compensates for and genetically interacts with Noto in the trunk notochord, and that Noto has an evolutionarily conserved role in regulating axial versus paraxial cell fate. Therefore, we propose three distinct regions within the mouse notochord, each with unique morphogenetic origins.

  13. The Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule EpCAM Is Required for Epithelial Morphogenesis and Integrity during Zebrafish Epiboly and Skin Development

    PubMed Central

    Slanchev, Krasimir; Carney, Thomas J.; Stemmler, Marc P.; Koschorz, Birgit; Amsterdam, Adam; Schwarz, Heinz; Hammerschmidt, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    The aberrant expression of the transmembrane protein EpCAM is associated with tumor progression, affecting different cellular processes such as cell–cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, differentiation, signaling, and invasion. However, the in vivo function of EpCAM still remains elusive due to the lack of genetic loss-of-function studies. Here, we describe epcam (tacstd) null mutants in zebrafish. Maternal-zygotic mutants display compromised basal protrusive activity and epithelial morphogenesis in cells of the enveloping layer (EVL) during epiboly. In partial redundancy with E-cadherin (Ecad), EpCAM made by EVL cells is further required for cell–cell adhesion within the EVL and, possibly, for proper attachment of underlying deep cells to the inner surface of the EVL, thereby also affecting deep cell epiboly movements. During later development, EpCAM per se becomes indispensable for epithelial integrity within the periderm of the skin, secondarily leading to disrupted morphology of the underlying basal epidermis and moderate hyper-proliferation of skin cells. On the molecular level, EVL cells of epcam mutant embryos display reduced levels of membranous Ecad, accompanied by an enrichment of tight junction proteins and a basal extension of apical junction complexes (AJCs). Our data suggest that EpCAM acts as a partner of E-cadherin to control adhesiveness and integrity as well as plasticity and morphogenesis within simple epithelia. In addition, EpCAM is required for the interaction of the epithelia with underlying cell layers. PMID:19609345

  14. C2orf71a/pcare1 is important for photoreceptor outer segment morphogenesis and visual function in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Corral-Serrano, Julio C; Messchaert, Muriël; Dona, Margo; Peters, Theo A; Kamminga, Leonie M; van Wijk, Erwin; Collin, Rob W J

    2018-06-26

    Mutations in C2orf71 are causative for autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa and occasionally cone-rod dystrophy. We have recently discovered that the protein encoded by this gene is important for modulation of the ciliary membrane through the recruitment of an actin assembly module, and have therefore renamed the gene to PCARE (photoreceptor cilium actin regulator). Here, we report on the identification of two copies of the c2orf71/pcare gene in zebrafish, pcare1 and pcare2. To study the role of the gene most similar to human PCARE, pcare1, we have generated a stable pcare1 mutant zebrafish model (designated pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 ) in which the coding sequence was disrupted using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Retinas of both embryonic (5 dpf) and adult (6 mpf) pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 zebrafish display a clear disorganization of photoreceptor outer segments, resembling the phenotype observed in Pcare -/- mice. Optokinetic response and visual motor response measurements indicated visual impairment in pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 zebrafish larvae at 5 dpf. In addition, electroretinogram measurements showed decreased b-wave amplitudes in pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 zebrafish as compared to age- and strain-matched wild-type larvae, indicating a defect in the transretinal current. Altogether, our data show that lack of pcare1 causes a retinal phenotype in zebrafish and indicate that the function of the PCARE gene is conserved across species.

  15. Two knockdown models of the autism genes SYNGAP1 and SHANK3 in zebrafish produce similar behavioral phenotypes associated with embryonic disruptions of brain morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Kozol, Robert A.; Cukier, Holly N.; Zou, Bing; Mayo, Vera; De Rubeis, Silvia; Cai, Guiqing; Griswold, Anthony J.; Whitehead, Patrice L.; Haines, Jonathan L.; Gilbert, John R.; Cuccaro, Michael L.; Martin, Eden R.; Baker, James D.; Buxbaum, Joseph D.; Pericak-Vance, Margaret A.; Dallman, Julia E.

    2015-01-01

    Despite significant progress in the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), how genetic mutations translate to the behavioral changes characteristic of ASD remains largely unknown. ASD affects 1–2% of children and adults, and is characterized by deficits in verbal and non-verbal communication, and social interactions, as well as the presence of repetitive behaviors and/or stereotyped interests. ASD is clinically and etiologically heterogeneous, with a strong genetic component. Here, we present functional data from syngap1 and shank3 zebrafish loss-of-function models of ASD. SYNGAP1, a synaptic Ras GTPase activating protein, and SHANK3, a synaptic scaffolding protein, were chosen because of mounting evidence that haploinsufficiency in these genes is highly penetrant for ASD and intellectual disability (ID). Orthologs of both SYNGAP1 and SHANK3 are duplicated in the zebrafish genome and we find that all four transcripts (syngap1a, syngap1b, shank3a and shank3b) are expressed at the earliest stages of nervous system development with pronounced expression in the larval brain. Consistent with early expression of these genes, knockdown of syngap1b or shank3a cause common embryonic phenotypes including delayed mid- and hindbrain development, disruptions in motor behaviors that manifest as unproductive swim attempts, and spontaneous, seizure-like behaviors. Our findings indicate that both syngap1b and shank3a play novel roles in morphogenesis resulting in common brain and behavioral phenotypes. PMID:25882707

  16. Ciona intestinalis notochord as a new model to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of tubulogenesis.

    PubMed

    Denker, Elsa; Jiang, Di

    2012-05-01

    Biological tubes are a prevalent structural design across living organisms. They provide essential functions during the development and adult life of an organism. Increasing progress has been made recently in delineating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying tubulogenesis. This review aims to introduce ascidian notochord morphogenesis as an interesting model system to study the cell biology of tube formation, to a wider cell and developmental biology community. We present fundamental morphological and cellular events involved in notochord morphogenesis, compare and contrast them with other more established tubulogenesis model systems, and point out some unique features, including bipolarity of the notochord cells, and using cell shape changes and cell rearrangement to connect lumens. We highlight some initial findings in the molecular mechanisms of notochord morphogenesis. Based on these findings, we present intriguing problems and put forth hypotheses that can be addressed in future studies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Caveolae Protect Notochord Cells against Catastrophic Mechanical Failure during Development.

    PubMed

    Lim, Ye-Wheen; Lo, Harriet P; Ferguson, Charles; Martel, Nick; Giacomotto, Jean; Gomez, Guillermo A; Yap, Alpha S; Hall, Thomas E; Parton, Robert G

    2017-07-10

    The embryonic notochord is a flexible structure present during development that serves as scaffold for formation of the vertebrate spine. This rod-like organ is thought to have evolved in non-vertebrate chordates to facilitate locomotion by providing a rigid but flexible midline structure against which the axial muscles can contract. This hydrostatic "skeleton" is exposed to a variety of mechanical forces during oscillation of the body. There is evidence that caveolae, submicroscopic cup-shaped plasma membrane pits, can buffer tension in cells that undergo high levels of mechanical stress. Indeed, caveolae are particularly abundant in the embryonic notochord. In this study, we used the CRISPR/Cas9 system to generate a mutant zebrafish line lacking Cavin1b, a coat protein required for caveola formation. Our cavin1b -/- zebrafish line exhibits reduced locomotor capacity and prominent notochord lesions characterized by necrotic, damaged, and membrane-permeable cells. Notochord diameter and body length are reduced, but remarkably, the mutants recover and are homozygous viable. By manipulating mechanical stress using a number of different assays, we show that progression of lesion severity in the mutant notochord is directly dependent on locomotion. We also demonstrate changes in caveola morphology in vivo in response to mechanical stress. Finally, induction of a catastrophic collapse of live cavin1b -/- mutant notochord cells provides the first real-time observation of caveolae mediating cellular mechanoprotection. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Role of the ECM in notochord formation, function and disease.

    PubMed

    Trapani, Valeria; Bonaldo, Paolo; Corallo, Diana

    2017-10-01

    The notochord is a midline structure common to all chordate animals; it provides mechanical and signaling cues for the developing embryo. In vertebrates, the notochord plays key functions during embryogenesis, being a source of developmental signals that pattern the surrounding tissues. It is composed of a core of vacuolated cells surrounded by an epithelial-like sheath of cells that secrete a thick peri-notochordal basement membrane made of different extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. The correct deposition and organization of the ECM is essential for proper notochord morphogenesis and function. Work carried out in the past two decades has allowed researchers to dissect the contribution of different ECM components to this embryonic tissue. Here, we will provide an overview of these genetic and mechanistic studies. In particular, we highlight the specific functions of distinct matrix molecules in regulating notochord development and notochord-derived signals. Moreover, we also discuss the involvement of ECM synthesis and its remodeling in the pathogenesis of chordoma, a malignant bone cancer that originates from remnants of notochord remaining after embryogenesis. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. Stochastic model of cell rearrangements in convergent extension of ascidian notochord

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lubkin, Sharon; Backes, Tracy; Latterman, Russell; Small, Stephen

    2007-03-01

    We present a discrete stochastic cell based model of convergent extension of the ascidian notochord. Our work derives from research that clarifies the coupling of invagination and convergent extension in ascidian notochord morphogenesis (Odell and Munro, 2002). We have tested the roles of cell-cell adhesion, cell-extracellular matrix adhesion, random motion, and extension of individual cells, as well as the presence or absence of various tissue types, and determined which factors are necessary and/or sufficient for convergent extension.

  20. Phenotypic chemical screening using a zebrafish neural crest EMT reporter identifies retinoic acid as an inhibitor of epithelial morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Jimenez, Laura; Wang, Jindong; Morrison, Monique A.; Whatcott, Clifford; Soh, Katherine K.; Warner, Steven; Bearss, David; Jette, Cicely A.; Stewart, Rodney A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a highly conserved morphogenetic program essential for embryogenesis, regeneration and cancer metastasis. In cancer cells, EMT also triggers cellular reprogramming and chemoresistance, which underlie disease relapse and decreased survival. Hence, identifying compounds that block EMT is essential to prevent or eradicate disseminated tumor cells. Here, we establish a whole-animal-based EMT reporter in zebrafish for rapid drug screening, called Tg(snai1b:GFP), which labels epithelial cells undergoing EMT to produce sox10-positive neural crest (NC) cells. Time-lapse and lineage analysis of Tg(snai1b:GFP) embryos reveal that cranial NC cells delaminate from two regions: an early population delaminates adjacent to the neural plate, whereas a later population delaminates from within the dorsal neural tube. Treating Tg(snai1b:GFP) embryos with candidate small-molecule EMT-inhibiting compounds identified TP-0903, a multi-kinase inhibitor that blocked cranial NC cell delamination in both the lateral and medial populations. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis and chemical rescue experiments show that TP-0903 acts through stimulating retinoic acid (RA) biosynthesis and RA-dependent transcription. These studies identify TP-0903 as a new therapeutic for activating RA in vivo and raise the possibility that RA-dependent inhibition of EMT contributes to its prior success in eliminating disseminated cancer cells. PMID:26794130

  1. Integrated microarray and ChIP analysis identifies multiple Foxa2 dependent target genes in the notochord.

    PubMed

    Tamplin, Owen J; Cox, Brian J; Rossant, Janet

    2011-12-15

    The node and notochord are key tissues required for patterning of the vertebrate body plan. Understanding the gene regulatory network that drives their formation and function is therefore important. Foxa2 is a key transcription factor at the top of this genetic hierarchy and finding its targets will help us to better understand node and notochord development. We performed an extensive microarray-based gene expression screen using sorted embryonic notochord cells to identify early notochord-enriched genes. We validated their specificity to the node and notochord by whole mount in situ hybridization. This provides the largest available resource of notochord-expressed genes, and therefore candidate Foxa2 target genes in the notochord. Using existing Foxa2 ChIP-seq data from adult liver, we were able to identify a set of genes expressed in the notochord that had associated regions of Foxa2-bound chromatin. Given that Foxa2 is a pioneer transcription factor, we reasoned that these sites might represent notochord-specific enhancers. Candidate Foxa2-bound regions were tested for notochord specific enhancer function in a zebrafish reporter assay and 7 novel notochord enhancers were identified. Importantly, sequence conservation or predictive models could not have readily identified these regions. Mutation of putative Foxa2 binding elements in two of these novel enhancers abrogated reporter expression and confirmed their Foxa2 dependence. The combination of highly specific gene expression profiling and genome-wide ChIP analysis is a powerful means of understanding developmental pathways, even for small cell populations such as the notochord. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Benign notochordal cell tumors.

    PubMed

    Martínez Gamarra, C; Bernabéu Taboada, D; Pozo Kreilinger, J J; Tapia Viñé, M

    Benign notochordal cell tumors (TBCN) are lesions with notochordal differentiation which affect the axial skeleton. They are characterized by asymptomatic or non-specific symptomatology and are radiologically unnoticed because of their small size, or because they are mistaken with other benign bone lesions, such as vertebral hemangiomas. When they are large, or symptomatic, can be differential diagnosis with metastases, primary bone tumors and chordomas. We present a case of a TBCN in a 50-year-old woman, with a sacral lesion seen in MRI. A CT-guided biopsy was scheduled to analyze the lesion, finding that the tumor was not clearly recognizable on CT, so the anatomical references of MRI were used to select the appropriate plane. The planning of the approach and the radio-pathological correlation were determinant to reach the definitive diagnosis. Copyright © 2017 SERAM. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  3. Identification of an evolutionarily conserved regulatory element of the zebrafish col2a1a gene.

    PubMed

    Dale, Rodney M; Topczewski, Jacek

    2011-09-15

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an excellent model organism for the study of vertebrate development including skeletogenesis. Studies of mammalian cartilage formation were greatly advanced through the use of a cartilage specific regulatory element of the Collagen type II alpha 1 (Col2a1) gene. In an effort to isolate such an element in zebrafish, we compared the expression of two col2a1 homologues and found that expression of col2a1b, a previously uncharacterized zebrafish homologue, only partially overlaps with col2a1a. We focused our analysis on col2a1a, as it is expressed in both the stacked chondrocytes and the perichondrium. By comparing the genomic sequence surrounding the predicted transcriptional start site of col2a1a among several species of teleosts we identified a small highly conserved sequence (R2) located 1.7 kb upstream of the presumptive transcriptional initiation site. Interestingly, neither the sequence nor location of this element is conserved between teleost and mammalian Col2a1. We generated transient and stable transgenic lines with just the R2 element or the entire 1.7 kb fragment 5' of the transcriptional initiation site. The identified regulatory elements enable the tracking of cellular development in various tissues by driving robust reporter expression in craniofacial cartilage, ear, notochord, floor plate, hypochord and fins in a pattern similar to the expression of endogenous col2a1a. Using a reporter gene driven by the R2 regulatory element, we analyzed the morphogenesis of the notochord sheath cells as they withdraw from the stack of initially uniform cells and encase the inflating vacuolated notochord cells. Finally, we show that like endogenous col2a1a, craniofacial expression of these reporter constructs depends on Sox9a transcription factor activity. At the same time, notochord expression is maintained after Sox9a knockdown, suggesting that other factors can activate expression through the identified regulatory element in this tissue

  4. Identification of an evolutionarily conserved regulatory element of the zebrafish col2a1a gene

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Rodney M.; Topczewski, Jacek

    2011-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an excellent model organism for the study of vertebrate development including skeletogenesis. Studies of mammalian cartilage formation were greatly advanced through the use of a cartilage specific regulatory element of the Collagen type II alpha 1 (Col2a1) gene. In an effort to isolate such an element in zebrafish, we compared the expression of two col2a1 homologues and found that expression of col2a1b, a previously uncharacterized zebrafish homologue, only partially overlaps with col2a1a. We focused our analysis on col2a1a, as it is expressed in both the stacked chondrocytes and the perichondrium. By comparing the genomic sequence surrounding the predicted transcriptional start site of col2a1a among several species of teleosts we identified a small highly conserved sequence (R2) located 1.7 kb upstream of the presumptive transcriptional initiation site. Interestingly, neither the sequence nor location of this element is conserved between teleost and mammalian Col2a1. We generated transient and stable transgenic lines with just the R2 element or the entire 1.7 kb fragment 5’ of the transcriptional initiation site. The identified regulatory elements enable the tracking of cellular development in various tissues by driving robust reporter expression in craniofacial cartilage, ear, notochord, floor plate, hypochord and fins in a pattern similar to the expression of endogenous col2a1a. Using a reporter gene driven by the R2 regulatory element, we analyzed the morphogenesis of the notochord sheath cells as they withdraw from the stack of initially uniform cells and encase the inflating vacuolated notochord cells. Finally, we show that like endogenous col2a1a, craniofacial expression of these reporter constructs depends on Sox9a transcription factor activity. At the same time, notochord expression is maintained after Sox9a knockdown, suggesting that other factors can activate expression through the identified regulatory element in this tissue

  5. The zebrafish spiel-ohne-grenzen (spg) gene encodes the POU domain protein Pou2 related to mammalian Oct4 and is essential for formation of the midbrain and hindbrain, and for pre-gastrula morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Burgess, Shawn; Reim, Gerlinde; Chen, Wenbiao; Hopkins, Nancy; Brand, Michael

    2002-02-01

    In early embryonic development, the brain is divided into three main regions along the anteroposterior axis: the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Through retroviral insertional mutagenesis and chemical mutagenesis experiments in zebrafish, we have isolated mutations that cause abnormal hindbrain organization and a failure of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) to form, a region that acts as an organizer for the adjacent brain regions. The mutations fail to complement the spiel-ohne-grenzen (spg) mutation, which causes a similar phenotype, but for which the affected gene is unknown. We show through genetic mapping, cloning of the proviral insertion site and allele sequencing that spg mutations disrupt pou2, a gene encoding the Pou2 transcription factor. Based on chromosomal synteny, phylogenetic sequence comparison, and expression and functional data, we suggest that pou2 is the zebrafish ortholog of mouse Oct3/Oct4 and human POU5F1. For the mammalian genes, a function in brain development has so far not been described. In the absence of functional pou2, expression of markers for the midbrain, MHB and the hindbrain primordium (pax2.1, wnt1, krox20) are severely reduced, correlating with the neuroectoderm-specific expression phase of pou2. Injection of pou2 mRNA restores these defects in spg mutant embryos, but does not activate these markers ectopically, demonstrating a permissive role for pou2. Injections of pou2-morpholinos phenocopy the spg phenotype at low concentration, further proving that spg encodes pou2. Two observations suggest that pou2 has an additional earlier function: higher pou2-morpholino concentrations specifically cause a pre-gastrula arrest of cell division and morphogenesis, and expression of pou2 mRNA itself is reduced in spg-homozygous embryos at this stage. These experiments suggest two roles for pou2. Initially, Pou2 functions during early proliferation and morphogenesis of the blastomeres, similar to Oct3/4 in mammals during formation

  6. The lining of the gut in the developing rat embryo. Its relation to the hypoblast (primary endoderm) and the notochord.

    PubMed

    Lamers, W H; Spliet, W G; Langemeyer, R A

    1987-01-01

    A light microscopical study of the morphogenesis of the gut in the rat embryo was undertaken to provide a careful map of temporal changes in the topographical relations of the (definitive) endoderm, the notochord and the hypoblast (primary endoderm). The borderline between the (definitive) endoderm and the hypoblast that appears upon gastrulation defines the lateral extension of the future gut epithelium. Within this initially semiglobular disk, the foregut and hindgut originate sequentially as blind, rapidly growing pouches. Upon the turning of the embryo, the hardly growing peripheral part of the disk becomes located in the vitelline duct. Within the head process, endodermal and notochordal cells could not be separately identified. However, slightly more posteriorly notochordal cells are seen to become embedded into the endoderm of the foregut during gastrulation. This process is not seen over the hindgut and may explain why the detachment of the notochord from the (fore)gut begins caudally.

  7. Determination of notochord cells of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Zeng, M B

    1993-12-01

    In amphibians, numerous works of influences of the notochord on neighbouring tissues have been accumulated. However, on the contrary, scarcely any work is known about how the notochord is influenced by its neighbouring tissues and how it is determined. By using the experimental method of explantation and culturing in vitro, how the notochord is determined in the early development and whether the neighbouring tissues exert influences on it have been investigated. The results showed that the determination of notochord is a progressive process and the presumptive notochord of Xenopus appears to be a very good material to study influences of neighbouring tissues on the determination of the notochord.

  8. The notochord: structure and functions.

    PubMed

    Corallo, Diana; Trapani, Valeria; Bonaldo, Paolo

    2015-08-01

    The notochord is an embryonic midline structure common to all members of the phylum Chordata, providing both mechanical and signaling cues to the developing embryo. In vertebrates, the notochord arises from the dorsal organizer and it is critical for proper vertebrate development. This evolutionary conserved structure located at the developing midline defines the primitive axis of embryos and represents the structural element essential for locomotion. Besides its primary structural function, the notochord is also a source of developmental signals that patterns surrounding tissues. Among the signals secreted by the notochord, Hedgehog proteins play key roles during embryogenesis. The Hedgehog signaling pathway is a central regulator of embryonic development, controlling the patterning and proliferation of a wide variety of organs. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on notochord structure and functions, with a particular emphasis on the key developmental events that take place in vertebrates. Moreover, we discuss some genetic studies highlighting the phenotypic consequences of impaired notochord development, which enabled to understand the molecular basis of different human congenital defects and diseases.

  9. Wnt5 is required for notochord cell intercalation in the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi.

    PubMed

    Niwano, Tomoko; Takatori, Naohito; Kumano, Gaku; Nishida, Hiroki

    2009-08-25

    In the embryos of various animals, the body elongates after gastrulation by morphogenetic movements involving convergent extension. The Wnt/PCP (planar cell polarity) pathway plays roles in this process, particularly mediolateral polarization and intercalation of the embryonic cells. In ascidians, several factors in this pathway, including Wnt5, have been identified and found to be involved in the intercalation process of notochord cells. In the present study, the role of the Wnt5 genes, Hr-Wnt5alpha (Halocynthia roretzi Wnt5alpha) and Hr-Wnt5beta, in convergent extension was investigated in the ascidian H. roretzi by injecting antisense oligonucleotides and mRNAs into single precursor blastomeres of various tissues, including notochord, at the 64-cell stage. Hr-Wnt5alpha is expressed in developing notochord and was essential for notochord morphogenesis. Precise quantitative control of its expression level was crucial for proper cell intercalation. Overexpression of Wnt5 proteins in notochord and other tissues that surround the notochord indicated that Wnt5alpha plays a role within the notochord, and is unlikely to be the source of polarizing cues arising outside the notochord. Detailed mosaic analysis of the behaviour of individual notochord cells overexpressing Wnt5alpha indicated that a Wnt5alpha-manipulated cell does not affect the behaviour of neighbouring notochord cells, suggesting that Wnt5alpha works in a cell-autonomous manner. This is further supported by comparison of the results of Wnt5alpha and Dsh (Dishevelled) knockdown experiments. In addition, our results suggest that the Wnt/PCP pathway is also involved in mediolateral intercalation of cells of the ventral row of the nerve cord (floor plate) and the endodermal strand. The present study highlights the role of the Wnt5alpha signal in notochord convergent extension movements in ascidian embryos. Our results raise the novel possibility that Wnt5alpha functions in a cell-autonomous manner in

  10. Synthetic Morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Teague, Brian P; Guye, Patrick; Weiss, Ron

    2016-09-01

    Throughout biology, function is intimately linked with form. Across scales ranging from subcellular to multiorganismal, the identity and organization of a biological structure's subunits dictate its properties. The field of molecular morphogenesis has traditionally been concerned with describing these links, decoding the molecular mechanisms that give rise to the shape and structure of cells, tissues, organs, and organisms. Recent advances in synthetic biology promise unprecedented control over these molecular mechanisms; this opens the path to not just probing morphogenesis but directing it. This review explores several frontiers in the nascent field of synthetic morphogenesis, including programmable tissues and organs, synthetic biomaterials and programmable matter, and engineering complex morphogenic systems de novo. We will discuss each frontier's objectives, current approaches, constraints and challenges, and future potential. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  11. Notochord segmentation may lay down the pathway for the development of the vertebral bodies in the Atlantic salmon.

    PubMed

    Grotmol, Sindre; Kryvi, Harald; Nordvik, Kari; Totland, Geir K

    2003-12-01

    This study indicates that the development of the vertebrae in the Atlantic salmon requires the orchestration of two sources of metameric patterning, derived from the notochord and the somite rows, respectively. Before segmentation of the salmon notochord, chordoblasts exhibit a well-defined cell axis that is uniformly aligned with the cranio-caudal axis. The morphology of these cells is characterised by a foot-like basal projection that rests on the notochordal sheath. Notochordal segments are initially formed within the chordoblast layer by metameric change in the axial orientation of groups of chordoblasts. This process results in the formation of circular bands of chordoblasts, with feet perpendicular to the cranio-caudal axis, the original chordoblast orientation. Each vertebra is defined by two such chordoblast bands, at the cranial and caudal borders, respectively. Formation of the chordoblast segments closely precedes formation of the chordacentra, which form as calcified rings within the adjacent notochordal sheath. Sclerotomal osteoblasts then differentiate on the surface of the chordacentra, using them as foundations for further vertebral growth. Thus, the morphogenesis of the rudiments of the vertebral bodies is initiated by a generation of segments within the chordoblast layer. This dual segmentation model for salmon, in which the segmental patterns of the neural and haemal arches are somite-derived, while the vertebral segments seem to be notochord-derived, contrasts with current models for avians and mammals.

  12. Apoptosis regulates notochord development in Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Malikova, Marina A; Van Stry, Melanie; Symes, Karen

    2007-11-15

    The notochord is the defining characteristic of the chordate embryo and plays critical roles as a signaling center and as the primitive skeleton. In this study we show that early notochord development in Xenopus embryos is regulated by apoptosis. We find apoptotic cells in the notochord beginning at the neural groove stage and increasing in number as the embryo develops. These dying cells are distributed in an anterior to posterior pattern that is correlated with notochord extension through vacuolization. In axial mesoderm explants, inhibition of this apoptosis causes the length of the notochord to approximately double compared to controls. In embryos, however, inhibition of apoptosis decreases the length of the notochord and it is severely kinked. This kinking also spreads from the anterior with developmental stage such that, by the tadpole stage, the notochord lacks any recognizable structure, although notochord markers are expressed in a normal temporal pattern. Extension of the somites and neural plate mirrors that of the notochord in these embryos, and the somites are severely disorganized. These data indicate that apoptosis is required for normal notochord development during the formation of the anterior-posterior axis, and its role in this process is discussed.

  13. Notochord isolation using laser capture microdissection.

    PubMed

    Santegoeds, R G C; Yakkioui, Y; Jahanshahi, A; Raven, G; Van Overbeeke, J J; Herrler, A; Temel, Y

    2017-03-01

    Chordoma are malignant tumors of the axial skeleton, which arise from remnants of the notochord. The Notochord (chorda dorsalis) is an essential embryonic structure involved in the development of the nervous system and axial skeleton. Therefore, the notochord seems to be the most biologically relevant control tissue to study chordoma in molecular biology research. Nevertheless, up to now mainly different tissues but not the notochord have been used as control for chordoma, due to difficulty of isolating notochordal tissue. Here, we describe a fast and precise method of isolating notochordal cells. Examination of human fetuses, with a gestation of 9, 11 and 13 weeks, using (immuno)histochemical methods was performed. To isolate pure notochord cells for further molecular biology investigation five flash frozen fetuses between 9 and 10 weeks of gestation were dissected by microtome slicing. Thereafter pure notochord cells for further molecular biology investigation where harvested by using laser capture microdissection (LCM). RNA was extracted from these samples and used in quantitative PCR. This study illustrates notochord of embryonic spines in three different stages of gestation (9-11-13 weeks). Immunohistochemical staining with brachyury showed strong staining of the notochord, but also weak staining of the intervertebral disc and vertebral body. LCM of notochord slices and subsequent total RNA extraction resulted in a good yield of total RNA. qPCR analysis of two housekeeping genes confirmed the quality of the RNA. LCM is a fast and precise method to isolate notochord and the quality and yield RNA extracted from this tissue is sufficient for qPCR analysis. Therefore early embryo notochord isolated by LCM is suggested to be the gold standard for future research in chordoma development, classification and diagnosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. How was the notochord born?

    PubMed

    Satoh, Nori; Tagawa, Kuni; Takahashi, Hiroki

    2012-01-01

    More than 550 million years ago, chordates originated from a common ancestor shared with nonchordate deuterostomes by developing a novel type of larva, the "tadpole larva." The notochord is the supporting organ of the larval tail and the most prominent feature of chordates; indeed, phylum Chordata is named after this organ. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of the notochord over the course of chordate evolution with a special emphasis on a member of T-box gene family, Brachyury. Comparison of the decoded genome of a unicellular choanoflagellate with the genomes of sponge and cnidarians suggests that T-box gene family arose at the time of the evolution of multicellular animals. Gastrulation is a morphogenetic movement that is essential for the formation of two- or three-germ-layered embryos. Brachyury is transiently expressed in the blastopore (bp) region, where it confers on cells the ability to undergo invagination. This process is involved in the formation of the archenteron in all metazoans. This is a "primary" function of Brachyury. During the evolution of chordates, Brachyury gained an additional expression domain at the dorsal midline region of the bp. In this new expression domain, Brachyury served its "secondary" function, recruiting another set of target genes to form a dorsal axial organ, notochord. The Wnt/β-catenin, BMP/Nodal, and FGF-signaling pathways are involved in the transcriptional activation of Brachyury. We discuss the molecular mechanisms of Brachyury secondary function in the context of the dorsal-ventral (D-V) inversion theory and the aboral-dorsalization hypothesis. Although the scope of this review requires some degree of oversimplification of Brachyury function, it is beneficial to facilitate studies on the notochord formation, a central evolutionary developmental biology problem in the history of metazoan evolution, pointed out first by Alexander Kowalevsky. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Notochord to Nucleus Pulposus Transition.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Lisa; Harfe, Brian D

    2015-10-01

    A tissue that commonly deteriorates in older vertebrates is the intervertebral disc, which is located between the vertebrae. Age-related changes in the intervertebral discs are thought to cause most cases of back pain. Back pain affects more than half of people over the age of 65, and the treatment of back pain costs 50-100 billion dollars per year in the USA. The normal intervertebral disc is composed of three distinct regions: a thick outer ring of fibrous cartilage called the annulus fibrosus, a gel-like material that is surrounded by the annulus fibrosus called the nucleus pulposus, and superior and inferior cartilaginous end plates. The nucleus pulposus has been shown to be critical for disc health and function. Damage to this structure often leads to disc disease. Recent reports have demonstrated that the embryonic notochord, a rod-like structure present in the midline of vertebrate embryos, gives rise to all cell types found in adult nuclei pulposi. The mechanism responsible for the transformation of the notochord into nuclei pulposi is unknown. In this review, we discuss potential molecular and physical mechanisms that may be responsible for the notochord to nuclei pulposi transition.

  16. Loss of col8a1a Function during Zebrafish Embryogenesis Results in Congenital Vertebral Malformations

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Ryan S.; Wilm, Thomas; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M.; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L.; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-01-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1,000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles (m531, vu41, vu105) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. PMID:24333517

  17. Loss of col8a1a function during zebrafish embryogenesis results in congenital vertebral malformations.

    PubMed

    Gray, Ryan S; Wilm, Thomas P; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-02-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles ((m531, vu41, vu105)) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Brachyury downstream notochord differentiation in the ascidian embryo

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Hiroki; Hotta, Kohji; Erives, Albert; Di Gregorio, Anna; Zeller, Robert W.; Levine, Michael; Satoh, Nori

    1999-01-01

    The ascidian tadpole represents the most simplified chordate body plan. It contains a notochord composed of just 40 cells, but as in vertebrates Brachyury is essential for notochord differentiation. Here, we show that the misexpression of the Brachyury gene (Ci-Bra) of Ciona intestinalis is sufficient to transform endoderm into notochord. Subtractive hybridization screens were conducted to identify potential Brachyury target genes that are induced upon Ci-Bra misexpression. Of 501 independent cDNA clones that were surveyed, 38 were specifically expressed in notochord cells. These potential Ci-Bra downstream genes appear to encode a broad spectrum of divergent proteins associated with notochord formation. PMID:10385620

  19. Animal evolution: stiff or squishy notochord origins?

    PubMed

    Hejnol, Andreas; Lowe, Christopher J

    2014-12-01

    The notochord is considered an evolutionary novelty and one of the defining characters of chordates. A new study of an annelid challenges this view and proposes an earlier evolutionary origin in the most recent common ancestor of chordates and annelids. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Wnt signaling maintains the notochord fate for progenitor cells and supports the posterior extension of the notochord.

    PubMed

    Ukita, Kanako; Hirahara, Shino; Oshima, Naoko; Imuta, Yu; Yoshimoto, Aki; Jang, Chuan-Wei; Oginuma, Masayuki; Saga, Yumiko; Behringer, Richard R; Kondoh, Hisato; Sasaki, Hiroshi

    2009-10-01

    The notochord develops from notochord progenitor cells (NPCs) and functions as a major signaling center to regulate trunk and tail development. NPCs are initially specified in the node by Wnt and Nodal signals at the gastrula stage. However, the underlying mechanism that maintains the NPCs throughout embryogenesis to contribute to the posterior extension of the notochord remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Wnt signaling in the NPCs is essential for posterior extension of the notochord. Genetic labeling revealed that the Noto-expressing cells in the ventral node contribute the NPCs that reside in the tail bud. Robust Wnt signaling in the NPCs was observed during posterior notochord extension. Genetic attenuation of the Wnt signal via notochord-specific beta-catenin gene ablation resulted in posterior truncation of the notochord. In the NPCs of such mutant embryos, the expression of notochord-specific genes was down-regulated, and an endodermal marker, E-cadherin, was observed. No significant alteration of cell proliferation or apoptosis of the NPCs was detected. Taken together, our data indicate that the NPCs are derived from Noto-positive node cells, and are not fully committed to a notochordal fate. Sustained Wnt signaling is required to maintain the NPCs' notochordal fate.

  1. A novel mammal-specific three partite enhancer element regulates node and notochord-specific Noto expression.

    PubMed

    Alten, Leonie; Schuster-Gossler, Karin; Eichenlaub, Michael P; Wittbrodt, Beate; Wittbrodt, Joachim; Gossler, Achim

    2012-01-01

    The vertebrate organizer and notochord have conserved, essential functions for embryonic development and patterning. The restricted expression of developmental regulators in these tissues is directed by specific cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) whose sequence conservation varies considerably. Some CRMs have been conserved throughout vertebrates and likely represent ancestral regulatory networks, while others have diverged beyond recognition but still function over a wide evolutionary range. Here we identify and characterize a mammalian-specific CRM required for node and notochord specific (NNC) expression of NOTO, a transcription factor essential for node morphogenesis, nodal cilia movement and establishment of laterality in mouse. A 523 bp enhancer region (NOCE) upstream the Noto promoter was necessary and sufficient for NNC expression from the endogenous Noto locus. Three subregions in NOCE together mediated full activity in vivo. Binding sites for known transcription factors in NOCE were functional in vitro but dispensable for NOCE activity in vivo. A FOXA2 site in combination with a novel motif was necessary for NOCE activity in vivo. Strikingly, syntenic regions in non-mammalian vertebrates showed no recognizable sequence similarities. In contrast to its activity in mouse NOCE did not drive NNC expression in transgenic fish. NOCE represents a novel, mammal-specific CRM required for the highly restricted Noto expression in the node and nascent notochord and thus regulates normal node development and function.

  2. Histology and histochemistry of the gekkotan notochord and their bearing on the development of notochordal cartilage.

    PubMed

    Jonasson, Kristin A; Russell, Anthony P; Vickaryous, Matthew K

    2012-06-01

    The persistence of the notochord into the skeletally mature life stage is characteristic of gekkotans, but is otherwise of rare occurrence among amniotes. The taxonomic diversity of Gekkota affords the opportunity to investigate the structure and development of this phylogenetically ancestral component of the skeleton, and to determine its basic characteristics. The gekkotan notochord spans almost the entire postcranial long axis and is characterized by a moniliform morphology with regularly alternating zones of chordoid and chondroid tissue. Chordoid tissue persists in the region of intervertebral articulations and occupies the cavitations that lie between the centra of the amphicoelous vertebrae. Chondroid tissue is restricted to zones in which the diameter of the notochord is reduced, corresponding to mid-vertebral locations. In the tail, these zones of chondroid tissue are associated with the autotomic fracture planes. Chondroid tissue first manifests during late embryogenesis, appears to differentiate from pre-existing chordoid tissue, and has the histological and histochemical characteristics of cartilage. Our observations lend support to the hypothesis that cartilage can be derived directly from notochordal tissue, and suggest that the latter may be an evolutionary and developmental precursor to chordate cartilage. The persistence of chordoid tissue in the intervertebral regions of amphicoelous vertebrae is consistent with a suite of paedomorphic traits exhibited by gekkotans and suggests that the typical hydrostatic nature of notochordal tissue may play a role in mechanically governing patterns of displacement between adjacent amphicoelous vertebrae that lack extensive centrum-to-centrum contact. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. An adhesome comprising laminin, dystroglycan and myosin IIA is required during notochord development in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Buisson, Nicolas; Sirour, Cathy; Moreau, Nicole; Denker, Elsa; Le Bouffant, Ronan; Goullancourt, Aline; Darribère, Thierry; Bello, Valérie

    2014-12-01

    Dystroglycan (Dg) is a transmembrane receptor for laminin that must be expressed at the right time and place in order to be involved in notochord morphogenesis. The function of Dg was examined in Xenopus laevis embryos by knockdown of Dg and overexpression and replacement of the endogenous Dg with a mutated form of the protein. This analysis revealed that Dg is required for correct laminin assembly, for cell polarization during mediolateral intercalation and for proper differentiation of vacuoles. Using mutations in the cytoplasmic domain, we identified two sites that are involved in cell polarization and are required for mediolateral cell intercalation, and a site that is required for vacuolation. Furthermore, using a proteomic analysis, the cytoskeletal non-muscle myosin IIA has been identified for the first time as a molecular link between the Dg-cytoplasmic domain and cortical actin. The data allowed us to identify the adhesome laminin-Dg-myosin IIA as being required to maintain the cortical actin cytoskeleton network during vacuolation, which is crucial to maintain the shape of notochordal cells. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Wilms Tumor 1b defines a wound-specific sheath cell subpopulation associated with notochord repair

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Baez, Juan Carlos; Zeng, Zhiqiang; Brunsdon, Hannah; Salzano, Angela; Brombin, Alessandro; Wyatt, Cameron; Rybski, Witold; Huitema, Leonie F A; Dale, Rodney M; Kawakami, Koichi; Englert, Christoph; Chandra, Tamir; Schulte-Merker, Stefan

    2018-01-01

    Regenerative therapy for degenerative spine disorders requires the identification of cells that can slow down and possibly reverse degenerative processes. Here, we identify an unanticipated wound-specific notochord sheath cell subpopulation that expresses Wilms Tumor (WT) 1b following injury in zebrafish. We show that localized damage leads to Wt1b expression in sheath cells, and that wt1b+cells migrate into the wound to form a stopper-like structure, likely to maintain structural integrity. Wt1b+sheath cells are distinct in expressing cartilage and vacuolar genes, and in repressing a Wt1b-p53 transcriptional programme. At the wound, wt1b+and entpd5+ cells constitute separate, tightly-associated subpopulations. Surprisingly, wt1b expression at the site of injury is maintained even into adult stages in developing vertebrae, which form in an untypical manner via a cartilage intermediate. Given that notochord cells are retained in adult intervertebral discs, the identification of novel subpopulations may have important implications for regenerative spine disorder treatments. PMID:29405914

  5. 2017 Midwest Zebrafish Meeting Report.

    PubMed

    Sandquist, Elizabeth; Petersen, Sarah C; Smith, Cody J

    2017-12-01

    The 2017 Midwest Zebrafish meeting was held from June 16 to 18 at the University of Cincinnati, sponsored by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Divisions of Developmental Biology, Molecular Cardiovascular Biology, and Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. The meeting, organized by Saulius Sumanas, Joshua Waxman, and Chunyue Yin, hosted >130 attendees from 16 different states. Scientific sessions were focused on morphogenesis, neural development, novel technologies, and disease models, with Steve Ekker, Stephen Potter, and Lila Solnica-Krezel presenting keynote talks. In this article, we highlight the results and emerging themes from the meeting.

  6. Dithiocarbamates have a common toxic effect on zebrafish body axis formation

    SciTech Connect

    Tilton, Fred; La Du, Jane K.; Vue, Meng

    2006-10-01

    We previously determined that the dithiocarbamate pesticide sodium metam (NaM) and its active ingredient methylisothiocyanate (MITC) were developmentally toxic causing notochord distortions in the zebrafish. In this study, developing zebrafish were exposed to isothiocyanates (ITCs), dithiocarbamates (DTCs) and several degradation products to determine the teratogenic relationship of these chemical classes at the molecular level. All dithiocarbamates tested elicited notochord distortions with notochord NOELs from <4 to 40 ppb, while none of the ITCs caused notochord distortions with the exception of MITC. Carbon disulfide (CS{sub 2}), a common DTC degradate, also caused distortions at concentrations >200 times the DTCs. Whole mountmore » in situ hybridization of developmental markers for collagen (collagen2a1), muscle (myoD), and body axis formation (no tail) was perturbed well after cessation of treatment with pyrolidine-DTC (PDTC), dimethyl-DTC (DMDTC), NaM, MITC, and CS{sub 2}. Therefore, distinct albeit related chemical classes share a common toxic effect on zebrafish notochord development. To test the responsiveness of the distortion to metal perturbation, five metal chelators and 2 metals were studied. The membrane permeable copper chelator neocuproine (NCu) was found to cause notochord distortions similar to DTC-related molecules. DMDTC and NCu treated animals were protected with copper, and collagen 2a1 and no tail gene expression patterns were identical to controls in these animals. PDTC, NaM, MITC, and CS{sub 2} were not responsive to copper indicating that the chelation of metals is not the primary means by which these molecules elicit their developmental toxicity. Embryos treated with DMDTC, NaM, and NCu were rescued by adding triciaine (MS-222) which abolishes the spontaneous muscle contractions that begin at 18 hpf. In these animals, only collagen 2a1 expression showed a similar pattern to the other notochord distorting molecules. This indicates that

  7. Mechanism of age-dependent involution in embryonic chick notochords.

    PubMed

    Ghanem, E; Cornelissen, M; Thierens, H; De Ridder, L

    1996-07-15

    To study the possible mechanism of the age-dependent involution of the notochord, isolated mesenchyme-free notochords of chick embryos were cultured in vitro and compared with their counterparts in vivo. Two different aspects were evaluated: (1) DNA synthesis measured by [3H]thymidine incorporation and visualized by autoradiography and (2) cell death quantified by counting the number of pyknotic nuclei. The results demonstrate that [3H]thymidine uptake by notochords shows an age-dependent decrease in vitro as well as in vivo. The number of [3H]thymidine-labelled notochord cells, however, is higher in vitro than in vivo. At the same time, there is an age-dependent increase in pyknosis in the notochord in vivo and in vitro. So, during the aging process, the number of both pyknotic nuclei and of [3H]thymidine-labelled nuclei suggest a high turnover of notochord cells in vitro. From these results, we can conclude that the process of involution in aging notochord seems to be controlled by a programmed intrinsic process, which might be influenced partially by the microenvironment in vivo.

  8. The zebrafish tailbud contains two independent populations of midline progenitor cells that maintain long-term germ layer plasticity and differentiate in response to local signaling cues

    PubMed Central

    Row, Richard H.; Tsotras, Steve R.; Goto, Hana; Martin, Benjamin L.

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate body axis formation depends on a population of bipotential neuromesodermal cells along the posterior wall of the tailbud that make a germ layer decision after gastrulation to form spinal cord and mesoderm. Despite exhibiting germ layer plasticity, these cells never give rise to midline tissues of the notochord, floor plate and dorsal endoderm, raising the question of whether midline tissues also arise from basal posterior progenitors after gastrulation. We show in zebrafish that local posterior signals specify germ layer fate in two basal tailbud midline progenitor populations. Wnt signaling induces notochord within a population of notochord/floor plate bipotential cells through negative transcriptional regulation of sox2. Notch signaling, required for hypochord induction during gastrulation, continues to act in the tailbud to specify hypochord from a notochord/hypochord bipotential cell population. Our results lend strong support to a continuous allocation model of midline tissue formation in zebrafish, and provide an embryological basis for zebrafish and mouse bifurcated notochord phenotypes as well as the rare human congenital split notochord syndrome. We demonstrate developmental equivalency between the tailbud progenitor cell populations. Midline progenitors can be transfated from notochord to somite fate after gastrulation by ectopic expression of msgn1, a master regulator of paraxial mesoderm fate, or if transplanted into the bipotential progenitors that normally give rise to somites. Our results indicate that the entire non-epidermal posterior body is derived from discrete, basal tailbud cell populations. These cells remain receptive to extracellular cues after gastrulation and continue to make basic germ layer decisions. PMID:26674311

  9. Tube formation by complex cellular processes in Ciona intestinalis notochord.

    PubMed

    Dong, Bo; Horie, Takeo; Denker, Elsa; Kusakabe, Takehiro; Tsuda, Motoyuki; Smith, William C; Jiang, Di

    2009-06-15

    In the course of embryogenesis multicellular structures and organs are assembled from constituent cells. One structural component common to many organs is the tube, which consists most simply of a luminal space surrounded by a single layer of epithelial cells. The notochord of ascidian Ciona forms a tube consisting of only 40 cells, and serves as a hydrostatic "skeleton" essential for swimming. While the early processes of convergent extension in ascidian notochord development have been extensively studied, the later phases of development, which include lumen formation, have not been well characterized. Here we used molecular markers and confocal imaging to describe tubulogenesis in the developing Ciona notochord. We found that during tubulogenesis each notochord cell established de novo apical domains, and underwent a mesenchymal-epithelial transition to become an unusual epithelial cell with two opposing apical domains. Concomitantly, extracellular luminal matrix was produced and deposited between notochord cells. Subsequently, each notochord cell simultaneously executed two types of crawling movements bi-directionally along the anterior/posterior axis on the inner surface of notochordal sheath. Lamellipodia-like protrusions resulted in cell lengthening along the anterior/posterior axis, while the retraction of trailing edges of the same cell led to the merging of the two apical domains. As a result, the notochord cells acquired endothelial-like shape and formed the wall of the central lumen. Inhibition of actin polymerization prevented the cell movement and tube formation. Ciona notochord tube formation utilized an assortment of common and fundamental cellular processes including cell shape change, apical membrane biogenesis, cell/cell adhesion remodeling, dynamic cell crawling, and lumen matrix secretion.

  10. Multicellular Models of Morphogenesis

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA’s Virtual Embryo project (v-Embryo™), in collaboration with developers of CompuCell3D, aims to create computer models of morphogenesis that can be used to address the effects of chemical perturbation on embryo development at the cellular level. Such computational (in silico) ...

  11. Transient knockdown and overexpression reveal a developmental role for the zebrafish enosf1b gene.

    PubMed

    Finckbeiner, Steve; Ko, Pin-Joe; Carrington, Blake; Sood, Raman; Gross, Kenneth; Dolnick, Bruce; Sufrin, Janice; Liu, Paul

    2011-09-26

    Despite detailed in vivo knowledge of glycolytic enolases and many bacterial non-enolase members of the superfamily, little is known about the in vivo function of vertebrate non-enolase enolase superfamily members (ENOSF1s). Results of previous studies suggest involvement of the β splice form of ENOSF1 in breast and colon cancers. This study used the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a vertebrate model of ENOSF1β function. Whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) showed that zebrafish ENOSF1β (enosf1b) is zygotic and expressed ubiquitously through the first 24 hours post fertilization (hpf). After 24 hpf, enosf1b expression is restricted to the notochord. Embryos injected with enosf1b-EGFP mRNA grew slower than EGFP mRNA-injected embryos but caught up to the EGFP-injected embryos by 48 hpf. Embryos injected with ATG or exon 10 enosf1b mRNA-targeting morpholinos had kinked notochords, shortened anterior-posterior axes, and circulatory edema. WISH for ntl or pax2a expression showed that embryos injected with either morpholino have deformed notochord and pronephros. TUNEL staining revealed increased apoptosis in the peri-notochord region. This study is the first report of ENOSF1 function in a vertebrate and shows that ENOSF1 is required for embryonic development. Increased apoptosis following enosf1b knockdown suggests a potential survival advantage for increased ENOSF1β expression in human cancers.

  12. Transient knockdown and overexpression reveal a developmental role for the zebrafish enosf1b gene

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Despite detailed in vivo knowledge of glycolytic enolases and many bacterial non-enolase members of the superfamily, little is known about the in vivo function of vertebrate non-enolase enolase superfamily members (ENOSF1s). Results of previous studies suggest involvement of the β splice form of ENOSF1 in breast and colon cancers. This study used the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a vertebrate model of ENOSF1β function. Results Whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) showed that zebrafish ENOSF1β (enosf1b) is zygotic and expressed ubiquitously through the first 24 hours post fertilization (hpf). After 24 hpf, enosf1b expression is restricted to the notochord. Embryos injected with enosf1b-EGFP mRNA grew slower than EGFP mRNA-injected embryos but caught up to the EGFP-injected embryos by 48 hpf. Embryos injected with ATG or exon 10 enosf1b mRNA-targeting morpholinos had kinked notochords, shortened anterior-posterior axes, and circulatory edema. WISH for ntl or pax2a expression showed that embryos injected with either morpholino have deformed notochord and pronephros. TUNEL staining revealed increased apoptosis in the peri-notochord region. Conclusions This study is the first report of ENOSF1 function in a vertebrate and shows that ENOSF1 is required for embryonic development. Increased apoptosis following enosf1b knockdown suggests a potential survival advantage for increased ENOSF1β expression in human cancers. PMID:21943404

  13. Development of the annelid axochord: insights into notochord evolution.

    PubMed

    Lauri, Antonella; Brunet, Thibaut; Handberg-Thorsager, Mette; Fischer, Antje H L; Simakov, Oleg; Steinmetz, Patrick R H; Tomer, Raju; Keller, Philipp J; Arendt, Detlev

    2014-09-12

    The origin of chordates has been debated for more than a century, with one key issue being the emergence of the notochord. In vertebrates, the notochord develops by convergence and extension of the chordamesoderm, a population of midline cells of unique molecular identity. We identify a population of mesodermal cells in a developing invertebrate, the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, that converges and extends toward the midline and expresses a notochord-specific combination of genes. These cells differentiate into a longitudinal muscle, the axochord, that is positioned between central nervous system and axial blood vessel and secretes a strong collagenous extracellular matrix. Ancestral state reconstruction suggests that contractile mesodermal midline cells existed in bilaterian ancestors. We propose that these cells, via vacuolization and stiffening, gave rise to the chordate notochord. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Distinct cytoskeleton populations and extensive crosstalk control Ciona notochord tubulogenesis.

    PubMed

    Dong, Bo; Deng, Wei; Jiang, Di

    2011-04-01

    Cell elongation is a fundamental process that allows cells and tissues to adopt new shapes and functions. During notochord tubulogenesis in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, a dramatic elongation of individual cells takes place that lengthens the notochord and, consequently, the entire embryo. We find a novel dynamic actin- and non-muscle myosin II-containing constriction midway along the anteroposterior aspect of each notochord cell during this process. Both actin polymerization and myosin II activity are required for the constriction and cell elongation. Discontinuous localization of myosin II in the constriction indicates that the actomyosin network produces local contractions along the circumference. This reveals basal constriction by the actomyosin network as a novel mechanism for cell elongation. Following elongation, the notochord cells undergo a mesenchymal-epithelial transition and form two apical domains at opposite ends. Extracellular lumens then form at the apical surfaces. We show that cortical actin and Ciona ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) are essential for lumen formation and that a polarized network of microtubules, which contributes to lumen development, forms in an actin-dependent manner at the apical cortex. Later in notochord tubulogenesis, when notochord cells initiate a bi-directional crawling movement on the notochordal sheath, the microtubule network rotates 90° and becomes organized as parallel bundles extending towards the leading edges of tractive lamellipodia. This process is required for the correct organization of actin-based protrusions and subsequent lumen coalescence. In summary, we establish the contribution of the actomyosin and microtubule networks to notochord tubulogenesis and reveal extensive crosstalk and regulation between these two cytoskeleton components.

  15. Non-invasive imaging of zebrafish with spinal deformities using optical coherence tomography: a preliminary study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernstein, Liane; Beaudette, Kathy; Patten, Kessen; Beaulieu-Ouellet, Émilie; Strupler, Mathias; Moldovan, Florina; Boudoux, Caroline

    2013-03-01

    A zebrafish model has recently been introduced to study various genetic mutations that could lead to spinal deformities such as scoliosis. However, current imaging techniques make it difficult to perform longitudinal studies of this condition in zebrafish, especially in the early stages of development. The goal of this project is to determine whether optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a viable non-invasive method to image zebrafish exhibiting spinal deformities. Images of both live and fixed malformed zebrafish (5 to 21 days postfertilization) as well as wild-type fish (5 to 29 days postfertilization) were acquired non-invasively using a commercial SD-OCT system, with a laser source centered at 930nm (λ=100nm), permitting axial and lateral resolutions of 7 and 8μm respectively. Using two-dimensional images and three-dimensional reconstructions, it was possible to identify the malformed notochord as well as deformities in other major organs at different stages of formation. Visualization of the notochord was facilitated with the development of a segmentation algorithm. OCT images were compared to HE histological sections and images obtained by calcein staining. Because of the possibility of performing longitudinal studies on a same fish and reducing image processing time as compared with staining techniques and histology, the use of OCT could facilitate phenotypic characterization in studying genetic factors leading to spinal deformities in zebrafish and could eventually contribute to the identification of the genetic causes of spinal deformities such as scoliosis.

  16. Zebrafish Melanoma.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Charles K

    2016-01-01

    Melanoma skin cancer is a potentially deadly disease in humans and has remained extremely difficult to treat once it has metastasized. In just the last 10 years, a number of models of melanoma have been developed in the zebrafish that are biologically faithful to the human disease and have already yielded important insights into the fundamental biology of melanoma and offered new potential avenues for treatment. With the diversity and breadth of the molecular genetic tools available in the zebrafish, these melanoma models will continue to be refined and expanded upon to keep pace with the rapidly evolving field of melanoma biology.

  17. Sea Urchin Morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    McClay, David R

    2016-01-01

    In the sea urchin morphogenesis follows extensive molecular specification. The specification controls the many morphogenetic events and these, in turn, precede patterning steps that establish the larval body plan. To understand how the embryo is built it was necessary to understand those series of molecular steps. Here an example of the historical sequence of those discoveries is presented as it unfolded over the last 50 years, the years during which major progress in understanding development of many animals and plants was documented by CTDB. In sea urchin development a rich series of experimental studies first established many of the phenomenological components of skeletal morphogenesis and patterning without knowledge of the molecular components. The many discoveries of transcription factors, signals, and structural proteins that contribute to the shape of the endoskeleton of the sea urchin larva then followed as molecular tools became available. A number of transcription factors and signals were discovered that were necessary for specification, morphogenesis, and patterning. Perturbation of the transcription factors and signals provided the means for assembling models of the gene regulatory networks used for specification and controlled the subsequent morphogenetic events. The earlier experimental information informed perturbation experiments that asked how patterning worked. As a consequence it was learned that ectoderm provides a series of patterning signals to the skeletogenic cells and as a consequence the skeletogenic cells secrete a highly patterned skeleton based on their ability to genotypically decode the localized reception of several signals. We still do not understand the complexity of the signals received by the skeletogenic cells, nor do we understand in detail how the genotypic information shapes the secreted skeletal biomineral, but the current knowledge at least outlines the sequence of events and provides a useful template for future

  18. Cartilage and bone malformations in the head of zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos following exposure to disulfiram and acetic acid hydrazide

    SciTech Connect

    Strecker, Ruben, E-mail: Ruben.Strecker@cos.uni-heidelberg.de; Weigt, Stefan, E-mail: stefan.weigt@merckgroup.com; Braunbeck, Thomas, E-mail: braunbeck@uni-hd.de

    In order to investigate teratogenic effects, especially on cartilage and bone formation, zebrafish embryos were exposed for 144 h to the dithiocarbamate pesticide disulfiram (20–320 μg/L) and acetic acid hydrazide (0.375–12 g/L), a degradation product of isoniazid. After fixation and full-mount staining, disulfiram could be shown to induce strong cartilage malformations after exposure to ≥ 80 μg/L, whereas acetic acid hydrazide caused cartilage alterations only from 1.5 g/L. Undulating notochords occurred after exposure to disulfiram even at the lowest test concentration of 20 μg/L, whereas at the two lowest concentrations of acetic acid hydrazide (0.375 and 0.75 g/L) mainly fracturesmore » of the notochord were observed. Concentrations of acetic acid hydrazide ≥ 1.5 g/L resulted in undulated notochords similar to disulfiram. Cartilages and ossifications of the cranium, including the cleithrum, were individually analyzed assessing the severity of malformation and the degree of ossification in a semi-quantitative approach. Cartilages of the neurocranium such as the ethmoid plate proved to be more stable than cartilages of the pharyngeal skeleton such as Meckel's cartilage. Hence, ossification proved significantly more susceptible than cartilage. The alterations induced in the notochord as well as in the cranium might well be of ecological relevance, since notochord malformation is likely to result in impaired swimming and cranial malformation might compromise regular food uptake. - Highlights: ► Disulfiram and acetic acid hydrazide as notochord, cartilage and bone teratogens ► Zebrafish embryos to model effects on single cartilages and bones in the head ► LC50 calculation and head length measurements after six days post-fertilization ► Lethality, head length and teratogenic effects are dose-dependent. ► Cartilages of the neurocranium are the most stable elements in the head.« less

  19. Morphogenesis by symbiogenesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, M. J.; Margulis, L.

    1998-01-01

    Here we review cases where initiation of morphogenesis, including the differentiation of specialized cells and tissues, has clearly evolved due to cyclical symbiont integration. For reasons of space, our examples are drawn chiefly from the plant, fungal and bacterial kingdoms. Partners live in symbioses and show unique morphological specializations that result when they directly and cyclically interact. We include here brief citations to relevant literature where plant, bacterial or fungal partners alternate independent with entirely integrated living. The independent, or at least physically unassociated stages, are correlated with the appearance of distinctive morphologies that can be traced to the simultaneous presence and strong interaction of the plant with individuals that represent different taxa.

  20. Abnormal branching and regression of the notochord and its relationship to foregut abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Vleesch Dubois, V N; Quan Qi, B; Beasley, S W; Williams, A

    2002-04-01

    An abnormally positioned notochord has been reported in embryos that develop foregut abnormalities, vertebral defects and other abnormalities of the VATER association. This study examines the patterns of regression of the abnormal notochord in the rat model of the VATER association and investigates the relationship between developmental abnormalities of the notochord and those of the vertebra and foregut. Timed-pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats were given daily intraperitoneal injections of 1.75 mg/kg adriamycin on gestational days 6 - 9 inclusive. Rats were sacrificed between days 14 and 20 and their embryos harvested, histologically sectioned and stained and examined serially. The location and appearance of the degenerating notochord and its relationship to regional structural defects were analysed. All 26 embryos exposed to adriamycin developed foregut abnormalities and had an abnormal notochord. The notochord disappeared by a process of apoptotic degeneration that lagged behind that of the normal embryo: the notochord persisted in the abnormal embryo beyond day 17, whereas in the normal rat it had already disappeared. Similarly, formation of the nucleus pulposus was delayed. Vertebral abnormalities occurred when the notochord was ventrally-positioned. The notochord disappears during day 16 in the normal embryo whereas abnormal branches of the notochord persist until day 19 in the adriamycin-treated embryo. Degeneration of the notochord is dominated by apoptosis. An excessively ventrally-placed notochord is closely associated with abnormalities of the vertebral column, especially hemivertebrae.

  1. [Intercellular relationship of notochord determination of Xenopus laevis].

    PubMed

    Zeng, M B; Zhou, M Y; Wang, Y

    1995-09-01

    During the process of determination, the presumptive notochord is situated beneath neuroepithelium, flanked at two sides by presumptive somites and underlain with archenteron roof ventrally. Among these neighbouring embryonic tissues, presumptive somites were found to exert the main influence on notochord determination. By electron microscopic observations, the presumptive notochord and somite cells were seen to situate either close to each other (plate I, Fig. 1) or connected by cytoplasmic processes forming intercellular lumen (plate I, Fig. 5). Coated pits and coated vesicles appeared at the outer surface of both types of cells (plate I, Figs. 1-4). For the presumptive somite cells, spherical bodies of different sizes and variable contents were observed either near or protruding from the outer surface (plate II, Figs. 6-10). The spherical bodies were also found in the intercellular lumen (plate III, Fig. 11). These spherical bodies were mainly composed of granules, loosely scattered or densely packed. The granules were of similar size and similar shade of electron staining as those of ribosomes of the presumptive somite cells. For the presumptive notochord cells, no spherical bodies of the above mentioned type were found, but phenomenon of engulfing luminal material was observed (plate III, Fig. 12). The significance of the appearance of these spherical bodies in the determination of notochord cells has been discussed.

  2. [A comparative analysis of notochord formation in amphibian embryos].

    PubMed

    Novoselov, V V

    1992-01-01

    We studied the origin, structure, and development of the notochord in Pleurodeles waltlii (Urodela) and Xenopus laevis (Anura) embryos. The notochord rudiment is formed in both species at the early gastrula stage as a cluster of polarized chorda-mesoderm cells located along the sagittal plane of the embryo. In Pl. waltlii the notochord rudiment is separated from the gastrocoele roof as a result of contraction of apical cell surfaces. The contraction wave spreads forward and backward along craniocaudal axis, i.e., segregation of the notochord rudiment progresses in two directions simultaneously. Similar process takes place in X. laevis embryos; however, propagation of the contraction wave in the anterior part of the body somewhat differs from that in the posterior part. While the "anterior" contraction wave resembles that in Pl. waltlii embryos, progression of the wave in the posterior part of the body is distinguished by a closer association of the notochord rudiment with ectoderm and the presence of its delamination boundaries with the somite mesoderm.

  3. spadetail-dependent cell compaction of the dorsal zebrafish blastula.

    PubMed

    Warga, R M; Nüsslein-volhard, C

    1998-11-01

    The dorsal marginal zone of the zebrafish blastula, equivalent to the amphibian Spemann organizer, is destined to become the tissues of the notochord and prechordal plate. Preceding gastrulation in the zebrafish, we find that these future mesendodermal cells acquire a cohesive cell behavior characterized by flattening and maximization of intercellular contacts, somewhat resembling cell compaction in mouse blastocysts. This behavior may suppress cell intermingling. Surprisingly, this blastula cell compaction requires normal function of spadetail, a gene known to be necessary for the dorsal convergent cell movement of paraxial mesoderm later in the gastrula. We propose that spadetail-dependent cell compaction subtly controls the early mixing and dispersal of dorsal cells that coalesce into the prospective organizer region. This early process may be necessary for the correct location of the boundary separating axial and paraxial cells. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  4. Surface tension and modeling of cellular intercalation during zebrafish gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Calmelet, Colette; Sepich, Diane

    2010-04-01

    In this paper we discuss a model of zebrafish embryo notochord development based on the effect of surface tension of cells at the boundaries. We study the process of interaction of mesodermal cells at the boundaries due to adhesion and cortical tension, resulting in cellular intercalation. From in vivo experiments, we obtain cell outlines of time-lapse images of cell movements during zebrafish embryo development. Using Cellular Potts Model, we calculate the total surface energy of the system of cells at different time intervals at cell contacts. We analyze the variations of total energy depending on nature of cell contacts. We demonstrate that our model can be viable by calculating the total surface energy value for experimentally observed configurations of cells and showing that in our model these configurations correspond to a decrease in total energy values in both two and three dimensions.

  5. XBtg2 is required for notochord differentiation during early Xenopus development.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto, Kaoru; Hayata, Tadayoshi; Asashima, Makoto

    2005-09-01

    The notochord is essential for normal vertebrate development, serving as both a structural support for the embryo and a signaling source for the patterning of adjacent tissues. Previous studies on the notochord have mostly focused on its formation and function in early organogenesis but gene regulation in the differentiation of notochord cells itself remains poorly defined. In the course of screening for genes expressed in developing notochord, we have isolated Xenopus homolog of Btg2 (XBtg2). The mammalian Btg2 genes, Btg2/PC3/TIS21, have been reported to have multiple functions in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation but their roles in early development are still unclear. Here we characterized XBtg2 in early Xenopus laevis embryogenesis with focus on notochord development. Translational inhibition of XBtg2 resulted in a shortened and bent axis phenotype and the abnormal structures in the notochord tissue, which did not undergo vacuolation. The XBtg2-depleted notochord cells expressed early notochord markers such as chordin and Xnot at the early tailbud stage, but failed to express differentiation markers of notochord such as Tor70 and 5-D-4 antigens in the later stages. These results suggest that XBtg2 is required for the differentiation of notochord cells such as the process of vacuolar formation after determination of notochord cell fate.

  6. Physics of Bacterial Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Sean X.; Jiang, Hongyuan

    2011-01-01

    Summary: Bacterial cells utilize three-dimensional (3D) protein assemblies to perform important cellular functions such as growth, division, chemoreception, and motility. These assemblies are composed of mechanoproteins that can mechanically deform and exert force. Sometimes, small-nucleotide hydrolysis is coupled to mechanical deformations. In this review, we describe the general principle for an understanding of the coupling of mechanics with chemistry in mechanochemical systems. We apply this principle to understand bacterial cell shape and morphogenesis and how mechanical forces can influence peptidoglycan cell wall growth. We review a model that can potentially reconcile the growth dynamics of the cell wall with the role of cytoskeletal proteins such as MreB and crescentin. We also review the application of mechanochemical principles to understand the assembly and constriction of the FtsZ ring. A number of potential mechanisms are proposed, and important questions are discussed. PMID:22126993

  7. Whole-organ cell shape analysis reveals the developmental basis of ascidian notochord taper

    PubMed Central

    Veeman, Michael T.; Smith, William C.

    2012-01-01

    Here we use in toto imaging together with computational segmentation and analysis methods to quantify the shape of every cell at multiple stages in the development of a simple organ: the notochord of the ascidian Ciona savignyi. We find that cell shape in the intercalated notochord depends strongly on anterior-posterior (AP) position, with cells in the middle of the notochord consistently wider than cells at the anterior or posterior. This morphological feature of having a tapered notochord is present in many chordates. We find that ascidian notochord taper involves three main mechanisms: Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway-independent sibling cell volume asymmetries that precede notochord cell intercalation; the developmental timing of intercalation, which proceeds from the anterior and posterior towards the middle; and the differential rates of notochord cell narrowing after intercalation. A quantitative model shows how the morphology of an entire developing organ can be controlled by this small set of cellular mechanisms. PMID:23165294

  8. Evolutionary changes in the notochord genetic toolkit: a comparative analysis of notochord genes in the ascidian Ciona and the larvacean Oikopleura.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Jamie E; Kerner, Pierre; Bouquet, Jean-Marie; Jiang, Di; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2011-01-20

    The notochord is a defining feature of the chordate clade, and invertebrate chordates, such as tunicates, are uniquely suited for studies of this structure. Here we used a well-characterized set of 50 notochord genes known to be targets of the notochord-specific Brachyury transcription factor in one tunicate, Ciona intestinalis (Class Ascidiacea), to begin determining whether the same genetic toolkit is employed to build the notochord in another tunicate, Oikopleura dioica (Class Larvacea). We identified Oikopleura orthologs of the Ciona notochord genes, as well as lineage-specific duplicates for which we determined the phylogenetic relationships with related genes from other chordates, and we analyzed their expression patterns in Oikopleura embryos. Of the 50 Ciona notochord genes that were used as a reference, only 26 had clearly identifiable orthologs in Oikopleura. Two of these conserved genes appeared to have undergone Oikopleura- and/or tunicate-specific duplications, and one was present in three copies in Oikopleura, thus bringing the number of genes to test to 30. We were able to clone and test 28 of these genes. Thirteen of the 28 Oikopleura orthologs of Ciona notochord genes showed clear expression in all or in part of the Oikopleura notochord, seven were diffusely expressed throughout the tail, six were expressed in tissues other than the notochord, while two probes did not provide a detectable signal at any of the stages analyzed. One of the notochord genes identified, Oikopleura netrin, was found to be unevenly expressed in notochord cells, in a pattern reminiscent of that previously observed for one of the Oikopleura Hox genes. A surprisingly high number of Ciona notochord genes do not have apparent counterparts in Oikopleura, and only a fraction of the evolutionarily conserved genes show clear notochord expression. This suggests that Ciona and Oikopleura, despite the morphological similarities of their notochords, have developed rather divergent sets

  9. Evolutionary changes in the notochord genetic toolkit: a comparative analysis of notochord genes in the ascidian Ciona and the larvacean Oikopleura

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The notochord is a defining feature of the chordate clade, and invertebrate chordates, such as tunicates, are uniquely suited for studies of this structure. Here we used a well-characterized set of 50 notochord genes known to be targets of the notochord-specific Brachyury transcription factor in one tunicate, Ciona intestinalis (Class Ascidiacea), to begin determining whether the same genetic toolkit is employed to build the notochord in another tunicate, Oikopleura dioica (Class Larvacea). We identified Oikopleura orthologs of the Ciona notochord genes, as well as lineage-specific duplicates for which we determined the phylogenetic relationships with related genes from other chordates, and we analyzed their expression patterns in Oikopleura embryos. Results Of the 50 Ciona notochord genes that were used as a reference, only 26 had clearly identifiable orthologs in Oikopleura. Two of these conserved genes appeared to have undergone Oikopleura- and/or tunicate-specific duplications, and one was present in three copies in Oikopleura, thus bringing the number of genes to test to 30. We were able to clone and test 28 of these genes. Thirteen of the 28 Oikopleura orthologs of Ciona notochord genes showed clear expression in all or in part of the Oikopleura notochord, seven were diffusely expressed throughout the tail, six were expressed in tissues other than the notochord, while two probes did not provide a detectable signal at any of the stages analyzed. One of the notochord genes identified, Oikopleura netrin, was found to be unevenly expressed in notochord cells, in a pattern reminiscent of that previously observed for one of the Oikopleura Hox genes. Conclusions A surprisingly high number of Ciona notochord genes do not have apparent counterparts in Oikopleura, and only a fraction of the evolutionarily conserved genes show clear notochord expression. This suggests that Ciona and Oikopleura, despite the morphological similarities of their notochords, have

  10. BMP signaling modulates hepcidin expression in zebrafish embryos independent of hemojuvelin.

    PubMed

    Gibert, Yann; Lattanzi, Victoria J; Zhen, Aileen W; Vedder, Lea; Brunet, Frédéric; Faasse, Sarah A; Babitt, Jodie L; Lin, Herbert Y; Hammerschmidt, Matthias; Fraenkel, Paula G

    2011-01-21

    Hemojuvelin (Hjv), a member of the repulsive-guidance molecule (RGM) family, upregulates transcription of the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin by activating the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway in mammalian cells. Mammalian models have identified furin, neogenin, and matriptase-2 as modifiers of Hjv's function. Using the zebrafish model, we evaluated the effects of hjv and its interacting proteins on hepcidin expression during embryonic development. We found that hjv is strongly expressed in the notochord and somites of the zebrafish embryo and that morpholino knockdown of hjv impaired the development of these structures. Knockdown of hjv or other hjv-related genes, including zebrafish orthologs of furin or neogenin, however, failed to decrease hepcidin expression relative to liver size. In contrast, overexpression of bmp2b or knockdown of matriptase-2 enhanced the intensity and extent of hepcidin expression in zebrafish embryos, but this occurred in an hjv-independent manner. Furthermore, we demonstrated that zebrafish hjv can activate the human hepcidin promoter and enhance BMP responsive gene expression in vitro, but is expressed at low levels in the zebrafish embryonic liver. Taken together, these data support an alternative mechanism for hepcidin regulation during zebrafish embryonic development, which is independent of hjv.

  11. Quantitative analyses of cell behaviors underlying notochord formation and extension in mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Sausedo, R A; Schoenwolf, G C

    1994-05-01

    Formation and extension of the notochord (i.e., notogenesis) is one of the earliest and most obvious events of axis development in vertebrate embryos. In birds and mammals, prospective notochord cells arise from Hensen's node and come to lie beneath the midline of the neural plate. Throughout the period of neurulation, the notochord retains its close spatial relationship with the developing neural tube and undergoes rapid extension in concert with the overlying neuroepithelium. In the present study, we examined notochord development quantitatively in mouse embryos. C57BL/6 mouse embryos were collected at 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, and 10 days of gestation. They were then embedded in paraffin and sectioned transversely. Serial sections from 21 embryos were stained with Schiff's reagent according to the Feulgen-Rossenbeck procedure and used for quantitative analyses of notochord extension. Quantitative analyses revealed that extension of the notochord involves cell division within the notochord proper and cell rearrangement within the notochordal plate (the immediate precursor of the notochord). In addition, extension of the notochord involves cell accretion, that is, the addition of cells to the notochord's caudal end, a process that involves considerable cell rearrangement at the notochordal plate-node interface. Extension of the mouse notochord occurs similarly to that described previously for birds (Sausedo and Schoenwolf, 1993 Anat. Rec. 237:58-70). That is, in both birds (i.e., quail and chick) and mouse embryos, notochord extension involves cell division, cell rearrangement, and cell accretion. Thus higher vertebrates utilize similar morphogenetic movements to effect notogenesis.

  12. Juxtaposition of chemical and mutation-induced developmental defects in zebrafish reveal a copper-chelating activity for kalihinol F.

    PubMed

    Sandoval, Imelda T; Manos, Elizabeth J; Van Wagoner, Ryan M; Delacruz, Richard Glenn C; Edes, Kornelia; Winge, Dennis R; Ireland, Chris M; Jones, David A

    2013-06-20

    A major hurdle in using complex systems for drug screening is the difficulty of defining the mechanistic targets of small molecules. The zebrafish provides an excellent model system for juxtaposing developmental phenotypes with mechanism discovery using organism genetics. We carried out a phenotype-based screen of uncharacterized small molecules in zebrafish that produced a variety of chemically induced phenotypes with potential genetic parallels. Specifically, kalihinol F caused an undulated notochord, defects in pigment formation, hematopoiesis, and neural development. These phenotypes were strikingly similar to the zebrafish mutant, calamity, an established model of copper deficiency. Further studies into the mechanism of action of kalihinol F revealed a copper-chelating activity. Our data support this mechanism of action for kalihinol F and the utility of zebrafish as an effective system for identifying therapeutic and target pathways. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Label-free imaging of developing vasculature in zebrafish with phase variance optical coherence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yu; Fingler, Jeff; Trinh, Le A.; Fraser, Scott E.

    2016-03-01

    A phase variance optical coherence microscope (pvOCM) has been created to visualize blood flow in the vasculature of zebrafish embryos, without using exogenous labels. The pvOCM imaging system has axial and lateral resolutions of 2 μm in tissue, and imaging depth of more than 100 μm. Imaging of 2-5 days post-fertilization zebrafish embryos identified the detailed structures of somites, spinal cord, gut and notochord based on intensity contrast. Visualization of the blood flow in the aorta, veins and intersegmental vessels was achieved with phase variance contrast. The pvOCM vasculature images were confirmed with corresponding fluorescence microscopy of a zebrafish transgene that labels the vasculature with green fluorescent protein. The pvOCM images also revealed functional information of the blood flow activities that is crucial for the study of vascular development.

  14. Multidimensional In Vivo Hazard Assessment Using Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Tanguay, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    There are tens of thousands of man-made chemicals in the environment; the inherent safety of most of these chemicals is not known. Relevant biological platforms and new computational tools are needed to prioritize testing of chemicals with limited human health hazard information. We describe an experimental design for high-throughput characterization of multidimensional in vivo effects with the power to evaluate trends relating to commonly cited chemical predictors. We evaluated all 1060 unique U.S. EPA ToxCast phase 1 and 2 compounds using the embryonic zebrafish and found that 487 induced significant adverse biological responses. The utilization of 18 simultaneously measured endpoints means that the entire system serves as a robust biological sensor for chemical hazard. The experimental design enabled us to describe global patterns of variation across tested compounds, evaluate the concordance of the available in vitro and in vivo phase 1 data with this study, highlight specific mechanisms/value-added/novel biology related to notochord development, and demonstrate that the developmental zebrafish detects adverse responses that would be missed by less comprehensive testing strategies. PMID:24136191

  15. The morphogenesis of feathers.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mingke; Wu, Ping; Widelitz, Randall B; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2002-11-21

    Feathers are highly ordered, hierarchical branched structures that confer birds with the ability of flight. Discoveries of fossilized dinosaurs in China bearing 'feather-like' structures have prompted interest in the origin and evolution of feathers. However, there is uncertainty about whether the irregularly branched integumentary fibres on dinosaurs such as Sinornithosaurus are truly feathers, and whether an integumentary appendage with a major central shaft and notched edges is a non-avian feather or a proto-feather. Here, we use a developmental approach to analyse molecular mechanisms in feather-branching morphogenesis. We have used the replication-competent avian sarcoma retrovirus to deliver exogenous genes to regenerating flight feather follicles of chickens. We show that the antagonistic balance between noggin and bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) has a critical role in feather branching, with BMP4 promoting rachis formation and barb fusion, and noggin enhancing rachis and barb branching. Furthermore, we show that sonic hedgehog (Shh) is essential for inducing apoptosis of the marginal plate epithelia, which results in spaces between barbs. Our analyses identify the molecular pathways underlying the topological transformation of feathers from cylindrical epithelia to the hierarchical branched structures, and provide insights on the possible developmental mechanisms in the evolution of feather forms.

  16. Neuronal expression of fibroblast growth factor receptors in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Rohs, Patricia; Ebert, Alicia M; Zuba, Ania; McFarlane, Sarah

    2013-12-01

    Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling is important for a host of developmental processes such as proliferation, differentiation, tissue patterning, and morphogenesis. In vertebrates, FGFs signal through a family of four fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR 1-4), one of which is duplicated in zebrafish (FGFR1). Here we report the mRNA expression of the five known zebrafish fibroblast growth factor receptors at five developmental time points (24, 36, 48, 60, and 72h postfertilization), focusing on expression within the central nervous system. We show that the receptors have distinct and dynamic expression in the developing zebrafish brain, eye, inner ear, lateral line, and pharynx. In many cases, the expression patterns are similar to those of homologous FGFRs in mouse, chicken, amphibians, and other teleosts. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Tracing notochord-derived cells using a Noto-cre mouse: implications for intervertebral disc development

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Matthew R.; Tamplin, Owen J.; Rossant, Janet; Séguin, Cheryle A.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Back pain related to intervertebral disc degeneration is the most common musculoskeletal problem, with a lifetime prevalence of 82%. The lack of effective treatment for this widespread problem is directly related to our limited understanding of disc development, maintenance and degeneration. The aim of this study was to determine the developmental origins of nucleus pulposus cells within the intervertebral disc using a novel notochord-specific Cre mouse. To trace the fate of notochordal cells within the intervertebral disc, we derived a notochord-specific Cre mouse line by targeting the homeobox gene Noto. Expression of this gene is restricted to the node and the posterior notochord during gastrulation [embryonic day 7.5 (E7.5)-E12.5]. The Noto-cre mice were crossed with a conditional lacZ reporter for visualization of notochord fate in whole-mount embryos. We performed lineage-tracing experiments to examine the contribution of the notochord to spinal development from E12.5 through to skeletally mature mice (9 months). Fate mapping studies demonstrated that, following elongation and formation of the primitive axial skeleton, the notochord gives rise to the nucleus pulposus in fully formed intervertebral discs. Cellular localization of β-galactosidase (encoded by lacZ) and cytokeratin-8 demonstrated that both notochordal cells and chondrocyte-like nucleus pulposus cells are derived from the embryonic notochord. These studies establish conclusively that notochordal cells act as embryonic precursors to all cells found within the nucleus pulposus of the mature intervertebral disc. This suggests that notochordal cells might serve as tissue-specific progenitor cells within the disc and establishes the Noto-cre mouse as a unique tool to interrogate the contribution of notochordal cells to both intervertebral disc development and disc degeneration. PMID:22028328

  18. Tracing notochord-derived cells using a Noto-cre mouse: implications for intervertebral disc development.

    PubMed

    McCann, Matthew R; Tamplin, Owen J; Rossant, Janet; Séguin, Cheryle A

    2012-01-01

    Back pain related to intervertebral disc degeneration is the most common musculoskeletal problem, with a lifetime prevalence of 82%. The lack of effective treatment for this widespread problem is directly related to our limited understanding of disc development, maintenance and degeneration. The aim of this study was to determine the developmental origins of nucleus pulposus cells within the intervertebral disc using a novel notochord-specific Cre mouse. To trace the fate of notochordal cells within the intervertebral disc, we derived a notochord-specific Cre mouse line by targeting the homeobox gene Noto. Expression of this gene is restricted to the node and the posterior notochord during gastrulation [embryonic day 7.5 (E7.5)-E12.5]. The Noto-cre mice were crossed with a conditional lacZ reporter for visualization of notochord fate in whole-mount embryos. We performed lineage-tracing experiments to examine the contribution of the notochord to spinal development from E12.5 through to skeletally mature mice (9 months). Fate mapping studies demonstrated that, following elongation and formation of the primitive axial skeleton, the notochord gives rise to the nucleus pulposus in fully formed intervertebral discs. Cellular localization of β-galactosidase (encoded by lacZ) and cytokeratin-8 demonstrated that both notochordal cells and chondrocyte-like nucleus pulposus cells are derived from the embryonic notochord. These studies establish conclusively that notochordal cells act as embryonic precursors to all cells found within the nucleus pulposus of the mature intervertebral disc. This suggests that notochordal cells might serve as tissue-specific progenitor cells within the disc and establishes the Noto-cre mouse as a unique tool to interrogate the contribution of notochordal cells to both intervertebral disc development and disc degeneration.

  19. Perithecium morphogenesis in Sordaria macrospora.

    PubMed

    Lord, Kathryn M; Read, Nick D

    2011-04-01

    The perithecium of the self-fertile ascomycete Sordaria macrospora provides an excellent model in which to analyse fungal multicellular development. This study provides a detailed analysis of perithecium morphogenesis in the wild type and eight developmental mutants of S. macrospora, using a range of correlative microscopical techniques. Fundamentally, perithecia and other complex multicellular structures produced by fungi arise by hyphal aggregation and adhesion, and these processes are followed by specialization and septation of hyphal compartments within the aggregates. Perithecial morphogenesis can be divided into the ascogonial, protoperithecial, and perithecial stages of development. At least 13 specialized, morphologically distinct cell-types are involved in perithecium morphogenesis, and these fall into three basic classes: hyphae, conglutinate cells and spores. Conglutinate cells arise from hyphal adhesion and certain perithecial hyphae develop from conglutinate cells. Various hypha-conglutinate cell transitions play important roles during the development of the perithecial wall and neck. Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Update on the Notochord Including its Embryology, Molecular Development, and Pathology: A Primer for the Clinician

    PubMed Central

    Ramesh, Tushar; Nagula, Sai V; Saker, Erfanul; Shoja, Mohammadali; Loukas, Marios; Oskouian, Rod J; Tubbs, R. Shane

    2017-01-01

    The notochord is a rod-like embryological structure, which plays a vital role in the development of the vertebrate. Though embryological, remnants of this structure have been observed in the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral discs of normal adults. Pathologically, these remnants can give rise to slow-growing and recurrent notochord-derived tumors called chordomas. Using standard search engines, the literature was reviewed regarding the anatomy, embryology, molecular development, and pathology of the human notochord. Clinicians who interpret imaging or treat patients with pathologies linked to the notochord should have a good working knowledge of its development and pathology. PMID:28480155

  1. The control of branching morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Iber, Dagmar; Menshykau, Denis

    2013-01-01

    Many organs of higher organisms are heavily branched structures and arise by an apparently similar process of branching morphogenesis. Yet the regulatory components and local interactions that have been identified differ greatly in these organs. It is an open question whether the regulatory processes work according to a common principle and how far physical and geometrical constraints determine the branching process. Here, we review the known regulatory factors and physical constraints in lung, kidney, pancreas, prostate, mammary gland and salivary gland branching morphogenesis, and describe the models that have been formulated to analyse their impacts. PMID:24004663

  2. Glycoconjugate distribution in early human notochord and axial mesenchyme.

    PubMed

    Götz, W; Quondamatteo, F

    2001-02-01

    Glycosylation patterns of cells and tissues give insights into spatially and temporally regulated developmental processes and can be detected histochemically using plant lectins with specific affinities for sugar moieties. The early development of the vertebral column in man is a process which has never been investigated by lectin histochemistry. Therefore, we studied binding of several lectins (AIA, Con A, GSA II, LFA, LTA, PNA, RCA I, SBA, SNA, WGA) in formaldehyde-fixed sections of the axial mesenchyme of 5 human embryos in Carnegie stages 12-15. During these developmental stages, an unsegmented mesenchyme covers the notochord. Staining patterns did not show striking temporal variations except for SBA which stained the cranial axial mesenchyme only in the early stage 12 embryo and for PNA, of which the staining intensity in the mesenchyme decreased with age. The notochord appeared as a highly glycosylated tissue. Carbohydrates detected may correspond to adhesion molecules or to secreted substances like proteoglycans or proteins which could play an inductive role, for example, for the neural tube. The axial perinotochordal unsegmented mesenchyme showed strong PNA binding. Therefore, its function as a PNA-positive "barrier" tissue is discussed. The endoderm of the primitive gut showed a lectin-binding pattern that was similar to that of the notochord, which may correlate with interactions between these tissues during earlier developmental stages.

  3. Muscle contraction controls skeletal morphogenesis through regulation of chondrocyte convergent extension.

    PubMed

    Shwartz, Yulia; Farkas, Zsuzsanna; Stern, Tomer; Aszódi, Attila; Zelzer, Elazar

    2012-10-01

    Convergent extension driven by mediolateral intercalation of chondrocytes is a key process that contributes to skeletal growth and morphogenesis. While progress has been made in deciphering the molecular mechanism that underlies this process, the involvement of mechanical load exerted by muscle contraction in its regulation has not been studied. Using the zebrafish as a model system, we found abnormal pharyngeal cartilage morphology in both chemically and genetically paralyzed embryos, demonstrating the importance of muscle contraction for zebrafish skeletal development. The shortening of skeletal elements was accompanied by prominent changes in cell morphology and organization. While in control the cells were elongated, chondrocytes in paralyzed zebrafish were smaller and exhibited a more rounded shape, confirmed by a reduction in their length-to-width ratio. The typical columnar organization of cells was affected too, as chondrocytes in various skeletal elements exhibited abnormal stacking patterns, indicating aberrant intercalation. Finally, we demonstrate impaired chondrocyte intercalation in growth plates of muscle-less Sp(d) mouse embryos, implying the evolutionary conservation of muscle force regulation of this essential morphogenetic process.Our findings provide a new perspective on the regulatory interaction between muscle contraction and skeletal morphogenesis by uncovering the role of muscle-induced mechanical loads in regulating chondrocyte intercalation in two different vertebrate models. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Morphogenesis underlying the development of the everted teleost telencephalon.

    PubMed

    Folgueira, Mónica; Bayley, Philippa; Navratilova, Pavla; Becker, Thomas S; Wilson, Stephen W; Clarke, Jonathan D W

    2012-09-18

    Although the mechanisms underlying brain patterning and regionalization are very much conserved, the morphology of different brain regions is extraordinarily variable across vertebrate phylogeny. This is especially manifest in the telencephalon, where the most dramatic variation is seen between ray-finned fish, which have an everted telencephalon, and all other vertebrates, which have an evaginated telencephalon. The mechanisms that generate these distinct morphologies are not well understood. Here we study the morphogenesis of the zebrafish telencephalon from 12 hours post fertilization (hpf) to 5 days post fertilization (dpf) by analyzing forebrain ventricle formation, evolving patterns of gene and transgene expression, neuronal organization, and fate mapping. Our results highlight two key events in telencephalon morphogenesis. First, the formation of a deep ventricular recess between telencephalon and diencephalon, the anterior intraencephalic sulcus (AIS), effectively creates a posterior ventricular wall to the telencephalic lobes. This process displaces the most posterior neuroepithelial territory of the telencephalon laterally. Second, as telencephalic growth and neurogenesis proceed between days 2 and 5 of development, the pallial region of the posterior ventricular wall of the telencephalon bulges into the dorsal aspect of the AIS. This brings the ventricular zone (VZ) into close apposition with the roof of the AIS to generate a narrow ventricular space and the thin tela choroidea (tc). As the pallial VZ expands, the tc also expands over the upper surface of the telencephalon. During this period, the major axis of growth and extension of the pallial VZ is along the anteroposterior axis. This second step effectively generates an everted telencephalon by 5 dpf. Our description of telencephalic morphogenesis challenges the conventional model that eversion is simply due to a laterally directed outfolding of the telencephalic neuroepithelium. This may have

  5. Morphogenesis underlying the development of the everted teleost telencephalon

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Although the mechanisms underlying brain patterning and regionalization are very much conserved, the morphology of different brain regions is extraordinarily variable across vertebrate phylogeny. This is especially manifest in the telencephalon, where the most dramatic variation is seen between ray-finned fish, which have an everted telencephalon, and all other vertebrates, which have an evaginated telencephalon. The mechanisms that generate these distinct morphologies are not well understood. Results Here we study the morphogenesis of the zebrafish telencephalon from 12 hours post fertilization (hpf) to 5 days post fertilization (dpf) by analyzing forebrain ventricle formation, evolving patterns of gene and transgene expression, neuronal organization, and fate mapping. Our results highlight two key events in telencephalon morphogenesis. First, the formation of a deep ventricular recess between telencephalon and diencephalon, the anterior intraencephalic sulcus (AIS), effectively creates a posterior ventricular wall to the telencephalic lobes. This process displaces the most posterior neuroepithelial territory of the telencephalon laterally. Second, as telencephalic growth and neurogenesis proceed between days 2 and 5 of development, the pallial region of the posterior ventricular wall of the telencephalon bulges into the dorsal aspect of the AIS. This brings the ventricular zone (VZ) into close apposition with the roof of the AIS to generate a narrow ventricular space and the thin tela choroidea (tc). As the pallial VZ expands, the tc also expands over the upper surface of the telencephalon. During this period, the major axis of growth and extension of the pallial VZ is along the anteroposterior axis. This second step effectively generates an everted telencephalon by 5 dpf. Conclusion Our description of telencephalic morphogenesis challenges the conventional model that eversion is simply due to a laterally directed outfolding of the telencephalic

  6. The physiological role of CTGF/CCN2 in zebrafish notochond development and biological analysis of the proximal promoter region.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Ming-Jyun; Chao, Tsung-Tai; Wu, Jen-Leih; Kuo, Ching-Ming; Chen, Jyh-Yih

    2006-10-20

    During mouse embryogenesis, CTGF/CCN2 is expressed in zones containing hypertrophic chondroctyes and calcifying cartilage such as long bones, ribs, vertebral column, and phalanges. But in fish, its expression is yet unclear. Development of the vertebrae is morphologically similar among vertebrates, indicating that the underlying mechanism regulating the process is highly conserved during evolution. Analysis of 3.2kb of the CTGF/CCN2 proximal promoter sequence revealed a consensus TATAA box, putative AP1, Brn-2, CdxA, C/EBP alpha, C/EBP beta, C-Ets-, delta E, HFH-2, and HSF2 binding sites. Transient expression experiments with a 5'-deletion revealed at least 4 regulatory regions in the zebrafish CTGF/CCN2 gene, 2 with a stimulatory effect on transcription and 2 with an apparent inhibitory effect after IGF-I treatment in the ZFL cell line. To study the promoter-specific expression, we constructed a series of CTGF/CCN2 (3.0-, 2.5-, 2.0-, 1.5-, 1.0-, and 0.4-kb) promoter-driven green fluorescent protein (GFP) fragments encoding the GFP cDNA transgene which was microinjected into zebrafish embryos. Morphological studies of transgenic zebrafish indicated that the CTGF/CCN2 promoter-driven GFP transcripts appeared in the notochord. Targeted knockdown of the CTGF/CCN2 gene by two antisense morpholino oligonucleotides resulted in disruptions to notochord development. From a comparative point of view, this study of the CTGF/CCN2 gene in zebrafish may correlate well with those previously published on the mouse. These molecular results suggest that CTGF/CCN2 plays an important role in notochord development and is required for general embryonic development.

  7. Heart morphogenesis gene regulatory networks revealed by temporal expression analysis.

    PubMed

    Hill, Jonathon T; Demarest, Bradley; Gorsi, Bushra; Smith, Megan; Yost, H Joseph

    2017-10-01

    During embryogenesis the heart forms as a linear tube that then undergoes multiple simultaneous morphogenetic events to obtain its mature shape. To understand the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) driving this phase of heart development, during which many congenital heart disease malformations likely arise, we conducted an RNA-seq timecourse in zebrafish from 30 hpf to 72 hpf and identified 5861 genes with altered expression. We clustered the genes by temporal expression pattern, identified transcription factor binding motifs enriched in each cluster, and generated a model GRN for the major gene batteries in heart morphogenesis. This approach predicted hundreds of regulatory interactions and found batteries enriched in specific cell and tissue types, indicating that the approach can be used to narrow the search for novel genetic markers and regulatory interactions. Subsequent analyses confirmed the GRN using two mutants, Tbx5 and nkx2-5 , and identified sets of duplicated zebrafish genes that do not show temporal subfunctionalization. This dataset provides an essential resource for future studies on the genetic/epigenetic pathways implicated in congenital heart defects and the mechanisms of cardiac transcriptional regulation. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  8. Gastrulation and pre-gastrulation morphogenesis, inductions, and gene expression: similarities and dissimilarities between urodelean and anuran embryos.

    PubMed

    Kaneda, Teruo; Motoki, Jun-ya Doi

    2012-09-01

    Studies of meso-endoderm and neural induction and subsequent body plan formation have been analyzed using mainly amphibians as the experimental model. Xenopus is currently the predominant model, because it best enables molecular analysis of these induction processes. However, much of the embryological information on these inductions (e.g., those of the Spemann-Mangold organizer), and on the morphogenetic movements of inductively interacting tissues, derives from research on non-model amphibians, especially urodeles. Although the final body pattern is strongly conserved in vertebrates, and although many of the same developmental genes are expressed, it has become evident that there are individually diverse modes of morphogenesis and timing of developmental events. Whether or not this diversity represents essential differences in the early induction processes remains unclear. The aim of this review is to compare the gastrulation process, induction processes, and gene expressions between a urodele, mainly Cynops pyrrhogaster, and an anura, Xenopus laevis, thereby to clarify conserved and diversified aspects. Cynops gastrulation differs significantly from that of Xenopus in that specification of the regions of the Xenopus dorsal marginal zone (DMZ) are specified before the onset of gastrulation, as marked by blastopore formation, whereas the equivalent state of specification does not occur in Cynops until the middle of gastrulation. Detailed comparison of the germ layer structure and morphogenetic movements during the pre-gastrula and gastrula stages shows that the entire gastrulation process should be divided into two phases of notochord induction and neural induction. Cynops undergoes these processes sequentially after the onset of gastrulation, whereas Xenopus undergoes notochord induction during a series of pre-gastrulation movements, and its traditionally defined period of gastrulation only includes the neural induction phase. Comparing the structure, fate

  9. Cell behaviors underlying notochord formation and extension in avian embryos: quantitative and immunocytochemical studies.

    PubMed

    Sausedo, R A; Schoenwolf, G C

    1993-09-01

    Formation and extension of the notochord is one of the earliest and most obvious events of axis development in vertebrate embryos. In birds, prospective notochord cells arise from Hensen's node and come to lie beneath the midline of the neural plate, where they assist in the process of neurulation and initiate the dorsoventral patterning of the neural tube through sequential inductive interactions. In the present study, we examined notochord development in avian embryos with quantitative and immunological procedures. Extension of the notochord occurs principally through accretion, that is, the addition of cells to its caudal end, a process that involves considerable cell rearrangement at the notochord-Hensen's node interface. In addition, cell division and cell rearrangement within the notochord proper contribute to notochord extension. Thus, extension of the notochord occurs in a manner that is significantly different from that of the adjacent, overlying, midline region of the neural plate (i.e., the median hinge-point region or future floor plate of the neural tube), which as shown in one of the previous studies from our laboratory (Schoenwolf and Alvarez: Development 106:427-439, 1989), extends caudally as its cells undergo two rounds of mediolateral cell-cell intercalation and two-three rounds of cell division.

  10. Remodeling of the notochord during development of vertebral fusions in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Ytteborg, Elisabeth; Torgersen, Jacob Seilø; Pedersen, Mona E; Baeverfjord, Grete; Hannesson, Kirsten O; Takle, Harald

    2010-12-01

    Histological characterization of spinal fusions in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) has demonstrated shape alterations of vertebral body endplates, a reduced intervertebral space, and replacement of intervertebral cells by ectopic bone. However, the significance of the notochord during the fusion process has not been addressed. We have therefore investigated structural and cellular events in the notochord during the development of vertebral fusions. In order to induce vertebral fusions, Atlantic salmon were exposed to elevated temperatures from fertilization until they attained a size of 15g. Based on results from radiography, intermediate and terminal stages of the fusion process were investigated by immunohistochemistry and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Examination of structural extracellular matrix proteins such as Perlecan, Aggrecan, Elastin, and Laminin revealed reduced activity and reorganization at early stages in the pathology. Staining for elastic fibers visualized a thinner elastic membrane surrounding the notochord of developing fusions, and immunohistochemistry for Perlecan showed that the notochordal sheath was stretched during fusion. These findings in the outer notochord correlated with the loss of Aggrecan- and Substance-P-positive signals and the further loss of vacuoles from the chordocytes in the central notochord. At more progressed stages of fusion, chordocytes condensed, and the expression of Aggrecan and Substance P reappeared. The hyperdense regions seem to be of importance for the formation of notochordal tissue into bone. Thus, the remodeling of notochord integrity by reduced elasticity, structural alterations, and cellular changes is probably involved in the development of vertebral fusions.

  11. Evolutionary conservation of vertebrate notochord genes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Jamie E; Passamaneck, Yale J; Feldman, Taya G; Beh, Jeni; Regnier, Todd W; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2008-11-01

    To reconstruct a minimum complement of notochord genes evolutionarily conserved across chordates, we scanned the Ciona intestinalis genome using the sequences of 182 genes reported to be expressed in the notochord of different vertebrates and identified 139 candidate notochord genes. For 66 of these Ciona genes expression data were already available, hence we analyzed the expression of the remaining 73 genes and found notochord expression for 20. The predicted products of the newly identified notochord genes range from the transcription factors Ci-XBPa and Ci-miER1 to extracellular matrix proteins. We examined the expression of the newly identified notochord genes in embryos ectopically expressing Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) and in embryos expressing a repressor form of this transcription factor in the notochord, and we found that while a subset of the genes examined are clearly responsive to Ci-Bra, other genes are not affected by alterations in its levels. We provide a first description of notochord genes that are not evidently influenced by the ectopic expression of Ci-Bra and we propose alternative regulatory mechanisms that might control their transcription. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. Evidence that the notochord may be pivotal in the development of sacral and anorectal malformations.

    PubMed

    Qi, Bao Quan; Beasley, Spencer W; Frizelle, Francis A

    2003-09-01

    The notochord is known to organize normal development of central axial structures, such as the spinal cord, vertebral column, and anorectum, but its role in abnormal development of these organs has not been well documented. The current study has used Ethylenethiourea to induce anorectal malformations in fetal rats, allowing investigation of abnormalities of the notochord and their relationship to the axial structural abnormalities that occur. Timed-mated pregnant rats were fed Ethylenethiourea by gavage on gestational day 10. Their embryos were harvested on gestational days 13 to 16 and sectioned in either the transverse or sagittal plane. Sections were stained with H and E and examined serially. Anorectal malformations were identified in 29 of 34 embryos and neural tube defects in 24, ranging from an accessory neural tube to lumbo-sacral rachischisis. There was no tail or only a rudimentary tail in the majority of embryos. Abnormalities of the notochord in the lumbo-sacral area included ventro-dorsal branching, ventral deviation, and ectopic notochordal tissue. Most abnormal notochord branches and ectopic notochordal tissue were abnormally close to or in contact with the wall of the cloaca or neural tube. Given the known role of the notochord in controlling normal development, this study would suggest that abnormal notochord development may be pivotal in producing neural tube defects and anorectal malformations, possibly by altering sonic hedgehog signalling.

  13. Zebrafish Craniofacial Development: A Window into Early Patterning

    PubMed Central

    Mork, Lindsey; Crump, Gage

    2016-01-01

    The formation of the face and skull involves a complex series of developmental events mediated by cells derived from the neural crest, endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm. Although vertebrates boast an enormous diversity of adult facial morphologies, the fundamental signaling pathways and cellular events that sculpt the nascent craniofacial skeleton in the embryo have proven to be highly conserved from fish to man. The zebrafish Danio rerio, a small freshwater cyprinid fish from eastern India, has served as a popular model of craniofacial development since the 1990s. Unique strengths of the zebrafish model include a simplified skeleton during larval stages, access to rapidly developing embryos for live imaging, and amenability to transgenesis and complex genetics. In this chapter, we describe the anatomy of the zebrafish craniofacial skeleton; its applications as models for the mammalian jaw, middle ear, palate, and cranial sutures; the superior imaging technology available in fish that has provided unprecedented insights into the dynamics of facial morphogenesis; the use of the zebrafish to decipher the genetic underpinnings of craniofacial biology; and finally a glimpse into the most promising future applications of zebrafish craniofacial research. PMID:26589928

  14. Using the zebrafish to understand tendon development and repair

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jessica W.; Galloway, Jenna L.

    2017-01-01

    Tendons are important components of our musculoskeletal system. Injuries to these tissues are very common, resulting from occupational-related injuries, sports-related trauma, and age-related degeneration. Unfortunately, there are few treatment options, and current therapies rarely restore injured tendons to their original function. An improved understanding of the pathways regulating their development and repair would have significant impact in stimulating the formulation of regenerative-based approaches for tendon injury. The zebrafish provides an ideal system in which to perform genetic and chemical screens to identify new pathways involved in tendon biology. Until recently, there had been few descriptions of tendons and ligaments in the zebrafish and their similarity to mammalian tendon tissues. In this chapter, we describe the development of the zebrafish tendon and ligament tissues in the context of their gene expression, structure, and interactions with neighboring musculoskeletal tissues. We highlight the similarities with tendon development in higher vertebrates, showing that the craniofacial tendons and ligaments in zebrafish morphologically, molecularly, and structurally resemble mammalian tendons and ligaments from embryonic to adult stages. We detail methods for fluorescent in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry as an assay to examine morphological changes in the zebrafish musculoskeleton. Staining assays such as these could provide the foundation for screen-based approaches to identify new regulators of tendon development, morphogenesis, and repair. These discoveries would provide new targets and pathways to study in the context of regenerative medicine-based approaches to improve tendon healing. PMID:28129848

  15. Isolation and Characterization of Node/Notochord-Like Cells from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Winzi, Maria K.; Hyttel, Poul; Dale, Jacqueline Kim; Serup, Palle

    2014-01-01

    The homeobox gene Noto is expressed in the node and its derivative the notochord. Here we use a targeted Noto-GFP reporter to isolate and characterize node/notochord-like cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells. We find very few Noto-expressing cells after spontaneous differentiation. However, the number of Noto-expressing cells was increased when using Activin A to induce a Foxa2- and Brachyury-expressing progenitor population, whose further differentiation into Noto-expressing cells was improved by simultaneous inhibition of BMP, Wnt, and retinoic acid signaling. Noto-GFP+ cells expressed the node/notochord markers Noto, Foxa2, Shh, Noggin, Chordin, Foxj1, and Brachyury; showed a vacuolarization characteristic of notochord cells; and can integrate into midline structures when grafted into Hensen’s node of gastrulating chicken embryos. The ability to generate node/notochord-like cells in vitro will aid the biochemical characterization of these developmentally important structures. PMID:21351873

  16. Isolation and characterization of node/notochord-like cells from mouse embryonic stem cells.

    PubMed

    Winzi, Maria K; Hyttel, Poul; Dale, Jacqueline Kim; Serup, Palle

    2011-11-01

    The homeobox gene Noto is expressed in the node and its derivative the notochord. Here we use a targeted Noto-GFP reporter to isolate and characterize node/notochord-like cells derived from mouse embryonic stem cells. We find very few Noto-expressing cells after spontaneous differentiation. However, the number of Noto-expressing cells was increased when using Activin A to induce a Foxa2- and Brachyury-expressing progenitor population, whose further differentiation into Noto-expressing cells was improved by simultaneous inhibition of BMP, Wnt, and retinoic acid signaling. Noto-GFP(+) cells expressed the node/notochord markers Noto, Foxa2, Shh, Noggin, Chordin, Foxj1, and Brachyury; showed a vacuolarization characteristic of notochord cells; and can integrate into midline structures when grafted into Hensen's node of gastrulating chicken embryos. The ability to generate node/notochord-like cells in vitro will aid the biochemical characterization of these developmentally important structures.

  17. Eph/Ephrin signalling maintains eye field segregation from adjacent neural plate territories during forebrain morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cavodeassi, Florencia; Ivanovitch, Kenzo; Wilson, Stephen W.

    2013-01-01

    During forebrain morphogenesis, there is extensive reorganisation of the cells destined to form the eyes, telencephalon and diencephalon. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate region-specific behaviours and that maintain the coherence of cell populations undergoing specific morphogenetic processes. In this study, we show that the activity of the Eph/Ephrin signalling pathway maintains segregation between the prospective eyes and adjacent regions of the anterior neural plate during the early stages of forebrain morphogenesis in zebrafish. Several Ephrins and Ephs are expressed in complementary domains in the prospective forebrain and combinatorial abrogation of their activity results in incomplete segregation of the eyes and telencephalon and in defective evagination of the optic vesicles. Conversely, expression of exogenous Ephs or Ephrins in regions of the prospective forebrain where they are not usually expressed changes the adhesion properties of the cells, resulting in segregation to the wrong domain without changing their regional fate. The failure of eye morphogenesis in rx3 mutants is accompanied by a loss of complementary expression of Ephs and Ephrins, suggesting that this pathway is activated downstream of the regional fate specification machinery to establish boundaries between domains undergoing different programmes of morphogenesis. PMID:24026122

  18. Impact of CdSe/ZnS quantum dots on the development of zebrafish embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Yong; Xiao, Qi; Huang, Shan; Xu, Wansu; Zhang, Zhe; He, Zhike; Liu, Yi; Deng, Fengjiao

    2011-12-01

    Due to their unique fluorescent characteristics, quantum dots (QDs) have been successfully applied in the fields of biotechnology and medicine, but there is very limited information regarding their biodistribution and chronic toxicity in vivo. In this article, the biological behavior and toxic effects of mercaptoacetic acid-CdSe/ZnS QDs (MAA-QDs) in developing zebrafish embryos were investigated by in vivo tests. The MAA-QDs were introduced into zebrafish through microinjection at early stage. The results showed that the MAA-QDs at certain concentrations influenced the survival of zebrafish embryos, but treated embryos without developmental defects were also observed. MAA-QDs injected into the cytoplasm at the one-cell stage were allocated to progeny blastoderm cells during proliferation and almost never entered the yolk. The formation of notochord and primordial germ cells with normal morphologies was detected in the treated embryos by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Furthermore, traces of the element cadmium were mainly discovered in the tissue of liver and kidney of 3-month-old-treated zebrafish by quantitative assessment with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Thus, we hypothesized that low concentration MAA-QDs have chronic toxicities when they were delivered into zebrafish organs.

  19. A novel ALS-associated variant in UBQLN4 regulates motor axon morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Edens, Brittany M; Yan, Jianhua; Miller, Nimrod; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Teepu; Ma, Yongchao C

    2017-05-02

    The etiological underpinnings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are complex and incompletely understood, although contributions to pathogenesis by regulators of proteolytic pathways have become increasingly apparent. Here, we present a novel variant in UBQLN4 that is associated with ALS and show that its expression compromises motor axon morphogenesis in mouse motor neurons and in zebrafish. We further demonstrate that the ALS-associated UBQLN4 variant impairs proteasomal function, and identify the Wnt signaling pathway effector beta-catenin as a UBQLN4 substrate. Inhibition of beta-catenin function rescues the UBQLN4 variant-induced motor axon phenotypes. These findings provide a strong link between the regulation of axonal morphogenesis and a new ALS-associated gene variant mediated by protein degradation pathways.

  20. A novel ALS-associated variant in UBQLN4 regulates motor axon morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Edens, Brittany M; Yan, Jianhua; Miller, Nimrod; Deng, Han-Xiang; Siddique, Teepu; Ma, Yongchao C

    2017-01-01

    The etiological underpinnings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are complex and incompletely understood, although contributions to pathogenesis by regulators of proteolytic pathways have become increasingly apparent. Here, we present a novel variant in UBQLN4 that is associated with ALS and show that its expression compromises motor axon morphogenesis in mouse motor neurons and in zebrafish. We further demonstrate that the ALS-associated UBQLN4 variant impairs proteasomal function, and identify the Wnt signaling pathway effector beta-catenin as a UBQLN4 substrate. Inhibition of beta-catenin function rescues the UBQLN4 variant-induced motor axon phenotypes. These findings provide a strong link between the regulation of axonal morphogenesis and a new ALS-associated gene variant mediated by protein degradation pathways. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25453.001 PMID:28463112

  1. Spatiotemporal analysis of putative notochordal cell markers reveals CD24 and keratins 8, 18, and 19 as notochord-specific markers during early human intervertebral disc development.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues-Pinto, Ricardo; Berry, Andrew; Piper-Hanley, Karen; Hanley, Neil; Richardson, Stephen M; Hoyland, Judith A

    2016-08-01

    In humans, the nucleus pulposus (NP) is composed of large vacuolated notochordal cells in the fetus but, soon after birth, becomes populated by smaller, chondrocyte-like cells. Although animal studies indicate that notochord-derived cells persist in the adult NP, the ontogeny of the adult human NP cell population is still unclear. As such, identification of unique notochordal markers is required. This study was conducted to determine the spatiotemporal expression of putative human notochordal markers to aid in the elucidation of the ontogeny of adult human NP cells. Human embryos and fetuses (3.5-18 weeks post-conception (WPC)) were microdissected to isolate the spine anlagens (notochord and somites/sclerotome). Morphology of the developing IVD was assessed using hematoxylin and eosin. Expression of keratin (KRT) 8, KRT18, KRT19, CD24, GAL3, CD55, BASP1, CTGF, T, CD90, Tie2, and E-cadherin was assessed using immunohistochemistry. KRT8, KRT18, KRT19 were uniquely expressed by notochordal cells at all spine levels at all stages studied; CD24 was expressed at all stages except 3.5 WPC. While GAL3, CD55, BASP1, CTGF, and T were expressed by notochordal cells at specific stages, they were also co-expressed by sclerotomal cells. CD90, Tie2, and E-cadherin expression was not detectable in developing human spine cells at any stage. This study has identified, for the first time, the consistent expression of KRT8, KRT18, KRT19, and CD24 as human notochord-specific markers during early IVD development. Thus, we propose that these markers can be used to help ascertain the ontogeny of adult human NP cells. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Orthopaedic Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:1327-1340, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Orthopaedic Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Myosin phosphatase Fine-tunes Zebrafish Motoneuron Position during Axonogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Granato, Michael

    2016-01-01

    During embryogenesis the spinal cord shifts position along the anterior-posterior axis relative to adjacent tissues. How motor neurons whose cell bodies are located in the spinal cord while their axons reside in adjacent tissues compensate for such tissue shift is not well understood. Using live cell imaging in zebrafish, we show that as motor axons exit from the spinal cord and extend through extracellular matrix produced by adjacent notochord cells, these cells shift several cell diameters caudally. Despite this pronounced shift, individual motoneuron cell bodies stay aligned with their extending axons. We find that this alignment requires myosin phosphatase activity within motoneurons, and that mutations in the myosin phosphatase subunit mypt1 increase myosin phosphorylation causing a displacement between motoneuron cell bodies and their axons. Thus, we demonstrate that spinal motoneurons fine-tune their position during axonogenesis and we identify the myosin II regulatory network as a key regulator. PMID:27855159

  3. Mechanical Control of Tissue Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Patwari, Parth; Lee, Richard T.

    2008-01-01

    Mechanical forces participate in morphogenesis from the level of individual cells to whole organism patterning. This manuscript reviews recent research that has identified specific roles for mechanical forces in important developmental events. One well-defined example is that dynein-driven cilia create fluid flow that determines left-right patterning in the early mammalian embryo. Fluid flow is also important for vasculogenesis, and evidence suggests that fluid shear stress rather than fluid transport is primarily required for remodeling the early vasculature. Contraction of the actin cytoskeleton, driven by nonmuscle myosins and regulated by the Rho family GTPases, is a recurring mechanism for controlling morphogenesis throughout development, from gastrulation to cardiogenesis. Finally, novel experimental approaches suggest critical roles for the actin cytoskeleton and the mechanical environment in determining differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. Insights into the mechanisms linking mechanical forces to cell and tissue differentiation pathways are important for understanding many congenital diseases and for developing regenerative medicine strategies. PMID:18669930

  4. Expression of Glycosaminoglycan Epitopes During Zebrafish Skeletogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Anthony J; Mitchell, Ruth E; Bashford, Andrew; Reynolds, Scott; Caterson, Bruce; Hammond, Chrissy L

    2013-01-01

    Background: The zebrafish is an important developmental model. Surprisingly, there are few studies that describe the glycosaminoglycan composition of its extracellular matrix during skeletogenesis. Glycosaminoglycans on proteoglycans contribute to the material properties of musculo skeletal connective tissues, and are important in regulating signalling events during morphogenesis. Sulfation motifs within the chain structure of glycosaminoglycans on cell-associated and extracellular matrix proteoglycans allow them to bind and regulate the sequestration/presentation of bioactive signalling molecules important in musculo-skeletal development. Results: We describe the spatio-temporal expression of different glycosaminoglycan moieties during zebrafish skeletogenesis with antibodies recognising (1) native sulfation motifs within chondroitin and keratan sulfate chains, and (2) enzyme-generated neoepitope sequences within the chain structure of chondroitin sulfate (i.e., 0-, 4-, and 6-sulfated isoforms) and heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans. We show that all the glycosaminoglycan moieties investigated are expressed within the developing skeletal tissues of larval zebrafish. However, subtle changes in their patterns of spatio-temporal expression over the period examined suggest that their expression is tightly and dynamically controlled during development. Conclusions: The subtle differences observed in the domains of expression between different glycosaminoglycan moieties suggest differences in their functional roles during establishment of the primitive analogues of the skeleton. Developmental Dynamics 242:778–789, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Key Findings The developing zebrafish skeleton expresses many different glycosaminoglycan modifications. Multiple different glycosaminoglycan epitopes are dynamically expressed in the craniofacial skeleton. Expression of chondroitin sulfate moieties are dynamically expressed in the vertebral column and precede

  5. Hedgehog signaling is required for formation of the notochord sheath and patterning of nuclei pulposi within the intervertebral discs

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Kyung-Suk; Harfe, Brian D.

    2011-01-01

    The vertebrae notochord is a transient rod-like structure that produces secreted factors that are responsible for patterning surrounding tissues. During later mouse embryogenesis, the notochord gives rise to the middle part of the intervertebral disc, called the nucleus pulposus. Currently, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms responsible for forming the intervertebral discs. Here we demonstrate that hedgehog signaling is required for formation of the intervertebral discs. Removal of hedgehog signaling in the notochord and nearby floorplate resulted in the formation of an aberrant notochord sheath that normally surrounds this structure. In the absence of the notochord sheath, small nuclei pulposi were formed, with most notochord cells dispersed throughout the vertebral bodies during embryogenesis. Our data suggest that the formation of the notochord sheath requires hedgehog signaling and that the sheath is essential for maintaining the rod-like structure of the notochord during early embryonic development. As notochord cells form nuclei pulposi, we propose that the notochord sheath functions as a “wrapper” around the notochord to constrain these cells along the vertebral column. PMID:21606373

  6. Hedgehog signaling is required for formation of the notochord sheath and patterning of nuclei pulposi within the intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Choi, Kyung-Suk; Harfe, Brian D

    2011-06-07

    The vertebrae notochord is a transient rod-like structure that produces secreted factors that are responsible for patterning surrounding tissues. During later mouse embryogenesis, the notochord gives rise to the middle part of the intervertebral disc, called the nucleus pulposus. Currently, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms responsible for forming the intervertebral discs. Here we demonstrate that hedgehog signaling is required for formation of the intervertebral discs. Removal of hedgehog signaling in the notochord and nearby floorplate resulted in the formation of an aberrant notochord sheath that normally surrounds this structure. In the absence of the notochord sheath, small nuclei pulposi were formed, with most notochord cells dispersed throughout the vertebral bodies during embryogenesis. Our data suggest that the formation of the notochord sheath requires hedgehog signaling and that the sheath is essential for maintaining the rod-like structure of the notochord during early embryonic development. As notochord cells form nuclei pulposi, we propose that the notochord sheath functions as a "wrapper" around the notochord to constrain these cells along the vertebral column.

  7. Formation, function, and exhaustion of notochordal cytoplasmic vacuoles within intervertebral disc: current understanding and speculation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng; Gao, Zeng-Xin; Cai, Feng; Sinkemani, Arjun; Xie, Zhi-Yang; Shi, Rui; Wei, Ji-Nan; Wu, Xiao-Tao

    2017-08-22

    Notochord nucleus pulposus cells are characteristic of containing abundant and giant cytoplasmic vacuoles. This review explores the embryonic formation, biological function, and postnatal exhaustion of notochord vacuoles, aiming to characterize the signal network transforming the vacuolated nucleus pulposus cells into the vacuole-less chondrocytic cells. Embryonically, the cytoplasmic vacuoles within vertebrate notochord originate from an evolutionarily conserved vacuolation process during neurulation, which may continue to provide mechanical and signal support in constructing a mammalian intervertebral disc. For full vacuolation, a vacuolating specification from dorsal organizer cells, synchronized convergent extension, well-structured notochord sheath, and sufficient post-Golgi trafficking in notochord cells are required. Postnatally, age-related and species-specific exhaustion of vacuolated nucleus pulposus cells could be potentiated by Fas- and Fas ligand-induced apoptosis, intolerance to mechanical stress and nutrient deficiency, vacuole-mediated proliferation check, and gradual de-vacuolation within the avascular and compression-loaded intervertebral disc. These results suggest that the notochord vacuoles are active and versatile organelles for both embryonic notochord and postnatal nucleus pulposus, and may provide novel information on intervertebral disc degeneration to guide cell-based regeneration.

  8. Formation, function, and exhaustion of notochordal cytoplasmic vacuoles within intervertebral disc: current understanding and speculation

    PubMed Central

    Sinkemani, Arjun; Xie, Zhi-Yang; Shi, Rui; Wei, Ji-Nan; Wu, Xiao-Tao

    2017-01-01

    Notochord nucleus pulposus cells are characteristic of containing abundant and giant cytoplasmic vacuoles. This review explores the embryonic formation, biological function, and postnatal exhaustion of notochord vacuoles, aiming to characterize the signal network transforming the vacuolated nucleus pulposus cells into the vacuole-less chondrocytic cells. Embryonically, the cytoplasmic vacuoles within vertebrate notochord originate from an evolutionarily conserved vacuolation process during neurulation, which may continue to provide mechanical and signal support in constructing a mammalian intervertebral disc. For full vacuolation, a vacuolating specification from dorsal organizer cells, synchronized convergent extension, well-structured notochord sheath, and sufficient post-Golgi trafficking in notochord cells are required. Postnatally, age-related and species-specific exhaustion of vacuolated nucleus pulposus cells could be potentiated by Fas- and Fas ligand-induced apoptosis, intolerance to mechanical stress and nutrient deficiency, vacuole-mediated proliferation check, and gradual de-vacuolation within the avascular and compression-loaded intervertebral disc. These results suggest that the notochord vacuoles are active and versatile organelles for both embryonic notochord and postnatal nucleus pulposus, and may provide novel information on intervertebral disc degeneration to guide cell-based regeneration. PMID:28915712

  9. Whole-organ cell shape analysis reveals the developmental basis of ascidian notochord taper.

    PubMed

    Veeman, Michael T; Smith, William C

    2013-01-15

    Here we use in toto imaging together with computational segmentation and analysis methods to quantify the shape of every cell at multiple stages in the development of a simple organ: the notochord of the ascidian Ciona savignyi. We find that cell shape in the intercalated notochord depends strongly on anterior-posterior (AP) position, with cells in the middle of the notochord consistently wider than cells at the anterior or posterior. This morphological feature of having a tapered notochord is present in many chordates. We find that ascidian notochord taper involves three main mechanisms: Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway-independent sibling cell volume asymmetries that precede notochord cell intercalation; the developmental timing of intercalation, which proceeds from the anterior and posterior towards the middle; and the differential rates of notochord cell narrowing after intercalation. A quantitative model shows how the morphology of an entire developing organ can be controlled by this small set of cellular mechanisms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Coordinated activation of the secretory pathway during notochord formation in the Xenopus embryo.

    PubMed

    Tanegashima, Kosuke; Zhao, Hui; Rebbert, Martha L; Dawid, Igor B

    2009-11-01

    We compared the transcriptome in the developing notochord of Xenopus laevis embryos with that of other embryonic regions. A coordinated and intense activation of a large set of secretory pathway genes was observed in the notochord, but not in notochord precursors in the axial mesoderm at early gastrula stage. The genes encoding Xbp1 and Creb3l2 were also activated in the notochord. These two transcription factors are implicated in the activation of secretory pathway genes during the unfolded protein response, where cells react to the stress of a build-up of unfolded proteins in their endoplasmic reticulum. Xbp1 and Creb3l2 are differentially expressed but not differentially activated in the notochord. Reduction of expression of Xbp1 or Creb3l2 by injection of antisense morpholinos led to strong deficits in notochord but not somitic muscle development. In addition, the expression of some, but not all, genes encoding secretory proteins was inhibited by injection of xbp1 morpholinos. Furthermore, expression of activated forms of Xbp1 or Creb3l2 in animal explants could activate a similar subset of secretory pathway genes. We conclude that coordinated activation of a battery of secretory pathway genes mediated by Xbp1 and Creb/ATF factors is a characteristic and necessary feature of notochord formation.

  11. Toxicity of silver nanoparticles in zebrafish models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asharani, P. V.; Lian Wu, Yi; Gong, Zhiyuan; Valiyaveettil, Suresh

    2008-06-01

    This study was initiated to enhance our insight on the health and environmental impact of silver nanoparticles (Ag-np). Using starch and bovine serum albumin (BSA) as capping agents, silver nanoparticles were synthesized to study their deleterious effects and distribution pattern in zebrafish embryos (Danio rerio). Toxicological endpoints like mortality, hatching, pericardial edema and heart rate were recorded. A concentration-dependent increase in mortality and hatching delay was observed in Ag-np treated embryos. Additionally, nanoparticle treatments resulted in concentration-dependent toxicity, typified by phenotypes that had abnormal body axes, twisted notochord, slow blood flow, pericardial edema and cardiac arrhythmia. Ag+ ions and stabilizing agents showed no significant defects in developing embryos. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the embryos demonstrated that nanoparticles were distributed in the brain, heart, yolk and blood of embryos as evident from the electron-dispersive x-ray analysis (EDS). Furthermore, the acridine orange staining showed an increased apoptosis in Ag-np treated embryos. These results suggest that silver nanoparticles induce a dose-dependent toxicity in embryos, which hinders normal development.

  12. Potential teratogenicity of methimazole: exposure of zebrafish embryos to methimazole causes similar developmental anomalies to human methimazole embryopathy.

    PubMed

    Komoike, Yuta; Matsuoka, Masato; Kosaki, Kenjiro

    2013-06-01

    While methimazole (MMI) is widely used in the therapy for hyperthyroidism, several groups have reported that maternal exposure to MMI results in a variety of congenital anomalies, including choanal and esophageal atresia, iridic and retinal coloboma, and delayed neurodevelopment. Thus, adverse effects of maternal exposure to MMI on fetal development have long been suggested; however, direct evidence for the teratogenicity of MMI has not been presented. Therefore, we studied the effects of MMI on early development by using zebrafish as a model organism. The fertilized eggs of zebrafish were collected immediately after spawning and grown in egg culture water containing MMI at various concentrations. External observation of the embryos revealed that exposure to high concentrations of MMI resulted in loss of pigmentation, hypoplastic hindbrain, turbid tissue in the forebrain, swelling of the notochord, and curly trunk. Furthermore, these effects occurred in a dose-dependent manner. Precise observation of the serial cross-sections of MMI-exposed embryos elucidated delayed development and hypoplasia of the whole brain and spinal cord, narrowing of the pharynx and esophagus, severe disruption of the retina, and aberrant structure of the notochord. These neuronal, pharyngeal, esophageal, and retinal anomalous morphologies have a direct analogy to the congenital anomalies observed in children exposed to MMI in utero. Here, we show the teratogenic effects of MMI on the development of zebrafish and provide the first experimental evidence for the connection between exposure to MMI and human MMI embryopathy. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. The effect of adriamycin exposure on the notochord of mouse embryos.

    PubMed

    Hajduk, Piotr; May, Alison; Puri, Prem; Murphy, Paula

    2012-04-01

    The notochord has important structural and signaling properties during vertebrate development with key roles in patterning surrounding tissues, including the foregut. The adriamycin mouse model is an established model of foregut anomalies where exposure of embryos in utero to the drug adriamycin leads to malformations including oesophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula. In addition to foregut abnormalities, treatment also causes branching, displacement, and hypertrophy of the notochord. Here, we explore the hypothesis that the notochord may be a primary target of disruption leading to abnormal patterning of the foregut by examining notochord position and structure in early embryos following adriamycin exposure. Treated (n = 46) and control (n = 30) embryos were examined during the crucial period when the notochord normally delaminates away from the foregut endoderm (6-28 somite pairs). Transverse sections were derived from the anterior foregut and analyzed by confocal microscopy following immunodetection of extracellular matrix markers E-cadherin and Laminin. In adriamycin-treated embryos across all stages, the notochord was abnormally displaced ventrally with prolonged attachment to the foregut endoderm. While E-cadherin was normally detected in the foregut endoderm with no expression in the notochord of control embryos, treated embryos up to 24 somites showed ectopic notochordal expression indicating a change in characteristics of the tissue; specifically an increase in intracellular adhesiveness, which may be instrumental in structural changes, affecting mechanical and signaling properties. This is consistent with disruption of the notochord leading to altered signaling to the foregut causing abnormal patterning and congenital foregut malformations. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Notochord Cells in Intervertebral Disc Development and Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    McCann, Matthew R.; Séguin, Cheryle A.

    2016-01-01

    The intervertebral disc is a complex structure responsible for flexibility, multi-axial motion, and load transmission throughout the spine. Importantly, degeneration of the intervertebral disc is thought to be an initiating factor for back pain. Due to a lack of understanding of the pathways that govern disc degeneration, there are currently no disease-modifying treatments to delay or prevent degenerative disc disease. This review presents an overview of our current understanding of the developmental processes that regulate intervertebral disc formation, with particular emphasis on the role of the notochord and notochord-derived cells in disc homeostasis and how their loss can result in degeneration. We then describe the role of small animal models in understanding the development of the disc and their use to interrogate disc degeneration and associated pathologies. Finally, we highlight essential development pathways that are associated with disc degeneration and/or implicated in the reparative response of the tissue that might serve as targets for future therapeutic approaches. PMID:27252900

  15. Notochord manipulation does not impact oesophageal and tracheal formation from isolated foregut in 3D explant culture.

    PubMed

    Mc Laughlin, Danielle; Murphy, Paula; Puri, Prem

    2016-01-01

    Tracheo-oesophageal malformations result from disturbed foregut separation during early development. The notochord, a specialised embryonic structure, forms immediately adjacent to the dividing foregut. In the Adriamycin mouse model of oesophageal atresia, foregut and notochord abnormalities co-exist, and the site and severity of foregut malformations closely correlate to the position and extent of the notochord defects. Notochord and foregut abnormalities also co-exist in the Noggin Knockout mouse as well in a small number of human cases. The notochord is a source of powerful molecular signals during early embryogenesis, being particularly important for neural crest development. The influence of notochord signaling on the adjacent foregut is not known. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of notochord manipulation on foregut separation using a robust 3D explant method for culturing isolated foregut which permits oeosphageal and tracheal formation in vitro. Foregut was micro-dissected from embryonic day 9 mice (License B100/4447 Irish Medicines Board), embedded in collagen and cultured for 48 h with native notochord intact (n = 6), notochord removed (n = 10) or additional notochord transplanted from stage matched controls (n = 8). Specimens were analysed for foregut morphology and molecular patterning using immunohistochemistry for Hnf3b (an endoderm marker) and Sox2 (a notochord and oesophageal marker) on cryosections. Foregut separation into distinct oesophagus and trachea was observed in isolated foregut specimens with or without their native notochord. In specimens with additional notochord transplants, foregut morphology and molecular patterning were comparable to controls whether or not the native notochord was maintained. In particular foregut separation was not disrupted by the transplantation of additional notochord at the dorsal foregut endoderm. The relationship between the embryonic foregut and notochord is complex and ill

  16. Wnt-regulated dynamics of positional information in zebrafish somitogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Bajard, Lola; Morelli, Luis G.; Ares, Saúl; Pécréaux, Jacques; Jülicher, Frank; Oates, Andrew C.

    2014-01-01

    How signaling gradients supply positional information in a field of moving cells is an unsolved question in patterning and morphogenesis. Here, we ask how a Wnt signaling gradient regulates the dynamics of a wavefront of cellular change in a flow of cells during somitogenesis. Using time-controlled perturbations of Wnt signaling in the zebrafish embryo, we changed segment length without altering the rate of somite formation or embryonic elongation. This result implies specific Wnt regulation of the wavefront velocity. The observed Wnt signaling gradient dynamics and timing of downstream events support a model for wavefront regulation in which cell flow plays a dominant role in transporting positional information. PMID:24595291

  17. High resolution fate map of the zebrafish diencephalon.

    PubMed

    Russek-Blum, Niva; Nabel-Rosen, Helit; Levkowitz, Gil

    2009-07-01

    The diencephalon acts as an interactive site between the sensory, central, and endocrine systems and is one of the most elaborate structures in the vertebrate brain. To better understand the embryonic development and morphogenesis of the diencephalon, we developed an improved photoactivation (uncaging)-based lineage tracing strategy. To determine the exact position of a given diencephalic progenitor domain, we used a transgenic line driving green fluorescent protein (GFP) in cells expressing the proneural protein, Neurogenin1 (Neurog1), which was used as a visible neural plate landmark. This approach facilitated precise labeling of defined groups of cells in the prospective diencephalon of the zebrafish neural plate. In this manner, we labeled multiple overlapping areas of the diencephalon, thereby ensuring both accuracy and reproducibility of our lineage tracing regardless of the dynamic changes of the developing neural plate. We present a fate map of the zebrafish diencephalon at a higher spatial resolution than previously described. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Early zebrafish development: It’s in the maternal genes

    PubMed Central

    Abrams, Elliott W.; Mullins, Mary C.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The earliest stages of embryonic development in all animals examined rely on maternal gene products that are generated during oogenesis and supplied to the egg. The period of maternal control of embryonic development varies among animals according to the onset of zygotic transcription and the persistence of maternal gene products. This maternal regulation has been little studied in vertebrates, due to the difficulty in manipulating maternal gene function and lack of basic molecular information. However, recent maternal-effect screens in the zebrafish have generated more than 40 unique mutants that are providing new molecular entry points to the maternal control of early vertebrate development. Here we discuss recent studies of 12 zebrafish mutant genes that illuminate the maternal molecular controls on embryonic development, including advances in the regulation of animal-vegetal polarity, egg activation, cleavage development, body plan formation, tissue morphogenesis, microRNA function and germ cell development. PMID:19608405

  19. Fgf signaling is required for zebrafish tooth development.

    PubMed

    Jackman, William R; Draper, Bruce W; Stock, David W

    2004-10-01

    We have investigated fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling during the development of the zebrafish pharyngeal dentition with the goal of uncovering novel roles for FGFs in tooth development as well as phylogenetic and topographic diversity in the tooth developmental pathway. We found that the tooth-related expression of several zebrafish genes is similar to that of their mouse orthologs, including both epithelial and mesenchymal markers. Additionally, significant differences in gene expression between zebrafish and mouse teeth are indicated by the apparent lack of fgf8 and pax9 expression in zebrafish tooth germs. FGF receptor inhibition with SU5402 at 32 h blocked dental epithelial morphogenesis and tooth mineralization. While the pharyngeal epithelium remained intact as judged by normal pitx2 expression, not only was the mesenchymal expression of lhx6 and lhx7 eliminated as expected from mouse studies, but the epithelial expression of dlx2a, dlx2b, fgf3, and fgf4 was as well. This latter result provides novel evidence that the dental epithelium is a target of FGF signaling. However, the failure of SU5402 to block localized expression of pitx2 suggests that the earliest steps of tooth initiation are FGF-independent. Investigations of specific FGF ligands with morpholino antisense oligonucleotides revealed only a mild tooth shape phenotype following fgf4 knockdown, while fgf8 inhibition revealed only a subtle down-regulation of dental dlx2b expression with no apparent effect on tooth morphology. Our results suggest redundant FGF signals target the dental epithelium and together are required for dental morphogenesis. Further work will be required to elucidate the nature of these signals, particularly with respect to their origins and whether they act through the mesenchyme.

  20. TSH Receptor Function Is Required for Normal Thyroid Differentiation in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Opitz, Robert; Maquet, Emilie; Zoenen, Maxime; Dadhich, Rajesh

    2011-01-01

    TSH is the primary physiological regulator of thyroid gland function. The effects of TSH on thyroid cells are mediated via activation of its membrane receptor [TSH receptor (TSHR)]. In this study, we examined functional thyroid differentiation in zebrafish and characterized the role of TSHR signaling during thyroid organogenesis. Cloning of a cDNA encoding zebrafish Tshr showed conservation of primary structure and functional properties between zebrafish and mammalian TSHR. In situ hybridization confirmed that the thyroid is the major site of tshr expression during zebrafish development. In addition, we identified tpo, iyd, duox, and duoxa as novel thyroid differentiation markers in zebrafish. Temporal analyses of differentiation marker expression demonstrated the induction of an early thyroid differentiation program along with thyroid budding, followed by a delayed onset of duox and duoxa expression coincident with thyroid hormone synthesis. Furthermore, comparative analyses in mouse and zebrafish revealed for the first time a thyroid-enriched expression of cell death regulators of the B-cell lymphoma 2 family during early thyroid morphogenesis. Knockdown of tshr function by morpholino microinjection into embryos did not affect early thyroid morphogenesis but caused defects in later functional differentiation. The thyroid phenotype observed in tshr morphants at later stages comprised a reduction in number and size of functional follicles, down-regulation of differentiation markers, as well as reduced thyroid transcription factor expression. A comparison of our results with phenotypes observed in mouse models of defective TSHR and cAMP signaling highlights the value of zebrafish as a model to enhance the understanding of functional differentiation in the vertebrate thyroid. PMID:21737742

  1. Alkbh4 and Atrn Act Maternally to Regulate Zebrafish Epiboly

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qingrui; Liu, Xingfeng; Gong, Bo; Wu, Di; Meng, Anming; Jia, Shunji

    2017-01-01

    During embryonic gastrulation, coordinated cell movements occur to bring cells to their correct position. Among them, epiboly produces the first distinct morphological changes, which is essential for the early development of zebrafish. Despite its fundamental importance, little is known to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms. By generating maternal mutant lines with CRISPR/Cas9 technology and using morpholino knockdown strategy, we showed that maternal Alkbh4 depletion leads to severe epiboly defects in zebrafish. Immunofluorescence assays revealed that Alkbh4 promotes zebrafish embryonic epiboly through regulating actomyosin contractile ring formation, which is composed of Actin and non-muscular myosin II (NMII). To further investigate this process, yeast two hybridization assay was performed and Atrn was identified as a binding partner of Alkbh4. Combining with the functional results of Alkbh4, we found that maternal Atrn plays a similar role in zebrafish embryonic morphogenesis by regulating actomyosin formation. On the molecular level, our data revealed that Atrn prefers to interact with the active form of Alkbh4 and functions together with it to regulate the demethylation of Actin, the actomyosin formation, and subsequently the embryonic epiboly. PMID:28924386

  2. Strategies for Analyzing Cardiac Phenotypes in the Zebrafish Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Houk, Andrew R.; Yelon, Deborah

    2017-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying cardiogenesis are of critical biomedical importance due to the high prevalence of cardiac birth defects. Over the past two decades, the zebrafish has served as a powerful model organism for investigating heart development, facilitated by its powerful combination of optical access to the embryonic heart and plentiful opportunities for genetic analysis. Work in zebrafish has identified numerous factors that are required for various aspects of heart formation, including the specification and differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells, the morphogenesis of the heart tube, cardiac chambers, and atrioventricular canal, and the establishment of proper cardiac function. However, our current roster of regulators of cardiogenesis is by no means complete. It is therefore valuable for ongoing studies to continue pursuit of additional genes and pathways that control the size, shape, and function of the zebrafish heart. An extensive arsenal of techniques is available to distinguish whether particular mutations, morpholinos, or small molecules disrupt specific processes during heart development. In this chapter, we provide a guide to the experimental strategies that are especially effective for the characterization of cardiac phenotypes in the zebrafish embryo. PMID:27312497

  3. Did the notochord evolve from an ancient axial muscle? The axochord hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Brunet, Thibaut; Lauri, Antonella

    2015-01-01

    The origin of the notochord is one of the key remaining mysteries of our evolutionary ancestry. Here, we present a multi‐level comparison of the chordate notochord to the axochord, a paired axial muscle spanning the ventral midline of annelid worms and other invertebrates. At the cellular level, comparative molecular profiling in the marine annelids P. dumerilii and C. teleta reveals expression of similar, specific gene sets in presumptive axochordal and notochordal cells. These cells also occupy corresponding positions in a conserved anatomical topology and undergo similar morphogenetic movements. At the organ level, a detailed comparison of bilaterian musculatures reveals that most phyla form axochord‐like muscles, suggesting that such a muscle was already present in urbilaterian ancestors. Integrating comparative evidence at the cell and organ level, we propose that the notochord evolved by modification of a ventromedian muscle followed by the assembly of an axial complex supporting swimming in vertebrate ancestors. PMID:26172338

  4. Nuclei pulposi formation from the embryonic notochord occurs normally in GDF5-deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Jennifer A.; Harfe, Brian D.

    2011-01-01

    Study Design The transition of the mouse embryonic notochord into nuclei pulposi was determined (“fate mapped”) in vivo in GDF-5 null mice using the Shhcre and R26R alleles. Objective To determine if abnormal nuclei pulposi formation from the embryonic notochord was responsible for defects present in adult nuclei pulposi of Gdf-5 null mice. Summary of Background Data The development, maintenance, and degeneration of the intervertebral disc are not understood. Previously, we demonstrated that all cells in the adult nucleus pulposus of normal mice are derived from the embryonic notochord. Gdf-5 null mice have been reported to contain intervertebral discs in which the nucleus pulposus is abnormal. It is currently unclear if disc defects in Gdf-5 null mice arise during the formation of nuclei pulposi from the notochord during embryogenesis or resulted from progressive postnatal degeneration of nuclei pulposi. Methods Gdf-5 mRNA expression was examined in the discs of wild-type embryos by RNA in situ hybridization to determine when and where this gene was expressed. To examine nucleus pulposus formation in Gdf-5 null mice, intervertebral discs in which embryonic notochord cells were marked were analyzed in newborn and 24 week old mice. Results Our Gdf-5 mRNA in situ experiments determined that this gene is localized to the annulus fibrosus and not the nucleus pulposus in mouse embryos. Notochord fate mapping experiments revealed that notochord cells in Gdf-5 null mice correctly form nuclei pulposi. Conclusion Our data suggest that the defects reported in the nucleus pulposus of adult Gdf-5 null mice do not result from abnormal patterning of the embryonic notochord. The use of mouse alleles to mark cells that produce all cell types that reside in the adult nucleus pulposus will allow for a detailed examination of disc formation in other mouse mutants that have been reported to contain disc defects. PMID:21278629

  5. Nuclei pulposi formation from the embryonic notochord occurs normally in GDF-5-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Maier, Jennifer A; Harfe, Brian D

    2011-11-15

    The transition of the mouse embryonic notochord into nuclei pulposi was determined ("fate mapped") in vivo in growth and differentiating factor-5 (GDF-5)-null mice using the Shhcre and R26R alleles. To determine whether abnormal nuclei pulposi formation from the embryonic notochord was responsible for defects present in adult nuclei pulposi of Gdf-5-null mice. The development, maintenance, and degeneration of the intervertebral disc are not understood. Previously, we demonstrated that all cells in the adult nucleus pulposus of normal mice are derived from the embryonic notochord. Gdf-5-null mice have been reported to contain intervertebral discs in which the nucleus pulposus is abnormal. It is currently unclear if disc defects in Gdf-5-null mice arise during the formation of nuclei pulposi from the notochord during embryogenesis or result from progressive postnatal degeneration of nuclei pulposi. Gdf-5 messenger RNA expression was examined in the discs of wild-type embryos by RNA in situ hybridization to determine when and where this gene was expressed. To examine nucleus pulposus formation in Gdf-5-null mice, intervertebral discs in which embryonic notochord cells were marked were analyzed in newborn and 24-week-old mice. Our Gdf-5 messenger RNA in situ experiments determined that this gene is localized to the annulus fibrosus and not the nucleus pulposus in mouse embryos. Notochord fate-mapping experiments revealed that notochord cells in Gdf-5-null mice correctly form nuclei pulposi. Our data suggest that the defects reported in the nucleus pulposus of adult Gdf-5-null mice do not result from abnormal patterning of the embryonic notochord. The use of mouse alleles to mark cells that produce all cell types that reside in the adult nucleus pulposus will allow for a detailed examination of disc formation in other mouse mutants that have been reported to contain disc defects.

  6. Brachyury, Foxa2 and the cis-Regulatory Origins of the Notochord

    PubMed Central

    José-Edwards, Diana S.; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Kugler, Jamie E.; Passamaneck, Yale J.; Katikala, Lavanya; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2015-01-01

    A main challenge of modern biology is to understand how specific constellations of genes are activated to differentiate cells and give rise to distinct tissues. This study focuses on elucidating how gene expression is initiated in the notochord, an axial structure that provides support and patterning signals to embryos of humans and all other chordates. Although numerous notochord genes have been identified, the regulatory DNAs that orchestrate development and propel evolution of this structure by eliciting notochord gene expression remain mostly uncharted, and the information on their configuration and recurrence is still quite fragmentary. Here we used the simple chordate Ciona for a systematic analysis of notochord cis-regulatory modules (CRMs), and investigated their composition, architectural constraints, predictive ability and evolutionary conservation. We found that most Ciona notochord CRMs relied upon variable combinations of binding sites for the transcription factors Brachyury and/or Foxa2, which can act either synergistically or independently from one another. Notably, one of these CRMs contains a Brachyury binding site juxtaposed to an (AC) microsatellite, an unusual arrangement also found in Brachyury-bound regulatory regions in mouse. In contrast, different subsets of CRMs relied upon binding sites for transcription factors of widely diverse families. Surprisingly, we found that neither intra-genomic nor interspecific conservation of binding sites were reliably predictive hallmarks of notochord CRMs. We propose that rather than obeying a rigid sequence-based cis-regulatory code, most notochord CRMs are rather unique. Yet, this study uncovered essential elements recurrently used by divergent chordates as basic building blocks for notochord CRMs. PMID:26684323

  7. Brachyury, Foxa2 and the cis-Regulatory Origins of the Notochord.

    PubMed

    José-Edwards, Diana S; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Kugler, Jamie E; Passamaneck, Yale J; Katikala, Lavanya; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2015-12-01

    A main challenge of modern biology is to understand how specific constellations of genes are activated to differentiate cells and give rise to distinct tissues. This study focuses on elucidating how gene expression is initiated in the notochord, an axial structure that provides support and patterning signals to embryos of humans and all other chordates. Although numerous notochord genes have been identified, the regulatory DNAs that orchestrate development and propel evolution of this structure by eliciting notochord gene expression remain mostly uncharted, and the information on their configuration and recurrence is still quite fragmentary. Here we used the simple chordate Ciona for a systematic analysis of notochord cis-regulatory modules (CRMs), and investigated their composition, architectural constraints, predictive ability and evolutionary conservation. We found that most Ciona notochord CRMs relied upon variable combinations of binding sites for the transcription factors Brachyury and/or Foxa2, which can act either synergistically or independently from one another. Notably, one of these CRMs contains a Brachyury binding site juxtaposed to an (AC) microsatellite, an unusual arrangement also found in Brachyury-bound regulatory regions in mouse. In contrast, different subsets of CRMs relied upon binding sites for transcription factors of widely diverse families. Surprisingly, we found that neither intra-genomic nor interspecific conservation of binding sites were reliably predictive hallmarks of notochord CRMs. We propose that rather than obeying a rigid sequence-based cis-regulatory code, most notochord CRMs are rather unique. Yet, this study uncovered essential elements recurrently used by divergent chordates as basic building blocks for notochord CRMs.

  8. The notochord in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) undergoes profound morphological and mechanical changes during development.

    PubMed

    Kryvi, Harald; Rusten, Iselin; Fjelldal, Per Gunnar; Nordvik, Kari; Totland, Geir K; Karlsen, Tine; Wiig, Helge; Long, John H

    2017-11-01

    We present the development of the notochord of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.), from early embryo to sexually mature fish. Over the salmon's lifespan, profound morphological changes occur. Cells and gross structures of the notochord reorganize twice. In the embryo, the volume of the notochord is dominated by large, vacuolated chordocytes; each cell can be modeled as a hydrostat organized into a larger cellular-hydrostat network, structurally bound together with desmosomes. After the embryo hatches and grows into a fry, vacuolated chordocytes disappear, replaced by extracellular lacunae. The formation of mineralized, segmental chordacentra stiffens the notochord and creates intervertebral joints, where tissue strain during lateral bending is now focused. As development proceeds towards the parr stage, a process of devacuolization and intracellular filament accumulation occur, forming highly dense, non-vacuolated chordocytes. As extracellular lacunae enlarge, they are enclosed by dense filamentous chordocytes that form transverse intervertebral septa, which are connected to the intervertebral ligaments, and a longitudinal notochordal strand. In the vertebral column of pelagic adults, large vacuolated chordocytes reappear; cells of this secondary population have a volume up to 19 000 times larger than the primary vacuolated chordocytes of the early notochord. In adults the lacunae have diminished in relative size. Hydrostatic pressure within the notochord increases significantly during growth, from 525 Pa in the alevins to 11 500 Pa in adults, at a rate of increase with total body length greater than that expected by static stress similarity. Pressure and morphometric measurements were combined to estimate the stress in the extracellular material of the notochordal sheath and intervertebral ligaments and the flexural stiffness of the axial skeleton. The functional significance of the morphological changes in the axial skeleton is discussed in relation to the

  9. Hedgehog signaling is required at multiple stages of zebrafish tooth development.

    PubMed

    Jackman, William R; Yoo, James J; Stock, David W

    2010-11-30

    The accessibility of the developing zebrafish pharyngeal dentition makes it an advantageous system in which to study many aspects of tooth development from early initiation to late morphogenesis. In mammals, hedgehog signaling is known to be essential for multiple stages of odontogenesis; however, potential roles for the pathway during initiation of tooth development or in later morphogenesis are incompletely understood. We have identified mRNA expression of the hedgehog ligands shha and the receptors ptc1 and ptc2 during zebrafish pharyngeal tooth development. We looked for, but did not detect, tooth germ expression of the other known zebrafish hedgehog ligands shhb, dhh, ihha, or ihhb, suggesting that as in mammals, only Shh participates in zebrafish tooth development. Supporting this idea, we found that morphological and gene expression evidence of tooth initiation is eliminated in shha mutant embryos, and that morpholino antisense oligonucleotide knockdown of shha, but not shhb, function prevents mature tooth formation. Hedgehog pathway inhibition with the antagonist compound cyclopamine affected tooth formation at each stage in which we applied it: arresting development at early stages and disrupting mature tooth morphology when applied later. These results suggest that hedgehog signaling is required continuously during odontogenesis. In contrast, over-expression of shha had no effect on the developing dentition, possibly because shha is normally extensively expressed in the zebrafish pharyngeal region. We have identified previously unknown requirements for hedgehog signaling for early tooth initiation and later morphogenesis. The similarity of our results with data from mouse and other vertebrates suggests that despite gene duplication and changes in the location of where teeth form, the roles of hedgehog signaling in tooth development have been largely conserved during evolution.

  10. A segmental pattern of alkaline phosphatase activity within the notochord coincides with the initial formation of the vertebral bodies.

    PubMed

    Grotmol, Sindre; Nordvik, Kari; Kryvi, Harald; Totland, Geir K

    2005-05-01

    This study shows that segmental expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity by the notochord of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) coincides with the initial mineralization of the vertebral body (chordacentrum), and precedes ALP expression by presumed somite-derived cells external to the notochordal sheath. The early expression of ALP indicates that the notochord plays an instructive role in the segmental patterning of the vertebral column. The chordacentra form segmentally as mineralized rings within the notochordal sheath, and ALP activity spreads within the chordoblast layer from ventral to dorsal, displaying the same progression and spatial distribution as the mineralization process. No ALP activity was observed in sclerotomal mesenchyme surrounding the notochordal sheath during initial formation of the chordacentra. Our results support previous findings indicating that the chordoblasts initiate a segmental differentiation of the notochordal sheath into chordacentra and intervertebral regions.

  11. Sonic hedgehog in the notochord is sufficient for patterning of the intervertebral discs

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Kyung-Suk; Lee, Chanmi; Harfe, Brian D.

    2012-01-01

    The intervertebral discs, located between adjacent vertebrae, are required for stability of the spine and distributing mechanical load throughout the vertebral column. All cell types located in thes middle regions of the discs, called nuclei pulposi, are derived from the embryonic notochord. Recently, it was shown that the hedgehog signaling pathway plays an essential role during formation of nuclei pulposi. However, during the time that nuclei pulposi are forming, Shh is expressed in both the notochord and the nearby floor plate. To determine the source of SHH protein sufficient for formation of nuclei pulposi we removed Shh from either the floor plate or the notochord using tamoxifen-inducible Cre alleles. Removal of Shh from the floor plate resulted in phenotypically normal intervertebral discs, indicating that Shh expression in this tissue is not required for disc patterning. In addition, embryos that lacked Shh in the floor plate had normal vertebral columns, demonstrating that Shh expression in the notochord is sufficient for pattering the entire vertebral column. Removal of Shh from the notochord resulted in the absence of Shh in the floor plate, loss of intervertebral discs and vertebral structures. These data indicate that Shh expression in the notochord is sufficient for patterning of the intervertebral discs and the vertebral column. PMID:22841806

  12. Cilia-like structures anchor the amphioxus notochord to its sheath.

    PubMed

    Bočina, Ivana; Ljubešić, Nikola; Saraga-Babić, Mirna

    2011-01-01

    Body stiffness is important during undulatory locomotion in fish. In amphioxus, the myosepta play an important role in transmission of muscular forces to the notochord. In order to define the specific supporting role of the notochord in amphioxus during locomotion, the ultrastructure of 10 adult amphioxus specimens was analyzed using transmission electron microscopy. Numerous cilia-like structures were found on the surface of each notochordal cell at the sites of their attachment to the notochordal sheath. Ultrastructurally, these structures consisted of the characteristic arrangement of peripheral and central microtubular doublets and were anchored to the inner layer of the notochordal sheath. Immunohistochemically, a positive reaction to applied dynein and β-tubulin antibodies characterized the area of the cilia-like structures. We propose that reduced back-and-forth movements of the cilia-like structures might contribute to the flow of the fluid content inside the notochord, thus modulating the stiffness of the amphioxus body during its undulatory locomotion. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  13. Sonic hedgehog in the notochord is sufficient for patterning of the intervertebral discs.

    PubMed

    Choi, Kyung-Suk; Lee, Chanmi; Harfe, Brian D

    2012-01-01

    The intervertebral discs, located between adjacent vertebrae, are required for stability of the spine and distributing mechanical load throughout the vertebral column. All cell types located in the middle regions of the discs, called nuclei pulposi, are derived from the embryonic notochord. Recently, it was shown that the hedgehog signaling pathway plays an essential role during formation of nuclei pulposi. However, during the time that nuclei pulposi are forming, Shh is expressed in both the notochord and the nearby floor plate. To determine the source of SHH protein sufficient for formation of nuclei pulposi we removed Shh from either the floor plate or the notochord using tamoxifen-inducible Cre alleles. Removal of Shh from the floor plate resulted in phenotypically normal intervertebral discs, indicating that Shh expression in this tissue is not required for disc patterning. In addition, embryos that lacked Shh in the floor plate had normal vertebral columns, demonstrating that Shh expression in the notochord is sufficient for pattering the entire vertebral column. Removal of Shh from the notochord resulted in the absence of Shh in the floor plate, loss of intervertebral discs and vertebral structures. These data indicate that Shh expression in the notochord is sufficient for patterning of the intervertebral discs and the vertebral column. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Identification of vimentin- and elastin-like transcripts specifically expressed in developing notochord of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.).

    PubMed

    Sagstad, Anita; Grotmol, Sindre; Kryvi, Harald; Krossøy, Christel; Totland, Geir K; Malde, Ketil; Wang, Shou; Hansen, Tom; Wargelius, Anna

    2011-11-01

    The notochord functions as the midline structural element of all vertebrate embryos, and allows movement and growth at early developmental stages. Moreover, during embryonic development, notochord cells produce secreted factors that provide positional and fate information to a broad variety of cells within adjacent tissues, for instance those of the vertebrae, central nervous system and somites. Due to the large size of the embryo, the salmon notochord is useful to study as a model for exploring notochord development. To investigate factors that might be involved in notochord development, a normalized cDNA library was constructed from a mix of notochords from ∼500 to ∼800 day°. From the 1968 Sanger-sequenced transcripts, 22 genes were identified to be predominantly expressed in the notochord compared to other organs of salmon. Twelve of these genes were found to show expressional regulation around mineralization of the notochord sheath; 11 genes were up-regulated and one gene was down-regulated. Two genes were found to be specifically expressed in the notochord; these genes showed similarity to vimentin (acc. no GT297094) and elastin (acc. no GT297478). In-situ results showed that the vimentin- like transcript was expressed in both chordocytes and chordoblasts, whereas the elastin- like transcript was uniquely expressed in the chordoblasts lining the notochordal sheath. In salmon aquaculture, vertebral deformities are a common problem, and some malformations have been linked to the notochord. The expression of identified transcripts provides further insight into processes taking place in the developing notochord, prior to and during the early mineralization period.

  15. A temperature-sensitive mutation in the nodal-related gene cyclops reveals that the floor plate is induced during gastrulation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Tian, Jing; Yam, Caleb; Balasundaram, Gayathri; Wang, Hui; Gore, Aniket; Sampath, Karuna

    2003-07-01

    The floor plate, a specialized group of cells in the ventral midline of the neural tube of vertebrates, plays crucial roles in patterning the central nervous system. Recent work from zebrafish, chick, chick-quail chimeras and mice to investigate the development of the floor plate have led to several models of floor-plate induction. One model suggests that the floor plate is formed by inductive signalling from the notochord to the overlying neural tube. The induction is thought to be mediated by notochord-derived Sonic hedgehog (Shh), a secreted protein, and requires direct cellular contact between the notochord and the neural tube. Another model proposes a role for the organizer in generating midline precursor cells that produce floor plate cells independent of notochord specification, and proposes that floor plate specification occurs early, during gastrulation. We describe a temperature-sensitive mutation that affects the zebrafish Nodal-related secreted signalling factor, Cyclops, and use it to address the issue of when the floor plate is induced in zebrafish. Zebrafish cyclops regulates the expression of shh in the ventral neural tube. Although null mutations in cyclops result in the lack of the medial floor plate, embryos homozygous for the temperature-sensitive mutation have floor plate cells at the permissive temperature and lack floor plate cells at the restrictive temperature. We use this mutant allele in temperature shift-up and shift-down experiments to answer a central question pertaining to the timing of vertebrate floor plate induction. Abrogation of Cyc/Nodal signalling in the temperature-sensitive mutant embryos at various stages indicates that the floor plate in zebrafish is induced early in development, during gastrulation. In addition, continuous Cyclops signalling is required through gastrulation for a complete ventral neural tube throughout the length of the neuraxis. Finally, by modulation of Nodal signalling levels in mutants and in ectopic

  16. Using passive sampling and zebrafish to identify developmental toxicants in complex mixtures.

    PubMed

    Bergmann, Alan J; Tanguay, Robert L; Anderson, Kim A

    2017-09-01

    Using effects-directed analysis, we investigated associations previously observed between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and embryotoxicity in field-deployed low-density polyethylene (LDPE). We conducted effects-directed analysis using a zebrafish embryo assay and iterative fractionation of extracts of LDPE that were deployed in the Portland Harbor superfund megasite, Oregon (USA). Whole extracts induced toxicity including mortality, edema, and notochord distortion at 20% effect concentration (EC20) values of approximately 100, 100, and 10 mg LDPE/mL, respectively. Through fractionation, we determined that PAHs at concentrations similar to previous research did not contribute markedly to toxicity. We also eliminated pesticides, phthalates, musks, and other substances identified in toxic fractions by testing surrogate mixtures. We identified free fatty acids as lethal components of LDPE extracts and confirmed their toxicity with authentic standards. We found chromatographic evidence that dithiocarbamates are responsible for notochord and other sublethal effects, although exact matches were not obtained. Fatty acids and dithiocarbamates were previously unrecorded components of LDPE extracts and likely contribute to the toxicity of the whole mixture. The present study demonstrates the success of effects-directed analysis in nontargeted hazard identification using the zebrafish embryo test as a self-contained battery of bioassays that allows identification of multiple chemicals with different modes of action. This is the first effects-directed analysis to combine LDPE and zebrafish, approaches that are widely applicable to identifying developmental hazards in the bioavailable fraction of hydrophobic organic compounds. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2290-2298. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  17. N-cadherin is required for cytodifferentiation during zebrafish odontogenesis.

    PubMed

    Verstraeten, B; van Hengel, J; Sanders, E; Van Roy, F; Huysseune, A

    2013-04-01

    N-cadherin is a well-studied classic cadherin involved in multiple developmental processes and is also known to have a signaling function. Using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model, we tested the hypothesis that tooth morphogenesis is accompanied by dynamic changes in N-cadherin distribution and that absence of N-cadherin disturbs tooth development. N-cadherin, encoded by the gene cdh2, is absent during the initiation and morphogenesis stages of both primary (first-generation) and replacement teeth, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. However, N-cadherin is up-regulated at the onset of differentiation of cells of the inner dental epithelium and the dental papilla, i.e., the ameloblasts and odontoblasts, respectively. In the inner dental epithelium, N-cadherin is co-expressed with E-cadherin, excluding the occurrence of cadherin switching such as observed during human tooth development. While early lethality of N-cadherin knockout mice prevents any functional study of N-cadherin in mouse odontogenesis, zebrafish parachute (pac) mutants, deficient for N-cadherin, survive beyond the age when primary teeth normally start to form. In these mutants, the first tooth forms, but its development stops at the early cytodifferentiation stage. N-cadherin deficiency also completely inhibits the development of the other first-generation teeth, possibly due to the absence of N-cadherin signaling once the first tooth has differentiated.

  18. The floor plate is sufficient for development of the sclerotome and spine without the notochord.

    PubMed

    Ando, Takashi; Semba, Kei; Suda, Hiroko; Sei, Akira; Mizuta, Hiroshi; Araki, Masatake; Abe, Kuniya; Imai, Kenji; Nakagata, Naomi; Araki, Kimi; Yamamura, Ken-ichi

    2011-01-01

    Danforth'sshort-tail (Sd) mouse is a semi-dominant mutation affecting the development of the vertebral column. Although the notochord degenerates completely by embryonic day 9.5, the vertebral column exists up to the lumber region, suggesting that the floor plate can substitute for notochord function. We previously established the mutant mouse line, Skt(Gt), through gene trap mutagenesis and identified the novel gene, Skt, which was mapped 0.95cM distal to the Sd locus. Taking advantage of the fact that monitoring notochordal development and genotyping of the Sd locus can be performed using the Skt(Gt) allele, we assessed the development of the vertebra, notochord, somite, floor plate and sclerotome in +-+/+-Skt(Gt), Sd-+/+-+, Sd-Skt(Gt)/+-+, Sd-Skt(Gt)/+-Skt(Gt), Sd-+/Sd-+ and Sd-Skt(Gt)/Sd-Skt(Gt) embryos. In Sd homozygous mutants with a C57BL/6 genetic background, the vertebral column was truncated in the 6th thoracic vertebra, which was more severe than previously reported. The floor plate and sclerotome developed to the level of somite before notochord degeneration and the number of remaining vertebrae corresponded well with the level of development of the floor plate and sclerotome. Defects to the sclerotome and subsequent vertebral development were not due to failure of somitogenesis. Taken together, these results suggest that the notochord induced floor plate development before degeneration, and that the remaining floor plate is sufficient for maintenance of differentiation of the somite into the sclerotome and vertebra in the absence of the notochord. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Ott1 (Rbm15) is essential for placental vascular branching morphogenesis and embryonic development of the heart and spleen.

    PubMed

    Raffel, Glen D; Chu, Gerald C; Jesneck, Jonathan L; Cullen, Dana E; Bronson, Roderick T; Bernard, Olivier A; Gilliland, D Gary

    2009-01-01

    The infant leukemia-associated gene Ott1 (Rbm15) has broad regulatory effects within murine hematopoiesis. However, germ line Ott1 deletion results in fetal demise prior to embryonic day 10.5, indicating additional developmental requirements for Ott1. The spen gene family, to which Ott1 belongs, has a transcriptional activation/repression domain and RNA recognition motifs and has a significant role in the development of the head and thorax in Drosophila melanogaster. Early Ott1-deficient embryos show growth retardation and incomplete closure of the notochord. Further analysis demonstrated placental defects in the spongiotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast layers, resulting in an arrest of vascular branching morphogenesis. The rescue of the placental defect using a conditional allele with a trophoblast-sparing cre transgene allowed embryos to form a normal placenta and survive gestation. This outcome showed that the process of vascular branching morphogenesis in Ott1-deficient animals was regulated by the trophoblast compartment rather than the fetal vasculature. Mice surviving to term manifested hyposplenia and abnormal cardiac development. Analysis of global gene expression of Ott1-deficient embryonic hearts showed an enrichment of hypoxia-related genes and a significant alteration of several candidate genes critical for cardiac development. Thus, Ott1-dependent pathways, in addition to being implicated in leukemogenesis, may also be important for the pathogenesis of placental insufficiency and cardiac malformations.

  20. Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signalling is required for early dorso-anterior development of the zebrafish embryo.

    PubMed

    Eivers, Edward; McCarthy, Karena; Glynn, Catherine; Nolan, Catherine M; Byrnes, Lucy

    2004-12-01

    The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signalling pathway has been highly conserved in animal evolution and, in mammals and Xenopus, plays a key role in embryonic growth and development, with the IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) being a crucial regulator of the signalling cascade. Here we report the first functional role for the IGF pathway in zebrafish. Expression of mRNA coding for a dominant negative IGF-1R resulted in embryos that were small in size compared to controls and had disrupted head and CNS development. At its most extreme, this phenotype was characterized by a complete loss of head and eye structures, an absence of notochord and the presence of abnormal somites. In contrast, up-regulation of IGF signalling following injection of IGF-1 mRNA, resulted in a greatly expanded development of anterior structures at the expense of trunk and tail. IGF-1R knockdown caused a significant decrease in the expression of Otx2, Rx3, FGF8, Pax6.2 and Ntl, while excess IGF signalling expanded Otx2 expression in presumptive forebrain tissue and widened the Ntl expression domain in the developing notochord. The observation that IGF-1R knockdown reduced expression of two key organizer genes (chordin and goosecoid) suggests that IGF signalling plays a role in regulating zebrafish organizer activity. This is supported by the expression of IGF-1, IGF-2 and IGF-1R in shield-stage zebrafish embryos and the demonstration that IGF signalling influences expression of BMP2b, a gene that plays an important role in zebrafish pattern formation. Our data is consistent with a common pathway for integration of IGF, FGF8 and anti-BMPs in early vertebrate development.

  1. Characterization and classification of zebrafish brain morphology mutants

    PubMed Central

    Lowery, Laura Anne; De Rienzo, Gianluca; Gutzman, Jennifer H.; Sive, Hazel

    2010-01-01

    The mechanisms by which the vertebrate brain achieves its three-dimensional structure are clearly complex, requiring the functions of many genes. Using the zebrafish as a model, we have begun to define genes required for brain morphogenesis, including brain ventricle formation, by studying 16 mutants previously identified as having embryonic brain morphology defects. We report the phenotypic characterization of these mutants at several time-points, using brain ventricle dye injection, imaging, and immunohistochemistry with neuronal markers. Most of these mutants display early phenotypes, affecting initial brain shaping, while others show later phenotypes, affecting brain ventricle expansion. In the early phenotype group, we further define four phenotypic classes and corresponding functions required for brain morphogenesis. Although we did not use known genotypes for this classification, basing it solely on phenotypes, many mutants with defects in functionally related genes clustered in a single class. In particular, class 1 mutants show midline separation defects, corresponding to epithelial junction defects; class 2 mutants show reduced brain ventricle size; class 3 mutants show midbrain-hindbrain abnormalities, corresponding to basement membrane defects; and class 4 mutants show absence of ventricle lumen inflation, corresponding to defective ion pumping. Later brain ventricle expansion requires the extracellular matrix, cardiovascular circulation, and transcription/splicing-dependent events. We suggest that these mutants define processes likely to be used during brain morphogenesis throughout the vertebrates. PMID:19051268

  2. Structural and experimental investigations of the functional anatomy and the turgor of the notochord in the larval tail of anuran tadpoles.

    PubMed

    Platz, Franz

    2006-07-01

    The premetamorphotic morphology and metamorphotic degeneration of the tail notochord of anuran tadpoles has been investigated. For this purpose the functional anatomy and origin of the notochord turgor was analysed in 10 species macroscopically and using light, transmission and scanning electron microscopic techniques. The notochord consists of the fibrous notochord sheath, which surrounds the notochord cells. Within the sheath these cells form a net-like unit. The inner cells are derived from the marginal notochord cells (chordoblasts). They are protected from mechanical overload by intracellular filaments and desmosomes. Due to their vacuoles, which are filled with a hyaline liquid, they have a constant volume but are deformable. Dissolved substances may pass from the vascularized fin to the notochord cells. The transport from marginal to inner cells occurs via cytopempsis and micropinocytosis. The morphological correlation of this process consists of multiple membrane invaginations and intracellular vesicles. Within the notochord cells a high turgor pressure has been observed. During metamorphosis the membrane vesiculation persists and the notochord cells degenerate. Due to the loss of turgor pressure the tight consistency of the notochord is lost. The collagen filaments and the elastic membrane of the notochord sheath dissolve. Notochord cells with their filaments, high turgor pressure and their central vacuole can function as a combined mechanical and physiological system, which is adaptable to the needs of pressure, compression, tensile and bending forces.

  3. Vertex Models of Epithelial Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Fletcher, Alexander G.; Osterfield, Miriam; Baker, Ruth E.; Shvartsman, Stanislav Y.

    2014-01-01

    The dynamic behavior of epithelial cell sheets plays a central role during numerous developmental processes. Genetic and imaging studies of epithelial morphogenesis in a wide range of organisms have led to increasingly detailed mechanisms of cell sheet dynamics. Computational models offer a useful means by which to investigate and test these mechanisms, and have played a key role in the study of cell-cell interactions. A variety of modeling approaches can be used to simulate the balance of forces within an epithelial sheet. Vertex models are a class of such models that consider cells as individual objects, approximated by two-dimensional polygons representing cellular interfaces, in which each vertex moves in response to forces due to growth, interfacial tension, and pressure within each cell. Vertex models are used to study cellular processes within epithelia, including cell motility, adhesion, mitosis, and delamination. This review summarizes how vertex models have been used to provide insight into developmental processes and highlights current challenges in this area, including progressing these models from two to three dimensions and developing new tools for model validation. PMID:24896108

  4. Notochord-derived BMP antagonists inhibit endothelial cell generation and network formation.

    PubMed

    Bressan, Michael; Davis, Patricia; Timmer, John; Herzlinger, Doris; Mikawa, Takashi

    2009-02-01

    Embryonic blood vessel formation is initially mediated through the sequential differentiation, migration, and assembly of endothelial cells (ECs). While many molecular signals that promote vascular development have been identified, little is known about suppressors of this process. In higher vertebrates, including birds and mammals, the vascular network forms throughout the embryonic disk with the exception of a region along the midline. We have previously shown that the notochord is responsible for the generation and maintenance of the avascular midline and that BMP antagonists expressed by this embryonic tissue, including Noggin and Chordin, can mimic this inhibitory role. Here we report that the notochord suppresses the generation of ECs from the mesoderm both in vivo and in vitro. We also report that the notochord diminishes the ability of mature ECs to organize into a primitive plexus. Furthermore, Noggin mimics notochord-based inhibition by preventing mesodermal EC generation and mature EC network formation. These findings suggest that the mesoderm surrounding the midline is competent to give rise to ECs and to form blood vessels, but that notochord derived-BMP antagonists suppress EC differentiation and maturation processes leading to inhibition of midline vessel formation.

  5. An essential role of a FoxD gene in notochord induction in Ciona embryos.

    PubMed

    Imai, Kaoru S; Satoh, Nori; Satou, Yutaka

    2002-07-01

    A key issue for understanding the early development of the chordate body plan is how the endoderm induces notochord formation. In the ascidian Ciona, nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin is the first step in the process of endoderm specification. We show that nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin directly activates the gene (Cs-FoxD) for a winged helix/forkhead transcription factor and that this gene is expressed transiently at the 16- and 32-cell stages in endodermal cells. The function of Cs-FoxD, however, is not associated with differentiation of the endoderm itself but is essential for notochord differentiation or induction. In addition, it is likely that the inductive signal that appears to act downstream of Cs-FoxD does not act over a long range. It has been suggested that FGF or Notch signal transduction pathway mediates ascidian notochord induction. Our previous study suggests that Cs-FGF4/6/9 is partially involved in the notochord induction. The present experimental results suggest that the expression and function of Cs-FGF4/6/9 and Cs-FoxD are not interdependent, and that the Notch pathway is involved in B-line notochord induction downstream of Cs-FoxD.

  6. Regulation of notochord-specific expression of Ci-Bra downstream genes in Ciona intestinalis embryos.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hiroki; Hotta, Kohji; Takagi, Chiyo; Ueno, Naoto; Satoh, Nori; Shoguchi, Eiichi

    2010-02-01

    Brachyury, a T-box transcription factor, is expressed in ascidian embryos exclusively in primordial notochord cells and plays a pivotal role in differentiation of notochord cells. Previously, we identified approximately 450 genes downstream of Ciona intestinalis Brachyury (Ci-Bra), and characterized the expression profiles of 45 of these in differentiating notochord cells. In this study, we looked for cisregulatory sequences in minimal enhancers of 20 Ci-Bra downstream genes by electroporating region within approximately 3 kb upstream of each gene fused with lacZ. Eight of the 20 reporters were expressed in notochord cells. The minimal enchancer for each of these eight genes was narrowed to a region approximately 0.5-1.0-kb long. We also explored the genome-wide and coordinate regulation of 43 Ci-Bra-downstream genes. When we determined their chromosomal localization, it became evident that they are not clustered in a given region of the genome, but rather distributed evenly over 13 of the 14 pairs of chromosomes, suggesting that gene clustering does not contribute to coordinate control of the Ci-Bra downstream gene expression. Our results might provide Insights Into the molecular mechanisms underlying notochord formation in chordates.

  7. Effect of abnormal notochord delamination on hindgut development in the Adriamycin mouse model.

    PubMed

    Sato, Hideaki; Hajduk, Piotr; Furuta, Shigeyuki; Wakisaka, Munechika; Murphy, Paula; Puri, Prem; Kitagawa, Hiroaki

    2013-11-01

    Adriamycin mouse model (AMM) is a model of VACTERL anomalies. Sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway, sourced by the notochord, is implicated of anorectal malformations. We hypothesized hindgut anomalies observed in the AMM are the result of abnormal effect of the notochord. Time-mated CBA/Ca mice received two intraperitoneal injections of Adriamycin (6 mg/kg) or saline as control on embryonic day (E) 7 and 8. Fetuses were harvested from E9 to E11, stained following whole mount in situ hybridization with labeled RNA probes to detect Shh and Fork head box F1(Foxf1) transcripts. Immunolocalization with endoderm marker Hnf3β was used to visualize morphology. Embryos were scanned by OPT to obtain 3D representations of expressions. In AMM, the notochord was abnormally displaced ventrally with attachment to the hindgut endoderm in 71 % of the specimens. In 32 % of the treated embryos abnormal hindgut ended blindly in a cystic structure, and both of types were remarked in 29 % of treated embryos. Endodermal Shh and mesenchymal Foxf1 genes expression were preserved around the hindgut cystic malformation. The delamination of the developing notochord in the AMM is disrupted, which may influence signaling mechanisms from the notochord to the hindgut resulting in abnormal patterning of the hindgut.

  8. Identification of a new mineralized tissue in the notochord of reared Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii).

    PubMed

    Leprévost, Amandine; Azaïs, Thierry; Trichet, Michael; Sire, Jean-Yves

    2017-11-01

    In a study aiming to improve knowledge on the mineralization of the axial skeleton in reared Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii Brandt, 1869), we discovered a new mineralized tissue within the notochord. To our knowledge, such a structure has never been reported in any vertebrate species with the exception of the pathological mineralization of the notochord remains in degenerative intervertebral disks of mammals. Here, we describe this enigmatic tissue using X-ray microtomography, histological analyses and solid state NMR-spectroscopy. We also performed a 1-year monitoring of the mineral content (MC) of the notochord in relation with seasonal variations of temperature. In all specimens studied from 2-year-old juveniles onwards, this mineralized structure was found within a particular region of the notochord called funiculus. This feature first appears in the abdominal region then extends posteriorly with ageing, while the notochord MC also increases. The mineral phase is mainly composed of amorphous calcium phosphate, a small amount of which changes into hydroxyapatite with ageing. The putative role of this structure is discussed as either a store of minerals available for the phosphocalcic metabolism, or a mechanical support in a species with a poorly mineralized axial skeleton. A pathological feature putatively related to rearing conditions is also discussed. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Zebrafish Health Conditions in the China Zebrafish Resource Center and 20 Major Chinese Zebrafish Laboratories.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liyue; Pan, Luyuan; Li, Kuoyu; Zhang, Yun; Zhu, Zuoyan; Sun, Yonghua

    2016-07-01

    In China, the use of zebrafish as an experimental animal in the past 15 years has widely expanded. The China Zebrafish Resource Center (CZRC), which was established in 2012, is becoming one of the major resource centers in the global zebrafish community. Large-scale use and regular exchange of zebrafish resources have put forward higher requirements on zebrafish health issues in China. This article reports the current aquatic infrastructure design, animal husbandry, and health-monitoring programs in the CZRC. Meanwhile, through a survey of 20 Chinese zebrafish laboratories, we also describe the current health status of major zebrafish facilities in China. We conclude that it is of great importance to establish a widely accepted health standard and health-monitoring strategy in the Chinese zebrafish research community.

  10. Tbx2/3 is an essential mediator within the Brachyury gene network during Ciona notochord development

    PubMed Central

    José-Edwards, Diana S.; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-01-01

    T-box genes are potent regulators of mesoderm development in many metazoans. In chordate embryos, the T-box transcription factor Brachyury (Bra) is required for specification and differentiation of the notochord. In some chordates, including the ascidian Ciona, members of the Tbx2 subfamily of T-box genes are also expressed in this tissue; however, their regulatory relationships with Bra and their contributions to the development of the notochord remain uncharacterized. We determined that the notochord expression of Ciona Tbx2/3 (Ci-Tbx2/3) requires Ci-Bra, and identified a Ci-Tbx2/3 notochord CRM that necessitates multiple Ci-Bra binding sites for its activity. Expression of mutant forms of Ci-Tbx2/3 in the developing notochord revealed a role for this transcription factor primarily in convergent extension. Through microarray screens, we uncovered numerous Ci-Tbx2/3 targets, some of which overlap with known Ci-Bra-downstream notochord genes. Among the Ci-Tbx2/3 notochord targets are evolutionarily conserved genes, including caspases, lineage-specific genes, such as Noto4, and newly identified genes, such as MLKL. This work sheds light on a large section of the notochord regulatory circuitry controlled by T-box factors, and reveals new components of the complement of genes required for the proper formation of this structure. PMID:23674602

  11. A one-dimensional model of PCP signaling: polarized cell behavior in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona.

    PubMed

    Kourakis, Matthew J; Reeves, Wendy; Newman-Smith, Erin; Maury, Benoit; Abdul-Wajid, Sarah; Smith, William C

    2014-11-01

    Despite its importance in development and physiology the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway remains one of the most enigmatic signaling mechanisms. The notochord of the ascidian Ciona provides a unique model for investigating the PCP pathway. Interestingly, the notochord appears to be the only embryonic structure in Ciona activating the PCP pathway. Moreover, the Ciona notochord as a single-file array of forty polarized cells is a uniquely tractable system for the study of polarization dynamics and the transmission of the PCP pathway. Here, we test models for propagation of a polarizing signal, interrogating temporal, spatial and signaling requirements. A simple cell-cell relay cascading through the entire length of the notochord is not supported; instead a more complex mechanism is revealed, with interactions influencing polarity between neighboring cells, but not distant ones. Mechanisms coordinating notochord-wide polarity remain elusive, but appear to entrain general (i.e., global) polarity even while local interactions remain important. However, this global polarizer does not appear to act as a localized, spatially-restricted determinant. Coordination of polarity along the long axis of the notochord requires the PCP pathway, a role we demonstrate is temporally distinct from this pathway's earlier role in convergent extension and intercalation. We also reveal polarity in the notochord to be dynamic: a cell's polarity state can be changed and then restored, underscoring the Ciona notochord's amenability for in vivo studies of PCP. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Tbx2/3 is an essential mediator within the Brachyury gene network during Ciona notochord development.

    PubMed

    José-Edwards, Diana S; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-06-01

    T-box genes are potent regulators of mesoderm development in many metazoans. In chordate embryos, the T-box transcription factor Brachyury (Bra) is required for specification and differentiation of the notochord. In some chordates, including the ascidian Ciona, members of the Tbx2 subfamily of T-box genes are also expressed in this tissue; however, their regulatory relationships with Bra and their contributions to the development of the notochord remain uncharacterized. We determined that the notochord expression of Ciona Tbx2/3 (Ci-Tbx2/3) requires Ci-Bra, and identified a Ci-Tbx2/3 notochord CRM that necessitates multiple Ci-Bra binding sites for its activity. Expression of mutant forms of Ci-Tbx2/3 in the developing notochord revealed a role for this transcription factor primarily in convergent extension. Through microarray screens, we uncovered numerous Ci-Tbx2/3 targets, some of which overlap with known Ci-Bra-downstream notochord genes. Among the Ci-Tbx2/3 notochord targets are evolutionarily conserved genes, including caspases, lineage-specific genes, such as Noto4, and newly identified genes, such as MLKL. This work sheds light on a large section of the notochord regulatory circuitry controlled by T-box factors, and reveals new components of the complement of genes required for the proper formation of this structure.

  13. The role of retinoic acid in the morphogenesis of the neural tube.

    PubMed

    Wilson, L; Gale, E; Maden, M

    2003-10-01

    We have examined the role of the signalling molecule, retinoic acid, in the process of neurulation and the subsequent growth and differentiation of the central nervous system using quail embryos that have developed in the absence of retinoic acid. Such retinoic acid-free embryos undergo abnormal neural tube formation in terms of its shape and structure, but the embryos do not display spina bifida or exencephaly. The neural tubes have a wider floor plate, a thicker roof plate and a different dorsoventral shape. Phalloidin staining and electron microscopy revealed alterations in the actin filaments and the junctional complexes of the cell layer lining the lumen. Initially the neural tubes proliferated at the same rate as normal, but later the proliferation rate declined drastically and neuronal differentiation was highly deficient. There were very few motoneurons extending neurites into the periphery, and within the neural tube axon trajectories were chaotic. These results reveal several functions for retinoic acid in the morphogenesis and growth of the neural tube, many of which can be explained by defective notochord signalling, but they do not suggest that this molecule plays a role in neural tube closure.

  14. Characterizing the mechanical behavior of the zebrafish germ layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kealhofer, David; Serwane, Friedhelm; Mongera, Alessandro; Rowghanian, Payam; Lucio, Adam; Campàs, Otger

    Organ morphogenesis and the development of the animal body plan involve complex spatial and temporal control of tissue- and cell-level mechanics. A prime example is the generation of stresses by individual cells to reorganize the tissue. These processes have remained poorly understood due to a lack of techniques to characterize the local constitutive law of the material, which relates local cellular forces to the resulting tissue flows. We have developed a method for quantitative, local in vivo study of material properties in living tissue using magnetic droplet probes. We use this technique to study the material properties of the different zebrafish germ layers using aggregates of zebrafish mesendodermal and ectodermal cells as a model system. These aggregates are ideal for controlled studies of the mechanics of individual germ layers because of the homogeneity of the cell type and the simple spherical geometry. Furthermore, the numerous molecular tools and transgenic lines already developed for this model organism can be applied to these aggregates, allowing us to characterize the contributions of cell cortex tension and cell adhesion to the mechanical properties of the zebrafish germ layers.

  15. Zebrafish and Streptococcal Infections.

    PubMed

    Saralahti, A; Rämet, M

    2015-09-01

    Streptococcal bacteria are a versatile group of gram-positive bacteria capable of infecting several host organisms, including humans and fish. Streptococcal species are common colonizers of the human respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, but they also cause some of the most common life-threatening, invasive infections in humans and aquaculture. With its unique characteristics and efficient tools for genetic and imaging applications, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as a powerful vertebrate model for infectious diseases. Several zebrafish models introduced so far have shown that zebrafish are suitable models for both zoonotic and human-specific infections. Recently, several zebrafish models mimicking human streptococcal infections have also been developed. These models show great potential in providing novel information about the pathogenic mechanisms and host responses associated with human streptococcal infections. Here, we review the zebrafish infection models for the most relevant streptococcal species: the human-specific Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes, and the zoonotic Streptococcus iniae and Streptococcus agalactiae. The recent success and the future potential of these models for the study of host-pathogen interactions in streptococcal infections are also discussed. © 2015 The Foundation for the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.

  16. Measuring zebrafish turning rate.

    PubMed

    Mwaffo, Violet; Butail, Sachit; di Bernardo, Mario; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2015-06-01

    Zebrafish is becoming a popular animal model in preclinical research, and zebrafish turning rate has been proposed for the analysis of activity in several domains. The turning rate is often estimated from the trajectory of the fish centroid that is output by commercial or custom-made target tracking software run on overhead videos of fish swimming. However, the accuracy of such indirect methods with respect to the turning rate associated with changes in heading during zebrafish locomotion is largely untested. Here, we compare two indirect methods for the turning rate estimation using the centroid velocity or position data, with full shape tracking for three different video sampling rates. We use tracking data from the overhead video recorded at 60, 30, and 15 frames per second of zebrafish swimming in a shallow water tank. Statistical comparisons of absolute turning rate across methods and sampling rates indicate that, while indirect methods are indistinguishable from full shape tracking, the video sampling rate significantly influences the turning rate measurement. The results of this study can aid in the selection of the video capture frame rate, an experimental design parameter in zebrafish behavioral experiments where activity is an important measure.

  17. Dithiocarbamates are teratogenic to developing zebrafish through inhibition of lysyl oxidase activity

    SciTech Connect

    Boxtel, Antonius L. van, E-mail: thijs.van.boxtel@ivm.vu.n; Kamstra, Jorke H.; Fluitsma, Donna M.

    2010-04-15

    Dithiocarbamates (DTCs) are a class of compounds that are extensively used in agriculture as pesticides. As such, humans and wildlife are undoubtedly exposed to these chemicals. Although DTCs are thought to be relatively safe due to their short half lives, it is well established that they are teratogenic to vertebrates, especially to fish. In zebrafish, these teratogenic effects are characterized by distorted notochord development and shortened anterior to posterior axis. DTCs are known copper (Cu) chelators but this does not fully explain the observed teratogenic effects. We show here that DTCs cause malformations in zebrafish that highly resemble teratogenic effectsmore » observed by direct inhibition of a group of cuproenzymes termed lysyl oxidases (LOX). Additionally, we demonstrate that partial knockdown of three LOX genes, lox, loxl1 and loxl5b, sensitizes the developing embryo to DTC exposure. Finally, we show that DTCs directly inhibit zebrafish LOX activity in an ex vivo amine oxidase assay. Taken together, these results provide the first evidence that DTC induced teratogenic effects are, at least in part, caused by direct inhibition of LOX activity.« less

  18. Cytoskeletal actin genes function downstream of HNF-3beta in ascidian notochord development.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, W R; Ewing, N; Machula, J; Olsen, C L; Swalla, B J

    1998-11-01

    We have examined the expression and regulation of cytoskeletal actin genes in ascidians with tailed (Molgula oculata) and tailless larvae (Molgula occulta). Four cDNA clones were isolated representing two pairs of orthologous cytoskeletal actin genes (CA1 and CA2), which encode proteins differing by five amino acids in the tailed and tailless species. The CA1 and CA2 genes are present in one or two copies, although several related genes may also be present in both species. Maternal CA1 and CA2 mRNA is present in small oocytes but transcript levels later decline, suggesting a role in early oogenesis. In the tailed species, embryonic CA1 and CA2 mRNAs first appear in the presumptive mesenchyme and muscle cells during gastrulation, subsequently accumulate in the presumptive notochord cells, and can be detected in these tissues through the tadpole stage. CA1 mRNAs accumulate initially in the same tissues in the tailless species but subsequently disappear, in concert with the arrest of notochord and tail development. In contrast, CA2 mRNAs were not detected in embryos of the tailless species. Fertilization of eggs of the tailless species with sperm of the tailed species, which restores the notochord and the tail, also results in the upregulation of CA1 and CA2 gene expression in hybrid embryos. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotide experiments suggest that CA1 and CA2 expression in the notochord, but not in the muscle cells, is dependent on prior expression of Mocc FHI, an ascidian HNF-3beta-like gene. The expression of the CA1 and CA2 genes in the notochord in the tailed species, downregulation in the tailless species, upregulation in interspecific hybrids, and dependence on HNF-3beta activity is consistent with a role of these genes in development of the ascidian notochord.

  19. 8-Oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (ogg1) maintains the function of cardiac progenitor cells during heart formation in zebrafish

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, Lifeng; Key Laboratory of Modern Toxicology of Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029; Zhou, Yong

    Genomic damage may devastate the potential of progenitor cells and consequently impair early organogenesis. We found that ogg1, a key enzyme initiating the base-excision repair, was enriched in the embryonic heart in zebrafish. So far, little is known about DNA repair in cardiogenesis. Here, we addressed the critical role of ogg1 in cardiogenesis for the first time. ogg1 mainly expressed in the anterior lateral plate mesoderm (ALPM), the primary heart tube, and subsequently the embryonic myocardium by in situ hybridisation. Loss of ogg1 resulted in severe cardiac morphogenesis and functional abnormalities, including the short heart length, arrhythmia, decreased cardiomyocytes andmore » nkx2.5{sup +} cardiac progenitor cells. Moreover, the increased apoptosis and repressed proliferation of progenitor cells caused by ogg1 deficiency might contribute to the heart phenotype. The microarray analysis showed that the expression of genes involved in embryonic heart tube morphogenesis and heart structure were significantly changed due to the lack of ogg1. Among those, foxh1 is an important partner of ogg1 in the cardiac development in response to DNA damage. Our work demonstrates the requirement of ogg1 in cardiac progenitors and heart development in zebrafish. These findings may be helpful for understanding the aetiology of congenital cardiac deficits. - Highlights: • A key DNA repair enzyme ogg1 is expressed in the embryonic heart in zebrafish. • We found that ogg1 is essential for normal cardiac morphogenesis in zebrafish. • The production of embryonic cardiomyocytes requires appropriate ogg1 expression. • Ogg1 critically regulated proliferation of cardiac progenitor cells in zebrafish. • foxh1 is a partner of ogg1 in the cardiac development in response to DNA damage.« less

  20. Advances in the Study of Heart Development and Disease Using Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Daniel R.; Samsa, Leigh Ann; Qian, Li; Liu, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Animal models of cardiovascular disease are key players in the translational medicine pipeline used to define the conserved genetic and molecular basis of disease. Congenital heart diseases (CHDs) are the most common type of human birth defect and feature structural abnormalities that arise during cardiac development and maturation. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a valuable vertebrate model organism, offering advantages over traditional mammalian models. These advantages include the rapid, stereotyped and external development of transparent embryos produced in large numbers from inexpensively housed adults, vast capacity for genetic manipulation, and amenability to high-throughput screening. With the help of modern genetics and a sequenced genome, zebrafish have led to insights in cardiovascular diseases ranging from CHDs to arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. Here, we discuss the utility of zebrafish as a model system and summarize zebrafish cardiac morphogenesis with emphasis on parallels to human heart diseases. Additionally, we discuss the specific tools and experimental platforms utilized in the zebrafish model including forward screens, functional characterization of candidate genes, and high throughput applications. PMID:27335817

  1. Extracellular matrix motion and early morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Loganathan, Rajprasad; Rongish, Brenda J.; Smith, Christopher M.; Filla, Michael B.; Czirok, Andras; Bénazéraf, Bertrand

    2016-01-01

    For over a century, embryologists who studied cellular motion in early amniotes generally assumed that morphogenetic movement reflected migration relative to a static extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold. However, as we discuss in this Review, recent investigations reveal that the ECM is also moving during morphogenesis. Time-lapse studies show how convective tissue displacement patterns, as visualized by ECM markers, contribute to morphogenesis and organogenesis. Computational image analysis distinguishes between cell-autonomous (active) displacements and convection caused by large-scale (composite) tissue movements. Modern quantification of large-scale ‘total’ cellular motion and the accompanying ECM motion in the embryo demonstrates that a dynamic ECM is required for generation of the emergent motion patterns that drive amniote morphogenesis. PMID:27302396

  2. Extracellular matrix motion and early morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Loganathan, Rajprasad; Rongish, Brenda J; Smith, Christopher M; Filla, Michael B; Czirok, Andras; Bénazéraf, Bertrand; Little, Charles D

    2016-06-15

    For over a century, embryologists who studied cellular motion in early amniotes generally assumed that morphogenetic movement reflected migration relative to a static extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold. However, as we discuss in this Review, recent investigations reveal that the ECM is also moving during morphogenesis. Time-lapse studies show how convective tissue displacement patterns, as visualized by ECM markers, contribute to morphogenesis and organogenesis. Computational image analysis distinguishes between cell-autonomous (active) displacements and convection caused by large-scale (composite) tissue movements. Modern quantification of large-scale 'total' cellular motion and the accompanying ECM motion in the embryo demonstrates that a dynamic ECM is required for generation of the emergent motion patterns that drive amniote morphogenesis. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  3. Programming Morphogenesis through Systems and Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Velazquez, Jeremy J; Su, Emily; Cahan, Patrick; Ebrahimkhani, Mo R

    2018-04-01

    Mammalian tissue development is an intricate, spatiotemporal process of self-organization that emerges from gene regulatory networks of differentiating stem cells. A major goal in stem cell biology is to gain a sufficient understanding of gene regulatory networks and cell-cell interactions to enable the reliable and robust engineering of morphogenesis. Here, we review advances in synthetic biology, single cell genomics, and multiscale modeling, which, when synthesized, provide a framework to achieve the ambitious goal of programming morphogenesis in complex tissues and organoids. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Regulation of Facial Morphogenesis by Endothelin Signaling: Insights from Mice and Fish

    PubMed Central

    Clouthier, David E.; Garcia, Elvin; Schilling, Thomas F.

    2010-01-01

    Craniofacial morphogenesis is accomplished through a complex set of developmental events, most of which are initiated in neural crest cells within the pharyngeal arches. Local patterning cues from the surrounding environment induce gene expression within neural crest cells, leading to formation of a diverse set of skeletal elements. Endothelin-1 (Edn1) is one of the primary signals that establish the identities of neural crest cells within the mandibular portion of the first pharyngeal arch. Signaling through its cognate receptor, the endothelin-A receptor, is critical for patterning the ventral/distal portion of the arch (lower jaw) and also participates with Hox genes in patterning more posterior arches. Edn1/Ednra signaling is highly conserved between mouse and zebrafish, and genetic analyses in these two species have provided complementary insights into the patterning cues responsible for establishing the craniofacial complex as well as the genetic basis of facial birth defect syndromes. PMID:20684004

  5. Grouper tshβ Promoter-Driven Transgenic Zebrafish Marks Proximal Kidney Tubule Development

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yang; Sun, Zhi-Hui; Zhou, Li; Li, Zhi; Gui, Jian-Fang

    2014-01-01

    Kidney tubule plays a critical role in recovering or secreting solutes, but the detailed morphogenesis remains unclear. Our previous studies have found that grouper tshβ (gtshβ) is also expressed in kidney, however, the distribution significance is still unknown. To understand the gtshβ role and kidney tubule morphogenesis, here, we have generated a transgenic zebrafish line Tg(gtshβ:GFP) with green fluorescent protein driven by the gtshβ promoter. Similar to the endogenous tshβ in zebrafish or in grouper, the gtshβ promoter-driven GFP is expressed in pituitary and kidney, and the developing details of proximal kidney tubule are marked in the transgenic zebrafish line. The gfp initially transcribes at 16 hours post fertilization (hpf) above the dorsal mesentery, and partially co-localizes with pronephric tubular markers slc20a1a and cdh17. Significantly, the GFP specifically localizes in proximal pronephric segments during embryogenesis and resides at kidney duct epithelium in adult fish. To test whether the gtshβ promoter-driven GFP may serve as a readout signal of the tubular development, we have treated the embryos with retinoic acid signaing (RA) reagents, in which exogenous RA addition results in a distal extension of the proximal segments, while RA inhibition induces a weakness and shortness of the proximal segments. Therefore, this transgenic line provides a useful tool for genetic or chemical analysis of kidney tubule. PMID:24905828

  6. Zebrafish bcl2l is a survival factor in thyroid development.

    PubMed

    Porreca, Immacolata; De Felice, Elena; Fagman, Henrik; Di Lauro, Roberto; Sordino, Paolo

    2012-06-15

    Regulated cell death, defined in morphological terms as apoptosis, is crucial for organ morphogenesis. While differentiation of the thyroid gland has been extensively studied, nothing is yet known about the survival mechanisms involved in the development of this endocrine gland. Using the zebrafish model system, we aim to understand whether genes belonging to the Bcl-2 family that control apoptosis are implicated in regulation of cell survival during thyroid development. Evidence of strong Bcl-2 gene expression in mouse thyroid precursors prompted us to investigate the functions played by its zebrafish homologs during thyroid development. We show that the bcl2-like (bcl2l) gene is expressed in the zebrafish thyroid primordium. Morpholino-mediated knockdown and mutant analyses revealed that bcl2l is crucial for thyroid cell survival and that this function is tightly modulated by the transcription factors pax2a, nk2.1a and hhex. Also, the bcl2l gene appears to control a caspase-3-dependent apoptotic mechanism during thyroid development. Thyroid precursor cells require an actively maintained survival mechanism to properly proceed through development. The bcl2l gene operates in the inhibition of cell death under direct regulation of a thyroid specific set of transcription factors. This is the first demonstration of an active mechanism to ensure survival of the thyroid primordium during morphogenesis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Cftr controls lumen expansion and function of Kupffer’s vesicle in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Navis, Adam; Marjoram, Lindsay; Bagnat, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Regulated fluid secretion is crucial for the function of most organs. In vertebrates, the chloride channel cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a master regulator of fluid secretion. Although the biophysical properties of CFTR have been well characterized in vitro, little is known about its in vivo role during development. Here, we investigated the function of Cftr during zebrafish development by generating several cftr mutant alleles using TAL effector nucleases. We found that loss of cftr function leads to organ laterality defects. In zebrafish, left-right (LR) asymmetry requires cilia-driven fluid flow within the lumen of Kupffer’s vesicle (KV). Using live imaging we found that KV morphogenesis is disrupted in cftr mutants. Loss of Cftr-mediated fluid secretion impairs KV lumen expansion leading to defects in organ laterality. Using bacterial artificial chromosome recombineering, we generated transgenic fish expressing functional Cftr fusion proteins with fluorescent tags under the control of the cftr promoter. The transgenes completely rescued the cftr mutant phenotype. Live imaging of these transgenic lines showed that Cftr is localized to the apical membrane of the epithelial cells in KV during lumen formation. Pharmacological stimulation of Cftr-dependent fluid secretion led to an expansion of the KV lumen. Conversely, inhibition of ion gradient formation impaired KV lumen inflation. Interestingly, cilia formation and motility in KV were not affected, suggesting that fluid secretion and flow are independently controlled in KV. These findings uncover a new role for cftr in KV morphogenesis and function during zebrafish development. PMID:23487313

  8. A one-dimensional model of PCP signaling: polarized cell behavior in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona

    PubMed Central

    Kourakis, Matthew J.; Reeves, Wendy; Newman-Smith, Erin; Maury, Benoit; Abdul-Wajid, Sarah; Smith, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Despite its importance in development and physiology the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway remains one of the most enigmatic signaling mechanisms. The notochord of the ascidian Ciona provides a unique model for investigating the PCP pathway. Interestingly, the notochord appears to be the only embryonic structure in Ciona activating the PCP pathway. Moreover, the Ciona notochord as a single-file array of forty polarized cells is a uniquely tractable system for the study of polarization dynamics and the transmission of the PCP pathway. Here, we test models for propagation of a polarizing signal, interrogating temporal, spatial and signaling requirements. A simple cell-cell relay cascading through the entire length of the notochord is not supported; instead a more complex mechanism is revealed, with interactions influencing polarity between neighboring cells, but not distant ones. Mechanisms coordinating notochord-wide polarity remain elusive, but appear to entrain general (i.e., global) polarity even while local interactions remain important. However, this global polarizer does not appear to act as a localized, spatially-restricted determinant. Coordination of polarity along the long axis of the notochord requires the PCP pathway, a role we demonstrate is temporally distinct from this pathway’s earlier role in convergent extension and intercalation. We also reveal polarity in the notochord to be dynamic: a cell’s polarity state can be changed and then restored, underscoring the Ciona notochord’s amenability for in vivo studies of PCP. PMID:25173874

  9. Dmrt1 is necessary for male sexual development in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Webster, Kaitlyn A.; Schach, Ursula; Ordaz, Angel; Steinfeld, Jocelyn S.; Draper, Bruce W.; Siegfried, Kellee R.

    2018-01-01

    The dmrt1 (doublesex and mab-3 related transcription factor 1) gene is a key regulator of sex determination and/or gonadal sex differentiation across metazoan animals. This is unusual given that sex determination genes are typically not well conserved. The mechanisms by which zebrafish sex is determined have remained elusive due to the lack of sex chromosomes and the complex polygenic nature of sex determination in domesticated strains. To investigate the role of dmrt1 in zebrafish sex determination and gonad development, we isolated mutations disrupting this gene. We found that the majority of dmrt1 mutant fish develop as fertile females suggesting a complete male-to-female sex reversal in mutant animals that would have otherwise developed as males. A small percentage of mutant animals became males, but were sterile and displayed testicular dysgenesis. Therefore zebrafish dmrt1 functions in male sex determination and testis development. Mutant males had aberrant gonadal development at the onset of gonadal sex-differentiation, displaying reduced oocyte apoptosis followed by development of intersex gonads and failed testis morphogenesis and spermatogenesis. By contrast, female ovaries developed normally. We found that Dmrt1 is necessary for normal transcriptional regulation of the amh (anti-Müllerian hormone) and foxl2 (forkhead box L2) genes, which are thought to be important for male or female sexual development respectively. Interestingly, we identified one dmrt1 mutant allele that cooperates with a linked segregation distorter locus to generate an apparent XY sex determination mechanism. We conclude that dmrt1 is dispensable for ovary development but necessary for testis development in zebrafish, and that dmrt1 promotes male development by transcriptionally regulating male and female genes as has been described in other animals. Furthermore, the strong sex-ratio bias caused by dmrt1 reduction-of-function points to potential mechanisms through which sex

  10. Mycobacteriosis in zebrafish colonies.

    PubMed

    Whipps, Christopher M; Lieggi, Christine; Wagner, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Mycobacteriosis, a chronic bacterial infection, has been associated with severe losses in some zebrafish facilities and low-level mortalities and unknown impacts in others. The occurrence of at least six different described species (Mycobacterium abscessus, M. chelonae, M. fortuitum, M. haemophilum, M. marinum, M. peregrinum) from zebrafish complicates diagnosis and control because each species is unique. As a generalization, mycobacteria are often considered opportunists, but M. haemophilum and M. marinum appear to be more virulent. Background genetics of zebrafish and environmental conditions influence the susceptibility of fish and progression of disease, emphasizing the importance of regular monitoring and good husbandry practices. A combined approach to diagnostics is ultimately the most informative, with histology as a first-level screen, polymerase chain reaction for rapid detection and species identification, and culture for strain differentiation. Occurrence of identical strains of Mycobacterium in both fish and biofilms in zebrafish systems suggests transmission can occur when fish feed on infected tissues or tank detritus containing mycobacteria. Within a facility, good husbandry practices and sentinel programs are essential for minimizing the impacts of mycobacteria. In addition, quarantine and screening of animals coming into a facility is important for eliminating the introduction of the more severe pathogens. Elimination of mycobacteria from an aquatic system is likely not feasible because these species readily establish biofilms on surfaces even in extremely low nutrient conditions. Risks associated with each commonly encountered species need to be identified and informed management plans developed. Basic research on the growth characteristics, disinfection, and pathogenesis of zebrafish mycobacteria is critical moving forward.

  11. Did the notochord evolve from an ancient axial muscle? The axochord hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Brunet, Thibaut; Lauri, Antonella; Arendt, Detlev

    2015-08-01

    The origin of the notochord is one of the key remaining mysteries of our evolutionary ancestry. Here, we present a multi-level comparison of the chordate notochord to the axochord, a paired axial muscle spanning the ventral midline of annelid worms and other invertebrates. At the cellular level, comparative molecular profiling in the marine annelids P. dumerilii and C. teleta reveals expression of similar, specific gene sets in presumptive axochordal and notochordal cells. These cells also occupy corresponding positions in a conserved anatomical topology and undergo similar morphogenetic movements. At the organ level, a detailed comparison of bilaterian musculatures reveals that most phyla form axochord-like muscles, suggesting that such a muscle was already present in urbilaterian ancestors. Integrating comparative evidence at the cell and organ level, we propose that the notochord evolved by modification of a ventromedian muscle followed by the assembly of an axial complex supporting swimming in vertebrate ancestors. © 2015 The Authors. Bioessays published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  12. From notochord formation to hereditary chordoma: the many roles of Brachyury.

    PubMed

    Nibu, Yutaka; José-Edwards, Diana S; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Chordoma is a rare, but often malignant, bone cancer that preferentially affects the axial skeleton and the skull base. These tumors are both sporadic and hereditary and appear to occur more frequently after the fourth decade of life; however, modern technologies have increased the detection of pediatric chordomas. Chordomas originate from remnants of the notochord, the main embryonic axial structure that precedes the backbone, and share with notochord cells both histological features and the expression of characteristic genes. One such gene is Brachyury, which encodes for a sequence-specific transcription factor. Known for decades as a main regulator of notochord formation, Brachyury has recently gained interest as a biomarker and causative agent of chordoma, and therefore as a promising therapeutic target. Here, we review the main characteristics of chordoma, the molecular markers, and the clinical approaches currently available for the early detection and possible treatment of this cancer. In particular, we report on the current knowledge of the role of Brachyury and of its possible mechanisms of action in both notochord formation and chordoma etiogenesis.

  13. Brachyury Essential for Notochord Cell Fate, Not Proliferation or EMT | Center for Cancer Research

    Cancer.gov

    The Brachyury or T gene encodes a transcription factor that is essential for body axis elongation during embryonic development. T is also highly expressed in chordomas, rare sarcomas derived from notochord cells, and a number of additional tumor types, including lung, prostate, and colon cancers. 

  14. Transcriptome sequencing of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) notochord prior to development of the vertebrae provides clues to regulation of positional fate, chordoblast lineage and mineralisation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In teleosts such as Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.), segmentation and subsequent mineralisation of the notochord during embryonic stages are essential for normal vertebrae formation. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to segmentation and mineralisation of the notochord are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify genes/pathways acting in gradients over time and along the anterior-posterior axis during notochord segmentation and immediately prior to mineralisation of the vertebral bodies in Atlantic salmon. Results Notochord samples were collected from unsegmented, pre-segmented and segmented developmental stages. In each stage, the cellular core of the notochord was cut into three pieces along the longitudinal axis (anterior, mid, posterior). RNA was sequenced (22 million pair-end 100 bp/ library) and mapped to the salmon genome. 66569 transcripts were predicted and 55775 were annotated. In order to identify possible gradients leading to segmentation of the notochord, all 71 notochord-expressed hox genes were investigated, most of them displaying a typical anterior-posterior expression pattern along the notochord axis. The clustering of hox genes revealed a pattern that could be related to notochord segmentation. We further investigated how mineralisation is initiated in the notochord, and several factors related to chondrogenic lineage were identified (sox9, sox5, sox6, tgfb3, ihhb and col2a1), suggesting a cartilage-like character of the notochord. KEGG analysis of differentially expressed genes between stages revealed down-regulation of pathways associated with ECM, cell division, metabolism and development at onset of notochord segmentation. This implies that inhibitory signals produce segmentation of the notochord. One such potential inhibitory signal was identified, col11a2, which was detected in segments of non-mineralising notochord. Conclusions An incomplete salmon genome was successfully used to analyse RNA-seq data

  15. Transcriptome sequencing of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) notochord prior to development of the vertebrae provides clues to regulation of positional fate, chordoblast lineage and mineralisation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shou; Furmanek, Tomasz; Kryvi, Harald; Krossøy, Christel; Totland, Geir K; Grotmol, Sindre; Wargelius, Anna

    2014-02-19

    In teleosts such as Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.), segmentation and subsequent mineralisation of the notochord during embryonic stages are essential for normal vertebrae formation. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to segmentation and mineralisation of the notochord are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify genes/pathways acting in gradients over time and along the anterior-posterior axis during notochord segmentation and immediately prior to mineralisation of the vertebral bodies in Atlantic salmon. Notochord samples were collected from unsegmented, pre-segmented and segmented developmental stages. In each stage, the cellular core of the notochord was cut into three pieces along the longitudinal axis (anterior, mid, posterior). RNA was sequenced (22 million pair-end 100 bp/ library) and mapped to the salmon genome. 66569 transcripts were predicted and 55775 were annotated. In order to identify possible gradients leading to segmentation of the notochord, all 71 notochord-expressed hox genes were investigated, most of them displaying a typical anterior-posterior expression pattern along the notochord axis. The clustering of hox genes revealed a pattern that could be related to notochord segmentation. We further investigated how mineralisation is initiated in the notochord, and several factors related to chondrogenic lineage were identified (sox9, sox5, sox6, tgfb3, ihhb and col2a1), suggesting a cartilage-like character of the notochord. KEGG analysis of differentially expressed genes between stages revealed down-regulation of pathways associated with ECM, cell division, metabolism and development at onset of notochord segmentation. This implies that inhibitory signals produce segmentation of the notochord. One such potential inhibitory signal was identified, col11a2, which was detected in segments of non-mineralising notochord. An incomplete salmon genome was successfully used to analyse RNA-seq data from the cellular core of the

  16. Quantitative semi-automated analysis of morphogenesis with single-cell resolution in complex embryos

    PubMed Central

    Giurumescu, Claudiu A.; Kang, Sukryool; Planchon, Thomas A.; Betzig, Eric; Bloomekatz, Joshua; Yelon, Deborah; Cosman, Pamela; Chisholm, Andrew D.

    2012-01-01

    A quantitative understanding of tissue morphogenesis requires description of the movements of individual cells in space and over time. In transparent embryos, such as C. elegans, fluorescently labeled nuclei can be imaged in three-dimensional time-lapse (4D) movies and automatically tracked through early cleavage divisions up to ~350 nuclei. A similar analysis of later stages of C. elegans development has been challenging owing to the increased error rates of automated tracking of large numbers of densely packed nuclei. We present Nucleitracker4D, a freely available software solution for tracking nuclei in complex embryos that integrates automated tracking of nuclei in local searches with manual curation. Using these methods, we have been able to track >99% of all nuclei generated in the C. elegans embryo. Our analysis reveals that ventral enclosure of the epidermis is accompanied by complex coordinated migration of the neuronal substrate. We can efficiently track large numbers of migrating nuclei in 4D movies of zebrafish cardiac morphogenesis, suggesting that this approach is generally useful in situations in which the number, packing or dynamics of nuclei present challenges for automated tracking. PMID:23052905

  17. Quantitative semi-automated analysis of morphogenesis with single-cell resolution in complex embryos.

    PubMed

    Giurumescu, Claudiu A; Kang, Sukryool; Planchon, Thomas A; Betzig, Eric; Bloomekatz, Joshua; Yelon, Deborah; Cosman, Pamela; Chisholm, Andrew D

    2012-11-01

    A quantitative understanding of tissue morphogenesis requires description of the movements of individual cells in space and over time. In transparent embryos, such as C. elegans, fluorescently labeled nuclei can be imaged in three-dimensional time-lapse (4D) movies and automatically tracked through early cleavage divisions up to ~350 nuclei. A similar analysis of later stages of C. elegans development has been challenging owing to the increased error rates of automated tracking of large numbers of densely packed nuclei. We present Nucleitracker4D, a freely available software solution for tracking nuclei in complex embryos that integrates automated tracking of nuclei in local searches with manual curation. Using these methods, we have been able to track >99% of all nuclei generated in the C. elegans embryo. Our analysis reveals that ventral enclosure of the epidermis is accompanied by complex coordinated migration of the neuronal substrate. We can efficiently track large numbers of migrating nuclei in 4D movies of zebrafish cardiac morphogenesis, suggesting that this approach is generally useful in situations in which the number, packing or dynamics of nuclei present challenges for automated tracking.

  18. Calcium signals act through histone deacetylase to mediate pronephric kidney morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rothschild, Sarah C; Lee, Hunter J; Ingram, Sarah R; Mohammadi, Daniel K; Walsh, Gregory S; Tombes, Robert M

    2018-06-01

    Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is the most common monogenetic kidney disorder and is linked to mutations in PKD1 and PKD2. PKD2, a Ca 2+ -conducting TRP channel enriched in ciliated cells and gated by extracellular signals, is necessary to activate the multifunctional Ca 2+/ calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type 2 (CaMK-II), enabling kidney morphogenesis and cilia stability. In this study, antisense morpholino oligonucleotides and pharmacological compounds were employed to investigate the roles of class II HDAC family members (HDAC 4, 5, and 6) in Zebrafish kidney development. While all three class II HDAC genes were expressed throughout the embryo during early development, HDAC5-morphant embryos exhibited anterior cysts and destabilized cloacal cilia, similar to PKD2 and CaMK-II morphants. In contrast, HDAC4-morphant embryos exhibited elongated cloacal cilia and lacked anterior kidney defects. Suppression of HDAC4 partially reversed the cilia shortening and anterior convolution defects caused by CaMK-II deficiency, whereas HDAC5 loss exacerbated these defects. EGFP-HDAC4, but not EGFP-HDAC5, translocated into the nucleus upon CaMK-II suppression in pronephric kidney cells. These results support a model by which activated CaMK-II sequesters HDAC4 in the cytosol to enable primary cilia formation and kidney morphogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 247:807-817, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. The signalling receptor MCAM coordinates apical-basal polarity and planar cell polarity during morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Qian; Zhang, Junfeng; Wang, Xiumei; Liu, Ying; He, Rongqiao; Liu, Xingfeng; Wang, Fei; Feng, Jing; Yang, Dongling; Wang, Zhaoqing; Meng, Anming; Yan, Xiyun

    2017-01-01

    The apical–basal (AB) polarity and planar cell polarity (PCP) provide an animal cell population with different phenotypes during morphogenesis. However, how cells couple these two patterning systems remains unclear. Here we provide in vivo evidence that melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) coordinates AB polarity-driven lumenogenesis and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/PCP-dependent ciliogenesis. We identify that MCAM is an independent receptor of fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4), a membrane anchor of phospholipase C-γ (PLC-γ), an immediate upstream receptor of nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) and a constitutive activator of JNK. We find that MCAM-mediated vesicular trafficking towards FGF4, while generating a priority-grade transcriptional response of NFAT determines lumenogenesis. We demonstrate that MCAM plays indispensable roles in ciliogenesis through activating JNK independently of FGF signals. Furthermore, mcam-deficient zebrafish and Xenopus exhibit a global defect in left-right (LR) asymmetric establishment as a result of morphogenetic failure of their LR organizers. Therefore, MCAM coordination of AB polarity and PCP provides insight into the general mechanisms of morphogenesis. PMID:28589943

  20. A homeobox gene involved in node, notochord and neural plate formation of chick embryos.

    PubMed

    Stein, S; Kessel, M

    1995-01-01

    We have isolated a chicken cDNA clone, Cnot, resembling in sequence and expression pattern the Xenopus homeobox gene Xnot. The major, early transcription domains of Cnot are the node, the notochord and prenodal and postnodal neural plate caudal from the prospective hindbrain level. All these cell populations appear to be descendants of the Cnot-expressing cells of the node, suggesting a cell lineage relationship. After the onset of somitogenesis, a second, independent expression domain appears in the neural folds at the prospective mid- and forebrain levels, and further transcripts are found in the epiphysis, the ventral diencephalon, the preoral gut and the limb buds. Transplantation of nodes from extended streak embryos leads to the formation of ectopic notochords, which express Cnot in the typical, cranially decreasing gradient. Transplantation of young nodes to young hosts has previously been described to induce secondary embryos. We observed that secondary chick embryos express Cnot in node derived, notochord-like structures and in the anterior neural plate, similar to the domains seen in primary embryos. However, expression was absent from the posterior neural plate, which in the induction experiments is excluded from the node lineage. This finding corroborates our initial conclusion about a cell lineage relationship between node, notochord, and neural plate defined by Cnot expression. The midline mesoderm of vertebrate embryos consists of two tissues, the prechordal mesoderm and the notochord. The anterior notochord, the head process, may represent an intermediate form. The transition from prechordal to chordal mesoderm can be followed by the expression of the two marker homeobox genes goosecoid and Cnot, first in the primitive streak, and then in the head process. We suggest that expression of goosecoid or Cnot is involved in the specification of a prechordal or notochordal identity, respectively. A transition from goosecoid to Cnot expression may proceed

  1. [Notochord cells enhance proliferation and phenotype-keeping of intervertebral disc chondroid cells].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xianfeng; Liu, Hao; Feng, Ganjun; Deng, Li; Li, Xiuqun; Liang, Tao

    2008-08-01

    To isolate and culture the chondroid cells and notochord cells from New Zealand rabbit immature nucleus pulposus (NP) in monolayer, and to evaluate the responsiveness of rabbit disc-derived chondroid cells to notochord cells with respect to cell proliferation and phenotype. The NP cells were released from the minced immature NP of 6 New Zealand rabbits (4-week-old) by 0.2% collagenase II digestion. The chondroid cells and notochord cells were purified by discontinuous gradient density centrifugation. The chondroid cells were cultured alone (group A) and co-cultured with notochord cells (group B) (1:1), and cell proliferation and phenotype including proteoglycan and collagen II were evaluated. The cells in both groups were observed by the inverted microscope, and the survival rates of the primary and passage cells were detected by toluidine blue staining. The growth curves of the second passage cells in both groups were determined by MTT. Besides, the expressions of proteoglycan and collagen II of the primary and passage cells were examined by toluidine blue and immunocytochemistry staining. The notochord cells and chondroid cells were isolated and purified. With the diameter of 10-15 microm, the notochord cell had abundant intracytoplasmic vesicles, while the chondroid cell, with the diameter of 4-6 microm, had no intracytoplasmic vesicle. The cell survival rate was 89.0%-95.3% in group A and 91.3%-96.3% in group B. There was no significant difference between the same passages in both groups (P > 0.05). The co-cultured cells (group B) increased in cell proliferation compared with the chondroid cells alone (group A) in repeated experiments. The cells in group A reached their logarithmic growth phase after 3-4 days of culture, while the cells in group B did after 2 days of culture. The cell proliferation in group B was more than that in group A after 4-day culture (P < 0.05). The co-cultured cells retained their phenotype for 5 passages, while parallel

  2. ApoA-II directs morphogenetic movements of zebrafish embryo by preventing chromosome fusion during nuclear division in yolk syncytial layer.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ting; Yao, Shaohua; Wang, Ping; Yin, Chaoran; Xiao, Chun; Qian, Meilin; Liu, Donghui; Zheng, Lemin; Meng, Wentong; Zhu, Hongyan; Liu, Jin; Xu, Hong; Mo, Xianming

    2011-03-18

    The high density lipoprotein (HDL) represents a class of lipid- and protein-containing particles and consists of two major apolipoproteins apoA-I and apoA-II. ApoA-II has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, adiposity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. In embryo, apoa2 mRNAs are abundant in the liver, brain, lung, placenta, and in fish yolk syncytial layer (YSL), suggesting that apoa2 may perform a function during embryonic development. Here we find out that apoa2 modulates zebrafish embryonic development by regulating the organization of YSL. Disruption of apoa2 function in zebrafish caused chromosome fusing, which strongly blocked YSL nuclear division, inducing disorders in YSL organization and finally disturbing the embryonic epiboly. Purified native human apoA-II was able specifically to rescue the defects and induced nuclear division in zebrafish embryos and in human HeLa cells. The C terminus of apoA-II was required for the proper chromosome separation during nuclear division of YSL in zebrafish embryos and in human HeLa cells. Our data indicate that organization of YSL is required for blastoderm patterning and morphogenesis and suggest that apolipoprotein apoA-II is a novel factor of nuclear division in YSL involved in the regulation of early zebrafish embryonic morphogenesis and in mammalian cells for proliferation.

  3. ApoA-II Directs Morphogenetic Movements of Zebrafish Embryo by Preventing Chromosome Fusion during Nuclear Division in Yolk Syncytial Layer*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ting; Yao, Shaohua; Wang, Ping; Yin, Chaoran; Xiao, Chun; Qian, Meilin; Liu, Donghui; Zheng, Lemin; Meng, Wentong; Zhu, Hongyan; Liu, Jin; Xu, Hong; Mo, Xianming

    2011-01-01

    The high density lipoprotein (HDL) represents a class of lipid- and protein-containing particles and consists of two major apolipoproteins apoA-I and apoA-II. ApoA-II has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, adiposity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. In embryo, apoa2 mRNAs are abundant in the liver, brain, lung, placenta, and in fish yolk syncytial layer (YSL), suggesting that apoa2 may perform a function during embryonic development. Here we find out that apoa2 modulates zebrafish embryonic development by regulating the organization of YSL. Disruption of apoa2 function in zebrafish caused chromosome fusing, which strongly blocked YSL nuclear division, inducing disorders in YSL organization and finally disturbing the embryonic epiboly. Purified native human apoA-II was able specifically to rescue the defects and induced nuclear division in zebrafish embryos and in human HeLa cells. The C terminus of apoA-II was required for the proper chromosome separation during nuclear division of YSL in zebrafish embryos and in human HeLa cells. Our data indicate that organization of YSL is required for blastoderm patterning and morphogenesis and suggest that apolipoprotein apoA-II is a novel factor of nuclear division in YSL involved in the regulation of early zebrafish embryonic morphogenesis and in mammalian cells for proliferation. PMID:21212265

  4. Notochordal cells in the adult intervertebral disc: new perspective on an old question.

    PubMed

    Risbud, Makarand V; Shapiro, Irving M

    2011-01-01

    The intervertebral disc is a tissue positioned between each of the vertebrae that accommodates applied biomechanical forces to the spine. The central compartment of the disc contains the nucleus pulposus (NP) which is enclosed by the annulus fibrosus and the endplate cartilage.The NP is derived from the notochord, a rod-like structure of mesodermal origin. Development of the notochord is tightly regulated by interactive transcription factors and target genes. Since a number of these molecules are unique they have be used for cell lineage and fate mapping studies of tissues of the intervertebral disc. These studies have shown that in a number of species including human, NP tissue retains notochordal cells throughout life. In the adult NP, there are present both large and small notochordal cells, as well as a progenitor cell population which can differentiate along the mesengenic pathway. Since tissue renewal in the intervertebral disc is dependent on the ability of these cells to commit to the NP lineage and undergo terminal differentiation, studies have been performed to assess which signaling pathways may regulate these activities. The notch signaling pathway is active in the intervertebral disc and is responsive to hypoxia, probably through HIF-1a. From a disease viewpoint, it is hypothesized that an oxemic shift, possibly mediated by alterations in the vascular supply to the tissues of the disc would be expected to lead to a failure in notochordal progenitor cell activation and a decrease in the number of differentiated cells. In turn, this would lead to decrements in function and enhancement of the effect of agents that are known to promote disc degeneration.

  5. Anesthesia and euthanasia in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Monte; Varga, Zoltán M

    2012-01-01

    Because of the relative ease of embryonic manipulation and observation, the ability to produce a great number of genetic mutations, efficient screening methods, and the continued advance of molecular genetic tools, such as the progress in sequencing and mapping of the zebrafish genome, the use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a biomedical model organism continues to expand. However, studies involving zebrafish husbandry and veterinary care struggle to keep pace with scientific progress. This article outlines some of the current, acceptable methods for providing anesthesia and euthanasia and provides some examples of how performance-based approaches can be used to advance the relatively limited number of anesthetic and euthanizing techniques available for zebrafish.

  6. The ADAMTS5 Metzincin Regulates Zebrafish Somite Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Dancevic, Carolyn M.; Gibert, Yann; Smith, Adam D.; Ward, Alister C.; McCulloch, Daniel R.

    2018-01-01

    The ADAMTS5 metzincin, a secreted zinc-dependent metalloproteinase, modulates the extracellular matrix (ECM) during limb morphogenesis and other developmental processes. Here, the role of ADAMTS5 was investigated by knockdown of zebrafish adamts5 during embryogenesis. This revealed impaired Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling during somite patterning and early myogenesis. Notably, synergistic regulation of myod expression by ADAMTS5 and Shh during somite differentiation was observed. These roles were not dependent upon the catalytic activity of ADAMTS5. These data identify a non-enzymatic function for ADAMTS5 in regulating an important cell signaling pathway that impacts on muscle development, with implications for musculoskeletal diseases in which ADAMTS5 and Shh have been associated. PMID:29518972

  7. The prechordal plate, the rostral end of the notochord and nearby median features in staged human embryos.

    PubMed

    Müller, F; O'Rahilly, R

    2003-01-01

    The enigmatic structure known as the prechordal plate and also the precursors of the notochord were reassessed in 101 human embryos of stages 8-14; 36 were controlled by precise graphic reconstructions. Various measurements were made and the appearance of median structures was tabulated. The prechordal plate, which has been unequivocally found first at stage 7, is usually detectable at stage 8 as a highly developed mesendodermal mass in contact with the floor of the neural groove. At stages 9 and 10 the plate is related to neuromere D1. Cellular migration laterad at stages 9-11 gives rise to the bilateral premandibular condensations, which are lateral to the adenohypophysial primordium, and at stages 13 and 14 these condensations are closely related to the future tentorium cerebelli. The notochordal process is first visible at stage 7, and its dorsal part constitutes the notochordal plate at stage 8. At stages 8-10 the notochordal and prechordal plates appear continuous, but they are distinguishable histologically. The notochordal plate becomes intercalated in the endoderm of the foregut and begins to give rise to the notochord at stages 10 and 11. Bifurcation occurs rostrally at stage 12: the dorsal limb disappears, whereas the ventral limb is the definitive continuation. The topographical relationships of the prechordal and notochordal plates, the notochord, the adenohypophysis, and the oropharyngeal membrane are documented. Definitions and pertinent remarks on terminology are included, comparative data are considered, and the origin and derivatives of the prechordal plate are discussed. In addition to giving rise to external ocular muscles, the possibility of contributions to the heart and the tentorium cerebelli is raised. The importance of the plate in the development of the forebrain, as well as in the production of median anomalies such as holoprosencephaly and cyclopia, is stressed. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

  8. Ciona intestinalis Noto4 contains a phosphotyrosine interaction domain and is involved in the midline intercalation of notochord cells.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Shigehiro; Ueno, Naoto; Satoh, Nori; Takahashi, Hiroki

    2011-01-01

    Brachyury plays a pivotal role in the notochord formation in ascidian embryos. Ciona intestinalis Noto4 (Ci-Noto4) was isolated as a gene downstream of Ci-Bra. This gene encodes a 307 amino-acid protein with a C-terminal phosphotyrosine interaction domain (PTB/PID). Expression of Ci-Noto4 commences at the neural plate stage and is specific to notochord cells. Suppression of Ci-Noto4 levels with specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotides resulted in the formation of two rows of notochord cells owing to a lack of midline intercalation between the bilateral populations of progenitor cells. In contrast, overexpression of Ci-Noto4 by injection of a Ci-Bra(promoter):Ci-Noto4-EGFP construct into fertilized eggs disrupted the localization of notochord cells. Ci-Noto4 overexpression did not affect cellular differentiation in the notochord, muscle, mesenchyme, or nervous system. Analysis of Ci-Noto4 regions that are responsible for its function suggested significant roles for the PTB/PID and a central region, an area with no obvious sequence similarity to other known proteins. These results suggested that PTB/PID-containing Ci-Noto4 is essential for midline intercalation of notochord cells in chordate embryos.

  9. 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

  10. Computational models of airway branching morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Varner, Victor D; Nelson, Celeste M

    2017-07-01

    The bronchial network of the mammalian lung consists of millions of dichotomous branches arranged in a highly complex, space-filling tree. Recent computational models of branching morphogenesis in the lung have helped uncover the biological mechanisms that construct this ramified architecture. In this review, we focus on three different theoretical approaches - geometric modeling, reaction-diffusion modeling, and continuum mechanical modeling - and discuss how, taken together, these models have identified the geometric principles necessary to build an efficient bronchial network, as well as the patterning mechanisms that specify airway geometry in the developing embryo. We emphasize models that are integrated with biological experiments and suggest how recent progress in computational modeling has advanced our understanding of airway branching morphogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Mechanics and morphogenesis of fission yeast cells.

    PubMed

    Davì, Valeria; Minc, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    The integration of biochemical and biomechanical elements is at the heart of morphogenesis. While animal cells are relatively soft objects which shape and mechanics is mostly regulated by cytoskeletal networks, walled cells including those of plants, fungi and bacteria are encased in a rigid cell wall which resist high internal turgor pressure. How these particular mechanical properties may influence basic cellular processes, such as growth, shape and division remains poorly understood. Recent work using the model fungal cell fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, highlights important contribution of cell mechanics to various morphogenesis processes. We envision this genetically tractable system to serve as a novel standard for the mechanobiology of walled cell. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Contextual Fear Conditioning in Zebrafish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kenney, Justin W.; Scott, Ian C.; Josselyn, Sheena A.; Frankland, Paul W.

    2017-01-01

    Zebrafish are a genetically tractable vertebrate that hold considerable promise for elucidating the molecular basis of behavior. Although numerous recent advances have been made in the ability to precisely manipulate the zebrafish genome, much less is known about many aspects of learning and memory in adult fish. Here, we describe the development…

  13. The Prx1 limb enhancers: targeted gene expression in developing zebrafish pectoral fins.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Vega, Amayra; Minguillón, Carolina

    2011-08-01

    Limbs represent an excellent model to study the induction, growth, and patterning of several organs. A breakthrough to study gene function in various tissues has been the characterization of regulatory elements that allow tissue-specific interference of gene function. The mouse Prx1 promoter has been used to generate limb-specific mutants and overexpress genes in tetrapod limbs. Although zebrafish possess advantages that favor their use to study limb morphogenesis, there is no driver described suitable for specifically interfering with gene function in developing fins. We report the generation of zebrafish lines that express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) driven by the mouse Prx1 enhancer in developing pectoral fins. We also describe the expression pattern of the zebrafish prrx1 genes and identify three conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) that we use to generate fin-specific EGFP reporter lines. Finally, we show that the mouse and zebrafish regulatory elements may be used to modify gene function in pectoral fins. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. FishFace: interactive atlas of zebrafish craniofacial development at cellular resolution

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The vertebrate craniofacial skeleton may exhibit anatomical complexity and diversity, but its genesis and evolution can be understood through careful dissection of developmental programs at cellular resolution. Resources are lacking that include introductory overviews of skeletal anatomy coupled with descriptions of craniofacial development at cellular resolution. In addition to providing analytical guidelines for other studies, such an atlas would suggest cellular mechanisms underlying development. Description We present the Fish Face Atlas, an online, 3D-interactive atlas of craniofacial development in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Alizarin red-stained skulls scanned by fluorescent optical projection tomography and segmented into individual elements provide a resource for understanding the 3D structure of the zebrafish craniofacial skeleton. These data provide the user an anatomical entry point to confocal images of Alizarin red-stained zebrafish with transgenically-labelled pharyngeal arch ectomesenchyme, chondrocytes, and osteoblasts, which illustrate the appearance, morphogenesis, and growth of the mandibular and hyoid cartilages and bones, as viewed in live, anesthetized zebrafish during embryonic and larval development. Confocal image stacks at high magnification during the same stages provide cellular detail and suggest developmental and evolutionary hypotheses. Conclusion The FishFace Atlas is a novel learning tool for understanding craniofacial skeletal development, and can serve as a reference for a variety of studies, including comparative and mutational analyses. PMID:23714426

  15. Punctuated evolution and robustness in morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Grigoriev, D.; Reinitz, J.; Vakulenko, S.; Weber, A.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents an analytic approach to the pattern stability and evolution problem in morphogenesis. The approach used here is based on the ideas from the gene and neural network theory. We assume that gene networks contain a number of small groups of genes (called hubs) controlling morphogenesis process. Hub genes represent an important element of gene network architecture and their existence is empirically confirmed. We show that hubs can stabilize morphogenetic pattern and accelerate the morphogenesis. The hub activity exhibits an abrupt change depending on the mutation frequency. When the mutation frequency is small, these hubs suppress all mutations and gene product concentrations do not change, thus, the pattern is stable. When the environmental pressure increases and the population needs new genotypes, the genetic drift and other effects increase the mutation frequency. For the frequencies that are larger than a critical amount the hubs turn off; and as a result, many mutations can affect phenotype. This effect can serve as an engine for evolution. We show that this engine is very effective: the evolution acceleration is an exponential function of gene redundancy. Finally, we show that the Eldredge-Gould concept of punctuated evolution results from the network architecture, which provides fast evolution, control of evolvability, and pattern robustness. To describe analytically the effect of exponential acceleration, we use mathematical methods developed recently for hard combinatorial problems, in particular, for so-called k-SAT problem, and numerical simulations. PMID:24996115

  16. Morphogenesis of the caenorhabditis elegans vulva.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Adam J; Sherwood, David R

    2013-01-01

    Understanding how cells move, change shape, and alter cellular behaviors to form organs, a process termed morphogenesis, is one of the great challenges of developmental biology. Formation of the Caenorhabditis elegans vulva is a powerful, simple, and experimentally accessible model for elucidating how morphogenetic processes produce an organ. In the first step of vulval development, three epithelial precursor cells divide and differentiate to generate 22 cells of 7 different vulval subtypes. The 22 vulval cells then rearrange from a linear array into a tube, with each of the seven cell types undergoing characteristic morphogenetic behaviors that construct the vulva. Vulval morphogenesis entails many of the same cellular activities that underlie organogenesis and tissue formation across species, including invagination, lumen formation, oriented cell divisions, cell–cell adhesion, cell migration, cell fusion, extracellular matrix remodeling, and cell invasion. Studies of vulval development have led to pioneering discoveries in a number of these processes and are beginning to bridge the gap between the pathways that specify cells and their connections to morphogenetic behaviors. The simplicity of the vulva and the experimental tools available in C. elegans will continue to make vulval morphogenesis a powerful paradigm to further our understanding of the largely mysterious mechanisms that build tissues and organs. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Morphogenesis of the C. elegans vulva

    PubMed Central

    Schindler, Adam J

    2012-01-01

    Understanding how cells move, change shape, and alter cellular behaviors to form organs, a process termed morphogenesis, is one of the great challenges of developmental biology. Formation of the C. elegans vulva is a powerful, simple, and experimentally accessible model for elucidating how morphogenetic processes produce an organ. In the first step of vulval development, three epithelial precursor cells divide and differentiate to generate 22 cells of seven different vulval subtypes. The 22 vulval cells then rearrange from a linear array into a tube, with each of the seven cell types undergoing characteristic morphogenetic behaviours that construct the vulva. Vulval morphogenesis entails many of the same cellular activities that underlie organogenesis and tissue formation across species, including invagination, lumen formation, oriented cell divisions, cell-cell adhesion, cell migration, cell fusion, extracellular matrix remodelling and cell invasion. Studies of vulval development have led to pioneering discoveries in a number of these processes and are beginning to bridge the gap between the pathways that specify cells and their connections to morphogenetic behaviors. The simplicity of the vulva and the experimental tools available in C. elegans will continue to make vulval morphogenesis a powerful paradigm to further our understanding of the largely mysterious mechanisms that build tissues and organs. PMID:23418408

  18. Zebrafish skeleton development: High resolution micro-CT and FIB-SEM block surface serial imaging for phenotype identification

    PubMed Central

    Silvent, Jeremie; Akiva, Anat; Brumfeld, Vlad; Reznikov, Natalie; Rechav, Katya; Yaniv, Karina; Addadi, Lia; Weiner, Steve

    2017-01-01

    Although bone is one of the most studied living materials, many questions about the manner in which bones form remain unresolved, including fine details of the skeletal structure during development. In this study, we monitored skeleton development of zebrafish larvae, using calcein fluorescence, high-resolution micro-CT 3D images and FIB-SEM in the block surface serial imaging mode. We compared calcein staining of the skeletons of the wild type and nacre mutants, which are transparent zebrafish, with micro-CT for the first 30 days post fertilization embryos, and identified significant differences. We quantified the bone volumes and mineral contents of bones, including otoliths, during development, and showed that such developmental differences, including otolith development, could be helpful in identifying phenotypes. In addition, high-resolution imaging revealed the presence of mineralized aggregates in the notochord, before the formation of the first bone in the axial skeleton. These structures might play a role in the storage of the mineral. Our results highlight the potential of these high-resolution 3D approaches to characterize the zebrafish skeleton, which in turn could prove invaluable information for better understanding the development and the characterization of skeletal phenotypes. PMID:29220379

  19. Distinct myocardial lineages break atrial symmetry during cardiogenesis in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Stone, Oliver; Arnaout, Rima; Guenther, Stefan; Ahuja, Suchit; Uribe, Verónica; Vanhollebeke, Benoit; Stainier, Didier YR

    2018-01-01

    The ultimate formation of a four-chambered heart allowing the separation of the pulmonary and systemic circuits was key for the evolutionary success of tetrapods. Complex processes of cell diversification and tissue morphogenesis allow the left and right cardiac compartments to become distinct but remain poorly understood. Here, we describe an unexpected laterality in the single zebrafish atrium analogous to that of the two atria in amniotes, including mammals. This laterality appears to derive from an embryonic antero-posterior asymmetry revealed by the expression of the transcription factor gene meis2b. In adult zebrafish hearts, meis2b expression is restricted to the left side of the atrium where it controls the expression of pitx2c, a regulator of left atrial identity in mammals. Altogether, our studies suggest that the multi-chambered atrium in amniotes arose from a molecular blueprint present before the evolutionary emergence of cardiac septation and provide insights into the establishment of atrial asymmetry. PMID:29762122

  20. Craniofacial skeletal defects of adult zebrafish glypican 4 (knypek) mutants

    PubMed Central

    LeClair, Elizabeth E.; Mui, Stephanie R.; Huang, Angela; Topczewska, Jolanta M.; Topczewski, Jacek

    2010-01-01

    The heparan sulfate proteoglycan Glypican 4 (Gpc4) is part of the Wnt/planar cell polarity pathway, which is required for convergence and extension during zebrafish gastrulation. To observe Glypican 4-deficient phenotypes at later stages, we rescued gpc4−/− (knypek) homozygotes and raised them for more than one year. Adult mutants showed diverse cranial malformations of both dermal and endochondral bones, ranging from shortening of the rostral-most skull to loss of the symplectic. Additionally, the adult palatoquadrate cartilage was disorganized, with abnormal chondrocyte orientation. To understand how the palatoquadrate cartilage normally develops, we examined a juvenile series of wild type and mutant specimens. This identified two novel domains of elongated chondrocytes in the larval palatoquadrate, which normally form prior to endochondral ossification. In contrast, gpc4−/− larvae never form these domains, suggesting a failure of chondrocyte orientation, though not differentiation. Our findings implicate Gpc4 in the regulation of zebrafish cartilage and bone morphogenesis. PMID:19777561

  1. In vivo loss of function study reveals the short stature homeobox-containing (shox) gene plays indispensable roles in early embryonic growth and bone formation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sawada, Rie; Kamei, Hiroyasu; Hakuno, Fumihiko; Takahashi, Shin-Ichiro; Shimizu, Toshiaki

    2015-02-01

    Congenital loss of the SHOX gene is considered to be a genetic cause of short stature phenotype in Turner syndrome and Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis patients. Though SHOX expression initiates during early fetal development, little is known about the embryonic roles of SHOX. The evolutionary conservation of the zebrafish shox gene and the convenience of the early developmental stages for analyses make zebrafish a preferred model. Here, we characterized structure, expression, and developmental roles of zebrafish shox through a loss-of-function approach. We found a previously undiscovered Shox protein that has both a homeodomain and an OAR-domain in zebrafish. The shox transcript emerged during the segmentation period and it increased in later stages. The predominant domains of shox expression were mandibular arch, pectoral fin, anterior notochord, rhombencephalon, and mesencephalon, suggesting that Shox is involved in bone and neural development. Translational blockade of Shox mRNA by an antisense morpholino oligo delayed embryonic growth, which was restored by the co-overexpression of morpholino-resistant Shox mRNA. At later stages, impaired Shox expression markedly delayed the calcification process in the anterior vertebral column and craniofacial bones. Our data demonstrate evolutionarily conserved Shox plays roles in early embryonic growth and in later bone formation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Normal morphogenesis of epithelial tissues and progression of epithelial tumors

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chun-Chao; Jamal, Leen; Janes, Kevin A.

    2011-01-01

    Epithelial cells organize into various tissue architectures that largely maintain their structure throughout the life of an organism. For decades, the morphogenesis of epithelial tissues has fascinated scientists at the interface of cell, developmental, and molecular biology. Systems biology offers ways to combine knowledge from these disciplines by building integrative models that are quantitative and predictive. Can such models be useful for gaining a deeper understanding of epithelial morphogenesis? Here, we take inventory of some recurring themes in epithelial morphogenesis that systems approaches could strive to capture. Predictive understanding of morphogenesis at the systems level would prove especially valuable for diseases such as cancer, where epithelial tissue architecture is profoundly disrupted. PMID:21898857

  3. Computation models simulating notochordal cell extinction during early ageing of an intervertebral disc.

    PubMed

    Louman-Gardiner, K M; Coombe, D; Hunter, C J

    2011-12-01

    Lower back pain due to intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is a prevalent problem which drastically affects the quality of life of millions of sufferers. Healthy IVDs begin with high populations of notochordal cells in the nucleus pulposus, while by the second stage of degeneration, these cells will be replaced by chondrocyte-like cells. Because the IVD is avascular, these cells rely on passive diffusion of nutrients to survive. It is thought that this transition in cell phenotype causes the shift of the IVD's physical properties, which impede the flow of nutrients. Our computational model of the IVD illustrates its ability to simulate the evolving chemical and mechanical environments occurring during the early ageing process. We demonstrate that, due to the insufficient nutrient supply and accompanying changes in physical properties of the IVD, there was a resultant exponential decay in the number of notochordal cells over time.

  4. Cadmium affects muscle type development and axon growth in zebrafish embryonic somitogenesis.

    PubMed

    Hen Chow, Elly Suk; Cheng, Shuk Han

    2003-05-01

    We have previously reported that exposure to cadmium during zebrafish embryonic development caused morphological malformations of organs and ectopic expression of genes involved in regulating developmental process. One of the most common developmental defects observed was altered axial curvature resulting from defects in the myotomes of the somites. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of cadmium-induced toxicity in zebrafish somitogenesis. We showed that the critical period of exposure was the gastrulation period, which actually preceded the formation of the first morphologically distinct somites. The somites thus formed lost the typical chevron V-shape and are packed disorderly. The myogenic lineage commitment of the axial mesodermal cells was not affected, as the myogenic regulatory transcription factors were expressed normally. There were, however, losses of fast and slow muscle fibers in the myotomes. The innervation of the muscle blocks by spinal motoneurons is an important process of the somitogenesis. Both primary and secondary motoneurons appear to form normally while the axon growth is affected in cadmium-treated embryos. The notochord, which is essential in the patterning of the somites and the central nervous system, showed abnormal morphological features and failed to extend to the tail region. Taken together, it appears that cadmium exposure led to abnormal somite patterning of the muscle fibers and defects in axonogenesis.

  5. Automatic zebrafish heartbeat detection and analysis for zebrafish embryos.

    PubMed

    Pylatiuk, Christian; Sanchez, Daniela; Mikut, Ralf; Alshut, Rüdiger; Reischl, Markus; Hirth, Sofia; Rottbauer, Wolfgang; Just, Steffen

    2014-08-01

    A fully automatic detection and analysis method of heartbeats in videos of nonfixed and nonanesthetized zebrafish embryos is presented. This method reduces the manual workload and time needed for preparation and imaging of the zebrafish embryos, as well as for evaluating heartbeat parameters such as frequency, beat-to-beat intervals, and arrhythmicity. The method is validated by a comparison of the results from automatic and manual detection of the heart rates of wild-type zebrafish embryos 36-120 h postfertilization and of embryonic hearts with bradycardia and pauses in the cardiac contraction.

  6. Abnormal Notochord Branching Is Associated with Foregut Malformations in the Adriamycin Treated Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Hajduk, Piotr; Sato, Hideaki; Puri, Prem; Murphy, Paula

    2011-01-01

    Oesophageal atresia (OA) and tracheooesophageal fistula (TOF) are relatively common human congenital malformations of the foregut where the oesophagus does not connect with the stomach and there is an abnormal connection between the stomach and the respiratory tract. They require immediate corrective surgery and have an impact on the future health of the individual. These abnormalities are mimicked by exposure of rat and mouse embryos in utero to the drug adriamycin. The causes of OA/TOF during human development are not known, however a number of mouse mutants where different signalling pathways are directly affected, show similar abnormalities, implicating multiple and complex signalling mechanisms. The similarities in developmental outcome seen in human infants and in the adriamycin treated mouse model underline the potential of this model to unravel the early embryological events and further our understanding of the processes disturbed, leading to such abnormalities. Here we report a systematic study of the foregut and adjacent tissues in embryos treated with adriamycin at E7 and E8 and analysed between E9 and E12, comparing morphology in 3D in 149 specimens. We describe a spectrum of 8 defects, the most common of which is ventral displacement and branching of the notochord (in 94% of embryos at E10) and a close spatial correspondence between the site of notochord branching and defects of the foregut. In addition gene expression analysis shows altered dorso-ventral foregut patterning in the vicinity of notochord branches. This study shows a number of features of the adriamycin mouse model not previously reported, implicates the notochord as a primary site of disturbance in such abnormalities and underlines the importance of the model to further address the mechanistic basis of foregut congenital abnormalities. PMID:22132119

  7. Abnormal notochord branching is associated with foregut malformations in the adriamycin treated mouse model.

    PubMed

    Hajduk, Piotr; Sato, Hideaki; Puri, Prem; Murphy, Paula

    2011-01-01

    Oesophageal atresia (OA) and tracheooesophageal fistula (TOF) are relatively common human congenital malformations of the foregut where the oesophagus does not connect with the stomach and there is an abnormal connection between the stomach and the respiratory tract. They require immediate corrective surgery and have an impact on the future health of the individual. These abnormalities are mimicked by exposure of rat and mouse embryos in utero to the drug adriamycin. The causes of OA/TOF during human development are not known, however a number of mouse mutants where different signalling pathways are directly affected, show similar abnormalities, implicating multiple and complex signalling mechanisms. The similarities in developmental outcome seen in human infants and in the adriamycin treated mouse model underline the potential of this model to unravel the early embryological events and further our understanding of the processes disturbed, leading to such abnormalities. Here we report a systematic study of the foregut and adjacent tissues in embryos treated with adriamycin at E7 and E8 and analysed between E9 and E12, comparing morphology in 3D in 149 specimens. We describe a spectrum of 8 defects, the most common of which is ventral displacement and branching of the notochord (in 94% of embryos at E10) and a close spatial correspondence between the site of notochord branching and defects of the foregut. In addition gene expression analysis shows altered dorso-ventral foregut patterning in the vicinity of notochord branches. This study shows a number of features of the adriamycin mouse model not previously reported, implicates the notochord as a primary site of disturbance in such abnormalities and underlines the importance of the model to further address the mechanistic basis of foregut congenital abnormalities.

  8. Direct activation of chordoblasts by retinoic acid is required for segmented centra mineralization during zebrafish spine development.

    PubMed

    Pogoda, Hans-Martin; Riedl-Quinkertz, Iris; Löhr, Heiko; Waxman, Joshua S; Dale, Rodney M; Topczewski, Jacek; Schulte-Merker, Stefan; Hammerschmidt, Matthias

    2018-05-08

    Zebrafish mutants with increased retinoic acid (RA) signaling due to the loss of the RA-inactivating enzyme Cyp26b1 develop a hyper-mineralized spine with gradually fusing vertebral body precursors (centra). However, the underlying cellular mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we show that cells of the notochord epithelium named chordoblasts are sensitive to RA signaling. Chordoblasts are uniformly distributed along the anteroposterior axis and initially generate the continuous collagenous notochord sheath. However, subsequently and iteratively, subsets of these cells undergo further RA-dependent differentiation steps, acquire a stellate-like shape, downregulate expression of the collagen gene col2a1a , switch on cyp26b1 expression and trigger metameric sheath mineralization. This mineralization fails to appear upon chordoblast-specific cell ablation or RA signal transduction blockade. Together, our data reveal that, despite their different developmental origins, the activities and regulation of chordoblasts are very similar to those of osteoblasts, including their RA-induced transition from osteoid-producing cells to osteoid-mineralizing ones. Furthermore, our data point to a requirement for locally controlled RA activity within the chordoblast layer in order to generate the segmented vertebral column. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Differential gene expression in notochord and nerve cord fate segregation in the Ciona intestinalis embryo.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Kenji; Yamada, Lixy; Satou, Yutaka; Satoh, Nori

    2013-09-01

    During early embryogenesis, embryonic cells gradually restrict their developmental potential and are eventually destined to give rise to one type of cells. Molecular mechanisms underlying developmental fate restriction are one of the major research subjects within developmental biology. In this article, this subject was addressed by combining blastomere isolation with microarray analysis. During the 6th cleavage of the Ciona intestinalis embryo, from the 32-cell to the 64-cell stage, four mother cells divide into daughter cells with two distinct fates, one giving rise to notochord precursor cells and the other to nerve cord precursors. Approximately 2,200 each of notochord and nerve cord precursor cells were isolated, and their mRNA expression profiles were compared by microarray. This analysis identified 106 and 68 genes, respectively, that are differentially expressed in notochord and nerve cord precursor cells. These included not only genes for transcription factors and signaling molecules but also those with generalized functions observed in many types of cells. In addition, whole-mount in situ hybridization showed dynamic spatial expression profiles of these genes during segregation of the two fates: partitioning of transcripts present in the mother cells into either type of daughter cells, and initiation of preferential gene expression in either type of cells. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Zebrafish pancreas development.

    PubMed

    Tiso, Natascia; Moro, Enrico; Argenton, Francesco

    2009-11-27

    An accurate understanding of the molecular events governing pancreas development can have an impact on clinical medicine related to diabetes, obesity and pancreatic cancer, diseases with a high impact in public health. Until 1996, the main animal models in which pancreas formation and differentiation could be studied were mouse and, for some instances related to early development, chicken and Xenopus. Zebrafish has penetrated this field very rapidly offering a new model of investigation; by joining functional genomics, genetics and in vivo whole mount visualization, Danio rerio has allowed large scale and fine multidimensional analysis of gene functions during pancreas formation and differentiation.

  11. Zebrafish Pronephros Development.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Richard W; Qubisi, Sarah S; Davidson, Alan J

    The pronephros is the first kidney type to form in vertebrate embryos. The first step of pronephrogenesis in the zebrafish is the formation of the intermediate mesoderm during gastrulation, which occurs in response to secreted morphogens such as BMPs and Nodals. Patterning of the intermediate mesoderm into proximal and distal cell fates is induced by retinoic acid signaling with downstream transcription factors including wt1a, pax2a, pax8, hnf1b, sim1a, mecom, and irx3b. In the anterior intermediate mesoderm, progenitors of the glomerular blood filter migrate and fuse at the midline and recruit a blood supply. More posteriorly localized tubule progenitors undergo epithelialization and fuse with the cloaca. The Notch signaling pathway regulates the formation of multi-ciliated cells in the tubules and these cells help propel the filtrate to the cloaca. The lumenal sheer stress caused by flow down the tubule activates anterior collective migration of the proximal tubules and induces stretching and proliferation of the more distal segments. Ultimately these processes create a simple two-nephron kidney that is capable of reabsorbing and secreting solutes and expelling excess water-processes that are critical to the homeostasis of the body fluids. The zebrafish pronephric kidney provides a simple, yet powerful, model system to better understand the conserved molecular and cellular progresses that drive nephron formation, structure, and function.

  12. Zebrafish as tools for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    MacRae, Calum A; Peterson, Randall T

    2015-10-01

    The zebrafish has become a prominent vertebrate model for disease and has already contributed to several examples of successful phenotype-based drug discovery. For the zebrafish to become useful in drug development more broadly, key hurdles must be overcome, including a more comprehensive elucidation of the similarities and differences between human and zebrafish biology. Recent studies have begun to establish the capabilities and limitations of zebrafish for disease modelling, drug screening, target identification, pharmacology, and toxicology. As our understanding increases and as the technologies for manipulating zebrafish improve, it is hoped that the zebrafish will have a key role in accelerating the emergence of precision medicine.

  13. Regeneration, morphogenesis and self-organization.

    PubMed

    Goldman, Daniel

    2014-07-01

    The RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, hosted a meeting entitled 'Regeneration of Organs: Programming and Self-Organization' in March, 2014. Scientists from across the globe met to discuss current research on regeneration, organ morphogenesis and self-organization - and the links between these fields. A diverse range of experimental models and organ systems was presented, and the speakers aptly illustrated the unique power of each. This Meeting Review describes the major advances reported and themes emerging from this exciting meeting. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. Putative oncogene Brachyury (T) is essential to specify cell fate but dispensable for notochord progenitor proliferation and EMT

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jianjian; Kwan, Kin Ming; Mackem, Susan

    2016-01-01

    The transcription factor Brachyury (T) gene is expressed throughout primary mesoderm (primitive streak and notochord) during early embryonic development and has been strongly implicated in the genesis of chordoma, a sarcoma of notochord cell origin. Additionally, T expression has been found in and proposed to play a role in promoting epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) in various other types of human tumors. However, the role of T in normal mammalian notochord development and function is still not well-understood. We have generated an inducible knockdown model to efficiently and selectively deplete T from notochord in mouse embryos. In combination with genetic lineage tracing, we show that T function is essential for maintaining notochord cell fate and function. Progenitors adopt predominantly a neural fate in the absence of T, consistent with an origin from a common chordoneural progenitor. However, T function is dispensable for progenitor cell survival, proliferation, and EMT, which has implications for the therapeutic targeting of T in chordoma and other cancers. PMID:27006501

  15. Functional Brachyury Binding Sites Establish a Temporal Read-out of Gene Expression in the Ciona Notochord

    PubMed Central

    Passamaneck, Yale J.; Gazdoiu, Stefan; José-Edwards, Diana S.; Kugler, Jamie E.; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Imai, Janice H.; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-01-01

    The appearance of the notochord represented a milestone in Deuterostome evolution. The notochord is necessary for the development of the chordate body plan and for the formation of the vertebral column and numerous organs. It is known that the transcription factor Brachyury is required for notochord formation in all chordates, and that it controls transcription of a large number of target genes. However, studies of the structure of the cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) through which this control is exerted are complicated in vertebrates by the genomic complexity and the pan-mesodermal expression territory of Brachyury. We used the ascidian Ciona, in which the single-copy Brachyury is notochord-specific and CRMs are easily identifiable, to carry out a systematic characterization of Brachyury-downstream notochord CRMs. We found that Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) controls most of its targets directly, through non-palindromic binding sites that function either synergistically or individually to activate early- and middle-onset genes, respectively, while late-onset target CRMs are controlled indirectly, via transcriptional intermediaries. These results illustrate how a transcriptional regulator can efficiently shape a shallow gene regulatory network into a multi-tiered transcriptional output, and provide insights into the mechanisms that establish temporal read-outs of gene expression in a fast-developing chordate embryo. PMID:24204212

  16. Putative oncogene Brachyury (T) is essential to specify cell fate but dispensable for notochord progenitor proliferation and EMT.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jianjian; Kwan, Kin Ming; Mackem, Susan

    2016-04-05

    The transcription factor Brachyury (T) gene is expressed throughout primary mesoderm (primitive streak and notochord) during early embryonic development and has been strongly implicated in the genesis of chordoma, a sarcoma of notochord cell origin. Additionally, T expression has been found in and proposed to play a role in promoting epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in various other types of human tumors. However, the role of T in normal mammalian notochord development and function is still not well-understood. We have generated an inducible knockdown model to efficiently and selectively deplete T from notochord in mouse embryos. In combination with genetic lineage tracing, we show that T function is essential for maintaining notochord cell fate and function. Progenitors adopt predominantly a neural fate in the absence of T, consistent with an origin from a common chordoneural progenitor. However, T function is dispensable for progenitor cell survival, proliferation, and EMT, which has implications for the therapeutic targeting of T in chordoma and other cancers.

  17. Functional Brachyury binding sites establish a temporal read-out of gene expression in the Ciona notochord.

    PubMed

    Katikala, Lavanya; Aihara, Hitoshi; Passamaneck, Yale J; Gazdoiu, Stefan; José-Edwards, Diana S; Kugler, Jamie E; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Imai, Janice H; Nibu, Yutaka; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-10-01

    The appearance of the notochord represented a milestone in Deuterostome evolution. The notochord is necessary for the development of the chordate body plan and for the formation of the vertebral column and numerous organs. It is known that the transcription factor Brachyury is required for notochord formation in all chordates, and that it controls transcription of a large number of target genes. However, studies of the structure of the cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) through which this control is exerted are complicated in vertebrates by the genomic complexity and the pan-mesodermal expression territory of Brachyury. We used the ascidian Ciona, in which the single-copy Brachyury is notochord-specific and CRMs are easily identifiable, to carry out a systematic characterization of Brachyury-downstream notochord CRMs. We found that Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) controls most of its targets directly, through non-palindromic binding sites that function either synergistically or individually to activate early- and middle-onset genes, respectively, while late-onset target CRMs are controlled indirectly, via transcriptional intermediaries. These results illustrate how a transcriptional regulator can efficiently shape a shallow gene regulatory network into a multi-tiered transcriptional output, and provide insights into the mechanisms that establish temporal read-outs of gene expression in a fast-developing chordate embryo.

  18. Generation of knock-in mice that express nuclear enhanced green fluorescent protein and tamoxifen-inducible Cre recombinase in the notochord from Foxa2 and T loci.

    PubMed

    Imuta, Yu; Kiyonari, Hiroshi; Jang, Chuan-Wei; Behringer, Richard R; Sasaki, Hiroshi

    2013-03-01

    The node and the notochord are important embryonic signaling centers that control embryonic pattern formation. Notochord progenitor cells present in the node and later in the posterior end of the notochord move anteriorly to generate the notochord. To understand the dynamics of cell movement during notochord development and the molecular mechanisms controlling this event, analyses of cell movements using time-lapse imaging and conditional manipulation of gene activities are required. To achieve this goal, we generated two knock-in mouse lines that simultaneously express nuclear enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and tamoxifen-inducible Cre, CreER(T2) , from two notochord gene loci, Foxa2 and T (Brachury). In Foxa2(nEGFP-CreERT2/+) and T(nEGFP-CreERT2/+) embryos, nuclei of the Foxa2 or T-expressing cells, which include the node, notochord, and endoderm (Foxa2) or wide range of posterior mesoderm (T), were labeled with EGFP at intensities that can be used for live imaging. Cre activity was also induced in cells expressing Foxa2 and T 1 day after tamoxifen administration. These mice are expected to be useful tools for analyzing the mechanisms of notochord development. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Moving domain computational fluid dynamics to interface with an embryonic model of cardiac morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Juhyun; Moghadam, Mahdi Esmaily; Kung, Ethan; Cao, Hung; Beebe, Tyler; Miller, Yury; Roman, Beth L; Lien, Ching-Ling; Chi, Neil C; Marsden, Alison L; Hsiai, Tzung K

    2013-01-01

    Peristaltic contraction of the embryonic heart tube produces time- and spatial-varying wall shear stress (WSS) and pressure gradients (∇P) across the atrioventricular (AV) canal. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a genetically tractable system to investigate cardiac morphogenesis. The use of Tg(fli1a:EGFP) (y1) transgenic embryos allowed for delineation and two-dimensional reconstruction of the endocardium. This time-varying wall motion was then prescribed in a two-dimensional moving domain computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, providing new insights into spatial and temporal variations in WSS and ∇P during cardiac development. The CFD simulations were validated with particle image velocimetry (PIV) across the atrioventricular (AV) canal, revealing an increase in both velocities and heart rates, but a decrease in the duration of atrial systole from early to later stages. At 20-30 hours post fertilization (hpf), simulation results revealed bidirectional WSS across the AV canal in the heart tube in response to peristaltic motion of the wall. At 40-50 hpf, the tube structure undergoes cardiac looping, accompanied by a nearly 3-fold increase in WSS magnitude. At 110-120 hpf, distinct AV valve, atrium, ventricle, and bulbus arteriosus form, accompanied by incremental increases in both WSS magnitude and ∇P, but a decrease in bi-directional flow. Laminar flow develops across the AV canal at 20-30 hpf, and persists at 110-120 hpf. Reynolds numbers at the AV canal increase from 0.07±0.03 at 20-30 hpf to 0.23±0.07 at 110-120 hpf (p< 0.05, n=6), whereas Womersley numbers remain relatively unchanged from 0.11 to 0.13. Our moving domain simulations highlights hemodynamic changes in relation to cardiac morphogenesis; thereby, providing a 2-D quantitative approach to complement imaging analysis.

  20. Moving Domain Computational Fluid Dynamics to Interface with an Embryonic Model of Cardiac Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Juhyun; Moghadam, Mahdi Esmaily; Kung, Ethan; Cao, Hung; Beebe, Tyler; Miller, Yury; Roman, Beth L.; Lien, Ching-Ling; Chi, Neil C.; Marsden, Alison L.; Hsiai, Tzung K.

    2013-01-01

    Peristaltic contraction of the embryonic heart tube produces time- and spatial-varying wall shear stress (WSS) and pressure gradients (∇P) across the atrioventricular (AV) canal. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a genetically tractable system to investigate cardiac morphogenesis. The use of Tg(fli1a:EGFP)y1 transgenic embryos allowed for delineation and two-dimensional reconstruction of the endocardium. This time-varying wall motion was then prescribed in a two-dimensional moving domain computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, providing new insights into spatial and temporal variations in WSS and ∇P during cardiac development. The CFD simulations were validated with particle image velocimetry (PIV) across the atrioventricular (AV) canal, revealing an increase in both velocities and heart rates, but a decrease in the duration of atrial systole from early to later stages. At 20-30 hours post fertilization (hpf), simulation results revealed bidirectional WSS across the AV canal in the heart tube in response to peristaltic motion of the wall. At 40-50 hpf, the tube structure undergoes cardiac looping, accompanied by a nearly 3-fold increase in WSS magnitude. At 110-120 hpf, distinct AV valve, atrium, ventricle, and bulbus arteriosus form, accompanied by incremental increases in both WSS magnitude and ∇P, but a decrease in bi-directional flow. Laminar flow develops across the AV canal at 20-30 hpf, and persists at 110-120 hpf. Reynolds numbers at the AV canal increase from 0.07±0.03 at 20-30 hpf to 0.23±0.07 at 110-120 hpf (p< 0.05, n=6), whereas Womersley numbers remain relatively unchanged from 0.11 to 0.13. Our moving domain simulations highlights hemodynamic changes in relation to cardiac morphogenesis; thereby, providing a 2-D quantitative approach to complement imaging analysis. PMID:24009714

  1. Fibroblast growth factor signaling is required for early somatic gonad development in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Leerberg, Dena M; Sano, Kaori; Draper, Bruce W

    2017-09-01

    The vertebrate ovary and testis develop from a sexually indifferent gonad. During early development of the organism, primordial germ cells (the gamete lineage) and somatic gonad cells coalesce and begin to undergo growth and morphogenesis to form this bipotential gonad. Although this aspect of development is requisite for a fertile adult, little is known about the genetic regulation of early gonadogenesis in any vertebrate. Here, we provide evidence that fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signaling is required for the early growth phase of a vertebrate bipotential gonad. Based on mutational analysis in zebrafish, we show that the Fgf ligand 24 (Fgf24) is required for proliferation, differentiation, and morphogenesis of the early somatic gonad, and as a result, most fgf24 mutants are sterile as adults. Additionally, we describe the ultrastructural elements of the early zebrafish gonad and show that distinct somatic cell populations can be identified soon after the gonad forms. Specifically, we show that fgf24 is expressed in an epithelial population of early somatic gonad cells that surrounds an inner population of mesenchymal somatic gonad cells that are in direct contact with the germ cells, and that fgf24 is required for stratification of the somatic tissue. Furthermore, based on gene expression analysis, we find that differentiation of the inner mesenchymal somatic gonad cells into functional cell types in the larval and early juvenile-stage gonad is dependent on Fgf24 signaling. Finally, we argue that the role of Fgf24 in zebrafish is functionally analogous to the role of tetrapod FGF9 in early gonad development.

  2. The evolutionarily conserved leprecan gene: its regulation by Brachyury and its role in the developing Ciona notochord.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Matthew P; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2009-04-15

    In Ciona intestinalis, leprecan was identified as a target of the notochord-specific transcription factor Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) (Takahashi, H., Hotta, K., Erives, A., Di Gregorio, A., Zeller, R.W., Levine, M., Satoh, N., 1999. Brachyury downstream notochord differentiation in the ascidian embryo. Genes Dev. 13, 1519-1523). By screening approximately 14 kb of the Ci-leprecan locus for cis-regulatory activity, we have identified a 581-bp minimal notochord-specific cis-regulatory module (CRM) whose activity depends upon T-box binding sites located at the 3'-end of its sequence. These sites are specifically bound in vitro by a GST-Ci-Bra fusion protein, and mutations that abolish binding in vitro result in loss or decrease of regulatory activity in vivo. Serial deletions of the 581-bp notochord CRM revealed that this sequence is also able to direct expression in muscle cells through the same T-box sites that are utilized by Ci-Bra in the notochord, which are also bound in vitro by the muscle-specific T-box activators Ci-Tbx6b and Ci-Tbx6c. Additionally, we created plasmids aimed to interfere with the function of Ci-leprecan and categorized the resulting phenotypes, which consist of variable dislocations of notochord cells along the anterior-posterior axis. Together, these observations provide mechanistic insights generally applicable to T-box transcription factors and their target sequences, as well as a first set of clues on the function of Leprecan in early chordate development.

  3. Impaired intervertebral disc development and premature disc degeneration in mice with notochord-specific deletion of CCN2.

    PubMed

    Bedore, Jake; Sha, Wei; McCann, Matthew R; Liu, Shangxi; Leask, Andrew; Séguin, Cheryle A

    2013-10-01

    Currently, our ability to treat intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is hampered by an incomplete understanding of disc development and aging. The specific function of matricellular proteins, including CCN2, during these processes remains an enigma. The aim of this study was to determine the tissue-specific localization of CCN proteins and to characterize their role in IVD tissues during embryonic development and age-related degeneration by using a mouse model of notochord-specific CCN2 deletion. Expression of CCN proteins was assessed in IVD tissues from wild-type mice beginning on embryonic day 15.5 to 17 months of age. Given the enrichment of CCN2 in notochord-derived tissues, we generated notochord-specific CCN2-null mice to assess the impact on the IVD structure and extracellular matrix composition. Using a combination of histologic evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), IVD health was assessed. Loss of the CCN2 gene in notochord-derived cells disrupted the formation of IVDs in embryonic and newborn mice, resulting in decreased levels of aggrecan and type II collagen and concomitantly increased levels of type I collagen within the nucleus pulposus. CCN2-knockout mice also had altered expression of CCN1 (Cyr61) and CCN3 (Nov). Mirroring its role during early development, notochord-specific CCN2 deletion accelerated age-associated degeneration of IVDs. Using a notochord-specific gene targeting strategy, this study demonstrates that CCN2 expression by nucleus pulposus cells is essential to the regulation of IVD development and age-associated tissue maintenance. The ability of CCN2 to regulate the composition of the intervertebral disc suggests that it may represent an intriguing clinical target for the treatment of disc degeneration. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Rheumatology.

  4. Direct activation of a notochord cis-regulatory module by Brachyury and FoxA in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Passamaneck, Yale J; Katikala, Lavanya; Perrone, Lorena; Dunn, Matthew P; Oda-Ishii, Izumi; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2009-11-01

    The notochord is a defining feature of the chordate body plan. Experiments in ascidian, frog and mouse embryos have shown that co-expression of Brachyury and FoxA class transcription factors is required for notochord development. However, studies on the cis-regulatory sequences mediating the synergistic effects of these transcription factors are complicated by the limited knowledge of notochord genes and cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) that are directly targeted by both. We have identified an easily testable model for such investigations in a 155-bp notochord-specific CRM from the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. This CRM contains functional binding sites for both Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) and FoxA (Ci-FoxA-a). By combining point mutation analysis and misexpression experiments, we demonstrate that binding of both transcription factors to this CRM is necessary and sufficient to activate transcription. To gain insights into the cis-regulatory criteria controlling its activity, we investigated the organization of the transcription factor binding sites within the 155-bp CRM. The 155-bp sequence contains two Ci-Bra binding sites with identical core sequences but opposite orientations, only one of which is required for enhancer activity. Changes in both orientation and spacing of these sites substantially affect the activity of the CRM, as clusters of identical sites found in the Ciona genome with different arrangements are unable to activate transcription in notochord cells. This work presents the first evidence of a synergistic interaction between Brachyury and FoxA in the activation of an individual notochord CRM, and highlights the importance of transcription factor binding site arrangement for its function.

  5. INDUCED AND SPONTANEOUS NEOPLASIA IN ZEBRAFISH.

    EPA Science Inventory

    To address the potential of zebrafish as a cancer model, it is important to determine the susceptibility of zebrafish to tumors, and to compare zebrafish tumors with human tumors. To determine whether the commonly-used germ line mutagen, ethylnitrosourea (ENU) induces tumors, we ...

  6. Loss of laminin alpha 1 results in multiple structural defects and divergent effects on adhesion during vertebrate optic cup morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Bryan, Chase D.; Chien, Chi-Bin; Kwan, Kristen M.

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate eye forms via a complex set of morphogenetic events. The optic vesicle evaginates and undergoes transformative shape changes to form the optic cup, in which neural retina and retinal pigmented epithelium enwrap the lens. It has long been known that a complex, glycoprotein-rich extracellular matrix layer surrounds the developing optic cup throughout the process, yet the functions of the matrix and its specific molecular components have remained unclear. Previous work established a role for laminin extracellular matrix in particular steps of eye development, including optic vesicle evagination, lens differentiation, and retinal ganglion cell polarization, yet it is unknown what role laminin might play in the early process of optic cup formation subsequent to the initial step of optic vesicle evagination. Here, we use the zebrafish lama1 mutant (lama1UW1) to determine the function of laminin during optic cup morphogenesis. Using live imaging, we find, surprisingly, that loss of laminin leads to divergent effects on focal adhesion assembly in a spatiotemporally-specific manner, and that laminin is required for multiple steps of optic cup morphogenesis, including optic stalk constriction, invagination, and formation of a spherical lens. Laminin is not required for single cell behaviors and changes in cell shape. Rather, in lama1UW1 mutants, loss of epithelial polarity and altered adhesion lead to defective tissue architecture and formation of a disorganized retina. These results demonstrate that the laminin extracellular matrix plays multiple critical roles regulating adhesion and polarity to establish and maintain tissue structure during optic cup morphogenesis. PMID:27339294

  7. Nrk2b-mediated NAD+ production regulates cell adhesion and is required for muscle morphogenesis in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Goody, Michelle F.; Kelly, Meghan W.; Lessard, Kevin N.; Khalil, Andre; Henry, Clarissa A.

    2010-01-01

    Cell-matrix adhesion complexes (CMACs) play fundamental roles during morphogenesis. Given the ubiquitous nature of CMACs and their roles in many cellular processes, one question is how specificity of CMAC function is modulated. The clearly defined cell behaviors that generate segmentally reiterated axial skeletal muscle during zebrafish development comprise an ideal system with which to investigate CMAC function during morphogenesis. We found that Nicotinamide riboside kinase 2b (Nrk2b) cell autonomously modulates the molecular composition of CMACs in vivo. Nrk2b is required for normal Laminin polymerization at the myotendinous junction (MTJ). In Nrk2b-deficient embryos, at MTJ loci where Laminin is not properly polymerized, muscle fibers elongate into adjacent myotomes and are abnormally long. In yeast and human cells, Nrk2 phosphorylates Nicotinamide Riboside and generates NAD+ through an alternative salvage pathway. Exogenous NAD+ treatment rescues MTJ development in Nrk2b-deficient embryos, but not in laminin mutant embryos. Both Nrk2b and Laminin are required for localization of Paxillin, but not β-Dystroglycan, to CMACs at the MTJ. Overexpression of Paxillin in Nrk2b-deficient embryos is sufficient to rescue MTJ integrity. Taken together, these data show that Nrk2b plays a specific role in modulating subcellular localization of discrete CMAC components that in turn play roles in musculoskeletal development. Furthermore, these data suggest that Nrk2b-mediated synthesis of NAD+ is functionally upstream of Laminin adhesion and Paxillin subcellular localization during MTJ development. These results indicate a previously unrecognized complexity to CMAC assembly in vivo and also elucidate a novel role for NAD+ during morphogenesis. PMID:20566368

  8. Notochord-derived hedgehog is essential for tail regeneration in Xenopus tadpole.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Yuka; Watanabe, Kenji; Mochii, Makoto

    2014-06-18

    Appendage regeneration in amphibians is regulated by the combinatorial actions of signaling molecules. The requirement of molecules secreted from specific tissues is reflected by the observation that the whole process of regeneration can be inhibited if a certain tissue is removed from the amputated stump. Interestingly, urodeles and anurans show different tissue dependencies during tail regeneration. The spinal cord is essential for tail regeneration in urodele but not in anuran larva, whereas the notochord but not the spinal cord is essential for tail regeneration in anuran tadpoles. Sonic hedgehog is one of the signaling molecules responsible for such phenomenon in axolotl, as hedgehog signaling is essential for overall tail regeneration and sonic hedgehog is exclusively expressed in the spinal cord. In order to know whether hedgehog signaling is involved in the molecular mechanism underlying the inconsistent tissue dependency for tail regeneration between anurans and urodeles, we investigated expression of hedgehog signal-related genes in the regenerating tail of Xenopus tadpole and examined the effect of the hedgehog signal inhibitor, cyclopamine, on the tail regeneration. In Xenopus, sonic hedgehog is expressed exclusively in the notochord but not in the spinal cord of the regenerate. Overall regeneration was severely impaired in cyclopamine-treated tadpoles. Notochord maturation in the regenerate, including cell alignment and vacuolation, and myofiber formation were inhibited. Proliferation of spinal cord cells in the neural ampulla and of mesenchymal cells was also impaired. As in the axolotl, hedgehog signaling is required for multiple steps in tail regeneration in the Xenopus tadpole, although the location of the Shh source is quite different between the two species. This difference in Shh localization is the likely basis for the differing tissue requirement for tail regeneration between urodeles and anurans.

  9. Notochord-derived hedgehog is essential for tail regeneration in Xenopus tadpole

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Appendage regeneration in amphibians is regulated by the combinatorial actions of signaling molecules. The requirement of molecules secreted from specific tissues is reflected by the observation that the whole process of regeneration can be inhibited if a certain tissue is removed from the amputated stump. Interestingly, urodeles and anurans show different tissue dependencies during tail regeneration. The spinal cord is essential for tail regeneration in urodele but not in anuran larva, whereas the notochord but not the spinal cord is essential for tail regeneration in anuran tadpoles. Sonic hedgehog is one of the signaling molecules responsible for such phenomenon in axolotl, as hedgehog signaling is essential for overall tail regeneration and sonic hedgehog is exclusively expressed in the spinal cord. In order to know whether hedgehog signaling is involved in the molecular mechanism underlying the inconsistent tissue dependency for tail regeneration between anurans and urodeles, we investigated expression of hedgehog signal-related genes in the regenerating tail of Xenopus tadpole and examined the effect of the hedgehog signal inhibitor, cyclopamine, on the tail regeneration. Results In Xenopus, sonic hedgehog is expressed exclusively in the notochord but not in the spinal cord of the regenerate. Overall regeneration was severely impaired in cyclopamine-treated tadpoles. Notochord maturation in the regenerate, including cell alignment and vacuolation, and myofiber formation were inhibited. Proliferation of spinal cord cells in the neural ampulla and of mesenchymal cells was also impaired. Conclusion As in the axolotl, hedgehog signaling is required for multiple steps in tail regeneration in the Xenopus tadpole, although the location of the Shh source is quite different between the two species. This difference in Shh localization is the likely basis for the differing tissue requirement for tail regeneration between urodeles and anurans. PMID:24941877

  10. Tissue interactions in the induction of anterior pituitary: role of the ventral diencephalon, mesenchyme, and notochord.

    PubMed

    Gleiberman, A S; Fedtsova, N G; Rosenfeld, M G

    1999-09-15

    Rathke's pouch, the epithelial primordium of the anterior pituitary, differentiates in close topographical and functional association with the ventral diencephalon. It is still not known whether the ventral diencephalon acts as the initial inducer of pituitary development. The roles of the adjacent mesenchyme and notochord, two other tissues located in close proximity to Rathke's pouch, in this process are even less clear. In this report we describe an in vitro experimental system that reproduces the earliest steps of anterior pituitary development. We provide evidence that the ventral diencephalon from 2- to 4-day-old chick embryos is able to function as an inducer of pituitary development and can convert early chick embryonic head ectoderm, which is not involved normally in pituitary development, into typical anterior pituitary tissue. This induction is contact-dependent. In our experimental system, there is a requirement for the supporting action of mesenchyme, which is independent of the mesenchyme source. Transplantation of the notochord into the lateral head region of a six-somite chick embryo induces an epithelial invagination, suggesting that the notochord induces the outpouching of the roof of the stomodeal ectoderm that results in formation of Rathke's pouch and causes the close contact between this ectoderm and the ventral diencephalon. Finally, we demonstrate that the ventral diencephalon from e9.5-e11.5 mouse embryos is also an efficient inducer of anterior pituitary differentiation in chick embryonic lateral head ectoderm, suggesting that the mechanism of anterior pituitary induction is conserved between mammals and birds, using the same, or similar, signaling pathways. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  11. Morphogenesis of the human excretory lacrimal system

    PubMed Central

    de la Cuadra-Blanco, C; Peces-Peña, M D; Jáñez-Escalada, L; Mérida-Velasco, J R

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the principal developmental stages in the formation of the excretory lacrimal system in humans and to establish its morphogenetic period. The study was performed using light microscopy on serial sections of 51 human specimens: 33 embryos and 18 fetuses ranging from 8 to 137 mm crown–rump length (CR; 5–16 weeks of development). Three stages were identified in the morphogenesis of the excretory lacrimal system: (1) the formative stage of the lacrimal lamina (Carnegie stages 16–18); (2) the formative stage of the lacrimal cord (Carnegie stages 19–23); and (3) the maturative stage of the excretory lacrimal system, from the 9th week of development onward. A three-dimensional reconstruction of the excretory lacrimal system was performed from serial sections of an embryo at the end of the embryonic period (27 mm CR). PMID:16879594

  12. Laser capture microdissection to study flower morphogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pawełkowicz, Magdalena Ewa; Skarzyńska, Agnieszka; Kowalczuk, Cezary; PlÄ der, Wojciech; Przybecki, Zbigniew

    2017-08-01

    Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM) is a sample preparation microscopic method that enables isolation of an interesting cell or cells population from human, animal or plant tissue. This technique allows for obtaining pure sample from heterogeneous mixture. From isolated cells, it is possible to obtain the appropriate quality material used for genomic research in transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics. We used LCM method to study flower morphogenesis and specific bud's organ organization and development. The genes expression level in developing flower buds of male (B10) and female (2gg) lines were analyzed with qPCR. The expression was checked for stamen and carpel primordia obtained with LCM and for whole flower buds at successive stages of growth.

  13. Micropatterning of cells reveals chiral morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Invariant left-right (LR) patterning or chirality is critical for embryonic development. The loss or reversal of LR asymmetry is often associated with malformations and disease. Although several theories have been proposed, the exact mechanism of the initiation of the LR symmetry has not yet been fully elucidated. Recently, chirality has been detected within single cells as well as multicellular structures using several in vitro approaches. These studies demonstrated the universality of cell chirality, its dependence on cell phenotype, and the role of physical boundaries. In this review, we discuss the theories for developmental LR asymmetry, compare various in vitro cell chirality model systems, and highlight possible roles of cell chirality in stem cell differentiation. We emphasize that the in vitro cell chirality systems have great promise for helping unveil the nature of chiral morphogenesis in development. PMID:23672821

  14. Maintenance of Zebrafish Lines at the European Zebrafish Resource Center.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Robert; Borel, Nadine; Ferg, Marco; Maier, Jana Viktoria; Strähle, Uwe

    2016-07-01

    We have established a European Zebrafish Resource Center (EZRC) at the KIT. This center not only maintains and distributes a large number of existing mutant and transgenic zebrafish lines but also gives zebrafish researchers access to screening services and technologies such as imaging and high-throughput sequencing, provided by the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG). The EZRC maintains and distributes the stock collection of the Nüsslein-Volhard laboratory, comprising over 2000 publicly released mutations, as frozen sperm samples. Within the framework of the ZF-HEALTH EU project, the EZRC distributes over 10,000 knockout mutations from the Sanger Institute (United Kingdom), as well as over 100 mutant and transgenic lines from other sources. In this article, we detail the measures we have taken to ensure the health of our fish, including hygiene, quarantine, and veterinary inspections.

  15. Klf8 regulates left-right asymmetric patterning through modulation of Kupffer's vesicle morphogenesis and spaw expression.

    PubMed

    Lin, Che-Yi; Tsai, Ming-Yuan; Liu, Yu-Hsiu; Lu, Yu-Fen; Chen, Yi-Chung; Lai, Yun-Ren; Liao, Hsin-Chi; Lien, Huang-Wei; Yang, Chung-Hsiang; Huang, Chang-Jen; Hwang, Sheng-Ping L

    2017-07-17

    . Interestingly, klf8 mutant embryos, generated by a CRISPR-Cas9 system, showed bilateral spaw expression in the LPM at late somite stages. This observation may be partly attributed to compensatory upregulation of klf12b, because klf12b knockdown reduced the percentage of klf8 mutants exhibiting bilateral spaw expression. Our results demonstrate that zebrafish Klf8 regulates left-right asymmetric patterning by modulating both Kupffer's vesicle morphogenesis and spaw expression in the left LPM.

  16. Neurochemical measurements in the zebrafish brain

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Lauren J.; McCutcheon, James E.; Young, Andrew M. J.; Norton, William H. J.

    2015-01-01

    The zebrafish is an ideal model organism for behavioral genetics and neuroscience. The high conservation of genes and neurotransmitter pathways between zebrafish and other vertebrates permits the translation of research between species. Zebrafish behavior can be studied at both larval and adult stages and recent research has begun to establish zebrafish models for human disease. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) is an electrochemical technique that permits the detection of neurotransmitter release and reuptake. In this study we have used in vitro FSCV to measure the release of analytes in the adult zebrafish telencephalon. We compare different stimulation methods and present a characterization of neurochemical changes in the wild-type zebrafish brain. This study represents the first FSCV recordings in zebrafish, thus paving the way for neurochemical analysis of the fish brain. PMID:26441575

  17. Genomic Approaches to Zebrafish Cancer

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The zebrafish has emerged as an important model for studying cancer biology. Identification of DNA, RNA and chromatin abnormalities can give profound insight into the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and the there are many techniques for analyzing the genomes of these tumors. Here, I present an overview of the available technologies for analyzing tumor genomes in the zebrafish, including array based methods as well as next-generation sequencing technologies. I also discuss the ways in which zebrafish tumor genomes can be compared to human genomes using cross-species oncogenomics, which act to filter genomic noise and ultimately uncover central drivers of malignancy. Finally, I discuss downstream analytic tools, including network analysis, that can help to organize the alterations into coherent biological frameworks that can then be investigated further. PMID:27165352

  18. New frontiers for zebrafish management.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, C

    2016-01-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a preeminent model organism with a wide and expanding utility for numerous scientific disciplines. The same features that once endeared this small freshwater minnow to developmental biologists combined with its relatively high genetic similarity to mammals and the advent of new, more efficient methods for genome editing are now helping to spur expanded growth in its usage in various fields, including toxicology, drug discovery, transplant biology, disease modeling, and even aquaculture. Continued maturation and adoption of the zebrafish model system in these and other fields of science will require that methods and approaches for husbandry and management of these fish in controlled settings be refined and improved to the extent that, ultimately, zebrafish research becomes more reproducible, defined, cost-effective, and accessible to the masses. Knowledge and technology transfer from laboratory animal science and commercial aquaculture will be a necessary part of this development. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Mayo Clinic Zebrafish Facility Overview.

    PubMed

    Leveque, Ryan E; Clark, Karl J; Ekker, Stephen C

    2016-07-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a premier nonmammalian vertebrate model organism. This small aquatic fish is utilized in multiple disciplines in the Mayo Clinic community and by many laboratories around the world because of its biological similarity to humans, its advanced molecular genetics, the elucidation of its genome sequence, and the ever-expanding and outstanding new biological tools now available to the zebrafish researcher. The Mayo Clinic Zebrafish Facility (MCZF) houses ∼2,000 tanks annotated using an in-house, Internet cloud-based bar-coding system tied to our established zfishbook.org web infrastructure. Paramecia are the primary food source for larval fish rearing, using a simplified culture protocol described herein. The MCZF supports the specific ongoing research in a variety of laboratories, while also serving as a local hub for new scientists as they learn to tap into the potential of this model system for understanding normal development, disease, and as models of health.

  20. Morphogenesis and evolution of vertebrate appendicular muscle

    PubMed Central

    HAINES, LYNN; CURRIE, PETER D.

    2001-01-01

    Two different modes are utilised by vertebrate species to generate the appendicular muscle present within fins and limbs. Primitive Chondricthyan or cartilaginous fishes use a primitive mode of muscle formation to generate the muscle of the fins. Direct epithelial myotomal extensions invade the fin and generate the fin muscles while remaining in contact with the myotome. Embryos of amniotes such as chick and mouse use a similar mechanism to that deployed in the bony teleost species, zebrafish. Migratory mesenchymal myoblasts delaminate from fin/limb level somites, migrate to the fin/limb field and differentiate entirely within the context of the fin/limb bud. Migratory fin and limb myoblasts express identical genes suggesting that they possess both morphogenetic and molecular identity. We conclude that the mechanisms controlling tetrapod limb muscle formation arose prior to the Sarcopterygian or tetrapod radiation. PMID:11523824

  1. Extracellular matrix and growth factors in branching morphogenesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hardman, P.; Spooner, B. S.

    1993-01-01

    The unifying hypothesis of the NSCORT in gravitational biology postulates that the ECM and growth factors are key interrelated components of a macromolecular regulatory system. The ECM is known to be important in growth and branching morphogenesis of embryonic organs. Growth factors have been detected in the developing embryo, and often the pattern of localization is associated with areas undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Causal relationships between these components may be of fundamental importance in control of branching morphogenesis.

  2. Clofibrate and gemfibrozil induce an embryonic malabsorption syndrome in zebrafish

    SciTech Connect

    Raldua, Demetrio; Andre, Michele; Babin, Patrick J.

    2008-05-01

    Nutrient availability is one of the major non-genetic factors determining embryonic growth and larval or fetal size. Due to the high human consumption of blood lipid regulators, fibrates have recently been reported as pollutants in rivers. Our study investigated the developmental toxicity of fibrates in zebrafish. Treatment with micromolar concentrations of clofibrate or gemfibrozil induced an embryonic malabsorption syndrome (EMS) with very little yolk consumption, resulting in small-sized larvae. This effect was reversible on removing the drug from the water. Clofibrate delayed hatching time and decreased the amount of oil red O lipid staining in the vasculature. It also inducedmore » higher density, round-shaped neuromuscular junctions associated with disorganization and less striation of muscular fibers, and pericardial edema, as well as impairing thyroid gland morphogenesis. acox1, apoa1 and mtp hybridization transcript signals were not affected in the yolk syncytial layer (YSL) after clofibrate exposure. Di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate did not slow down yolk resorption, whereas brefeldin A induced EMS. These findings suggest that the inhibition of yolk sac resorption on exposure to fibrate is not at a pre-translational level or peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha dependent and may be due to an inhibition of the YSL constitutive cell secretion. The effects of fibrates and the potential bioconcentration in eggs as well as the additive action of structurally related toxicants warrant an evaluation of the developmental impact of these compounds after long-term exposure at environmentally relevant concentrations. Fibrate-induced EMS in zebrafish seems useful for studying the morphogenetic consequences of impaired nutrient availability during the early stages of vertebrate development.« less

  3. Building Finite Element Models to Investigate Zebrafish Jaw Biomechanics.

    PubMed

    Brunt, Lucy H; Roddy, Karen A; Rayfield, Emily J; Hammond, Chrissy L

    2016-12-03

    Skeletal morphogenesis occurs through tightly regulated cell behaviors during development; many cell types alter their behavior in response to mechanical strain. Skeletal joints are subjected to dynamic mechanical loading. Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computational method, frequently used in engineering that can predict how a material or structure will respond to mechanical input. By dividing a whole system (in this case the zebrafish jaw skeleton) into a mesh of smaller 'finite elements', FEA can be used to calculate the mechanical response of the structure to external loads. The results can be visualized in many ways including as a 'heat map' showing the position of maximum and minimum principal strains (a positive principal strain indicates tension while a negative indicates compression. The maximum and minimum refer the largest and smallest strain). These can be used to identify which regions of the jaw and therefore which cells are likely to be under particularly high tensional or compressional loads during jaw movement and can therefore be used to identify relationships between mechanical strain and cell behavior. This protocol describes the steps to generate Finite Element models from confocal image data on the musculoskeletal system, using the zebrafish lower jaw as a practical example. The protocol leads the reader through a series of steps: 1) staining of the musculoskeletal components, 2) imaging the musculoskeletal components, 3) building a 3 dimensional (3D) surface, 4) generating a mesh of Finite Elements, 5) solving the FEA and finally 6) validating the results by comparison to real displacements seen in movements of the fish jaw.

  4. A variant of fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (Fgfr2) regulates left-right asymmetry in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Liu, Da-Wei; Hsu, Chia-Hao; Tsai, Su-Mei; Hsiao, Chung-Der; Wang, Wen-Pin

    2011-01-01

    Many organs in vertebrates are left-right asymmetrical located. For example, liver is at the right side and stomach is at the left side in human. Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signaling is important for left-right asymmetry. To investigate the roles of Fgfr2 signaling in zebrafish left-right asymmetry, we used splicing blocking morpholinos to specifically block the splicing of fgfr2b and fgfr2c variants, respectively. We found that the relative position of the liver and the pancreas were disrupted in fgfr2c morphants. Furthermore, the left-right asymmetry of the heart became random. Expression pattern of the laterality controlling genes, spaw and pitx2c, also became random in the morphants. Furthermore, lefty1 was not expressed in the posterior notochord, indicating that the molecular midline barrier had been disrupted. It was also not expressed in the brain diencephalon. Kupffer's vesicle (KV) size became smaller in fgfr2c morphants. Furthermore, KV cilia were shorter in fgfr2c morphants. We conclude that the fgfr2c isoform plays an important role in the left-right asymmetry during zebrafish development.

  5. A Variant of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 2 (Fgfr2) Regulates Left-Right Asymmetry in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Da-Wei; Hsu, Chia-Hao; Tsai, Su-Mei; Hsiao, Chung-Der; Wang, Wen-Pin

    2011-01-01

    Many organs in vertebrates are left-right asymmetrical located. For example, liver is at the right side and stomach is at the left side in human. Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signaling is important for left-right asymmetry. To investigate the roles of Fgfr2 signaling in zebrafish left-right asymmetry, we used splicing blocking morpholinos to specifically block the splicing of fgfr2b and fgfr2c variants, respectively. We found that the relative position of the liver and the pancreas were disrupted in fgfr2c morphants. Furthermore, the left-right asymmetry of the heart became random. Expression pattern of the laterality controlling genes, spaw and pitx2c, also became random in the morphants. Furthermore, lefty1 was not expressed in the posterior notochord, indicating that the molecular midline barrier had been disrupted. It was also not expressed in the brain diencephalon. Kupffer's vesicle (KV) size became smaller in fgfr2c morphants. Furthermore, KV cilia were shorter in fgfr2c morphants. We conclude that the fgfr2c isoform plays an important role in the left-right asymmetry during zebrafish development. PMID:21747958

  6. Changes in gravitational force induce alterations in gene expression that can be monitored in the live, developing zebrafish heart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillette-Ferguson, I.; Ferguson, D. G.; Poss, K. D.; Moorman, S. J.

    2003-10-01

    Little is known about the effect of microgravity on gene expression, particularly in vivo during embryonic development. Using transgenic zebrafish that express the gfp gene under the influence of a β-actin promoter, we examined the affect of simulated-microgravity on GFP expression in the heart. Zebrafish embryos, at the 18-20 somite-stage, were exposed to simulated-microgravity for 24 hours. The intensity of GFP fluorescence associated with the heart was then determined using fluorescence microscopy. Our measurements indicated that simulated-microgravity induced a 23.9% increase in GFP-associated fluorescence in the heart. In contrast, the caudal notochord showed a 17.5% increase and the embryo as a whole showed only an 8.5% increase in GFP-associated fluorescence. This suggests that there are specific effects on the heart causing the more dramatic increase. These studies indicate that microgravity can influence gene expression and demonstrate the usefulness of this in vivo model of "reporter-gene" expression for studying the effects of microgravity.

  7. The transcription factor FoxB mediates temporal loss of cellular competence for notochord induction in ascidian embryos.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Hidehiko; Enomoto, Takashi; Enomoto, Atsushi; Kumano, Gaku; Nishida, Hiroki

    2011-06-01

    In embryos of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi, the competence of isolated presumptive notochord blastomeres to respond to fibroblast growth factor (FGF) for induction of the primary notochord decays by 1 hour after cleavage from the 32- to 64-cell stage. This study analyzes the molecular mechanisms responsible for this loss of competence and provides evidence for a novel mechanism. A forkhead family transcription factor, FoxB, plays a role in competence decay by preventing the induction of notochord-specific Brachyury (Bra) gene expression by the FGF/MAPK signaling pathway. Unlike the mechanisms reported previously in other animals, no component in the FGF signal transduction cascade appeared to be lost or inactivated at the time of competence loss. Knockdown of FoxB functions allowed the isolated cells to retain their competence for a longer period, and to respond to FGF with expression of Bra beyond the stage at which competence was normally lost. FoxB acts as a transcription repressor by directly binding to the cis-regulatory element of the Bra gene. Our results suggest that FoxB prevents ectopic induction of the notochord fate within the cells that assume a default nerve cord fate, after the stage when notochord induction has been completed. The merit of this system is that embryos can use the same FGF signaling cascade again for another purpose in the same cell lineage at later stages by keeping the signaling cascade itself available. Temporally and spatially regulated FoxB expression in nerve cord cells was promoted by the ZicN transcription factor and absence of FGF/MAPK signaling.

  8. Zebrafish sex: a complicated affair

    PubMed Central

    Liew, Woei Chang

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we provide a detailed overview of studies on the elusive sex determination (SD) and gonad differentiation mechanisms of zebrafish (Danio rerio). We show that the data obtained from most studies are compatible with polygenic sex determination (PSD), where the decision is made by the allelic combinations of several loci. These loci are typically dispersed throughout the genome, but in some teleost species a few of them might be located on a preferential pair of (sex) chromosomes. The PSD system has a much higher level of variation of SD genotypes both at the level of gametes and the sexual genotype of individuals, than that of the chromosomal sex determination systems. The early sexual development of zebrafish males is a complicated process, as they first develop a ‘juvenile ovary’, that later undergoes a transformation to give way to a testis. To date, three major developmental pathways were shown to be involved with gonad differentiation through the modulation of programmed cell death. In our opinion, there are more pathways participating in the regulation of zebrafish gonad differentiation/transformation. Introduction of additional powerful large-scale genomic approaches into the analysis of zebrafish reproduction will result in further deepening of our knowledge as well as identification of additional pathways and genes associated with these processes in the near future. PMID:24148942

  9. Knockdown of prothrombin in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Day, Kenneth; Krishnegowda, Naveen; Jagadeeswaran, Pudur

    2004-01-01

    Thrombin is a serine protease generated from its zymogen, prothrombin, and plays a central role in the coagulation cascade. It is also important for mammalian development. The zebrafish has now been established as an excellent genetic model for studies on mammalian hemostasis and development. In this report, we used prothrombin-specific antisense morpholinos to knock down the levels of prothrombin to characterize the effects of prothrombin deficiency in the zebrafish embryo. Prothrombin morpholino-injected zebrafish embryos yielded an early phenotype exhibiting severe abnormalities that later showed occasional bleeding. In a second late phenotype, the embryos had no observable morphological abnormalities in early stages, but showed occasional bleeding at later stages. These phenotypes resembled characteristics shown by prothrombin knockout mice. Laser-induced vascular injury on some of the normal appearing phenotypic larvae showed a prolonged time to occlusion, and recombinant zebrafish prothrombin injected into these larvae restored a normal time to occlusion thus showing the specificity of the morpholino effect. The system developed here should be useful for investigation of the role of thrombin in vertebrate development.

  10. Contextual fear conditioning in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Kenney, Justin W; Scott, Ian C; Josselyn, Sheena A; Frankland, Paul W

    2017-10-01

    Zebrafish are a genetically tractable vertebrate that hold considerable promise for elucidating the molecular basis of behavior. Although numerous recent advances have been made in the ability to precisely manipulate the zebrafish genome, much less is known about many aspects of learning and memory in adult fish. Here, we describe the development of a contextual fear conditioning paradigm using an electric shock as the aversive stimulus. We find that contextual fear conditioning is modulated by shock intensity, prevented by an established amnestic agent (MK-801), lasts at least 14 d, and exhibits extinction. Furthermore, fish of various background strains (AB, Tu, and TL) are able to acquire fear conditioning, but differ in fear extinction rates. Taken together, we find that contextual fear conditioning in zebrafish shares many similarities with the widely used contextual fear conditioning paradigm in rodents. Combined with the amenability of genetic manipulation in zebrafish, we anticipate that our paradigm will prove to be a useful complementary system in which to examine the molecular basis of vertebrate learning and memory. © 2017 Kenney et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  11. Multiscale information modelling for heart morphogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdulla, T.; Imms, R.; Schleich, J. M.; Summers, R.

    2010-07-01

    Science is made feasible by the adoption of common systems of units. As research has become more data intensive, especially in the biomedical domain, it requires the adoption of a common system of information models, to make explicit the relationship between one set of data and another, regardless of format. This is being realised through the OBO Foundry to develop a suite of reference ontologies, and NCBO Bioportal to provide services to integrate biomedical resources and functionality to visualise and create mappings between ontology terms. Biomedical experts tend to be focused at one level of spatial scale, be it biochemistry, cell biology, or anatomy. Likewise, the ontologies they use tend to be focused at a particular level of scale. There is increasing interest in a multiscale systems approach, which attempts to integrate between different levels of scale to gain understanding of emergent effects. This is a return to physiological medicine with a computational emphasis, exemplified by the worldwide Physiome initiative, and the European Union funded Network of Excellence in the Virtual Physiological Human. However, little work has been done on how information modelling itself may be tailored to a multiscale systems approach. We demonstrate how this can be done for the complex process of heart morphogenesis, which requires multiscale understanding in both time and spatial domains. Such an effort enables the integration of multiscale metrology.

  12. Behavioural fever in zebrafish larvae.

    PubMed

    Rey, Sonia; Moiche, Visila; Boltaña, Sebastian; Teles, Mariana; MacKenzie, Simon

    2017-02-01

    Behavioural fever has been reported in different species of mobile ectotherms including the zebrafish, Danio rerio, in response to exogenous pyrogens. In this study we report, to our knowledge for the first time, upon the ontogenic onset of behavioural fever in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae. For this, zebrafish larvae (from first feeding to juveniles) were placed in a continuous thermal gradient providing the opportunity to select their preferred temperature. The novel thermal preference aquarium was based upon a continuous vertical column system and allows for non-invasive observation of larvae vertical distribution under isothermal (T R at 28 °C) and thermal gradient conditions (T CH : 28-32 °C). Larval thermal preference was assessed under both conditions with or without an immersion challenge, in order to detect the onset of the behavioural fever response. Our results defined the onset of the dsRNA induced behavioural fever at 18-20 days post fertilization (dpf). Significant differences were observed in dsRNA challenged larvae, which prefer higher temperatures (1-4 °C increase) throughout the experimental period as compared to non-challenged larvae. In parallel we measured the abundance of antiviral transcripts; viperin, gig2, irf7, trim25 and Mxb mRNAs in dsRNA challenged larvae under both thermal regimes: T R and T Ch . Significant increases in the abundance of all measured transcripts were recorded under thermal choice conditions signifying that thermo-coupling and the resultant enhancement of the immune response to dsRNA challenge occurs from 18 dpf onwards in the zebrafish. The results are of importance as they identify a key developmental stage where the neuro-immune interface matures in the zebrafish likely providing increased resistance to viral infection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Embryotoxic and genotoxic effects of sewage effluents in zebrafish embryo using multiple endpoint testing.

    PubMed

    Babić, Sanja; Barišić, Josip; Višić, Hrvoje; Sauerborn Klobučar, Roberta; Topić Popović, Natalija; Strunjak-Perović, Ivančica; Čož-Rakovac, Rozelindra; Klobučar, Göran

    2017-05-15

    Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are often complex mixtures of various organic and inorganic substances. Quality control of wastewaters and sludges has been regulated with measuring several physico-chemical parameters and sometimes using biological methods with non-specific responses, while synergistic action mechanisms of contaminants in such complex mixtures is still unknown. Toxic effects of wastewaters within and downstream of the WWTP in City of Virovitica, Croatia, were tested on zebrafish Danio rerio using a set of biomarkers that enabled an insight in wastewaters toxic potential on embryos at the cellular, tissue and the whole organism level during an early ontogenesis (24 and 48 hpf). Exposure of embryos to the wastewater samples from WWTP Virovitica increased mortality and abnormality rate. Heart rate, spontaneous movements and pigmentation formation were also markedly affected. Biochemical markers confirmed the presence of MXR inhibitors in all tested wastewater samples, indicating the increase of pollutant accumulation in the cell/organism. Also, a tendency of DNA damage decrease measured with Comet assay was evident in wastewater samples downstream from WWTP although control levels were not reached in any environmental sample. Histopathological analysis showed that exposure to tested samples resulted in impaired muscle organization, notochord malformation and retardation in eye and brain development at embryos 48 hpf. Furthermore, semi-quantitative histopathology assessment indicated increased percentage of embryo defects in river water sampled several kilometers downstream from the WWTP, confirming toxic potential of WWTP effluents. Extension of the zebrafish embryotoxicity test (ZET) with biochemical and histopathological biomarkers could serve as a guiding principle in biomonitoring of wastewater contamination. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Molecular aspect of silver nanoparticles regulated embryonic development in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) by Oct-4 expression.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Biplab; Verma, Suresh K; Akhtar, Javed; Netam, Surya Prakash; Gupta, Sanjay Kr; Panda, Pritam Kumar; Mukherjee, Koel

    2018-09-01

    With the enhancement of commercial manifestation of silver nanoparticles, concerned has risen on their accumulation in aquatic system and consequent effects on fish development and metabolism. In this study, experiments were conducted to assess the impacts of silver nanoparticles on early life cycles of fish considering Zebrafish (Danio rerio) as experimental model. Silver nanoparticles were synthesized through chemical reduction method and characterized through UV-visible spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering (DLS), and HR-TEM. Different sub lethal doses of nanosilver were applied (13.6, 21.6, 42.4, 64, and 128 μgL -1 ) to post-fertilization phases of Zebrafish embryos and their interaction effects were monitored up to six days period. No significant morphological variations were observed at 13.6, 21.6, 42.4 μgL -1 dose of silver nanoparticles, whereas 64 and 128 μgL -1 exposure dose exhibited bending in myotome, deformity in tail region, somites, notochord and swelling in anterior and posterior region of embryos and larva. Hatching performances analysis elicited highest hatching success in 13.6 and 21.6 μgL -1 doses of silver nanoparticles followed by positive and negative control, whereas exposure dose of 64 and 128 μgL -1 exhibited comparatively lower success. Western blot analysis were conducted on developing hatchlings with Oct4 antibody and at 13.6 and 21.6 μgL -1 dose,it showed over expression elucidating stimulatory role of nanosilver in these mentioned doses. In silico analysis depicted a firm interaction of nanosilver with Oct4 revealing their key role in growth stimulation of developing embryos. The study demonstrates the function of nanosilver as a growth promoter rather only as a toxicant in fish metabolic system. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Identification and expression analysis of zebrafish polypeptide α-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase Y-subfamily genes during embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Nakayama, Yoshiaki; Nakamura, Naosuke; Kawai, Tamiko; Kaneda, Eiichi; Takahashi, Yui; Miyake, Ayumi; Itoh, Nobuyuki; Kurosaka, Akira

    2014-09-01

    Mucin-type glycosylation is one of the most common posttranslational modifications of secretory and membrane proteins and has diverse physiological functions. The initial biosynthesis of mucin-type carbohydrates is catalyzed by UDP-GalNAc: polypeptide α-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (GalNAc-Ts) encoded by GALNT genes. Among these, GalNAc-T8, -T9, -T17, and -T18 form a characteristic subfamily called "Y-subfamily" and have no or very low in vitro transferase activities when assayed with typical mucin peptides as acceptor substrates. Although the Y-subfamily isozymes have been reported to be possibly involved in various diseases, their in vivo functions have not been reported. Here, we isolated zebrafish Y-subfamily galnt genes, and determined their spatial and temporal expressions during the early development of zebrafish. Our study demonstrated that all the Y-subfamily isozymes were well conserved in zebrafish with GalNAc-T18 having two orthologs, galnt18a and galnt18b, and with the other three isozymes each having a corresponding ortholog, galnt8, galnt9, and galnt17. The galnt8 was expressed in the cephalic mesoderm and hatching gland during early developmental stages, and differently expressed in the head, somatic muscles, and liver in the later stages. The other three orthologs also exhibited the characteristic expression patterns, although their expressions were generally strong in the nervous systems. In addition to the expression in the brain, galnt17 and galnt18a were expressed in the somitic muscles, and galnt18a and galnt18b in the notochord. These expression patterns may contribute to the functional analysis of the Y-subfamily, whose physiological roles still remain to be elucidated. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Turning gene function ON and OFF using sense and antisense photo-morpholinos in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Gibson, Dan; Morcos, Paul; Li, Yongfu; Seredick, Steve; Eisen, Judith; Washbourne, Philip

    2012-01-01

    To understand the molecular mechanisms of development it is essential to be able to turn genes on and off at will and in a spatially restricted fashion. Morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) are very common tools used in several model organisms with which it is possible to block gene expression. Recently developed photo-activated MOs allow control over the onset of MO activity. However, deactivation of photo-cleavable MO activity has remained elusive. Here, we describe photo-cleavable MOs with which it is possible to activate or de-activate MO function by UV exposure in a temporal and spatial manner. We show, using several different genes as examples, that it is possible to turn gene expression on or off both in the entire zebrafish embryo and in single cells. We use these tools to demonstrate the sufficiency of no tail expression as late as tailbud stage to drive medial precursor cells towards the notochord cell fate. As a broader approach for the use of photo-cleavable MOs, we show temporal control over gal4 function, which has many potential applications in multiple transgenic lines. We demonstrate temporal manipulation of Gal4 transgene expression in only primary motoneurons and not secondary motoneurons, heretofore impossible with conventional transgenic approaches. In another example, we follow and analyze neural crest cells that regained sox10 function after deactivation of a photo-cleavable sox10-MO at different time points. Our results suggest that sox10 function might not be critical during neural crest formation. PMID:22492359

  17. Proposed Diagnostic Criteria, Classification Schema, and Review of Literature of Notochord-Derived Ecchordosis Physaliphora

    PubMed Central

    Lagman, Carlito; Sarmiento, J. Manuel; Turtz, Alan R; Chitale, Rohan V

    2016-01-01

    Ecchordosis physaliphora (EP) is a benign notochordal remnant derived from ectopic nests found along the craniospinal axis. It typically presents asymptomatically and is diagnosed using classic radiologic features, particularly location, T1-hypointensity, T2-hyperintensity, and lack of enhancement following gadolinium (Gd) contrast administration. Distinguishing EP from its malignant counterpart, chordoma, is of paramount importance, given the aggressive nature of the latter. Advances in imaging and immunohistochemistry have aided in diagnosis to an extent but, to our knowledge, identification of the genetic fingerprint of EP has yet to take place. Further cytological analysis of these lesions in search of a genetic link is warranted. We propose here a set of diagnostic criteria based on features consistently cited in the literature. In this literature review, 23 case reports were identified and collated into a summary of symptomatic cases of ecchordosis physaliphora. An illustrative case report of two patients was also included.  PMID:27158576

  18. Myosin II Dynamics during Embryo Morphogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasza, Karen

    2013-03-01

    During embryonic morphogenesis, the myosin II motor protein generates forces that help to shape tissues, organs, and the overall body form. In one dramatic example in the Drosophila melanogaster embryo, the epithelial tissue that will give rise to the body of the adult animal elongates more than two-fold along the head-to-tail axis in less than an hour. This elongation is accomplished primarily through directional rearrangements of cells within the plane of the tissue. Just prior to elongation, polarized assemblies of myosin II accumulate perpendicular to the elongation axis. The contractile forces generated by myosin activity orient cell movements along a common axis, promoting local cell rearrangements that contribute to global tissue elongation. The molecular and mechanical mechanisms by which myosin drives this massive change in embryo shape are poorly understood. To investigate these mechanisms, we generated a collection of transgenic flies expressing variants of myosin II with altered motor function and regulation. We found that variants that are predicted to have increased myosin activity cause defects in tissue elongation. Using biophysical approaches, we found that these myosin variants also have decreased turnover dynamics within cells. To explore the mechanisms by which molecular-level myosin dynamics are translated into tissue-level elongation, we are using time-lapse confocal imaging to observe cell movements in embryos with altered myosin activity. We are utilizing computational approaches to quantify the dynamics and directionality of myosin localization and cell rearrangements. These studies will help elucidate how myosin-generated forces control cell movements within tissues. This work is in collaboration with J. Zallen at the Sloan-Kettering Institute.

  19. Fgf16 is essential for pectoral fin bud formation in zebrafish

    SciTech Connect

    Nomura, Ryohei; Kamei, Eriko; Hotta, Yuuhei

    2006-08-18

    Zebrafish pectoral fin bud formation is an excellent model for studying morphogenesis. Fibroblast growth factors (Fgfs) and sonic hedgehog (shh) are essential for pectoral fin bud formation. We found that Fgf16 was expressed in the apical ectodermal ridge (AER) of fin buds. A knockdown of Fgf16 function resulted in no fin bud outgrowth. Fgf16 is required for cell proliferation and differentiation in the mesenchyme and the AER of the fin buds, respectively. Fgf16 functions downstream of Fgf10, a mesenchymal factor, signaling to induce the expression of Fgf4 and Fgf8 in the AER. Fgf16 in the AER and shh in themore » zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) interact to induce and/or maintain each other's expression. These findings have revealed that Fgf16, a newly identified AER factor, plays a crucial role in pectoral fin bud outgrowth by mediating the interactions of AER-mesenchyme and AER-ZPA.« less

  20. Cell proliferation in mammalian gastrulation: the ventral node and notochord are relatively quiescent.

    PubMed

    Bellomo, D; Lander, A; Harragan, I; Brown, N A

    1996-04-01

    During gastrulation, the node of the mammalian embryo appears to be an organising centre, homologous to Hensen's node in the chick and the dorsal lip of the amphibian blastopore. In addition, the node serves as a precursor population for the head process, notochord and foregut endoderm. We have studied node architecture and cell morphology by electron microscopy, and cell proliferation using bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and mitotic counts. The dorsal (ectodermal) and ventral (endodermal) components of the node are two distinct populations, separated by a basement membrane. The ventral node, contiguous with the head process, is characterised by a relatively low proliferation rate, with only approximately 10% of cells incorporating BrdU over 4 hr, compared to > 95% in surrounding mesodermal and ectodermal tissues. This is the case from the beginning of node formation, at the no-allantoic-bud stage, until the 7 somite stage, and is not compatible with the idea that the ventral node is a stem cell population. The dorsal node is highly proliferative, its rate of division being indistinguishable from the neurectoderm, with which it is contiguous. In the ventral node, two regions can be recognised: cells in the "pit" are columnar and all monociliated; around them lies a "crown" of cells arranged radially in a horseshoe shape and less often ciliated. Node derivatives share common features with the ventral node; the head process and the notochord are relatively quiescent; and some head process cells are also monociliated. Node and head process monocilia are immotile and appear to be associated with non-proliferation. We suggest that the ventral node contains all the properties of the organiser, while the dorsal node is indistinct from the surrounding epiblast. The cranial end of the foregut pouch, the thyroid diverticulum, and the promyocardium of early somite stage embryos are also areas of low cell division. All the described regions of relative quiescence are sites of

  1. Notochordal cell conditioned medium stimulates mesenchymal stem cell differentiation toward a young nucleus pulposus phenotype

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer promise for intervertebral disc (IVD) repair and regeneration because they are easily isolated and expanded, and can differentiate into several mesenchymal tissues. Notochordal (NC) cells contribute to IVD development, incorporate into the nucleus pulposus (NP), and stimulate mature disc cells. However, there have been no studies investigating the effects of NC cells on adult stem cell differentiation. The premise of this study is that IVD regeneration is more similar to IVD development than to IVD maintenance, and we hypothesize that soluble factors from NC cells differentiate MSCs to a phenotype characteristic of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells during development. The eventual clinical goal would be to isolate or chemically/recombinantly produce the active agent to induce the therapeutic effects, and to use it as either an injectable therapy for early intervention on disc disease, or in developing appropriately pre-differentiated MSC cells in a tissue engineered NP construct. Methods Human MSCs from bone marrow were expanded and pelleted to form high-density cultures. MSC pellets were exposed to either control medium (CM), chondrogenic medium (CM with dexamethasone and transforming growth factor, (TGF)-β3) or notochordal cell conditioned medium (NCCM). NCCM was prepared from NC cells maintained in serum free medium for four days. After seven days culture, MSC pellets were analyzed for appearance, biochemical composition (glycosaminoglycans and DNA), and gene expression profile (sox-9, collagen types-II and III, laminin-β1 and TIMP1(tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1)). Results Significantly higher glycosaminoglycan accumulation was seen in NCCM treated pellets than in CM or TGFβ groups. With NCCM treatment, increased gene expression of collagen III, and a trend of increasing expression of laminin-β1 and decreased expression of sox-9 and collagen II relative to the TGFβ group was observed. Conclusions

  2. Differential Response of Bovine Mature Nucleus Pulposus and Notochordal Cells to Hydrostatic Pressure and Glucose Restriction.

    PubMed

    Saggese, Taryn; Thambyah, Ashvin; Wade, Kelly; McGlashan, Susan Read

    2018-05-01

    Objective The nucleus pulposus of the human intervertebral disc contains 2 cell types: notochordal (NC) and mature nucleus pulposus (MNP) cells. NC cell loss is associated with disc degeneration and this process may be initiated by mechanical stress and/or nutrient deprivation. This study aimed to investigate the functional responses of NC and MNP cells to hydrostatic pressures and glucose restriction. Design Bovine MNP and NC cells were cultured in 3-dimensional alginate beads under low (0.4-0.8 MPa) and high (1.6-2.4 MPa) dynamic pressure for 24 hours. Cells were cultured in either physiological (5.5 mM) glucose media or glucose-restriction (0.55 mM) media. Finally, the combined effect of glucose restriction and high pressure was examined. Results Cell viability and notochordal phenotypic markers were not significantly altered in response to pressure or glucose restriction. MNP cells responded to low pressure with an increase in glycosaminoglycan (GAG) production while high pressure significantly decreased ACAN gene expression compared with atmospheric controls. NC cells showed no response in matrix gene expression or GAG production with either loading regime. Glucose restriction decreased NC cell TIMP-1 expression but had no effect on MNP cells. The combination of glucose restriction and high pressure only affected MNP cell gene expression, with decreased ACAN, Col2α1, and ADAMTS-5 expression. Conclusion This study shows that NC cells are more resistant to acute mechanical stresses than MNP cells and provides a strong rationale for future studies to further our understanding the role of NC cells within the disc, and the effects of long-term exposure to physical stresses.

  3. A global sensitivity analysis approach for morphogenesis models.

    PubMed

    Boas, Sonja E M; Navarro Jimenez, Maria I; Merks, Roeland M H; Blom, Joke G

    2015-11-21

    Morphogenesis is a developmental process in which cells organize into shapes and patterns. Complex, non-linear and multi-factorial models with images as output are commonly used to study morphogenesis. It is difficult to understand the relation between the uncertainty in the input and the output of such 'black-box' models, giving rise to the need for sensitivity analysis tools. In this paper, we introduce a workflow for a global sensitivity analysis approach to study the impact of single parameters and the interactions between them on the output of morphogenesis models. To demonstrate the workflow, we used a published, well-studied model of vascular morphogenesis. The parameters of this cellular Potts model (CPM) represent cell properties and behaviors that drive the mechanisms of angiogenic sprouting. The global sensitivity analysis correctly identified the dominant parameters in the model, consistent with previous studies. Additionally, the analysis provided information on the relative impact of single parameters and of interactions between them. This is very relevant because interactions of parameters impede the experimental verification of the predicted effect of single parameters. The parameter interactions, although of low impact, provided also new insights in the mechanisms of in silico sprouting. Finally, the analysis indicated that the model could be reduced by one parameter. We propose global sensitivity analysis as an alternative approach to study the mechanisms of morphogenesis. Comparison of the ranking of the impact of the model parameters to knowledge derived from experimental data and from manipulation experiments can help to falsify models and to find the operand mechanisms in morphogenesis. The workflow is applicable to all 'black-box' models, including high-throughput in vitro models in which output measures are affected by a set of experimental perturbations.

  4. Maternal nodal and zebrafish embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Bennett, James T; Stickney, Heather L; Choi, Wen-Yee; Ciruna, Brian; Talbot, William S; Schier, Alexander F

    2007-11-08

    In fish and amphibians, the dorsal axis is specified by the asymmetric localization of maternally provided components of the Wnt signalling pathway. Gore et al. suggest that the Nodal signal Squint (Sqt) is required as a maternally provided dorsal determinant in zebrafish. Here we test their proposal and show that the maternal activities of sqt and the related Nodal gene cyclops (cyc) are not required for dorsoventral patterning.

  5. Formation of Intestinal Atresias in the Fgfr2IIIb−/− Mice is not Associated with Defects in Notochord Development or Alterations in Shh Expression

    PubMed Central

    Reader, Amy L.; Botham, Robert A.; Franco, Marta; Zaremba, Krzysztof M.; Nichol, Peter F.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose The etiology of intestinal atresia remains elusive but has been ascribed to a number of possible events including in utero vascular accidents, failure of recanalization of the intestinal lumen and mechanical compression. Another such event that has been postulated to be a cause in atresia formation is disruption in notochord development. This hypothesis arose from clinical observations of notochord abnormalities in patients with intestinal atresias as well as abnormal notochord development observed in a pharmacological animal model of intestinal atresia. Atresias in this model result from in utero exposure to Adriamycin, wherein notochord defects were noted in up to 80% of embryos that manifested intestinal atresias. Embryos with notochord abnormalities were observed to have ectopic expression of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) which in turn was postulated to be causative in atresia formation. We were interested in determining whether disruptions in notochord development or Shh expression occurred in an established genetic model of intestinal atresia and utilized the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 2IIIb homozygous mutant (Fgfr2IIIb−/−) mouse model. These embryos develop colonic atresias (100% penetrance) and duodenal atresias (42% penetrance). Methods Wild-type and Fgfr2IIIb−/− mouse embryos were harvested at E10.5, E11.5, E12.5 and E13.5. Whole mount in situ hybridization was performed on E10.5 embryos for Shh. Embryos at each time point were harvested and sectioned for H&E staining. Sections were photographed specifically for the notochord and resulting images reconstructed in 3-D using Amira software. Colons were isolated from wild-type and Fgfr2IIIb−/− embryos at E10.5, then cultured for 48 hours in matrigel with FGF10 in the presence or absence of exogenous SHH protein. Explants were harvested, fixed in formalin and photographed. Results Fgfr2IIIb−/− mouse embryos exhibit no disruptions in Shh expression at E10.5, when the first events in

  6. Formation of intestinal atresias in the Fgfr2IIIb-/- mice is not associated with defects in notochord development or alterations in Shh expression.

    PubMed

    Reeder, Amy L; Botham, Robert A; Franco, Marta; Zaremba, Krzysztof M; Nichol, Peter F

    2012-09-01

    The etiology of intestinal atresia remains elusive but has been ascribed to a number of possible events including in utero vascular accidents, failure of recanalization of the intestinal lumen, and mechanical compression. Another such event that has been postulated to be a cause in atresia formation is disruption in notochord development. This hypothesis arose from clinical observations of notochord abnormalities in patients with intestinal atresias as well as abnormal notochord development observed in a pharmacologic animal model of intestinal atresia. Atresias in this model result from in utero exposure to Adriamycin, wherein notochord defects were noted in up to 80% of embryos that manifested intestinal atresias. Embryos with notochord abnormalities were observed to have ectopic expression of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh), which in turn was postulated to be causative in atresia formation. We were interested in determining whether disruptions in notochord development or Shh expression occurred in an established genetic model of intestinal atresia and used the fibroblast growth factor receptor 2IIIb homozygous mutant (Fgfr2IIIb-/-) mouse model. These embryos develop colonic atresias (100% penetrance) and duodenal atresias (42% penetrance). Wild-type and Fgfr2IIIb-/- mouse embryos were harvested at embryonic day (E) 10.5, E11.5, E12.5, and E13.5. Whole-mount in situ hybridization was performed on E10.5 embryos for Shh. Embryos at each time point were harvested and sectioned for hematoxylin-eosin staining. Sections were photographed specifically for the notochord and resulting images reconstructed in 3-D using Amira software. Colons were isolated from wild-type and Fgfr2IIIb-/- embryos at E10.5, then cultured for 48 hours in Matrigel with FGF10 in the presence or absence of exogenous Shh protein. Explants were harvested, fixed in formalin, and photographed. Fgfr2IIIb-/- mouse embryos exhibit no disruptions in Shh expression at E10.5, when the first events in atresia

  7. Development of the zebrafish mesonephros.

    PubMed

    Diep, Cuong Q; Peng, Zhenzhen; Ukah, Tobechukwu K; Kelly, Paul M; Daigle, Renee V; Davidson, Alan J

    2015-01-01

    The vertebrate kidney plays an essential role in removing metabolic waste and balancing water and salt. This is carried out by nephrons, which comprise a blood filter attached to an epithelial tubule with proximal and distal segments. In zebrafish, two nephrons are first formed as part of the embryonic kidney (pronephros) and hundreds are formed later to make up the adult kidney (mesonephros). Previous studies have focused on the development of the pronephros while considerably less is known about how the mesonephros is formed. Here, we characterize mesonephros development in zebrafish and examine the nephrons that form during larval metamorphosis. These nephrons, arising from proliferating progenitor cells that express the renal transcription factor genes wt1b, pax2a, and lhx1a, form on top of the pronephric tubules and develop a segmentation pattern similar to pronephric nephrons. We find that the pronephros acts as a scaffold for the mesonephros, where new nephrons fuse with the distal segments of the pronephric tubules to form the final branching network that characterizes the adult zebrafish kidney. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Development of the zebrafish mesonephros

    PubMed Central

    Diep, Cuong Q.; Peng, Zhenzhen; Ukah, Tobechukwu K.; Kelly, Paul M.; Daigle, Renee V.; Davidson, Alan J.

    2015-01-01

    The vertebrate kidney plays an essential role in removing metabolic waste and balancing water and salt. This is carried out by nephrons, which comprise a blood filter attached to an epithelial tubule with proximal and distal segments. In zebrafish, two nephrons are first formed as part of the embryonic kidney (pronephros) and hundreds are formed later to make up the adult kidney (mesonephros). Previous studies have focused on the development of the pronephros while considerably less is known about how the mesonephros is formed. Here, we characterize mesonephros development in zebrafish and examine the nephrons that form during larval metamorphosis. These nephrons, arising from proliferating progenitor cells that express the renal transcription factor genes wt1b, pax2a, and lhx1a, form on top of the pronephric tubules and develop a segmentation pattern similar to pronephric nephrons. We find that the pronephros acts as a scaffold for the mesonephros, where new nephrons fuse with the distal segments of the pronephric tubules to form the final branching network that characterizes the adult zebrafish kidney. PMID:25677367

  9. Zebrafish Discoveries in Cancer Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Chernyavskaya, Yelena; Kent, Brandon; Sadler, Kirsten C

    2016-01-01

    The cancer epigenome is fundamentally different than that of normal cells. How these differences arise in and contribute to carcinogenesis is not known, and studies using model organisms such as zebrafish provide an opportunity to address these important questions. Modifications of histones and DNA comprise the complex epigenome, and these influence chromatin structure, genome stability and gene expression, all of which are fundamental to the cellular changes that cause cancer. The cancer genome atlas covers the wide spectrum of genetic changes associated with nearly every cancer type, however, this catalog is currently uni-dimensional. As the pattern of epigenetic marks and chromatin structure in cancer cells is described and overlaid on the mutational landscape, the map of the cancer genome becomes multi-dimensional and highly complex. Two major questions remain in the field: (1) how the epigenome becomes repatterned in cancer and (2) which of these changes are cancer-causing. Zebrafish provide a tractable in vivo system to monitor the epigenome during transformation and to identify epigenetic drivers of cancer. In this chapter, we review principles of cancer epigenetics and discuss recent work using zebrafish whereby epigenetic modifiers were established as cancer driver genes, thus providing novel insights into the mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming in cancer.

  10. Complex cardiac defects after ethanol exposure during discrete cardiogenic events in zebrafish: Prevention with folic acid

    PubMed Central

    Sarmah, Swapnalee; Marrs, James A.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) describes a range of birth defects including various congenital heart defects (CHDs). Mechanisms of FASD-associated CHDs are not understood. Whether alcohol interferes with a single critical event or with multiple events in heart formation is not known. RESULTS Our zebrafish embryo experiments showed that ethanol interrupts different cardiac regulatory networks and perturbed multiple steps of cardiogenesis (specification, myocardial migration, looping, chamber morphogenesis and endocardial cushion formation). Ethanol exposure during gastrulation until cardiac specification or during myocardial midline migration did not produce severe or persistent heart development defects. However, exposure comprising gastrulation until myocardial precursor midline fusion or during heart patterning stages produced aberrant heart looping and defective endocardial cushions. Continuous exposure during entire cardiogenesis produced complex cardiac defects leading to severely defective myocardium, endocardium, and endocardial cushions. Supplementation of retinoic acid with ethanol partially rescued early heart developmental defects, but the endocardial cushions did not form correctly. In contrast, supplementation of folic acid rescued normal heart development, including the endocardial cushions. CONCLUSIONS Our results indicate that ethanol exposure interrupted divergent cardiac morphogenesis events causing heart defects. Folic acid supplementation was effective in preventing a wide spectrum of ethanol-induced heart developmental defects. PMID:23832875

  11. Laminin and Matrix metalloproteinase 11 regulate Fibronectin levels in the zebrafish myotendinous junction.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Molly H; Alrowaished, Sarah S; Goody, Michelle F; Crawford, Bryan D; Henry, Clarissa A

    2016-01-01

    Remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) regulates cell adhesion as well as signaling between cells and their microenvironment. Despite the importance of tightly regulated ECM remodeling for normal muscle development and function, mechanisms underlying ECM remodeling in vivo remain elusive. One excellent paradigm in which to study ECM remodeling in vivo is morphogenesis of the myotendinous junction (MTJ) during zebrafish skeletal muscle development. During MTJ development, there are dramatic shifts in the primary components comprising the MTJ matrix. One such shift involves the replacement of Fibronectin (Fn)-rich matrix, which is essential for both somite and early muscle development, with laminin-rich matrix essential for normal function of the myotome. Here, we investigate the mechanism underlying this transition. We show that laminin polymerization indirectly promotes Fn downregulation at the MTJ, via a matrix metalloproteinase 11 (Mmp11)-dependent mechanism. Laminin deposition and organization is required for localization of Mmp11 to the MTJ, where Mmp11 is both necessary and sufficient for Fn downregulation in vivo. Furthermore, reduction of residual Mmp11 in laminin mutants promotes a Fn-rich MTJ that partially rescues skeletal muscle architecture. These results identify a mechanism for Fn downregulation at the MTJ, highlight crosstalk between laminin and Fn, and identify a new in vivo function for Mmp11. Taken together, our data demonstrate a novel signaling pathway mediating Fn downregulation. Our data revealing new regulatory mechanisms that guide ECM remodeling during morphogenesis in vivo may inform pathological conditions in which Fn is dysregulated.

  12. Wnt signalling controls the response to mechanical loading during zebrafish joint development

    PubMed Central

    Brunt, Lucy H.; Begg, Katie; Kague, Erika; Cross, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    Joint morphogenesis requires mechanical activity during development. Loss of mechanical strain causes abnormal joint development, which can impact long-term joint health. Although cell orientation and proliferation are known to shape the joint, dynamic imaging of developing joints in vivo has not been possible in other species. Using genetic labelling techniques in zebrafish we were able, for the first time, to dynamically track cell behaviours in intact moving joints. We identify that proliferation and migration, which contribute to joint morphogenesis, are mechanically controlled and are significantly reduced in immobilised larvae. By comparison with strain maps of the developing skeleton, we identify canonical Wnt signalling as a candidate for transducing mechanical forces into joint cell behaviours. We show that, in the jaw, Wnt signalling is reduced specifically in regions of high strain in response to loss of muscle activity. By pharmacological manipulation of canonical Wnt signalling, we demonstrate that Wnt acts downstream of mechanical activity and is required for joint patterning and chondrocyte maturation. Wnt16, which is also downstream of muscle activity, controls proliferation and migration, but plays no role in chondrocyte intercalation. PMID:28684625

  13. Transvection Arising from Transgene Interactions in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keefe, Matthew D; Bonkowsky, Joshua L

    2017-02-01

    There has been a rapid expansion in use of transgenic technologies in zebrafish. We report a novel example of transinteractions of genetic elements, or transvection. This interaction led to a novel expression pattern and illustrates a precautionary example regarding use of transgenes in zebrafish.

  14. Application of Zebrafish Model to Environmental Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Komoike, Yuta; Matsuoka, Masato

    2016-01-01

    Recently, a tropical freshwater fish, the zebrafish, has been generally used as a useful model organism in various fields of life science worldwide. The zebrafish model has also been applied to environmental toxicology; however, in Japan, it has not yet become widely used. In this review, we will introduce the biological and historical backgrounds of zebrafish as an animal model and their breeding. We then present the current status of toxicological experiments using zebrafish that were treated with some important environmental contaminants, including cadmium, organic mercury, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, and tributyltin. Finally, the future possible application of genetically modified zebrafish to the study of environmental toxicology is discussed.

  15. Local Dkk1 Crosstalk from Breeding Ornaments Impedes Regeneration of Injured Male Zebrafish Fins

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Junsu; Nachtrab, Gregory; Poss, Kenneth D.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Precise spatiotemporal regulation of signaling activators and inhibitors can help limit developmental crosstalk between neighboring tissues during morphogenesis, homeostasis, and regeneration. Here, we find that the secreted Wnt inhibitor Dkk1b is abundantly produced by dense regions of androgen-regulated epidermal tubercles (ET) on the surfaces of adult male zebrafish pectoral fins. High-speed videos and amputation experiments reveal that pectoral fins and their ET are employed for male spawning. Formation and vigorous turnover of ET involve Dkk1b induction and maintenance, whereas Dkk1b is typically restricted from the regeneration blastema after amputation injury. When amputation occurs through an ET-containing region, a Dkk1b-enriched wound epidermis forms and blastema formation is disrupted, compromising regeneration. Thus, homeostatic signaling by key breeding ornaments can interfere with injury-activated tissue regeneration. Our findings help explain sexually dimorphic fin regeneration in zebrafish, and have implications for how regenerative potential might decline as development progresses or during species evolution. PMID:24135229

  16. Fgf Signaling is Required for Photoreceptor Maintenance in the Adult Zebrafish Retina

    PubMed Central

    Hochmann, Sarah; Kaslin, Jan; Hans, Stefan; Weber, Anke; Machate, Anja; Geffarth, Michaela; Funk, Richard H. W.; Brand, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factors (Fgf) are secreted signaling molecules that have mitogenic, patterning, neurotrophic and angiogenic properties. Their importance during embryonic development in patterning and morphogenesis of the vertebrate eye is well known, but less is known about the role of Fgfs in the adult vertebrate retina. To address Fgf function in adult retina, we determined the spatial distribution of components of the Fgf signaling pathway in the adult zebrafish retina. We detected differential expression of Fgf receptors, ligands and downstream Fgf targets within specific retinal layers. Furthermore, we blocked Fgf signaling in the retina, by expressing a dominant negative variant of Fgf receptor 1 conditionally in transgenic animals. After blocking Fgf signaling we observe a fast and progressive photoreceptor degeneration and disorganization of retinal tissue, coupled with cell death in the outer nuclear layer. Following the degeneration of photoreceptors, a profound regeneration response is triggered that starts with proliferation in the inner nuclear layer. Ultimately, rod and cone photoreceptors are regenerated completely. Our study reveals the requirement of Fgf signaling to maintain photoreceptors and for proliferation during regeneration in the adult zebrafish retina. PMID:22291943

  17. Esco2 regulates cx43 expression during skeletal regeneration in the zebrafish fin.

    PubMed

    Banerji, Rajeswari; Eble, Diane M; Iovine, M Kathryn; Skibbens, Robert V

    2016-01-01

    Roberts syndrome (RBS) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by craniofacial abnormalities, limb malformation, and often severe mental retardation. RBS arises from mutations in ESCO2 that encodes an acetyltransferase and modifies the cohesin subunit SMC3. Mutations in SCC2/NIPBL (encodes a cohesin loader), SMC3 or other cohesin genes (SMC1, RAD21/MCD1) give rise to a related developmental malady termed Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS). RBS and CdLS exhibit overlapping phenotypes, but RBS is thought to arise through mitotic failure and limited progenitor cell proliferation while CdLS arises through transcriptional dysregulation. Here, we use the zebrafish regenerating fin model to test the mechanism through which RBS-type phenotypes arise. esco2 is up-regulated during fin regeneration and specifically within the blastema. esco2 knockdown adversely affects both tissue and bone growth in regenerating fins-consistent with a role in skeletal morphogenesis. esco2-knockdown significantly diminishes cx43/gja1 expression which encodes the gap junction connexin subunit required for cell-cell communication. cx43 mutations cause the short fin (sof(b123) ) phenotype in zebrafish and oculodentodigital dysplasia (ODDD) in humans. Importantly, miR-133-dependent cx43 overexpression rescues esco2-dependent growth defects. These results conceptually link ODDD to cohesinopathies and provide evidence that ESCO2 may play a transcriptional role critical for human development. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Zebrafish enpp1 mutants exhibit pathological mineralization, mimicking features of generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) and pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE).

    PubMed

    Apschner, Alexander; Huitema, Leonie F A; Ponsioen, Bas; Peterson-Maduro, Josi; Schulte-Merker, Stefan

    2014-07-01

    In recent years it has become clear that, mechanistically, biomineralization is a process that has to be actively inhibited as a default state. This inhibition must be released in a rigidly controlled manner in order for mineralization to occur in skeletal elements and teeth. A central aspect of this concept is the tightly controlled balance between phosphate, a constituent of the biomineral hydroxyapatite, and pyrophosphate, a physiochemical inhibitor of mineralization. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of a zebrafish mutant, dragonfish (dgf), which is mutant for ectonucleoside pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (Enpp1), a protein that is crucial for supplying extracellular pyrophosphate. Generalized arterial calcification of infancy (GACI) is a fatal human disease, and the majority of cases are thought to be caused by mutations in ENPP1. Furthermore, some cases of pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) have recently been linked to ENPP1. Similar to humans, we show here that zebrafish enpp1 mutants can develop ectopic calcifications in a variety of soft tissues - most notably in the skin, cartilage elements, the heart, intracranial space and the notochord sheet. Using transgenic reporter lines, we demonstrate that ectopic mineralizations in these tissues occur independently of the expression of typical osteoblast or cartilage markers. Intriguingly, we detect cells expressing the osteoclast markers Trap and CathepsinK at sites of ectopic calcification at time points when osteoclasts are not yet present in wild-type siblings. Treatment with the bisphosphonate etidronate rescues aspects of the dgf phenotype, and we detected deregulated expression of genes that are involved in phosphate homeostasis and mineralization, such as fgf23, npt2a, entpd5 and spp1 (also known as osteopontin). Employing a UAS-GalFF approach, we show that forced expression of enpp1 in blood vessels or the floorplate of mutant embryos is sufficient to rescue the notochord mineralization phenotype

  19. Adenosine kinase modulates root gravitropism and cap morphogenesis in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Young, Li-Sen; Harrison, Benjamin R; Narayana Murthy, U M; Moffatt, Barbara A; Gilroy, Simon; Masson, Patrick H

    2006-10-01

    Adenosine kinase (ADK) is a key enzyme that regulates intra- and extracellular levels of adenosine, thereby modulating methyltransferase reactions, production of polyamines and secondary compounds, and cell signaling in animals. Unfortunately, little is known about ADK's contribution to the regulation of plant growth and development. Here, we show that ADK is a modulator of root cap morphogenesis and gravitropism. Upon gravistimulation, soluble ADK levels and activity increase in the root tip. Mutation in one of two Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ADK genes, ADK1, results in cap morphogenesis defects, along with alterations in root sensitivity to gravistimulation and slower kinetics of root gravitropic curvature. The kinetics defect can be partially rescued by adding spermine to the growth medium, whereas the defects in cap morphogenesis and gravitropic sensitivity cannot. The root morphogenesis and gravitropism defects of adk1-1 are accompanied by altered expression of the PIN3 auxin efflux facilitator in the cap and decreased expression of the auxin-responsive DR5-GUS reporter. Furthermore, PIN3 fails to relocalize to the bottom membrane of statocytes upon gravistimulation. Consequently, adk1-1 roots cannot develop a lateral auxin gradient across the cap, necessary for the curvature response. Interestingly, adk1-1 does not affect gravity-induced cytoplasmic alkalinization of the root statocytes, suggesting either that ADK1 functions between cytoplasmic alkalinization and PIN3 relocalization in a linear pathway or that the pH and PIN3-relocalization responses to gravistimulation belong to distinct branches of the pathway. Our data are consistent with a role for ADK and the S-adenosyl-L-methionine pathway in the control of root gravitropism and cap morphogenesis.

  20. Expression and Functional Role of Sprouty-2 in Breast Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hilmarsdottir, Bylgja; Gustafsdottir, Sigrun M.; Franzdottir, Sigridur Rut; Arason, Ari Jon; Steingrimsson, Eirikur; Magnusson, Magnus K.; Gudjonsson, Thorarinn

    2013-01-01

    Branching morphogenesis is a mechanism used by many species for organogenesis and tissue maintenance. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the sprouty protein family are believed to be critical regulators of branching morphogenesis. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of Sprouty-2 (SPRY2) in the mammary gland and study its role in branching morphogenesis. Human breast epithelial cells, breast tissue and mouse mammary glands were used for expression studies using immunoblotting, real rime PCR and immunohistochemistry. Knockdown of SPRY2 in the breast epithelial stem cell line D492 was done by lentiviral transduction of shRNA constructs targeting SPRY2. Three dimensional culture of D492 with or without endothelial cells was done in reconstituted basement membrane matrix. We show that in the human breast, SPRY2 is predominantly expressed in the luminal epithelial cells of both ducts and lobuli. In the mouse mammary gland, SPRY2 expression is low or absent in the virgin state, while in the pregnant mammary gland SPRY2 is expressed at branching epithelial buds with increased expression during lactation. This expression pattern is closely associated with the activation of the EGFR pathway. Using D492 which generates branching structures in three-dimensional (3D) culture, we show that SPRY2 expression is low during initiation of branching with subsequent increase throughout the branching process. Immunostaining locates expression of phosphorylated SPRY2 and EGFR at the tip of lobular-like, branching ends. SPRY2 knockdown (KD) resulted in increased migration, increased pERK and larger and more complex branching structures indicating a loss of negative feedback control during branching morphogenesis. In D492 co-cultures with endothelial cells, D492 SPRY2 KD generates spindle-like colonies that bear hallmarks of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. These data indicate that SPRY2 is an important regulator of

  1. Expression and functional role of sprouty-2 in breast morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sigurdsson, Valgardur; Ingthorsson, Saevar; Hilmarsdottir, Bylgja; Gustafsdottir, Sigrun M; Franzdottir, Sigridur Rut; Arason, Ari Jon; Steingrimsson, Eirikur; Magnusson, Magnus K; Gudjonsson, Thorarinn

    2013-01-01

    Branching morphogenesis is a mechanism used by many species for organogenesis and tissue maintenance. Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the sprouty protein family are believed to be critical regulators of branching morphogenesis. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of Sprouty-2 (SPRY2) in the mammary gland and study its role in branching morphogenesis. Human breast epithelial cells, breast tissue and mouse mammary glands were used for expression studies using immunoblotting, real rime PCR and immunohistochemistry. Knockdown of SPRY2 in the breast epithelial stem cell line D492 was done by lentiviral transduction of shRNA constructs targeting SPRY2. Three dimensional culture of D492 with or without endothelial cells was done in reconstituted basement membrane matrix. We show that in the human breast, SPRY2 is predominantly expressed in the luminal epithelial cells of both ducts and lobuli. In the mouse mammary gland, SPRY2 expression is low or absent in the virgin state, while in the pregnant mammary gland SPRY2 is expressed at branching epithelial buds with increased expression during lactation. This expression pattern is closely associated with the activation of the EGFR pathway. Using D492 which generates branching structures in three-dimensional (3D) culture, we show that SPRY2 expression is low during initiation of branching with subsequent increase throughout the branching process. Immunostaining locates expression of phosphorylated SPRY2 and EGFR at the tip of lobular-like, branching ends. SPRY2 knockdown (KD) resulted in increased migration, increased pERK and larger and more complex branching structures indicating a loss of negative feedback control during branching morphogenesis. In D492 co-cultures with endothelial cells, D492 SPRY2 KD generates spindle-like colonies that bear hallmarks of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. These data indicate that SPRY2 is an important regulator of

  2. Fibronectin Deposition Participates in Extracellular Matrix Assembly and Vascular Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hielscher, Abigail; Ellis, Kim; Qiu, Connie; Porterfield, Josh; Gerecht, Sharon

    2016-01-01

    The extracellular matrix (ECM) has been demonstrated to facilitate angiogenesis. In particular, fibronectin has been documented to activate endothelial cells, resulting in their transition from a quiescent state to an active state in which the cells exhibit enhanced migration and proliferation. The goal of this study is to examine the role of polymerized fibronectin during vascular tubulogenesis using a 3 dimensional (3D) cell-derived de-cellularized matrix. A fibronectin-rich 3D de-cellularized ECM was used as a scaffold to study vascular morphogenesis of endothelial cells (ECs). Confocal analyses of several matrix proteins reveal high intra- and extra-cellular deposition of fibronectin in formed vascular structures. Using a small peptide inhibitor of fibronectin polymerization, we demonstrate that inhibition of fibronectin fibrillogenesis in ECs cultured atop de-cellularized ECM resulted in decreased vascular morphogenesis. Further, immunofluorescence and ultrastructural analyses reveal decreased expression of stromal matrix proteins in the absence of polymerized fibronectin with high co-localization of matrix proteins found in association with polymerized fibronectin. Evaluating vascular kinetics, live cell imaging showed that migration, migration velocity, and mean square displacement, are disrupted in structures grown in the absence of polymerized fibronectin. Additionally, vascular organization failed to occur in the absence of a polymerized fibronectin matrix. Consistent with these observations, we tested vascular morphogenesis following the disruption of EC adhesion to polymerized fibronectin, demonstrating that block of integrins α5β1 and αvβ3, abrogated vascular morphogenesis. Overall, fibronectin deposition in a 3D cell-derived de-cellularized ECM appears to be imperative for matrix assembly and vascular morphogenesis. PMID:26811931

  3. Genetic analysis of tissue interactions required for otic placode induction in the zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Mendonsa, E S; Riley, B B

    1999-02-01

    Development of the vertebrate inner ear begins during gastrulation with induction of the otic placode. Several embryonic tissues, including cephalic mesendoderm, notochord, and hindbrain, have been implicated as potential sources of otic-inducing signals. However, the relative contributions of these tissues have not been determined, nor have any genes affecting placode induction been identified. To address these issues, we analyzed otic placode induction in zebrafish mutants that are deficient in prospective otic-inducing tissues. Otic development was monitored by examining mutant embryos for morphological changes and, in some cases, by visualizing expression patterns of dlx-3 or pax-2.1 in preotic cells several hours before otic placode formation. In cyclops (cyc-) mutants, which develop with a partial deficiency of prechordal mesendoderm, otic induction is delayed by up to 1 h. In one-eyed pinhead (oep-) mutants, which are more completely deficient in prechordal mesendoderm, otic induction is delayed by 1.5 h, and morphology of the otic vesicles is abnormal. Expression of marker genes in other regions of the neural plate is normal, suggesting that ablation of prechordal mesendoderm selectively inhibits otic induction. In contrast, the timing and morphology of otic development is not affected by mutations in no tail (ntl) or floating head (flh), which prevent notochord differentiation. Similarly, a mutation in valentino (val), which blocks early differentiation of rhombomeres 5 and 6 in the hindbrain, does not delay otic induction, although subsequent patterning of the otic vesicle is impaired. To test whether inductive signals from one tissue can compensate for loss of another, we generated double or triple mutants with various combinations of the above mutations. In none of the multiple mutants do the flh or val mutations exacerbate delays in placode induction, although val does contribute additively to defects in subsequent patterning of the otic vesicle. In

  4. Laser surgery of zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos using femtosecond laser pulses: Optimal parameters for exogenous material delivery, and the laser's effect on short- and long-term development

    PubMed Central

    Kohli, Vikram; Elezzabi, Abdulhakem Y

    2008-01-01

    Background Femtosecond (fs) laser pulses have recently received wide interest as an alternative tool for manipulating living biological systems. In various model organisms the excision of cellular components and the intracellular delivery of foreign exogenous materials have been reported. However, the effect of the applied fs laser pulses on cell viability and development has yet to be determined. Using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as our animal model system, we address both the short- and long-term developmental changes following laser surgery on zebrafish embryonic cells. Results An exogenous fluorescent probe, fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), was successfully introduced into blastomere cells and found to diffuse throughout all developing cells. Using the reported manipulation tool, we addressed whether the applied fs laser pulses induced any short- or long-term developmental effects in embryos reared to 2 and 7 days post-fertilization (dpf). Using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy we compared key developmental features of laser-manipulated and control samples, including the olfactory pit, dorsal, ventral and pectoral fins, notochord, pectoral fin buds, otic capsule, otic vesicle, neuromast patterning, and kinocilia of the olfactory pit rim and cristae of the lateral wall of the ear. Conclusion In our study, no significant differences in hatching rates and developmental morphologies were observed in laser-manipulated samples relative to controls. This tool represents an effective non-destructive technique for potential medical and biological applications. PMID:18230185

  5. The heartstrings mutation in zebrafish causes heart/fin Tbx5 deficiency syndrome.

    PubMed

    Garrity, Deborah M; Childs, Sarah; Fishman, Mark C

    2002-10-01

    Holt-Oram syndrome is one of the autosomal dominant human "heart-hand" disorders, with a combination of upper limb malformations and cardiac defects. Holt-Oram syndrome is caused by mutations in the TBX5 gene, a member of a large family of T-box transcription factors that play important roles in cell-type specification and morphogenesis. In a screen for mutations affecting zebrafish cardiac function, we isolated the recessive lethal mutant heartstrings, which lacks pectoral fins and exhibits severe cardiac dysfunction, beginning with a slow heart rate and progressing to a stretched, non-functional heart. We mapped and cloned the heartstrings mutation and find it to encode the zebrafish ortholog of the TBX5 gene. The heartstrings mutation causes premature termination at amino acid 316. Homozygous mutant embryos never develop pectoral fin buds and do not express several markers of early fin differentiation. The total absence of any fin bud differentiation distinguishes heartstrings from most other mutations that affect zebrafish fin development, suggesting that Tbx5 functions very early in the pectoral fin induction pathway. Moderate reduction of Tbx5 by morpholino causes fin malformations, revealing an additional early requirement for Tbx5 in coordinating the axes of fin outgrowth. The heart of heartstrings mutant embryos appears to form and function normally through the early heart tube stage, manifesting only a slight bradycardia compared with wild-type siblings. However, the heart fails to loop and then progressively deteriorates, a process affecting the ventricle as well as the atrium. Relative to mammals, fish require lower levels of Tbx5 to produce malformed appendages and display whole-heart rather than atrial-predominant cardiac defects. However, the syndromic deficiencies of tbx5 mutation are remarkably well retained between fish and mammals.

  6. Retinoic Acid Signaling Is Essential for Valvulogenesis by Affecting Endocardial Cushions Formation in Zebrafish Embryos.

    PubMed

    Li, Junbo; Yue, Yunyun; Zhao, Qingshun

    2016-02-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) plays important roles in many stages of heart morphogenesis. Zebrafish embryos treated with exogenous RA display defective atrio-ventricular canal (AVC) specification. However, whether endogenous RA signaling takes part in cardiac valve formation remains unknown. Herein, we investigated the role of RA signaling in cardiac valve development by knocking down aldh1a2, the gene encoding an enzyme that is mainly responsible for RA synthesis during early development, in zebrafish embryos. The results showed that partially knocking down aldh1a2 caused defective formation of primitive cardiac valve leaflets at 108 hpf (hour post-fertilization). Inhibiting endogenous RA signaling by 4-diethylaminobenzal-dehyde revealed that 16-26 hpf was a key time window when RA signaling affects the valvulogenesis. The aldh1a2 morphants had defective formation of endocardial cushion (EC) at 76 hpf though they had almost normal hemodynamics and cardiac chamber specification at early development. Examining the expression patterns of AVC marker genes including bmp4, bmp2b, nppa, notch1b, and has2, we found the morphants displayed abnormal development of endocardial AVC but almost normal development of myocardial AVC at 50 hpf. Being consistent with the reduced expression of notch1b in endocardial AVC, the VE-cadherin gene cdh5, the downstream gene of Notch signaling, was ectopically expressed in AVC of aldh1a2 morphants at 50 hpf, and overexpression of cdh5 greatly affected the formation of EC in the embryos at 76 hpf. Taken together, our results suggest that RA signaling plays essential roles in zebrafish cardiac valvulogenesis.

  7. Screening mosaic F1 females for mutations affecting zebrafish heart induction and patterning.

    PubMed

    Alexander, J; Stainier, D Y; Yelon, D

    1998-01-01

    The genetic pathways underlying the induction and anterior-posterior patterning of the heart are poorly understood. The recent emergence of the zebrafish model system now allows a classical genetic approach to such challenging problems in vertebrate development. Two large-scale screens for mutations affecting zebrafish embryonic development have recently been completed; among the hundreds of mutations identified were several that affect specific aspects of cardiac morphogenesis, differentiation, and function. However, very few mutations affecting induction and/or anterior-posterior patterning of the heart were identified. We hypothesize that a directed approach utilizing molecular markers to examine these particular steps of heart development will uncover additional such mutations. To test this hypothesis, we are conducting two parallel screens for mutations that affect either the induction or the anterior-posterior patterning of the zebrafish heart. As an indicator of cardiac induction, we examine expression of nkx2.5, the earliest known marker of precardiac mesoderm; to assess anterior-posterior patterning, we distinguish ventricle from atrium with antibodies that recognize different myosin heavy chain isoforms. In order to expedite the examination of a large number of mutations, we are screening the haploid progeny of mosaic F1 females. In these ongoing screens, we have identified four mutations that affect nkx2.5 expression as well as 21 that disrupt either ventricular or atrial development and thus far have recovered several of these mutations, demonstrating the value of our approach. Future analysis of these and other cardiac mutations will provide further insight into the processes of induction and anterior-posterior patterning of the heart.

  8. Rabbit notochordal cells modulate the expression of inflammatory mediators by human annulus fibrosus cells cocultured with activated macrophage-like THP-1 cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Joo Han; Moon, Hong Joo; Lee, Jin Hoon; Kim, Jong Hyun; Kwon, Taek Hyun; Park, Youn Kwan

    2012-10-15

    We evaluated the influence of rabbit notochordal cells on the expression of inflammatory mediators by human annulus fibrosus (AF) cells cocultured with macrophage-like cells. To identify the protective effect of rabbit notochordal cells on AF during in vitro inflammation. Discogenic pain, which is an important cause of intractable lower back pain, is associated with macrophage-mediated inflammation in the AF. Although rabbit notochordal cells prevent intervertebral disc degeneration, their effects on human AF inflammation remain unknown. Human AF pellets were cocultured for 48 hours with notochordal cell clusters from adult New Zealand White rabbits and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated human macrophage-like THP-1 cells. Conditioned media (CM) from the cocultures were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The expression of inflammatory mediators in the AF pellets was evaluated by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. The levels of mRNA for interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in the AF pellets cocultured with notochordal cells and macrophages (hAF[rNC-M]) were significantly lower than those in the AF pellets cultured with macrophages alone (hAF[M]) (P < 0.05). The levels of IL-6 and IL-8 proteins in the CM of hAF(rNC-M) were significantly lower than those in the CM of hAF(M) (P < 0.05). Coculturing with notochordal cells significantly decreased the levels of mRNA for IL-6, IL-8, and iNOS in the macrophage-exposed AF pellets (P < 0.05). After 1 ng/mL IL-1β stimulation, the levels of IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA and the level of IL-8 protein production were significantly decreased in the AF pellets with notochordal cells compared with naïve AF pellets (P < 0.05). In an in vitro coculture system, rabbit notochordal cells reduced the levels of main inflammatory mediators and gene expression in the human AF during inflammation. Therefore, rabbit notochordal cells may constitute an important protective tool

  9. Interaction of notochord-derived fibrinogen-like protein with Notch regulates the patterning of the central nervous system of Ciona intestinalis embryos.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Shigehiro; Hotta, Kohji; Yamamoto, Takamasa S; Ueno, Naoto; Satoh, Nori; Takahashi, Hiroki

    2009-04-01

    The midline organ the notochord and its overlying dorsal neural tube are the most prominent features of the chordate body plan. Although the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of the central nervous system (CNS) have been studied extensively in vertebrate embryos, none of the genes that are expressed exclusively in notochord cells has been shown to function in this process. Here, we report a gene in the urochordate Ciona intestinalis encoding a fibrinogen-like protein that plays a pivotal role in the notochord-dependent positioning of neuronal cells. While this gene (Ci-fibrn) is expressed exclusively in notochord cells, its protein product is not confined to these cells but is distributed underneath the CNS as fibril-like protrusions. We demonstrated that Ci-fibrn interacts physically and functionally with Ci-Notch that is expressed in the central nervous system, and that the correct distribution of Ci-fibrn protein is dependent on Notch signaling. Disturbance of the Ci-fibrn distribution caused an abnormal positioning of neuronal cells and an abnormal track of axon extension. Therefore, it is highly likely that the interaction between the notochord-based fibrinogen-like protein and the neural tube-based Notch signaling plays an essential role in the proper patterning of CNS.

  10. The identification of transcription factors expressed in the notochord of Ciona intestinalis adds new potential players to the brachyury gene regulatory network.

    PubMed

    José-Edwards, Diana S; Kerner, Pierre; Kugler, Jamie E; Deng, Wei; Jiang, Di; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2011-07-01

    The notochord is the distinctive characteristic of chordates; however, the knowledge of the complement of transcription factors governing the development of this structure is still incomplete. Here we present the expression patterns of seven transcription factor genes detected in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis at various stages of embryonic development. Four of these transcription factors, Fos-a, NFAT5, AFF and Klf15, have not been directly associated with the notochord in previous studies, while the others, including Spalt-like-a, Lmx-like, and STAT5/6-b, display evolutionarily conserved expression in this structure as well as in other domains. We examined the hierarchical relationships between these genes and the transcription factor Brachyury, which is necessary for notochord development in all chordates. We found that Ciona Brachyury regulates the expression of most, although not all, of these genes. These results shed light on the genetic regulatory program underlying notochord formation in Ciona and possibly other chordates. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  11. The identification of transcription factors expressed in the notochord of Ciona intestinalis adds new potential players to the Brachyury gene regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    José-Edwards, Diana S.; Kerner, Pierre; Kugler, Jamie E.; Deng, Wei; Jiang, Di; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2013-01-01

    The notochord is the distinctive characteristic of chordates; however, the knowledge of the complement of transcription factors governing the development of this structure is still incomplete. Here we present the expression patterns of seven transcription factor genes detected in the notochord of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis at various stages of embryonic development. Four of these transcription factors, Fos-a, NFAT5, AFF and Klf15, have not been directly associated with the notochord in previous studies, while the others, including Spalt-like-a, Lmx-like and STAT5/6-b, display evolutionarily conserved expression in this structure as well as in other domains. We examined the hierarchical relationships between these genes and the transcription factor Brachyury, which is necessary for notochord development in all chordates. We found that Ciona Brachyury regulates the expression of most, although not all, of these genes. These results shed light on the genetic regulatory program underlying notochord formation in Ciona and possibly other chordates. PMID:21594950

  12. Zebrafish Model Systems for Developmental Neurobehavioral Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Jordan; Oliveri, Anthony; Levin, Edward D.

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish offer many advantages that complement classic mammalian models for the study of normal development as well as for the teratogenic effects of exposure to hazardous compounds. The clear chorion and embryo of the zebrafish allow for continuous visualization of the anatomical changes associated with development, which, along with short maturation times and the capability of complex behavior, makes this model particularly useful for measuring changes to the developing nervous system. Moreover, the rich array of developmental, behavioral, and molecular benefits offered by the zebrafish have contributed to an increasing demand for the use of zebrafish in behavioral teratology. Essential for this endeavor has been the development of a battery of tests to evaluate a spectrum of behavior in zebrafish. Measures of sensorimotor plasticity, emotional function, cognition and social interaction have been used to characterize the persisting adverse effects of developmental exposure to a variety of chemicals including therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse and environmental toxicants. In this review, we present and discuss such tests and data from a range of developmental neurobehavioral toxicology studies using zebrafish as a model. Zebrafish provide a key intermediate model between high throughput in vitro screens and the classic mammalian models as they have the accessibility of in vitro models and the complex functional capabilities of mammalian models. PMID:23723169

  13. The importance of Zebrafish in biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Tavares, Bárbara; Santos Lopes, Susana

    2013-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an ideal model organism for the study of vertebrate development. This is due to the large clutches that each couple produces, with up to 200 embryos every 7 days, and to the fact that the embryos and larvae are small, transparent and undergo rapid external development. Using scientific literature research tools available online and the keywords Zebrafish, biomedical research, human disease, and drug screening, we reviewed original studies and reviews indexed in PubMed. In this review we summarized work conducted with this model for the advancement of our knowledge related to several human diseases. We also focused on the biomedical research being performed in Portugal with the zebrafish model. Powerful live imaging and genetic tools are currently available for zebrafish making it a valuable model in biomedical research. The combination of these properties with the optimization of automated systems for drug screening has transformed the zebrafish into "a top model" in biomedical research, drug discovery and toxicity testing. Furthermore, with the optimization of xenografts technology it will be possible to use zebrafish to aide in the choice of the best therapy for each patient. Zebrafish is an excellent model organism in biomedical research, drug development and in clinical therapy.

  14. Zebrafish model systems for developmental neurobehavioral toxicology.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Jordan; Oliveri, Anthony; Levin, Edward D

    2013-03-01

    Zebrafish offer many advantages that complement classic mammalian models for the study of normal development as well as for the teratogenic effects of exposure to hazardous compounds. The clear chorion and embryo of the zebrafish allow for continuous visualization of the anatomical changes associated with development, which, along with short maturation times and the capability of complex behavior, makes this model particularly useful for measuring changes to the developing nervous system. Moreover, the rich array of developmental, behavioral, and molecular benefits offered by the zebrafish have contributed to an increasing demand for the use of zebrafish in behavioral teratology. Essential for this endeavor has been the development of a battery of tests to evaluate a spectrum of behavior in zebrafish. Measures of sensorimotor plasticity, emotional function, cognition and social interaction have been used to characterize the persisting adverse effects of developmental exposure to a variety of chemicals including therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse and environmental toxicants. In this review, we present and discuss such tests and data from a range of developmental neurobehavioral toxicology studies using zebrafish as a model. Zebrafish provide a key intermediate model between high throughput in vitro screens and the classic mammalian models as they have the accessibility of in vitro models and the complex functional capabilities of mammalian models. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Sprouting Buds of Zebrafish Research in Malaysia: First Malaysia Zebrafish Disease Model Workshop.

    PubMed

    Okuda, Kazuhide Shaun; Tan, Pei Jean; Patel, Vyomesh

    2016-04-01

    Zebrafish is gaining prominence as an important vertebrate model for investigating various human diseases. Zebrafish provides unique advantages such as optical clarity of embryos, high fecundity rate, and low cost of maintenance, making it a perfect complement to the murine model equivalent in biomedical research. Due to these advantages, researchers in Malaysia are starting to take notice and incorporate the zebrafish model into their research activities. However, zebrafish research in Malaysia is still in its infancy stage and many researchers still remain unaware of the full potential of the zebrafish model or have limited access to related tools and techniques that are widely utilized in many zebrafish laboratories worldwide. To overcome this, we organized the First Malaysia Zebrafish Disease Model Workshop in Malaysia that took place on 11th and 12th of November 2015. In this workshop, we showcased how the zebrafish model is being utilized in the biomedical field in international settings as well as in Malaysia. For this, notable international speakers and those from local universities known to be carrying out impactful research using zebrafish were invited to share some of the cutting edge techniques that are used in their laboratories that may one day be incorporated in the Malaysian scientific community.

  16. Automated measurement of zebrafish larval movement

    PubMed Central

    Cario, Clinton L; Farrell, Thomas C; Milanese, Chiara; Burton, Edward A

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The zebrafish is a powerful vertebrate model that is readily amenable to genetic, pharmacological and environmental manipulations to elucidate the molecular and cellular basis of movement and behaviour. We report software enabling automated analysis of zebrafish movement from video recordings captured with cameras ranging from a basic camcorder to more specialized equipment. The software, which is provided as open-source MATLAB functions, can be freely modified and distributed, and is compatible with multiwell plates under a wide range of experimental conditions. Automated measurement of zebrafish movement using this technique will be useful for multiple applications in neuroscience, pharmacology and neuropsychiatry. PMID:21646414

  17. Zebrafish tracking using convolutional neural networks.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhiping; Cheng, Xi En

    2017-02-17

    Keeping identity for a long term after occlusion is still an open problem in the video tracking of zebrafish-like model animals, and accurate animal trajectories are the foundation of behaviour analysis. We utilize the highly accurate object recognition capability of a convolutional neural network (CNN) to distinguish fish of the same congener, even though these animals are indistinguishable to the human eye. We used data augmentation and an iterative CNN training method to optimize the accuracy for our classification task, achieving surprisingly accurate trajectories of zebrafish of different size and age zebrafish groups over different time spans. This work will make further behaviour analysis more reliable.

  18. Automated measurement of zebrafish larval movement.

    PubMed

    Cario, Clinton L; Farrell, Thomas C; Milanese, Chiara; Burton, Edward A

    2011-08-01

    The zebrafish is a powerful vertebrate model that is readily amenable to genetic, pharmacological and environmental manipulations to elucidate the molecular and cellular basis of movement and behaviour. We report software enabling automated analysis of zebrafish movement from video recordings captured with cameras ranging from a basic camcorder to more specialized equipment. The software, which is provided as open-source MATLAB functions, can be freely modified and distributed, and is compatible with multiwell plates under a wide range of experimental conditions. Automated measurement of zebrafish movement using this technique will be useful for multiple applications in neuroscience, pharmacology and neuropsychiatry.

  19. Zebrafish tracking using convolutional neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhiping; Cheng, Xi En

    2017-02-01

    Keeping identity for a long term after occlusion is still an open problem in the video tracking of zebrafish-like model animals, and accurate animal trajectories are the foundation of behaviour analysis. We utilize the highly accurate object recognition capability of a convolutional neural network (CNN) to distinguish fish of the same congener, even though these animals are indistinguishable to the human eye. We used data augmentation and an iterative CNN training method to optimize the accuracy for our classification task, achieving surprisingly accurate trajectories of zebrafish of different size and age zebrafish groups over different time spans. This work will make further behaviour analysis more reliable.

  20. Learning and memory in zebrafish larvae

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Adam C.; Bill, Brent R.; Glanzman, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Larval zebrafish possess several experimental advantages for investigating the molecular and neural bases of learning and memory. Despite this, neuroscientists have only recently begun to use these animals to study memory. However, in a relatively short period of time a number of forms of learning have been described in zebrafish larvae, and significant progress has been made toward their understanding. Here we provide a comprehensive review of this progress; we also describe several promising new experimental technologies currently being used in larval zebrafish that are likely to contribute major insights into the processes that underlie learning and memory. PMID:23935566

  1. Systematic approaches to toxicology in the zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Randall T; Macrae, Calum A

    2012-01-01

    As the current paradigms of drug discovery evolve, it has become clear that a more comprehensive understanding of the interactions between small molecules and organismal biology will be vital. The zebrafish is emerging as a complement to existing in vitro technologies and established preclinical in vivo models that can be scaled for high-throughput. In this review, we highlight the current status of zebrafish toxicology studies, identify potential future niches for the model in the drug development pipeline, and define the hurdles that must be overcome as zebrafish technologies are refined for systematic toxicology.

  2. A review of monoaminergic neuropsychopharmacology in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Maximino, Caio; Herculano, Anderson Manoel

    2010-12-01

    Monoamine neurotransmitters are the major regulatory mechanisms in the vertebrate brain, involved in the adjustment of motivation, emotion, and cognition. The chemical anatomy of these systems is thought to be highly conserved in the brain of all vertebrates, including zebrafish. Recently, the development of behavioral assays in zebrafish allowed the neuropsychopharmacological investigation of these circuits and its functions. Here we review neuroanatomical, genetic, neurochemical, and psychopharmacological evidence regarding the roles of histaminergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, and melatonergic systems in this species. We conclude that, in spite of species differences, zebrafish are suitable for the investigation of neuropsychopharmacology of drugs that affect theses systems; nonetheless, more thorough validation of behavioral methods is still needed.

  3. The notochord curvature in medaka (Oryzias latipes) embryos as a response to ultraviolet A irradiation.

    PubMed

    Sayed, Alaa El-Din Hamid; Mitani, Hiroshi

    2016-11-01

    In the present work, the destructive effects of ultraviolet A (UVA; 366nm) irradiation on the developmental stages of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) are revealed in terms of hatching success, mortality rate, and morphological malformations (yolk sac edema, body curvature, fin blistering, and dwarfism). Fertilized eggs in stage 4 were exposed to 15, 30, and 60min/day UVA for 3days in replicates. Fish were staged and aged following the stages established by Iwamatsu [1]. We observed and recorded the hatching time and deformed and dead embryos continuously. The hatching time was prolonged and the deformed and dead embryos numbers were increased by UVA dose increase. At stage 40, samples from each group were fixed to investigate their morphology and histopathology. Some morphological malformations were recorded after UVA exposure in both strains. Histopathological changes were represented as different shapes of curvature in notochord with collapse. The degree of collapsation was depended on the dose and time of UVA exposure. Our findings show that exposure to UVA irradiation caused less vertebral column curvature in medaka fry. Moreover, p53-deficient embryos were more tolerant than those of wild-type (Hd-rR) Japanese medaka. This study indicated the dangerous effects of the UVA on medaka. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Eye morphogenesis driven by epithelial flow into the optic cup facilitated by modulation of bone morphogenetic protein

    PubMed Central

    Heermann, Stephan; Schütz, Lucas; Lemke, Steffen; Krieglstein, Kerstin; Wittbrodt, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    The hemispheric, bi-layered optic cup forms from an oval optic vesicle during early vertebrate eye development through major morphological transformations. The overall basal surface, facing the developing lens, is increasing, while, at the same time, the space basally occupied by individual cells is decreasing. This cannot be explained by the classical view of eye development. Using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model, we show that the lens-averted epithelium functions as a reservoir that contributes to the growing neuroretina through epithelial flow around the distal rims of the optic cup. We propose that this flow couples morphogenesis and retinal determination. Our 4D data indicate that future stem cells flow from their origin in the lens-averted domain of the optic vesicle to their destination in the ciliary marginal zone. BMP-mediated inhibition of the flow results in ectopic neuroretina in the RPE domain. Ultimately the ventral fissure fails to close resulting in coloboma. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05216.001 PMID:25719386

  5. PPFIA1 drives active α5β1 integrin recycling and controls fibronectin fibrillogenesis and vascular morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Mana, Giulia; Clapero, Fabiana; Panieri, Emiliano; Panero, Valentina; Böttcher, Ralph T.; Tseng, Hui-Yuan; Saltarin, Federico; Astanina, Elena; Wolanska, Katarzyna I.; Morgan, Mark R.; Humphries, Martin J.; Santoro, Massimo M.; Serini, Guido; Valdembri, Donatella

    2016-01-01

    Basolateral polymerization of cellular fibronectin (FN) into a meshwork drives endothelial cell (EC) polarity and vascular remodelling. However, mechanisms coordinating α5β1 integrin-mediated extracellular FN endocytosis and exocytosis of newly synthesized FN remain elusive. Here we show that, on Rab21-elicited internalization, FN-bound/active α5β1 is recycled to the EC surface. We identify a pathway, comprising the regulators of post-Golgi carrier formation PI4KB and AP-1A, the small GTPase Rab11B, the surface tyrosine phosphatase receptor PTPRF and its adaptor PPFIA1, which we propose acts as a funnel combining FN secretion and recycling of active α5β1 integrin from the trans-Golgi network (TGN) to the EC surface, thus allowing FN fibrillogenesis. In this framework, PPFIA1 interacts with active α5β1 integrin and localizes close to EC adhesions where post-Golgi carriers are targeted. We show that PPFIA1 is required for FN polymerization-dependent vascular morphogenesis, both in vitro and in the developing zebrafish embryo. PMID:27876801

  6. Notochord-derived Shh concentrates in close association with the apically positioned basal body in neural target cells and forms a dynamic gradient during neural patterning.

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, Chester E; Jeong, Juhee; Guo, Chaoshe; Allen, Benjamin L; McMahon, Andrew P

    2008-03-01

    Sonic hedgehog (Shh) ligand secreted by the notochord induces distinct ventral cell identities in the adjacent neural tube by a concentration-dependent mechanism. To study this process, we genetically engineered mice that produce bioactive, fluorescently labeled Shh from the endogenous locus. We show that Shh ligand concentrates in close association with the apically positioned basal body of neural target cells, forming a dynamic, punctate gradient in the ventral neural tube. Both ligand lipidation and target field response influence the gradient profile, but not the ability of Shh to concentrate around the basal body. Further, subcellular analysis suggests that Shh from the notochord might traffic into the neural target field by means of an apical-to-basal-oriented microtubule scaffold. This study, in which we directly observe, measure, localize and modify notochord-derived Shh ligand in the context of neural patterning, provides several new insights into mechanisms of Shh morphogen action.

  7. Analyses of pancreas development by generation of gfp transgenic zebrafish using an exocrine pancreas-specific elastaseA gene promoter

    SciTech Connect

    Wan Haiyan; Korzh, Svitlana; Li Zhen

    2006-05-15

    In contrast to what we know on development of endocrine pancreas, the formation of exocrine pancreas remains poorly understood. To create an animal model that allows observation of exocrine cell differentiation, proliferation, and morphogenesis in living animals, we used the zebrafish elastaseA (elaA) regulatory sequence to develop transgenic zebrafish that display highly specific exocrine pancreas expression of GFP in both larvae and adult. By following GFP expression, we found that the pancreas in early development was a relatively compact organ and later extended posterior along the intestine. By transferring the elaA:gfp transgene into slow muscle omitted mutant that is deficientmore » in receiving Hedgehog signals, we further showed that Hedgehog signaling is required for exocrine morphogenesis but not for cell differentiation. We also applied the morpholino knockdown and toxin-mediated cell ablation approaches to this transgenic line. We showed that the development of exocrine pancreas is Islet-1 dependent. Injection of the diphtheria toxin A (DTA) construct under the elastaseA promoter resulted in selective ablation of exocrine cells while the endocrine cells and other endodermal derivatives (liver and intestine) were not affected. Thus, our works demonstrated the new transgenic line provided a useful experimental tool in analyzing exocrine pancreas development.« less

  8. Mineralization of the vertebral bodies in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) is initiated segmentally in the form of hydroxyapatite crystal accretions in the notochord sheath

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shou; Kryvi, Harald; Grotmol, Sindre; Wargelius, Anna; Krossøy, Christel; Epple, Mattias; Neues, Frank; Furmanek, Tomasz; Totland, Geir K

    2013-01-01

    We performed a sequential morphological and molecular biological study of the development of the vertebral bodies in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Mineralization starts in separate bony elements which fuse to form complete segmental rings within the notochord sheath. The nucleation and growth of hydroxyapatite crystals in both the lamellar type II collagen matrix of the notochord sheath and the lamellar type I collagen matrix derived from the sclerotome, were highly similar. In both matrices the hydroxyapatite crystals nucleate and accrete on the surface of the collagen fibrils rather than inside the fibrils, a process that may be controlled by a template imposed by the collagen fibrils. Apatite crystal growth starts with the formation of small plate-like structures, about 5 nm thick, that gradually grow and aggregate to form extensive multi-branched crystal arborizations, resembling dendritic growth. The hydroxyapatite crystals are always oriented parallel to the long axis of the collagen fibrils, and the lamellar collagen matrices provide oriented support for crystal growth. We demonstrate here for the first time by means of synchroton radiation based on X-ray diffraction that the chordacentra contain hydroxyapatite. We employed quantitative real-time PCR to study the expression of key signalling molecule transcripts expressed in the cellular core of the notochord. The results indicate that the notochord not only produces and maintains the notochord sheath but also expresses factors known to regulate skeletogenesis: sonic hedgehog (shh), indian hedgehog homolog b (ihhb), parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (pth1r) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (tgfb1). In conclusion, our study provides evidence for the process of vertebral body development in teleost fishes, which is initially orchestrated by the notochord. PMID:23711083

  9. Spatiotemporal analysis of putative notochordal cell markers reveals CD24 and keratins 8, 18, and 19 as notochord‐specific markers during early human intervertebral disc development

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues‐Pinto, Ricardo; Berry, Andrew; Piper‐Hanley, Karen; Hanley, Neil; Richardson, Stephen M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT In humans, the nucleus pulposus (NP) is composed of large vacuolated notochordal cells in the fetus but, soon after birth, becomes populated by smaller, chondrocyte‐like cells. Although animal studies indicate that notochord‐derived cells persist in the adult NP, the ontogeny of the adult human NP cell population is still unclear. As such, identification of unique notochordal markers is required. This study was conducted to determine the spatiotemporal expression of putative human notochordal markers to aid in the elucidation of the ontogeny of adult human NP cells. Human embryos and fetuses (3.5–18 weeks post‐conception (WPC)) were microdissected to isolate the spine anlagens (notochord and somites/sclerotome). Morphology of the developing IVD was assessed using hematoxylin and eosin. Expression of keratin (KRT) 8, KRT18, KRT19, CD24, GAL3, CD55, BASP1, CTGF, T, CD90, Tie2, and E‐cadherin was assessed using immunohistochemistry. KRT8, KRT18, KRT19 were uniquely expressed by notochordal cells at all spine levels at all stages studied; CD24 was expressed at all stages except 3.5 WPC. While GAL3, CD55, BASP1, CTGF, and T were expressed by notochordal cells at specific stages, they were also co‐expressed by sclerotomal cells. CD90, Tie2, and E‐cadherin expression was not detectable in developing human spine cells at any stage. This study has identified, for the first time, the consistent expression of KRT8, KRT18, KRT19, and CD24 as human notochord‐specific markers during early IVD development. Thus, we propose that these markers can be used to help ascertain the ontogeny of adult human NP cells. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Orthopaedic Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 34:1327–1340, 2016. PMID:26910849

  10. Mineralization of the vertebral bodies in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) is initiated segmentally in the form of hydroxyapatite crystal accretions in the notochord sheath.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shou; Kryvi, Harald; Grotmol, Sindre; Wargelius, Anna; Krossøy, Christel; Epple, Mattias; Neues, Frank; Furmanek, Tomasz; Totland, Geir K

    2013-08-01

    We performed a sequential morphological and molecular biological study of the development of the vertebral bodies in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). Mineralization starts in separate bony elements which fuse to form complete segmental rings within the notochord sheath. The nucleation and growth of hydroxyapatite crystals in both the lamellar type II collagen matrix of the notochord sheath and the lamellar type I collagen matrix derived from the sclerotome, were highly similar. In both matrices the hydroxyapatite crystals nucleate and accrete on the surface of the collagen fibrils rather than inside the fibrils, a process that may be controlled by a template imposed by the collagen fibrils. Apatite crystal growth starts with the formation of small plate-like structures, about 5 nm thick, that gradually grow and aggregate to form extensive multi-branched crystal arborizations, resembling dendritic growth. The hydroxyapatite crystals are always oriented parallel to the long axis of the collagen fibrils, and the lamellar collagen matrices provide oriented support for crystal growth. We demonstrate here for the first time by means of synchroton radiation based on X-ray diffraction that the chordacentra contain hydroxyapatite. We employed quantitative real-time PCR to study the expression of key signalling molecule transcripts expressed in the cellular core of the notochord. The results indicate that the notochord not only produces and maintains the notochord sheath but also expresses factors known to regulate skeletogenesis: sonic hedgehog (shh), indian hedgehog homolog b (ihhb), parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (pth1r) and transforming growth factor beta 1 (tgfb1). In conclusion, our study provides evidence for the process of vertebral body development in teleost fishes, which is initially orchestrated by the notochord. © 2013 Anatomical Society.

  11. Morphologic analysis of the zebrafish digestive system.

    PubMed

    Trotter, Andrew J; Parslow, Adam C; Heath, Joan K

    2009-01-01

    The zebrafish provides an ideal model for the study of vertebrate organogenesis, including the formation of the digestive tract and its associated organs. Despite optical transparency of embryos, the internal position of the developing digestive system and its close juxtaposition with the yolk initially made morphological analysis relatively challenging, particularly during the first 3 d of development. However, methodologies have been successfully developed to address these problems and comprehensive morphologic analysis of the developing digestive system has now been achieved using a combination of light and fluorescence microscope approaches-including confocal analysis-to visualize wholemount and histological preparations of zebrafish embryos. Furthermore, the expanding number of antibodies that cross-react with zebrafish proteins and the generation of tissue-specific transgenic green fluorescent protein reporter lines that mark specific cell and tissue compartments have greatly enhanced our ability to successfully image the developing zebrafish digestive system.

  12. Zebrafish Models for Human Acute Organophosphorus Poisoning.

    PubMed

    Faria, Melissa; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Padrós, Francesc; Babin, Patrick J; Sebastián, David; Cachot, Jérôme; Prats, Eva; Arick Ii, Mark; Rial, Eduardo; Knoll-Gellida, Anja; Mathieu, Guilaine; Le Bihanic, Florane; Escalon, B Lynn; Zorzano, Antonio; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Raldúa, Demetrio

    2015-10-22

    Terrorist use of organophosphorus-based nerve agents and toxic industrial chemicals against civilian populations constitutes a real threat, as demonstrated by the terrorist attacks in Japan in the 1990 s or, even more recently, in the Syrian civil war. Thus, development of more effective countermeasures against acute organophosphorus poisoning is urgently needed. Here, we have generated and validated zebrafish models for mild, moderate and severe acute organophosphorus poisoning by exposing zebrafish larvae to different concentrations of the prototypic organophosphorus compound chlorpyrifos-oxon. Our results show that zebrafish models mimic most of the pathophysiological mechanisms behind this toxidrome in humans, including acetylcholinesterase inhibition, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation, and calcium dysregulation as well as inflammatory and immune responses. The suitability of the zebrafish larvae to in vivo high-throughput screenings of small molecule libraries makes these models a valuable tool for identifying new drugs for multifunctional drug therapy against acute organophosphorus poisoning.

  13. Episodic-like memory in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Trevor J; Myggland, Allison; Duperreault, Erika; May, Zacnicte; Gallup, Joshua; Powell, Russell A; Schalomon, Melike; Digweed, Shannon M

    2016-11-01

    Episodic-like memory tests often aid in determining an animal's ability to recall the what, where, and which (context) of an event. To date, this type of memory has been demonstrated in humans, wild chacma baboons, corvids (Scrub jays), humming birds, mice, rats, Yucatan minipigs, and cuttlefish. The potential for this type of memory in zebrafish remains unexplored even though they are quickly becoming an essential model organism for the study of a variety of human cognitive and mental disorders. Here we explore the episodic-like capabilities of zebrafish (Danio rerio) in a previously established mammalian memory paradigm. We demonstrate that when zebrafish were presented with a familiar object in a familiar context but a novel location within that context, they spend more time in the novel quadrant. Thus, zebrafish display episodic-like memory as they remember what object they saw, where they saw it (quadrant location), and on which occasion (yellow or blue walls) it was presented.

  14. Polarized protein transport and lumen formation during epithelial tissue morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Blasky, Alex J; Mangan, Anthony; Prekeris, Rytis

    2015-01-01

    One of the major challenges in biology is to explain how complex tissues and organs arise from the collective action of individual polarized cells. The best-studied model of this process is the cross talk between individual epithelial cells during their polarization to form the multicellular epithelial lumen during tissue morphogenesis. Multiple mechanisms of apical lumen formation have been proposed. Some epithelial lumens form from preexisting polarized epithelial structures. However, de novo lumen formation from nonpolarized cells has recently emerged as an important driver of epithelial tissue morphogenesis, especially during the formation of small epithelial tubule networks. In this review, we discuss the latest findings regarding the mechanisms and regulation of de novo lumen formation in vitro and in vivo.

  15. Multi-scale mechanics from molecules to morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Lance; von Dassow, Michelangelo; Zhou, Jian

    2009-01-01

    Dynamic mechanical processes shape the embryo and organs during development. Little is understood about the basic physics of these processes, what forces are generated, or how tissues resist or guide those forces during morphogenesis. This review offers an outline of some of the basic principles of biomechanics, provides working examples of biomechanical analyses of developing embryos, and reviews the role of structural proteins in establishing and maintaining the mechanical properties of embryonic tissues. Drawing on examples we highlight the importance of investigating mechanics at multiple scales from milliseconds to hours and from individual molecules to whole embryos. Lastly, we pose a series of questions that will need to be addressed if we are to understand the larger integration of molecular and physical mechanical processes during morphogenesis and organogenesis. PMID:19394436

  16. Polygenic Sex Determination System in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Liew, Woei Chang; Bartfai, Richard; Lim, Zijie; Sreenivasan, Rajini; Siegfried, Kellee R.; Orban, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite the popularity of zebrafish as a research model, its sex determination (SD) mechanism is still unknown. Most cytogenetic studies failed to find dimorphic sex chromosomes and no primary sex determining switch has been identified even though the assembly of zebrafish genome sequence is near to completion and a high resolution genetic map is available. Recent publications suggest that environmental factors within the natural range have minimal impact on sex ratios of zebrafish populations. The primary aim of this study is to find out more about how sex is determined in zebrafish. Methodology/Principal Findings Using classical breeding experiments, we found that sex ratios across families were wide ranging (4.8% to 97.3% males). On the other hand, repeated single pair crossings produced broods of very similar sex ratios, indicating that parental genotypes have a role in the sex ratio of the offspring. Variation among family sex ratios was reduced after selection for breeding pairs with predominantly male or female offspring, another indication that zebrafish sex is regulated genetically. Further examinations by a PCR-based “blind assay" and array comparative genomic hybridization both failed to find universal sex-linked differences between the male and female genomes. Together with the ability to increase the sex bias of lines by selective breeding, these data suggest that zebrafish is unlikely to utilize a chromosomal sex determination (CSD) system. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, our study suggests that zebrafish sex is genetically determined with limited, secondary influences from the environment. As we have not found any sign for CSD in the species, we propose that the zebrafish has a polygenic sex determination system. PMID:22506019

  17. What is the Thalamus in Zebrafish?

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Current research on the thalamus and related structures in the zebrafish diencephalon identifies an increasing number of both neurological structures and ontogenetic processes as evolutionary conserved between teleosts and mammals. The patterning processes, for example, which during the embryonic development of zebrafish form the thalamus proper appear largely conserved. Yet also striking differences between zebrafish and other vertebrates have been observed, particularly when we look at mature and histologically differentiated brains. A case in point is the migrated preglomerular complex of zebrafish which evolved only within the lineage of ray-finned fish and has no counterpart in mammals or tetrapod vertebrates. Based on its function as a sensory relay station with projections to pallial zones, the preglomerular complex has been compared to specific thalamic nuclei in mammals. However, no thalamic projections to the zebrafish dorsal pallium, which corresponds topologically to the mammalian isocortex, have been identified. Merely one teleostean thalamic nucleus proper, the auditory nucleus, projects to a part of the dorsal telencephalon, the pallial amygdala. Studies on patterning mechanisms identify a rostral and caudal domain in the embryonic thalamus proper. In both, teleosts and mammals, the rostral domain gives rise to GABAergic neurons, whereas glutamatergic neurons originate in the caudal domain of the zebrafish thalamus. The distribution of GABAergic derivatives in the adult zebrafish brain, furthermore, revealed previously overlooked thalamic nuclei and redefined already established ones. These findings require some reconsideration regarding the topological origin of these adult structures. In what follows, I discuss how evolutionary conserved and newly acquired features of the developing and adult zebrafish thalamus can be compared to the mammalian situation. PMID:22586363

  18. [Morphogenesis in formative process in vitro from Rehmannia glutinosa].

    PubMed

    Xue, Jian-ping; Zhang, Ai-min; Liu, Jun; Xu, Xue-feng

    2004-01-01

    To study the morphogenesis in formative process of tuberous root in vitro from Rehmannia glutinosa and compare the anatomical shape of tuberous root with nature term R. glutinosa. Tuberous roots of different vegetal phase were cut and dyed, then made into paraffin cuts and observed microscope. In anatomical shape, nature R. glutinosa and tuberous root were the same, which showed that no structural variation occurred in tuberous root induced process.

  19. Deformation of the notochord by pressure from the swim bladder may cause malformation of the vertebral column in cultured Atlantic cod Gadus morhua larvae: a case study.

    PubMed

    Grotmol, Sindre; Kryvi, Harald; Totland, Geir K

    2005-06-01

    This study describes a malformation that frequently occurs in Atlantic cod Gadus morhua in intensive culture systems. The malformation is characterised by a slight upward tilt of the head and an indented dorsal body contour at the transition between the head and the trunk, and is first evident to the fish farmer when the cod reach the juvenile stage. These abnormalities are associated with malformations of the neurocranium, the cranial region of the vertebral column and the cranial part of the epaxial lateral muscles. The pathogenesis involves deformation of the notochord, which can be observed in larvae about 7 d post-hatch (dph) and onwards. The deformation consists of an increase in dorsal curvature of the notochord in the region above the swim bladder. In the same region, the notochord has an abnormal cross-sectional outline, characterised by a groove-shaped, longitudinal impression along the ventral surface of the sheath. In most cases, the swim bladder fills the impression, and in severely affected larvae it forms a hernia-like lesion in the notochord. The deformation of the notochord seems to be conveyed to the vertebral body anlagen (chordacentra), which in teleosts are formed by mineralisation within the notochordal sheath. The vertebral bodies adopt an abnormal wedge shape, with a ventral concavity, and the neural arches are most often S-shaped. A continuous range of degrees of the malformation can be observed. All these pathomorphological characteristics are compatible with the notion that the notochord has been subjected to an upward mechanical force, probably generated by a persistent increase in pressure between the swim bladder and the notochord during the period of development of the vertebral anlagen. Our results thus indicate that the critical time window with regard to development of the malformation is from 18 to 36 dph, when the initial formation of the vertebrae takes place. Chronic overinflation of the swim bladder or pathological dilatation

  20. Spatial mapping and quantification of developmental branching morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Short, Kieran; Hodson, Mark; Smyth, Ian

    2013-01-15

    Branching morphogenesis is a fundamental developmental mechanism that shapes the formation of many organs. The complex three-dimensional shapes derived by this process reflect equally complex genetic interactions between branching epithelia and their surrounding mesenchyme. Despite the importance of this process to normal adult organ function, analysis of branching has been stymied by the absence of a bespoke method to quantify accurately the complex spatial datasets that describe it. As a consequence, although many developmentally important genes are proposed to influence branching morphogenesis, we have no way of objectively assessing their individual contributions to this process. We report the development of a method for accurately quantifying many aspects of branching morphogenesis and we demonstrate its application to the study of organ development. As proof of principle we have employed this approach to analyse the developing mouse lung and kidney, describing the spatial characteristics of the branching ureteric bud and pulmonary epithelia. To demonstrate further its capacity to profile unrecognised genetic contributions to organ development, we examine Tgfb2 mutant kidneys, identifying elements of both developmental delay and specific spatial dysmorphology caused by haplo-insufficiency for this gene. This technical advance provides a crucial resource that will enable rigorous characterisation of the genetic and environmental factors that regulate this essential and evolutionarily conserved developmental mechanism.

  1. Multiple Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases Regulate Vaccinia Virus Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    McNulty, Shannon; Bornmann, William; Schriewer, Jill; Werner, Chas; Smith, Scott K.; Olson, Victoria A.; Damon, Inger K.; Buller, R. Mark; Heuser, John; Kalman, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Poxvirus morphogenesis is a complex process that involves the successive wrapping of the virus in host cell membranes. We screened by plaque assay a focused library of kinase inhibitors for those that caused a reduction in viral growth and identified several compounds that selectively inhibit phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Previous studies demonstrated that PI3Ks mediate poxviral entry. Using growth curves and electron microscopy in conjunction with inhibitors, we show that that PI3Ks additionally regulate morphogenesis at two distinct steps: immature to mature virion (IMV) transition, and IMV envelopment to form intracellular enveloped virions (IEV). Cells derived from animals lacking the p85 regulatory subunit of Type I PI3Ks (p85α−/−β−/−) presented phenotypes similar to those observed with PI3K inhibitors. In addition, VV appear to redundantly use PI3Ks, as PI3K inhibitors further reduce plaque size and number in p85α−/−β−/− cells. Together, these data provide evidence for a novel regulatory mechanism for virion morphogenesis involving phosphatidylinositol dynamics and may represent a new therapeutic target to contain poxviruses. PMID:20526370

  2. Carlactone-independent seedling morphogenesis in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Scaffidi, Adrian; Waters, Mark T; Ghisalberti, Emilio L; Dixon, Kingsley W; Flematti, Gavin R; Smith, Steven M

    2013-10-01

    Strigolactone hormones are derived from carotenoids via carlactone, and act through the α/β-hydrolase D14 and the F-box protein D3/MAX2 to repress plant shoot branching. While MAX2 is also necessary for normal seedling development, D14 and the known strigolactone biosynthesis genes are not, raising the question of whether endogenous, canonical strigolactones derived from carlactone have a role in seedling morphogenesis. Here, we report the chemical synthesis of the strigolactone precursor carlactone, and show that it represses Arabidopsis shoot branching and influences leaf morphogenesis via a mechanism that is dependent on the cytochrome P450 MAX1. In contrast, both physiologically active Z-carlactone and the non-physiological E isomer exhibit similar weak activity in seedlings, and predominantly signal through D14 rather than its paralogue KAI2, in a MAX2-dependent but MAX1-independent manner. KAI2 is essential for seedling morphogenesis, and hence this early-stage development employs carlactone-independent morphogens for which karrikins from wildfire smoke are specific surrogates. While the commonly employed synthetic strigolactone GR24 acts non-specifically through both D14 and KAI2, carlactone is a specific effector of strigolactone signalling that acts through MAX1 and D14. © 2013 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Morphogenesis in bat wings: linking development, evolution and ecology.

    PubMed

    Adams, Rick A

    2008-01-01

    The evolution of powered flight in mammals required specific developmental shifts from an ancestral limb morphology to one adapted for flight. Through studies of comparative morphogenesis, investigators have quantified points and rates of divergence providing important insights into how wings evolved in mammals. Herein I compare growth,development and skeletogenesis of forelimbs between bats and the more ancestral state provided by the rat (Rattus norvegicus)and quantify growth trajectories that illustrate morphological divergence both developmentally and evolutionarily. In addition, I discuss how wing shape is controlled during morphogenesis by applying multivariate analyses of wing bones and wing membranes and discuss how flight dynamics are stabilized during flight ontogeny. Further, I discuss the development of flight in bats in relation to the ontogenetic niche and how juveniles effect populational foraging patterns. In addition, I provide a hypothetical ontogenetic landscape model that predicts how and when selection is most intense during juvenile morphogenesis and test this model with data from a population of the little brown bat, Myotis lucifugus. (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

  4. Embryo mechanics: balancing force production with elastic resistance during morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Lance A

    2011-01-01

    Morphogenesis requires the spatial and temporal control of embryo mechanics, including force production and mechanical resistance to those forces, to coordinate tissue deformation and large-scale movements. Thus, biomechanical processes play a key role in directly shaping the embryo. Additional roles for embryo mechanics during development may include the patterning of positional information and to provide feedback to ensure the success of morphogenetic movements in shaping the larval body and organs. To understand the multiple roles of mechanics during development requires familiarity with engineering principles of the mechanics of structures, the viscoelastic properties of biomaterials, and the integration of force and stress within embryonic structures as morphogenesis progresses. In this chapter, we review the basic engineering principles of biomechanics as they relate to morphogenesis, introduce methods for quantifying embryo mechanics and the limitations of these methods, and outline a formalism for investigating the role of embryo mechanics in birth defects. We encourage the nascent field of embryo mechanics to adopt standard engineering terms and test methods so that studies of diverse organisms can be compared and universal biomechanical principles can be revealed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Directional migration of leading-edge mesoderm generates physical forces: Implication in Xenopus notochord formation during gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Hara, Yusuke; Nagayama, Kazuaki; Yamamoto, Takamasa S; Matsumoto, Takeo; Suzuki, Makoto; Ueno, Naoto

    2013-10-15

    Gastrulation is a dynamic tissue-remodeling process occurring during early development and fundamental to the later organogenesis. It involves both chemical signals and physical factors. Although much is known about the molecular pathways involved, the roles of physical forces in regulating cellular behavior and tissue remodeling during gastrulation have just begun to be explored. Here, we characterized the force generated by the leading edge mesoderm (LEM) that migrates preceding axial mesoderm (AM), and investigated the contribution of LEM during Xenopus gastrulation. First, we constructed an assay system using micro-needle which could measure physical forces generated by the anterior migration of LEM, and estimated the absolute magnitude of the force to be 20-80nN. Second, laser ablation experiments showed that LEM could affect the force distribution in the AM (i.e. LEM adds stretch force on axial mesoderm along anterior-posterior axis). Third, migrating LEM was found to be necessary for the proper gastrulation cell movements and the establishment of organized notochord structure; a reduction of LEM migratory activity resulted in the disruption of mediolateral cell orientation and convergence in AM. Finally, we found that LEM migration cooperates with Wnt/PCP to form proper notochord. These results suggest that the force generated by the directional migration of LEM is transmitted to AM and assists the tissue organization of notochord in vivo independently of the regulation by Wnt/PCP. We propose that the LEM may have a mechanical role in aiding the AM elongation through the rearrangement of force distribution in the dorsal marginal zone. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Loss of HIF-1α in the notochord results in cell death and complete disappearance of the nucleus pulposus.

    PubMed

    Merceron, Christophe; Mangiavini, Laura; Robling, Alexander; Wilson, Tremika LeShan; Giaccia, Amato J; Shapiro, Irving M; Schipani, Ernestina; Risbud, Makarand V

    2014-01-01

    The intervertebral disc (IVD) is one of the largest avascular organs in vertebrates. The nucleus pulposus (NP), a highly hydrated and proteoglycan-enriched tissue, forms the inner portion of the IVD. The NP is surrounded by a multi-lamellar fibrocartilaginous structure, the annulus fibrosus (AF). This structure is covered superior and inferior side by cartilaginous endplates (CEP). The NP is a unique tissue within the IVD as it results from the differentiation of notochordal cells, whereas, AF and CEP derive from the sclerotome. The hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) is expressed in NP cells but its function in NP development and homeostasis is largely unknown. We thus conditionally deleted HIF-1α in notochordal cells and investigated how loss of this transcription factor impacts NP formation and homeostasis at E15.5, birth, 1 and 4 months of age, respectively. Histological analysis, cell lineage studies, and TUNEL assay were performed. Morphologic changes of the mutant NP cells were identified as early as E15.5, followed, postnatally, by the progressive disappearance and replacement of the NP with a novel tissue that resembles fibrocartilage. Notably, lineage studies and TUNEL assay unequivocally proved that NP cells did not transdifferentiate into chondrocyte-like cells but they rather underwent massive cell death, and were completely replaced by a cell population belonging to a lineage distinct from the notochordal one. Finally, to evaluate the functional consequences of HIF-1α deletion in the NP, biomechanical testing of mutant IVD was performed. Loss of the NP in mutant mice significantly reduced the IVD biomechanical properties by decreasing its ability to absorb mechanical stress. These findings are similar to the changes usually observed during human IVD degeneration. Our study thus demonstrates that HIF-1α is essential for NP development and homeostasis, and it raises the intriguing possibility that this transcription factor could be involved in IVD

  7. The zebrafish bozozok locus encodes Dharma, a homeodomain protein essential for induction of gastrula organizer and dorsoanterior embryonic structures.

    PubMed

    Fekany, K; Yamanaka, Y; Leung, T; Sirotkin, H I; Topczewski, J; Gates, M A; Hibi, M; Renucci, A; Stemple, D; Radbill, A; Schier, A F; Driever, W; Hirano, T; Talbot, W S; Solnica-Krezel, L

    1999-04-01

    The dorsal gastrula organizer plays a fundamental role in establishment of the vertebrate axis. We demonstrate that the zebrafish bozozok (boz) locus is required at the blastula stages for formation of the embryonic shield, the equivalent of the gastrula organizer and expression of multiple organizer-specific genes. Furthermore, boz is essential for specification of dorsoanterior embryonic structures, including notochord, prechordal mesendoderm, floor plate and forebrain. We report that boz mutations disrupt the homeobox gene dharma. Overexpression of boz in the extraembryonic yolk syncytial layer of boz mutant embryos is sufficient for normal development of the overlying blastoderm, revealing an involvement of extraembryonic structures in anterior patterning in fish similarly to murine embryos. Epistatic analyses indicate that boz acts downstream of beta-catenin and upstream to TGF-beta signaling or in a parallel pathway. These studies provide genetic evidence for an essential function of a homeodomain protein in beta-catenin-mediated induction of the dorsal gastrula organizer and place boz at the top of a hierarchy of zygotic genes specifying the dorsal midline of a vertebrate embryo.

  8. Mitotic position and morphology of committed precursor cells in the zebrafish retina adapt to architectural changes upon tissue maturation.

    PubMed

    Weber, Isabell P; Ramos, Ana P; Strzyz, Paulina J; Leung, Louis C; Young, Stephen; Norden, Caren

    2014-04-24

    The development of complex neuronal tissues like the vertebrate retina requires the tight orchestration of cell proliferation and differentiation. Although the complexity of transcription factors and signaling pathways involved in retinogenesis has been studied extensively, the influence of tissue maturation itself has not yet been systematically explored. Here, we present a quantitative analysis of mitotic events during zebrafish retinogenesis that reveals three types of committed neuronal precursors in addition to the previously known apical progenitors. The identified precursor types present at distinct developmental stages and exhibit different mitotic location (apical versus nonapical), cleavage plane orientation, and morphology. Interestingly, the emergence of nonapically dividing committed bipolar cell precursors can be linked to an increase in apical crowding caused by the developing photoreceptor cell layer. Furthermore, genetic interference with neuronal subset specification induces ectopic divisions of committed precursors, underlining the finding that progressing morphogenesis can effect precursor division position. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Zebrafish neurobehavioral phenomics for aquatic neuropharmacology and toxicology research.

    PubMed

    Kalueff, Allan V; Echevarria, David J; Homechaudhuri, Sumit; Stewart, Adam Michael; Collier, Adam D; Kaluyeva, Aleksandra A; Li, Shaomin; Liu, Yingcong; Chen, Peirong; Wang, JiaJia; Yang, Lei; Mitra, Anisa; Pal, Subharthi; Chaudhuri, Adwitiya; Roy, Anwesha; Biswas, Missidona; Roy, Dola; Podder, Anupam; Poudel, Manoj K; Katare, Deepshikha P; Mani, Ruchi J; Kyzar, Evan J; Gaikwad, Siddharth; Nguyen, Michael; Song, Cai

    2016-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are rapidly emerging as an important model organism for aquatic neuropharmacology and toxicology research. The behavioral/phenotypic complexity of zebrafish allows for thorough dissection of complex human brain disorders and drug-evoked pathological states. As numerous zebrafish models become available with a wide spectrum of behavioral, genetic, and environmental methods to test novel drugs, here we discuss recent zebrafish phenomics methods to facilitate drug discovery, particularly in the field of biological psychiatry. Additionally, behavioral, neurological, and endocrine endpoints are becoming increasingly well-characterized in zebrafish, making them an inexpensive, robust and effective model for toxicology research and pharmacological screening. We also discuss zebrafish behavioral phenotypes, experimental considerations, pharmacological candidates and relevance of zebrafish neurophenomics to other 'omics' (e.g., genomic, proteomic) approaches. Finally, we critically evaluate the limitations of utilizing this model organism, and outline future strategies of research in the field of zebrafish phenomics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Can Zebrafish be used to Identify Developmentally Neurotoxic Chemicals

    EPA Science Inventory

    Can Zebrafish be Used to Identify Developmentally Neurotoxic Chemicals? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is evaluating methods to screen and prioritize large numbers of chemicals for developmental neurotoxicity. We are exploring behavioral methods using zebrafish by desig...

  11. Mixtures, Metabolites, and Mechanisms: Understanding Toxicology Using Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Gamse, Joshua T.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract For more than 60 years, zebrafish have been used in toxicological studies. Due to their transparency, genetic tractability, and compatibility with high-throughput screens, zebrafish embryos are uniquely suited to study the effects of pharmaceuticals and environmental insults on embryonic development, organ formation and function, and reproductive success. This special issue of Zebrafish highlights the ways zebrafish are used to investigate the toxic effects of endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and heavy metals. PMID:27618129

  12. Mixtures, Metabolites, and Mechanisms: Understanding Toxicology Using Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Gamse, Joshua T; Gorelick, Daniel A

    2016-10-01

    For more than 60 years, zebrafish have been used in toxicological studies. Due to their transparency, genetic tractability, and compatibility with high-throughput screens, zebrafish embryos are uniquely suited to study the effects of pharmaceuticals and environmental insults on embryonic development, organ formation and function, and reproductive success. This special issue of Zebrafish highlights the ways zebrafish are used to investigate the toxic effects of endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and heavy metals.

  13. Modeling Leukemogenesis in the Zebrafish Using Genetic and Xenograft Models.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Vinothkumar; Dellaire, Graham; Berman, Jason N

    2016-01-01

    The zebrafish is a widely accepted model to study leukemia. The major advantage of studying leukemogenesis in zebrafish is attributed to its short life cycle and superior imaging capacity. This chapter highlights using transgenic- and xenograft-based models in zebrafish to study a specific leukemogenic mutation and analyze therapeutic responses in vivo.

  14. Viral Diseases in Zebrafish: What Is Known and Unknown

    PubMed Central

    Crim, Marcus J.; Riley, Lela K.

    2013-01-01

    Naturally occurring viral infections have the potential to introduce confounding variability that leads to invalid and misinterpreted data. Whereas the viral diseases of research rodents are well characterized and closely monitored, no naturally occurring viral infections have been characterized for the laboratory zebrafish (Danio rerio), an increasingly important biomedical research model. Despite the ignorance about naturally occurring zebrafish viruses, zebrafish models are rapidly expanding in areas of biomedical research where the confounding effects of unknown infectious agents present a serious concern. In addition, many zebrafish research colonies remain linked to the ornamental (pet) zebrafish trade, which can contribute to the introduction of new pathogens into research colonies, whereas mice used for research are purpose bred, with no introduction of new mice from the pet industry. Identification, characterization, and monitoring of naturally occurring viruses in zebrafish are crucial to the improvement of zebrafish health, the reduction of unwanted variability, and the continued development of the zebrafish as a model organism. This article addresses the importance of identifying and characterizing the viral diseases of zebrafish as the scope of zebrafish models expands into new research areas and also briefly addresses zebrafish susceptibility to experimental viral infection and the utility of the zebrafish as an infection and immunology model. PMID:23382345

  15. Distinct regulators of Shh transcription in the floor plate and notochord indicate separate origins for these tissues in the mouse node.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Yongsu; Epstein, Douglas J

    2003-08-01

    The establishment of the floor plate at the ventral midline of the CNS is dependent on an inductive signaling process mediated by the secreted protein Sonic hedgehog (Shh). To understand molecularly how floor plate induction proceeds we identified a Shh-responsive regulatory element that directs transgene reporter expression to the ventral midline of the CNS and notochord in a Shh-like manner and characterized critical cis-acting sequences regulating this element. Cross-species comparisons narrowed the activity of the Shh floor plate enhancer to an 88-bp sequence within intron 2 of Shh that included highly conserved binding sites matching the consensus for homeodomain, Tbx and Foxa transcription factors. Mutational analysis revealed that the homeodomain and Foxa binding sites are each required for activation of the Shh floor plate enhancer, whereas the Tbx site was required for repression in regions of the CNS where Shh is not normally expressed. We further show that Shh enhancer activity was detected in the mouse node from where the floor plate and notochord precursors derive. Shh reporter expression was restricted to the ventral (mesodermal) layer of the node in a pattern similar to endogenous Shh. X-gal-positive cells emerging from the node were only detected in the notochord lineage, suggesting that the floor plate and notochord arise from distinct precursors in the mouse node.

  16. Differential temporal control of Foxa.a and Zic-r.b specifies brain versus notochord fate in the ascidian embryo.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Tatsuro; Satou, Yutaka

    2017-01-01

    In embryos of an invertebrate chordate, Ciona intestinalis, two transcription factors, Foxa.a and Zic-r.b, are required for specification of the brain and the notochord, which are derived from distinct cell lineages. In the brain lineage, Foxa.a and Zic-r.b are expressed with no temporal overlap. In the notochord lineage, Foxa.a and Zic-r.b are expressed simultaneously. In the present study, we found that the temporally non-overlapping expression of Foxa.a and Zic-r.b in the brain lineage was regulated by three repressors: Prdm1-r.a (formerly called BZ1), Prdm1-r.b (BZ2) and Hes.a. In morphant embryos of these three repressor genes, Foxa.a expression was not terminated at the normal time, and Zic-r.b was precociously expressed. Consequently, Foxa.a and Zic-r.b were expressed simultaneously, which led to ectopic activation of Brachyury and its downstream pathways for notochord differentiation. Thus, temporal controls by transcriptional repressors are essential for specification of the two distinct fates of brain and notochord by Foxa.a and Zic-r.b Such a mechanism might enable the repeated use of a limited repertoire of transcription factors in developmental gene regulatory networks. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  17. Identification of infection- and defense-related genes via a dynamic host-pathogen interaction network using a Candida albicans-zebrafish infection model.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Zong-Yu; Chuang, Yung-Jen; Chao, Chun-Cheih; Liu, Fu-Chen; Lan, Chung-Yu; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2013-01-01

    Candida albicans infections and candidiasis are difficult to treat and create very serious therapeutic challenges. In this study, based on interactive time profile microarray data of C. albicans and zebrafish during infection, the infection-related protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of the two species and the intercellular PPI network between host and pathogen were simultaneously constructed by a dynamic interaction model, modeled as an integrated network consisting of intercellular invasion and cellular defense processes during infection. The signal transduction pathways in regulating morphogenesis and hyphal growth of C. albicans were further investigated based on significant interactions found in the intercellular PPI network. Two cellular networks were also developed corresponding to the different infection stages (adhesion and invasion), and then compared with each other to identify proteins from which we can gain more insight into the pathogenic role of hyphal development in the C. albicans infection process. Important defense-related proteins in zebrafish were predicted using the same approach. The hyphal growth PPI network, zebrafish PPI network and host-pathogen intercellular PPI network were combined to form an integrated infectious PPI network that helps us understand the systematic mechanisms underlying the pathogenicity of C. albicans and the immune response of the host, and may help improve medical therapies and facilitate the development of new antifungal drugs. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Production of Androgenetic Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Corley-Smith, G. E.; Lim, C. J.; Brandhorst, B. P.

    1996-01-01

    To help investigate the evolutionary origin of the imprinting (parent-of-origin mono-allelic expression) of paternal genes observed in mammals, we constructed haploid and diploid androgenetic zebrafish (Danio rerio). Haploid androgenotes were produced by fertilizing eggs that had been X-ray irradiated to eliminate the maternal genome. Subsequent inhibition of the first mitotic division of haploid androgenotes by heat shock produced diploid androgenotes. The lack of inheritance of maternal-specific DNA markers (RAPD and SSR) by putative diploid and haploid androgenotes confirmed the androgenetic origin of their genomes. Marker analysis was performed on 18 putative androgenotes (five diploids and 13 haploids) from six families. None of 157 maternal-specific RAPD markers analyzed, some of which were apparently homozygous, were passed on to any of these putative androgenotes. A mean of 7.7 maternal-specific markers were assessed per family. The survival of androgenetic zebrafish suggests that if paternal imprinting occurs in zebrafish, it does not result in essential genes being inactivated when their expression is required for development. Production of haploid androgenotes can be used to determine the meiotic recombination rate in male zebrafish. Androgenesis may also provide useful information about the mechanism of sex determination in zebrafish. PMID:8846903

  19. The zebrafish genome: a review and msx gene case study.

    PubMed

    Postlethwait, J H

    2006-01-01

    Zebrafish is one of several important teleost models for understanding principles of vertebrate developmental, molecular, organismal, genetic, evolutionary, and genomic biology. Efficient investigation of the molecular genetic basis of induced mutations depends on knowledge of the zebrafish genome. Principles of zebrafish genomic analysis, including gene mapping, ortholog identification, conservation of syntenies, genome duplication, and evolution of duplicate gene function are discussed here using as a case study the zebrafish msxa, msxb, msxc, msxd, and msxe genes, which together constitute zebrafish orthologs of tetrapod Msx1, Msx2, and Msx3. Genomic analysis suggests orthologs for this difficult to understand group of paralogs.

  20. The mechanics of development: models and methods for tissue morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gjorevski, Nikolce; Nelson, Celeste M.

    2011-01-01

    Embryonic development is a physical process during which masses of cells are sculpted into functional organs. The mechanical properties of tissues and the forces exerted on them serve as epigenetic regulators of morphogenesis. Understanding these mechanobiological effects in the embryo requires new experimental approaches. Here we focus on branching of the lung airways and bending of the heart tube to describe examples of mechanical and physical cues that guide cell fate decisions and organogenesis. We highlight recent technological advances to measure tissue elasticity and endogenous mechanical stresses in real time during organ development. We also discuss recent progress in manipulating forces in intact embryos. PMID:20860059

  1. Mechanical influences in bacterial morphogenesis and cell division

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Sean

    2010-03-01

    Bacterial cells utilize a ring-like organelle (the Z-ring) to accomplish cell division. The Z-ring actively generates a contractile force and influences cell wall growth. We will discuss a general model of bacterial morphogenesis where mechanical forces are coupled to the growth dynamics of the cell wall. The model suggests a physical mechanism that determines the shapes of bacteria cells. The roles of several bacterial cytoskeletal proteins and the Z-ring are discussed. We will also explore molecular mechanisms of force generation by the Z-ring and how cells can generate mechanical forces without molecular motors.

  2. Epithelial Patterning, Morphogenesis, and Evolution: Drosophila Eggshell as a Model.

    PubMed

    Osterfield, Miriam; Berg, Celeste A; Shvartsman, Stanislav Y

    2017-05-22

    Understanding the mechanisms driving tissue and organ formation requires knowledge across scales. How do signaling pathways specify distinct tissue types? How does the patterning system control morphogenesis? How do these processes evolve? The Drosophila egg chamber, where EGF and BMP signaling intersect to specify unique cell types that construct epithelial tubes for specialized eggshell structures, has provided a tractable system to ask these questions. Work there has elucidated connections between scales of development, including across evolutionary scales, and fostered the development of quantitative modeling tools. These tools and general principles can be applied to the understanding of other developmental processes across organisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Quantum morphogenesis: A variation on Thom's catastrophe theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aerts, Dirk; Czachor, Marek; Gabora, Liane; Kuna, Maciej; Posiewnik, Andrzej; Pykacz, Jarosław; Syty, Monika

    2003-05-01

    Noncommutative propositions are characteristic of both quantum and nonquantum (sociological, biological, and psychological) situations. In a Hilbert space model, states, understood as correlations between all the possible propositions, are represented by density matrices. If systems in question interact via feedback with environment, their dynamics is nonlinear. Nonlinear evolutions of density matrices lead to the phenomenon of morphogenesis that may occur in noncommutative systems. Several explicit exactly solvable models are presented, including “birth and death of an organism” and “development of complementary properties.”

  4. Sept7b is essential for pronephric function and development of left-right asymmetry in zebrafish embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Dash, Surjya Narayan; Lehtonen, Eero; Wasik, Anita A; Schepis, Antonino; Paavola, Jere; Panula, Pertti; Nelson, W James; Lehtonen, Sanna

    2014-04-01

    The conserved septin family of filamentous small GTPases plays important roles in mitosis, cell migration and cell morphogenesis by forming scaffolds and diffusion barriers. Recent studies in cultured cells in vitro indicate that a septin complex of septin 2, 7 and 9 is required for ciliogenesis and cilia function, but septin function in ciliogenesis in vertebrate organs in vivo is not understood. We show that sept7b is expressed in ciliated cells in different tissues during early zebrafish development. Knockdown of sept7b by using morpholino antisense oligonucleotides caused misorientation of basal bodies and cilia, reduction of apical actin and the shortening of motile cilia in Kupffer's vesicle and pronephric tubules. This resulted in pericardial and yolk sac edema, body axis curvature and hydrocephaly. Notably, in sept7b morphants we detected strong left-right asymmetry defects in the heart and lateral plate mesoderm (situs inversus), reduced fluid flow in the kidney, the formation of kidney cysts and loss of glomerular filtration barrier function. Thus, sept7b is essential during zebrafish development for pronephric function and ciliogenesis, and loss of expression of sept7b results in defects that resemble human ciliopathies.

  5. Zebrafish mab21l2 is specifically expressed in the presumptive eye and tectum from early somitogenesis onwards.

    PubMed

    Kudoh, T; Dawid, I B

    2001-11-01

    Random screening for tissue specific genes in zebrafish by in situ hybridization led us to isolate a gene which showed highly restricted expression in the developing eyes and midbrain at somitogenesis stages. This gene was very similar to mouse and human mab21l2. The characteristic expression pattern of mab21l2 facilitates a detailed description of the morphogenesis of the eyes and midbrain in the zebrafish. In the eye field, mab21l2 expression illustrates the transformation of the eye field to form two separate eyes in the anterior neural plate. Mab21l2 staining in the cyclopic mutants, cyc and oep, exhibited incomplete splitting of the eye primodium. In the midbrain, mab21l2 is expressed in the tectum, and its expression follows the expansion of the tectal region. In mutants affecting the mid-hindbrain boundary (MHB), mab21l2 expression is affected differentially. In the noi/pax2.1 mutant, mab21l2 is down-regulated and the size of the tectum remains small, whereas in the ace/fgf8 mutant, mab21l2 expression persists although the shape of the tectum is altered.

  6. Proteomics Identification of Potential Candidates Involved in Cell Proliferation for Early Stage of Brain Regeneration in the Adult Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lim, Fei Tieng; Ogawa, Satoshi; Smith, A Ian; Parhar, Ishwar S

    2017-02-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) of the non-mammalian vertebrates has better neuroregenerative capability as compared with the mammalian CNS. Regeneration of habenula was observed 40 days after damage in zebrafish. During the early stage of regeneration, we found a significant increase of apoptotic cells on day-1 post-damage and of proliferative cells on day-3 post-damage. To identify the molecular factor(s) involved in the early stages of neuroregeneration, differentially expressed proteins during sham, 20- and 40-h post-habenula damage were investigated by proteomic approach by using two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) coupled with Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time-of-Flight (MALDI-ToF) and tandem mass spectrometry. Protein profiles revealed 17 differentially (>1.5-fold) expressed proteins: 10 upregulated, 4 downregulated, 2 proteins were found to be downregulated at the early stage but upregulated at a later stage, and 1 protein was found to be upregulated at 2 different time points. All proteins identified can be summarized under few molecular processes involved in the early stages of neuroregeneration in zebrafish CNS: apoptosis regulation (Wnt inhibitory factor 1 [WIF1]), neuroprotection (metallothionein), cell proliferation (Spred2, ependymin, Lhx1, and Wnts), differentiation (Spred2, Lhx9, and Wnts), and morphogenesis (cytoplasmic actins and draculin). These protein profiling results suggest that drastic molecular changes occur in the neuroregenerative process during this period, which includes cell proliferation, differentiation, and protection.

  7. The Pea Seedling as a Model of Normal and Abnormal Morphogenesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kurkdjian, Armen; And Others

    1974-01-01

    Describes several simple and inexpensive experiments designed to facilitate the study of normal and abnormal morphogenesis in the biology laboratory. Seedlings of the common garden pea are used in the experiments, and abnormal morphogenesis (tumors) are induced by a virulent strain of the crown-gall organism, Agrobacterium tumefaciens. (JR)

  8. Un(MaSC)ing Stem Cell Dynamics in Mammary Branching Morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Greenwood, Erin; Wrenn, Emma D; Cheung, Kevin J

    2017-02-27

    The properties of stem cells that participate in mammary gland branching morphogenesis remain contested. Reporting in Nature, Scheele et al. (2017) establish a model for post-pubertal mammary branching morphogenesis in which position-dependent, lineage-restricted stem cells undergo cell mixing in order to contribute to long-term growth. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Zebrafish heart failure models: opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xingjuan; Chen, Ru; Zhang, Yu; Yun, Junghwa; Brand-Arzamendi, Koroboshka; Liu, Xiangdong; Wen, Xiao-Yan

    2018-05-03

    Heart failure is a complex pathophysiological syndrome of pumping functional failure that results from injury, infection or toxin-induced damage on the myocardium, as well as genetic influence. Gene mutations associated with cardiomyopathies can lead to various pathologies of heart failure. In recent years, zebrafish, Danio rerio, has emerged as an excellent model to study human cardiovascular diseases such as congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy, and preclinical development of drugs targeting these diseases. In this review, we will first summarize zebrafish genetic models of heart failure arose from cardiomyopathy, which is caused by mutations in sarcomere, calcium or mitochondrial-associated genes. Moreover, we outline zebrafish heart failure models triggered by chemical compounds. Elucidation of these models will improve the understanding of the mechanism of pathogenesis and provide potential targets for novel therapies.

  10. Midline signals regulate retinal neurogenesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Masai, I; Stemple, D L; Okamoto, H; Wilson, S W

    2000-08-01

    In zebrafish, neuronal differentiation progresses across the retina in a pattern that is reminiscent of the neurogenic wave that sweeps across the developing eye in Drosophila. We show that expression of a zebrafish homolog of Drosophila atonal, ath5, sweeps across the eye predicting the wave of neuronal differentiation. By analyzing the regulation of ath5 expression, we have elucidated the mechanisms that regulate initiation and spread of neurogenesis in the retina. ath5 expression is lost in Nodal pathway mutant embryos lacking axial tissues that include the prechordal plate. A likely role for axial tissue is to induce optic stalk cells that subsequently regulate ath5 expression. Our results suggest that a series of inductive events, initiated from the prechordal plate and progressing from the optic stalks, regulates the spread of neuronal differentiation across the zebrafish retina.

  11. Tributyltin and Zebrafish: Swimming in Dangerous Water

    PubMed Central

    Berto-Júnior, Clemilson; de Carvalho, Denise Pires; Soares, Paula; Miranda-Alves, Leandro

    2018-01-01

    Zebrafish has been established as a reliable biological model with important insertion in academy (morphologic, biochemical, and pathophysiological studies) and pharmaceutical industry (toxicology and drug development) due to its molecular complexity and similar systems biology that recapitulate those from other organisms. Considering the toxicological aspects, many efforts using zebrafish models are being done in order to elucidate the effects of endocrine disruptors, and some of them are focused on tributyltin (TBT) and its mechanism of action. TBT is an antifouling agent applied in ship’s hull that is constantly released into the water and absorbed by marine organisms, leading to bioaccumulation and biomagnification effects. Thus, several findings of malformations and changes in the normal biochemical and physiologic aspects of these marine animals have been related to TBT contamination. In the present review, we have compiled the most significant studies related to TBT effects in zebrafish, also taking into consideration the effects found in other study models. PMID:29692757

  12. 15 years of zebrafish chemical screening

    PubMed Central

    Rennekamp, Andrew J.; Peterson, Randall T.

    2015-01-01

    In 2000, the first chemical screen using living zebrafish in a multi-well plate was reported. Since then, more than 60 additional screens have been published describing whole-organism drug and pathway discovery projects in zebrafish. To investigate the scope of the work reported in the last 14 years and to identify trends in the field, we analyzed the discovery strategies of 64 primary research articles from the literature. We found that zebrafish screens have expanded beyond the use of developmental phenotypes to include behavioral, cardiac, metabolic, proliferative and regenerative endpoints. Additionally, many creative strategies have been used to uncover the mechanisms of action of new small molecules including chemical phenocopy, genetic phenocopy, mutant rescue, and spatial localization strategies. PMID:25461724

  13. Physics and the canalization of morphogenesis: a grand challenge in organismal biology

    PubMed Central

    von Dassow, Michelangelo; Davidson, Lance A.

    2011-01-01

    Morphogenesis takes place in a background of organism-to-organism and environmental variation. Therefore, a fundamental question in the study of morphogenesis is how the mechanical processes of tissue movement and deformation are affected by that variability, and in turn, how the mechanics of the system modulates phenotypic variation. We highlight a few key factors, including environmental temperature, embryo size, and environmental chemistry that might perturb the mechanics of morphogenesis in natural populations. Then we discuss several ways in which mechanics – including feedback from mechanical cues – might influence intra-specific variation in morphogenesis. To understand morphogenesis it will be necessary to consider whole-organism, environment, and evolutionary scales because these larger scales present the challenges that developmental mechanisms have evolved to cope with. Studying the variation organisms express and the variation organisms experience will aid in deciphering the causes of birth defects. PMID:21750364

  14. Culturable Gut Microbiota Diversity in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Sørby, Jan Roger Torp; Aleström, Peter; Sørum, Henning

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an increasingly used laboratory animal model in basic biology and biomedicine, novel drug development, and toxicology. The wide use has increased the demand for optimized husbandry protocols to ensure animal health care and welfare. The knowledge about the correlation between culturable zebrafish intestinal microbiota and health in relation to environmental factors and management procedures is very limited. A semi-quantitative level of growth of individual types of bacteria was determined and associated with sampling points. A total of 72 TAB line zebrafish from four laboratories (Labs A–D) in the Zebrafish Network Norway were used. Diagnostic was based on traditional bacterial culture methods and biochemical characterization using commercial kits, followed by 16S rDNA gene sequencing from pure subcultures. Also selected Gram-negative isolates were analyzed for antibiotic susceptibility to 8 different antibiotics. A total of 13 morphologically different bacterial species were the most prevalent: Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas sobria, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Photobacterium damselae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas luteola, Comamonas testosteroni, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Staphylococcus cohnii, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus capitis, and Staphylococcus warneri. Only Lab B had significantly higher levels of total bacterial growth (OR=2.03), whereas numbers from Lab C (OR=1.01) and Lab D (OR=1.12) were found to be similar to the baseline Lab A. Sexually immature individuals had a significantly higher level of harvested total bacterial growth than mature fish (OR=0.82), no statistically significant differences were found between male and female fish (OR=1.01), and the posterior intestinal segment demonstrated a higher degree of culturable bacteria than the anterior segment (OR=4.1). Multiple antibiotic (>3) resistance was observed in 17% of the strains. We propose that a rapid

  15. Culturable gut microbiota diversity in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Cantas, Leon; Sørby, Jan Roger Torp; Aleström, Peter; Sørum, Henning

    2012-03-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an increasingly used laboratory animal model in basic biology and biomedicine, novel drug development, and toxicology. The wide use has increased the demand for optimized husbandry protocols to ensure animal health care and welfare. The knowledge about the correlation between culturable zebrafish intestinal microbiota and health in relation to environmental factors and management procedures is very limited. A semi-quantitative level of growth of individual types of bacteria was determined and associated with sampling points. A total of 72 TAB line zebrafish from four laboratories (Labs A-D) in the Zebrafish Network Norway were used. Diagnostic was based on traditional bacterial culture methods and biochemical characterization using commercial kits, followed by 16S rDNA gene sequencing from pure subcultures. Also selected Gram-negative isolates were analyzed for antibiotic susceptibility to 8 different antibiotics. A total of 13 morphologically different bacterial species were the most prevalent: Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas sobria, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Photobacterium damselae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas luteola, Comamonas testosteroni, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Staphylococcus cohnii, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus capitis, and Staphylococcus warneri. Only Lab B had significantly higher levels of total bacterial growth (OR=2.03), whereas numbers from Lab C (OR=1.01) and Lab D (OR=1.12) were found to be similar to the baseline Lab A. Sexually immature individuals had a significantly higher level of harvested total bacterial growth than mature fish (OR=0.82), no statistically significant differences were found between male and female fish (OR=1.01), and the posterior intestinal segment demonstrated a higher degree of culturable bacteria than the anterior segment (OR=4.1). Multiple antibiotic (>3) resistance was observed in 17% of the strains. We propose that a rapid conventional

  16. Zebrafish embryo developmental toxicology assay.

    PubMed

    Panzica-Kelly, Julieta M; Zhang, Cindy X; Augustine-Rauch, Karen

    2012-01-01

    A promising in vitro zebrafish developmental toxicology assay was generated to test compounds for their teratogenic potential. The assay's predictivity is approximately 87% in AB strain fish (Brannen KC et al., Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol 89:66-77, 2010). The procedure entails exposing dechorionated gastrulation-stage embryos to a range of compound concentrations for 5 days throughout embryonic and larva development. The larvae are evaluated for viability in order to identify an LC25 (the compound concentration in which 25% lethality is observed) and morphological anomalies using a numerical score system to identify the NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level). These values are used to calculate the teratogenic index (LC25/NOAEL ratio) of each compound. If the teratogenic index is equal to or greater than 10 then the compound is classified as a teratogen, and if the ratio is less than 10 then the compound is classified as a nonteratogen (Brannen KC et al., Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol 89:66-77, 2010).

  17. Glyphosate induces neurotoxicity in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Roy, Nicole M; Carneiro, Bruno; Ochs, Jeremy

    2016-03-01

    Glyphosate based herbicides (GBH) like Roundup(®) are used extensively in agriculture as well as in urban and rural settings as a broad spectrum herbicide. Its mechanism of action was thought to be specific only to plants and thus considered safe and non-toxic. However, mounting evidence suggests that GBHs may not be as safe as once thought as initial studies in frogs suggest that GBHs may be teratogenic. Here we utilize the zebrafish vertebrate model system to study early effects of glyphosate exposure using technical grade glyphosate and the Roundup(®) Classic formulation. We find morphological abnormalities including cephalic and eye reductions and a loss of delineated brain ventricles. Concomitant with structural changes in the developing brain, using in situ hybridization analysis, we detect decreases in genes expressed in the eye, fore and midbrain regions of the brain including pax2, pax6, otx2 and ephA4. However, we do not detect changes in hindbrain expression domains of ephA4 nor exclusive hindbrain markers krox-20 and hoxb1a. Additionally, using a Retinoic Acid (RA) mediated reporter transgenic, we detect no alterations in the RA expression domains in the hindbrain and spinal cord, but do detect a loss of expression in the retina. We conclude that glyphosate and the Roundup(®) formulation is developmentally toxic to the forebrain and midbrain but does not affect the hindbrain after 24 h exposure. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Autotaxin/Lpar3 signaling regulates Kupffer's vesicle formation and left-right asymmetry in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lai, Shih-Lei; Yao, Wan-Ling; Tsao, Ku-Chi; Houben, Anna J S; Albers, Harald M H G; Ovaa, Huib; Moolenaar, Wouter H; Lee, Shyh-Jye

    2012-12-01

    Left-right (L-R) patterning is essential for proper organ morphogenesis and function. Calcium fluxes in dorsal forerunner cells (DFCs) are known to regulate the formation of Kupffer's vesicle (KV), a central organ for establishing L-R asymmetry in zebrafish. Here, we identify the lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) as a regulator of L-R asymmetry in zebrafish embryos. LPA is produced by Autotaxin (Atx), a secreted lysophospholipase D, and triggers various cellular responses through activation of specific G protein-coupled receptors (Lpar1-6). Knockdown of Atx or LPA receptor 3 (Lpar3) by morpholino oligonucleotides perturbed asymmetric gene expression in lateral plate mesoderm and disrupted organ L-R asymmetries, whereas overexpression of lpar3 partially rescued those defects in both atx and lpar3 morphants. Similar defects were observed in embryos treated with the Atx inhibitor HA130 and the Lpar1-3 inhibitor Ki16425. Knockdown of either Atx or Lpar3 impaired calcium fluxes in DFCs during mid-epiboly stage and compromised DFC cohesive migration, KV formation and ciliogenesis. Application of LPA to DFCs rescued the calcium signal and laterality defects in atx morphants. This LPA-dependent L-R asymmetry is mediated via Wnt signaling, as shown by the accumulation of β-catenin in nuclei at the dorsal side of both atx and lpar3 morphants. Our results suggest a major role for the Atx/Lpar3 signaling axis in regulating KV formation, ciliogenesis and L-R asymmetry via a Wnt-dependent pathway.

  19. Wnt signaling during tooth replacement in zebrafish (Danio rerio): pitfalls and perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Huysseune, Ann; Soenens, Mieke; Elderweirdt, Fien

    2014-01-01

    The canonical (β-catenin dependent) Wnt signaling pathway has emerged as a likely candidate for regulating tooth replacement in continuously renewing dentitions. So far, the involvement of canonical Wnt signaling has been experimentally demonstrated predominantly in amniotes. These studies tend to show stimulation of tooth formation by activation of the Wnt pathway, and inhibition of tooth formation when blocking the pathway. Here, we report a strong and dynamic expression of the soluble Wnt inhibitor dickkopf1 (dkk1) in developing zebrafish (Danio rerio) tooth germs, suggesting an active repression of Wnt signaling during morphogenesis and cytodifferentiation of a tooth, and derepression of Wnt signaling during start of replacement tooth formation. To further analyse the role of Wnt signaling, we used different gain-of-function approaches. These yielded disjunct results, yet none of them indicating enhanced tooth replacement. Thus, masterblind (mbl) mutants, defective in axin1, mimic overexpression of Wnt, but display a normally patterned dentition in which teeth are replaced at the appropriate times and positions. Activating the pathway with LiCl had variable outcomes, either resulting in the absence, or the delayed formation, of first-generation teeth, or yielding a regular dentition with normal replacement, but no supernumerary teeth or accelerated tooth replacement. The failure so far to influence tooth replacement in the zebrafish by perturbing Wnt signaling is discussed in the light of (i) potential technical pitfalls related to dose- or time-dependency, (ii) the complexity of the canonical Wnt pathway, and (iii) species-specific differences in the nature and activity of pathway components. Finally, we emphasize the importance of in-depth knowledge of the wild-type pattern for reliable interpretations. It is hoped that our analysis can be inspiring to critically assess and elucidate the role of Wnt signaling in tooth development in polyphyodonts. PMID

  20. Curcumin affects development of zebrafish embryo.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jheng-Yu; Lin, Chin-Yi; Lin, Tien-Wei; Ken, Chuian-Fu; Wen, Yu-Der

    2007-07-01

    Embryotoxic and teratogenic effects of curcumin on the development of zebrafish embryo were investi-gated in this study. The LD(50) values of curcumin (24-h incubation) were estimated at 7.5 microM and 5 microM for embryos and larvae, respectively. The developmental defects caused by curcumin treatments include bent or hook-like tails, spinal column curving, edema in pericardial sac, retarded yolk sac resorption, and shorter body length. In curcumin-treated larvae, fluorescence signals of curcumin were found in edamae sac and some skin cells. Together, these results indicate that zebrafish are suitable model organisms to study the toxic effects of curcumin.

  1. Conjoined twins: morphogenesis of the heart and a review.

    PubMed

    Gilbert-Barness, Enid; Debich-Spicer, Diane; Opitz, John M

    2003-08-01

    Five cases of conjoined twins have been studied. These included three thoracopagus twins, one monocephalus diprosopus (prosop = face), and one dicephalus dipus dibrachus. The thoracopagus twins were conjoined only from the upper thorax to the umbilicus with a normal foregut. These three cases shared a single complex multiventricular heart, one with a four chambered heart with one atrium and one ventricle belonging to each twin with complex venous and arterial connection; two had a seven chambered heart with four atria and three ventricles. The mono-cephalus diprosopus twins had a single heart with tetralogy of Fallot. The dicephalus twins had two separate axial skeletons to the sacrum, two separate hearts were connected between the right atria with a shared inferior vena cava. Thoracopagus twinning is associated with complex cardiac malformations. The cardiac anlagen in cephalopagus or diprosopus are diverted and divided along with the entire rostral end of the embryonic disc and result in two relatively normal shared hearts. However, in thoracopagus twins the single heart is multiventricular and suggests very early union with fusion of the cardiac anlagen before significant differentiation. Cardiac morphogenesis in conjoined twins therefore appears to depend on the site of the conjoined fusion and the temporal and spatial influence that determines morphogenesis as well as abnormally oriented embryonic axes. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Importance of MAP Kinases during Protoperithecial Morphogenesis in Neurospora crassa

    PubMed Central

    Jeffree, Chris E.; Oborny, Radek; Boonyarungsrit, Patid; Read, Nick D.

    2012-01-01

    In order to produce multicellular structures filamentous fungi combine various morphogenetic programs that are fundamentally different from those used by plants and animals. The perithecium, the female sexual fruitbody of Neurospora crassa, differentiates from the vegetative mycelium in distinct morphological stages, and represents one of the more complex multicellular structures produced by fungi. In this study we defined the stages of protoperithecial morphogenesis in the N. crassa wild type in greater detail than has previously been described; compared protoperithecial morphogenesis in gene-deletion mutants of all nine mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases conserved in N. crassa; confirmed that all three MAP kinase cascades are required for sexual development; and showed that the three different cascades each have distinctly different functions during this process. However, only MAP kinases equivalent to the budding yeast pheromone response and cell wall integrity pathways, but not the osmoregulatory pathway, were essential for vegetative cell fusion. Evidence was obtained for MAP kinase signaling cascades performing roles in extracellular matrix deposition, hyphal adhesion, and envelopment during the construction of fertilizable protoperithecia. PMID:22900028

  3. Evolutionary stasis in pollen morphogenesis due to natural selection.

    PubMed

    Matamoro-Vidal, Alexis; Prieu, Charlotte; Furness, Carol A; Albert, Béatrice; Gouyon, Pierre-Henri

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of developmental constraints and selective forces to the determination of evolutionary patterns is an important and unsolved question. We test whether the long-term evolutionary stasis observed for pollen morphogenesis (microsporogenesis) in eudicots is due to developmental constraints or to selection on a morphological trait shaped by microsporogenesis: the equatorial aperture pattern. Most eudicots have three equatorial apertures but several taxa have independently lost the equatorial pattern and have microsporogenesis decoupled from aperture pattern determination. If selection on the equatorial pattern limits variation, we expect to see increased variation in microsporogenesis in the nonequatorial clades. Variation of microsporogenesis was studied using phylogenetic comparative analyses in 83 species dispersed throughout eudicots including species with and without equatorial apertures. The species that have lost the equatorial pattern have highly variable microsporogenesis at the intra-individual and inter-specific levels regardless of their pollen morphology, whereas microsporogenesis remains stable in species with the equatorial pattern. The observed burst of variation upon loss of equatorial apertures shows that there are no strong developmental constraints precluding variation in microsporogenesis, and that the stasis is likely to be due principally to selective pressure acting on pollen morphogenesis because of its implication in the determination of the equatorial aperture pattern. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  4. A model for neurite growth and neuronal morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Li, G H; Qin, C D

    1996-02-01

    A model is presented for tensile regulation of neuritic growth. It is proposed that the neurite tension can be determined by Hooke's law and determines the growth rate of neurites. The growth of a neurite is defined as the change in its unstretched length. Neuritic growth rate is assumed to increase in proportion to tension magnitude over a certain threshold [Dennerll et al., J. Cell Biol. 107: 665-674 (1988)]. The movement of branch nodes also contributes to the neuronal morphogenesis. It is supposed that the rate of a branch-node displacement is in proportion to the resultant neuritic tension exerted on this node. To deal with the growth-cone movement, it is further supposed that the environment exerts a traction force on the growth cone and the rate of growth-cone displacement is determined by the vector sum of the neuritic tension and the traction force. A group of differential equations are used to describe the model. The key point of the model is that the traction force and the neuritic tension are in opposition to generate a temporal contrast-enhancing mechanism. Results of a simulation study suggest that the model can explain some phenomena related to neuronal morphogenesis.

  5. Tissue Motion and Assembly During Early Cardiovascular Morphogenesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rongish, Brenda

    2010-03-01

    Conventional dogma in the field of cardiovascular developmental biology suggests that cardiac precursor cells migrate to the embryonic midline to form a tubular heart. These progenitors are believed to move relative to their extracellular matrix (ECM); responding to stimulatory and inhibitory cues in their environment. The tubular heart that is formed by 30 hours post fertilization is comprised of two concentric layers: the muscular myocardium and the endothelial-like endocardium, which are separated by a thick layer of ECM believed to be secreted predominantly by the myocardial cells. Here we describe the origin and motility of fluorescently tagged endocardial precursors in transgenic (Tie1-YFP) quail embryos (R. Lansford, Caltech) using epifluorescence time-lapse imaging. To visualize the environment of migrating endocardial progenitors, we labeled two ECM components, fibronectin and fibrillin-2, via in vivo microinjection of fluorochrome-conjugated monoclonal antibodies. Dynamic imaging was performed at stages encompassing tubular heart assembly and early looping. We established the motion of endocardial precursor cells and presumptive cardiac ECM fibrils using both object tracking and particle image velocimetry (image cross correlation). We determined the relative importance of directed cell autonomous motility versus passive tissue movements in endocardial morphogenesis. The data show presumptive endocardial cells and cardiac ECM fibrils are swept passively into the anterior and posterior poles of the elongating tubular heart. These quantitative data indicate the contribution of cell autonomous motility displayed by endocardial precursors is limited. Thus, tissue motion drives most of the cell displacements during endocardial morphogenesis.

  6. The Bio-Logic and machinery of plant morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Niklas, Karl J

    2003-04-01

    Morphogenesis (the development of organic form) requires signal-trafficking and cross-talking across all levels of organization to coordinate the operation of metabolic and genomic networked systems. Many biologists are currently converging on the pictorial conventions of computer scientists to render biological signaling as logic circuits supervising the operation of one or more signal-activated metabolic or gene networks. This approach can redact and simplify complex morphogenetic phenomena and allows for their aggregation into diagrams of larger, more "global" networked systems. This conceptualization is discussed in terms of how logic circuits and signal-activated subsystems work, and it is illustrated for examples of increasingly more complex morphogenetic phenomena, e.g., auxin-mediated cell expansion, entry into the mitotic cell cycle phases, and polar/lateral intercellular auxin transport. For each of these phenomena, a posited circuit/subsystem diagram draws rapid attention to missing components, either in the logic circuit or in the subsystem it supervises. These components must be identified experimentally if each of these basic phenomena is to be fully understood. Importantly, the power of the circuit/subsystem approach to modeling developmental phenomena resides not in its pictorial appeal but in the mathematical tools that are sufficiently strong to reveal and quantify the synergistics of networked systems and thus foster a better understanding of morphogenesis.

  7. VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor II (VRI) induced vascular insufficiency in zebrafish as a model for studying vascular toxicity and vascular preservation

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Shang; Dang, Yuan Ye; Oi Lam Che, Ginny

    In ischemic disorders such as chronic wounds and myocardial ischemia, there is inadequate tissue perfusion due to vascular insufficiency. Besides, it has been observed that prolonged use of anti-angiogenic agents in cancer therapy produces cardiovascular toxicity caused by impaired vessel integrity and regeneration. In the present study, we used VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor II (VRI) to chemically induce vascular insufficiency in zebrafish in vivo and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro to further study the mechanisms of vascular morphogenesis in these pathological conditions. We also explored the possibility of treating vascular insufficiency by enhancing vascular regeneration and repairmore » with pharmacological intervention. We observed that pretreatment of VRI induced blood vessel loss in developing zebrafish by inhibiting angiogenesis and increasing endothelial cell apoptosis, accompanied by down-regulation of kdr, kdrl and flt-1 genes expression. The VRI-induced blood vessel loss in zebrafish could be restored by post-treatment of calycosin, a cardiovascular protective isoflavone. Similarly, VRI induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in HUVEC which could be rescued by calycosin post-treatment. Further investigation of the underlying mechanisms showed that the PI3K/AKT/Bad cell survival pathway was a main contributor of the vascular regenerative effect of calycosin. These findings indicated that the cardiovascular toxicity in anti-angiogenic therapy was mainly caused by insufficient endothelial cell survival, suggesting its essential role in vascular integrity, repair and regeneration. In addition, we showed that VRI-induced blood vessel loss in zebrafish represented a simple and effective in vivo model for studying vascular insufficiency and evaluating cancer drug vascular toxicities. - Highlights: • In vivo VRI model • Rescue effects of calycosin • Calycosin EC survival pathways.« less

  8. Mutations in zebrafish pitx2 model congenital malformations in Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome but do not disrupt left-right placement of visceral organs.

    PubMed

    Ji, Yongchang; Buel, Sharleen M; Amack, Jeffrey D

    2016-08-01

    Pitx2 is a conserved homeodomain transcription factor that has multiple functions during embryonic development. Mutations in human PITX2 cause autosomal dominant Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome (ARS), characterized by congenital eye and tooth malformations. Pitx2(-/-) knockout mouse models recapitulate aspects of ARS, but are embryonic lethal. To date, ARS treatments remain limited to managing individual symptoms due to an incomplete understanding of PITX2 function. In addition to regulating eye and tooth development, Pitx2 is a target of a conserved Nodal (TGFβ) signaling pathway that mediates left-right (LR) asymmetry of visceral organs. Based on its highly conserved asymmetric expression domain, the Nodal-Pitx2 axis has long been considered a common denominator of LR development in vertebrate embryos. However, functions of Pitx2 during asymmetric organ morphogenesis are not well understood. To gain new insight into Pitx2 function we used genome editing to create mutations in the zebrafish pitx2 gene. Mutations in the pitx2 homeodomain caused phenotypes reminiscent of ARS, including aberrant development of the cornea and anterior chamber of the eye and reduced or absent teeth. Intriguingly, LR asymmetric looping of the heart and gut was normal in pitx2 mutants. These results suggest conserved roles for Pitx2 in eye and tooth development and indicate Pitx2 is not required for asymmetric looping of zebrafish visceral organs. This work establishes zebrafish pitx2 mutants as a new animal model for investigating mechanisms underlying congenital malformations in ARS and high-throughput drug screening for ARS therapeutics. Additionally, pitx2 mutants present a unique opportunity to identify new genes involved in vertebrate LR patterning. We show Nodal signaling-independent of Pitx2-controls asymmetric expression of the fatty acid elongase elovl6 in zebrafish, pointing to a potential novel pathway during LR organogenesis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Patterning of mammalian somites by surface ectoderm and notochord: evidence for sclerotome induction by a hedgehog homolog.

    PubMed

    Fan, C M; Tessier-Lavigne, M

    1994-12-30

    An early step in the development of vertebrae, ribs, muscle, and dermis is the differentiation of the somitic mesoderm into dermomyotome dorsally and sclerotome ventrally. To analyze this process, we have developed an in vitro assay for somitic mesoderm differentiation. We show that sclerotomal markers can be induced by a diffusible factor secreted by notochord and floor plate and that heterologous cells expressing Sonic hedgehog (shh/vhh-1) mimic this effect. In contrast, expression of dermomyotomal markers can be caused by a contact-dependent signal from surface ectoderm and a diffusible signal from dorsal neural tube. Our results extend previous studies by suggesting that dorsoventral patterning of somites involves the coordinate action of multiple dorsalizing and ventralizing signals and that a diffusible form of Shh/Vhh-1 mediates sclerotome induction.

  10. Detecting Developmental Neurotoxicants Using Zebrafish Embryos

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of EPA’s program on the screening and prioritization of chemicals for developmental neurotoxicity, a rapid, cost-effective in vivo vertebrate screen is being developed using an alternative species approach. Zebrafish (Danio rerio), a small freshwater fish with external f...

  11. Teaching Stress Physiology Using Zebrafish ("Danio Rerio")

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Michael; Dhawale, Shree; Mustafa, Ahmed

    2009-01-01

    A straightforward and inexpensive laboratory experiment is presented that investigates the physiological stress response of zebrafish after a 5 degree C increase in water temperature. This experiment is designed for an undergraduate physiology lab and allows students to learn the scientific method and relevant laboratory techniques without causing…

  12. Zebrafish in Toxicology and Environmental Health.

    PubMed

    Bambino, Kathryn; Chu, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    As manufacturing processes and development of new synthetic compounds increase to keep pace with the expanding global demand, environmental health, and the effects of toxicant exposure are emerging as critical public health concerns. Additionally, chemicals that naturally occur in the environment, such as metals, have profound effects on human and animal health. Many of these compounds are in the news: lead, arsenic, and endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A have all been widely publicized as causing disease or damage to humans and wildlife in recent years. Despite the widespread appreciation that environmental toxins can be harmful, there is limited understanding of how many toxins cause disease. Zebrafish are at the forefront of toxicology research; this system has been widely used as a tool to detect toxins in water samples and to investigate the mechanisms of action of environmental toxins and their related diseases. The benefits of zebrafish for studying vertebrate development are equally useful for studying teratogens. Here, we review how zebrafish are being used both to detect the presence of some toxins as well as to identify how environmental exposures affect human health and disease. We focus on areas where zebrafish have been most effectively used in ecotoxicology and in environmental health, including investigation of exposures to endocrine disruptors, industrial waste byproducts, and arsenic. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Behavorial assessments of larval zebrafish neurotoxicology

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fishes have long been a popular organism in ecotoxicology research, and are increasingly used in human health research as an alternative animal model for chemical screening. Our laboratory incorporates a zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo/larval assay to screen chemicals for developm...

  14. Functional and Structural Characterization of Zebrafish ASC.

    PubMed

    Li, Yajuan; Huang, Yi; Cao, Xiaocong; Yin, Xueying; Jin, Xiangyu; Liu, Sheng; Jiang, Jiansheng; Jiang, Wei; Xiao, Tsan Sam; Zhou, Rongbin; Cai, Gang; Hu, Bing; Jin, Tengchuan

    2018-05-23

    The zebrafish genome encodes homologs for most of the proteins involved in inflammatory pathways; however, the molecular components and activation mechanisms of fish inflammasomes are largely unknown. ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-recruitment domain (CARD)) is the only adaptor involved in the formation of multiple types of inflammasomes. Here, we demonstrate that zASC is also involved in inflammasome activation in zebrafish. When overexpressed in vitro and in vivo in zebrafish, both the zASC and zASC pyrin domain (PYD) proteins form speck and filament structures. Importantly, the crystal structures of the N-terminal PYD and C-terminal CARD of zebrafish ASC were determined independently as two separate entities fused to maltose-binding protein (MBP). Structure-guided mutagenesis revealed the functional relevance of the PYD hydrophilic surface found in the crystal lattice. Finally, the fish caspase-1 homolog Caspy, but not the caspase-4/11 homolog Caspy2, interacts with zASC through homotypic PYD-PYD interactions, which differ from those in mammals. These observations establish the conserved and unique structural/functional features of the zASC-dependent inflammasome pathway. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  15. An outbreak of Plesimonus Shigelloides in Zebrafish

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plesiomonas shigelloides is a flagellated, gram-negative rod that is an emergent pathogen associated with human gastroenteritis. Recently, we experienced a disease outbreak in zebrafish that were obtained from a commercial source. Fourteen days after being held at 27°C in our flow-through quarantine...

  16. Habenular kisspeptin modulates fear in the zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Satoshi; Nathan, Fatima M.; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2014-01-01

    Kisspeptin, a neuropeptide encoded by the KISS1/Kiss1, and its cognate G protein-coupled receptor, GPR54 (kisspeptin receptor, Kiss-R), are critical for the control of reproduction in vertebrates. We have previously identified two kisspeptin genes (kiss1 and kiss2) in the zebrafish, of which kiss1 neurons are located in the habenula, which project to the median raphe. kiss2 neurons are located in the hypothalamic nucleus and send axonal projections to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons and regulate reproductive functions. However, the physiological significance of the Kiss1 expressed in the habenula remains unknown. Here we demonstrate the role of habenular Kiss1 in alarm substance (AS)-induced fear response in the zebrafish. We found that AS-evoked fear experience significantly reduces kiss1 and serotonin-related genes (plasmacytoma expressed transcript 1 and solute carrier family 6, member 4) in the zebrafish. Furthermore, Kiss1 administration suppressed the AS-evoked fear response. To further evaluate the role of Kiss1 in fear response, zebrafish Kiss1 peptide was conjugated to saporin (SAP) to selectively inactivate Kiss-R1-expressing neurons. The Kiss1-SAP injection significantly reduced Kiss1 immunoreactivity and c-fos mRNA in the habenula and the raphe compared with control. Furthermore, 3 d after Kiss1-SAP injection, the fish had a significantly reduced AS-evoked fear response. These findings provide an insight into the role of the habenular kisspeptin system in inhibiting fear. PMID:24567386

  17. Axonal regeneration in zebrafish spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Hui, Subhra Prakash

    2018-01-01

    Abstract In the present review we discuss two interrelated events—axonal damage and repair—known to occur after spinal cord injury (SCI) in the zebrafish. Adult zebrafish are capable of regenerating axonal tracts and can restore full functionality after SCI. Unlike fish, axon regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system is extremely limited. As a consequence of an injury there is very little repair of disengaged axons and therefore functional deficit persists after SCI in adult mammals. In contrast, peripheral nervous system axons readily regenerate following injury and hence allow functional recovery both in mammals and fish. A better mechanistic understanding of these three scenarios could provide a more comprehensive insight into the success or failure of axonal regeneration after SCI. This review summarizes the present understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of axonal regeneration, in both the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system, and large scale gene expression analysis is used to focus on different events during regeneration. The discovery and identification of genes involved in zebrafish spinal cord regeneration and subsequent functional experimentation will provide more insight into the endogenous mechanism of myelination and remyelination. Furthermore, precise knowledge of the mechanism underlying the extraordinary axonal regeneration process in zebrafish will also allow us to unravel the potential therapeutic strategies to be implemented for enhancing regrowth and remyelination of axons in mammals. PMID:29721326

  18. Zebrafish in Toxicology and Environmental Health

    PubMed Central

    Bambino, Kathryn; Chu, Jaime

    2018-01-01

    As manufacturing processes and development of new synthetic compounds increase to keep pace with the expanding global demand, environmental health, and the effects of toxicant exposure are emerging as critical public health concerns. Additionally, chemicals that naturally occur in the environment, such as metals, have profound effects on human and animal health. Many of these compounds are in the news: lead, arsenic, and endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol A have all been widely publicized as causing disease or damage to humans and wildlife in recent years. Despite the widespread appreciation that environmental toxins can be harmful, there is limited understanding of how many toxins cause disease. Zebrafish are at the forefront of toxicology research; this system has been widely used as a tool to detect toxins in water samples and to investigate the mechanisms of action of environmental toxins and their related diseases. The benefits of zebrafish for studying vertebrate development are equally useful for studying teratogens. Here, we review how zebrafish are being used both to detect the presence of some toxins as well as to identify how environmental exposures affect human health and disease. We focus on areas where zebrafish have been most effectively used in ecotoxicology and in environmental health, including investigation of exposures to endocrine disruptors, industrial waste byproducts, and arsenic. PMID:28335863

  19. Nanomaterial Toxicity Screening in Developing Zebrafish Embryos

    EPA Science Inventory

    To assess nanomaterial vertebrate toxicity, a high-content screening assay was created using developing zebrafish, Danio rerio. This included a diverse group of nanomaterials (n=42 total) ranging from metallic (Ag, Au) and metal oxide (CeO2, CuO, TiO2, ZnO) nanoparticles, to non...

  20. Axonal regeneration in zebrafish spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sukla; Hui, Subhra Prakash

    2018-03-01

    In the present review we discuss two interrelated events-axonal damage and repair-known to occur after spinal cord injury (SCI) in the zebrafish. Adult zebrafish are capable of regenerating axonal tracts and can restore full functionality after SCI. Unlike fish, axon regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system is extremely limited. As a consequence of an injury there is very little repair of disengaged axons and therefore functional deficit persists after SCI in adult mammals. In contrast, peripheral nervous system axons readily regenerate following injury and hence allow functional recovery both in mammals and fish. A better mechanistic understanding of these three scenarios could provide a more comprehensive insight into the success or failure of axonal regeneration after SCI. This review summarizes the present understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of axonal regeneration, in both the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system, and large scale gene expression analysis is used to focus on different events during regeneration. The discovery and identification of genes involved in zebrafish spinal cord regeneration and subsequent functional experimentation will provide more insight into the endogenous mechanism of myelination and remyelination. Furthermore, precise knowledge of the mechanism underlying the extraordinary axonal regeneration process in zebrafish will also allow us to unravel the potential therapeutic strategies to be implemented for enhancing regrowth and remyelination of axons in mammals.

  1. Zebrafish Locomotor Responses Predict Irritant Potential of ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Over the past few decades, the drying and warming trends of global climate change have increased wildland fire (WF) season length, as well as geographic area impacted. Consequently, exposures to WF fine particulate matter (PM2.5; aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm) are likely to increase in frequency and duration, contributing to a growing public health burden. Given the influence of fuel type and combustion conditions on WFPM2.5 composition, there is pressing need to identify the biomass fuel sources and emission constituents that drive toxicity. Previously, we reported the utility of 6-day post-fertilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae in evaluating diesel exhaust PM-induced irritation, demonstrating responses analogous to those in mammals. In the present study, combustions, separated by smoldering or flaming conditions, of pine needles, red oak, pine, eucalyptus, and peat were achieved using an automated tube furnace paired with a cryo-trapping apparatus to collect condensates of emissions. The condensates were extracted and prepared for use in zebrafish assays. We hypothesized that 1) the extractable organic fractions of biomass smoke PM will elicit dose-dependent irritant responses in 6-dpf zebrafish larvae, and 2) the relative potencies will vary across biomass emissions, potentially driven by varying chemical composition of fuel sources. Six-dpf zebrafish (n= 28-32/group) were exposed acutely to PM extracts (5 concentrations; 0.3-30 µg/ml; half-log intervals) and

  2. Live imaging of apoptotic cells in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    van Ham, Tjakko J.; Mapes, James; Kokel, David; Peterson, Randall T.

    2010-01-01

    Many debilitating diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, involve apoptosis. Several methods have been developed for visualizing apoptotic cells in vitro or in fixed tissues, but few tools are available for visualizing apoptotic cells in live animals. Here we describe a genetically encoded fluorescent reporter protein that labels apoptotic cells in live zebrafish embryos. During apoptosis, the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is exposed on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. The calcium-dependent protein Annexin V (A5) binds PS with high affinity, and biochemically purified, fluorescently labeled A5 probes have been widely used to detect apoptosis in vitro. Here we show that secreted A5 fused to yellow fluorescent protein specifically labels apoptotic cells in living zebrafish. We use this fluorescent probe to characterize patterns of apoptosis in living zebrafish larvae and to visualize neuronal cell death at single-cell resolution in vivo.—Van Ham, T. J., Mapes, J., Kokel, D., Peterson, R. T. Live imaging of apoptotic cells in zebrafish. PMID:20601526

  3. Illuminating Phagocyte Biology: The View from Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Huang, Cong; Niethammer, Philipp

    2016-07-25

    Many phagocyte behaviors, including vascular rolling and adhesion, migration, and oxidative bursting, are better measured in seconds or minutes than hours or days. Zebrafish is ideally suited for imaging such rapid biology within the intact animal. We discuss how this model has revealed unique insights into various aspects of phagocyte physiology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Xenopus Zic3 controls notochord and organizer development through suppression of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Fujimi, Takahiko J; Hatayama, Minoru; Aruga, Jun

    2012-01-15

    Zic3 controls neuroectodermal differentiation and left-right patterning in Xenopus laevis embryos. Here we demonstrate that Zic3 can suppress Wnt/β-catenin signaling and control development of the notochord and Spemann's organizer. When we overexpressed Zic3 by injecting its RNA into the dorsal marginal zone of 2-cell-stage embryos, the embryos lost mesodermal dorsal midline structures and showed reduced expression of organizer markers (Siamois and Goosecoid) and a notochord marker (Xnot). Co-injection of Siamois RNA partially rescued the reduction of Xnot expression caused by Zic3 overexpression. Because the expression of Siamois in the organizer region is controlled by Wnt/β-catenin signaling, we subsequently examined the functional interaction between Zic3 and Wnt signaling. Co-injection of Xenopus Zic RNAs and β-catenin RNA with a reporter responsive to the Wnt/β-catenin cascade indicated that Zic1, Zic2, Zic3, Zic4, and Zic5 can all suppress β-catenin-mediated transcriptional activation. In addition, co-injection of Zic3 RNA inhibited the secondary axis formation caused by ventral-side injection of β-catenin RNA in Xenopus embryos. Zic3-mediated Wnt/β-catenin signal suppression required the nuclear localization of Zic3, and involved the reduction of β-catenin nuclear transport and enhancement of β-catenin degradation. Furthermore, Zic3 co-precipitated with Tcf1 (a β-catenin co-factor) and XIC (I-mfa domain containing factor required for dorsoanterior development). The findings in this report produce a novel system for fine-tuning of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Redundant mechanisms are involved in suppression of default cell fates during embryonic mesenchyme and notochord induction in ascidians.

    PubMed

    Kodama, Hitoshi; Miyata, Yoshimasa; Kuwajima, Mami; Izuchi, Ryoichi; Kobayashi, Ayumi; Gyoja, Fuki; Onuma, Takeshi A; Kumano, Gaku; Nishida, Hiroki

    2016-08-01

    During embryonic induction, the responding cells invoke an induced developmental program, whereas in the absence of an inducing signal, they assume a default uninduced cell fate. Suppression of the default fate during the inductive event is crucial for choice of the binary cell fate. In contrast to the mechanisms that promote an induced cell fate, those that suppress the default fate have been overlooked. Upon induction, intracellular signal transduction results in activation of genes encoding key transcription factors for induced tissue differentiation. It is elusive whether an induced key transcription factor has dual functions involving suppression of the default fates and promotion of the induced fate, or whether suppression of the default fate is independently regulated by other factors that are also downstream of the signaling cascade. We show that during ascidian embryonic induction, default fates were suppressed by multifold redundant mechanisms. The key transcription factor, Twist-related.a, which is required for mesenchyme differentiation, and another independent transcription factor, Lhx3, which is dispensable for mesenchyme differentiation, sequentially and redundantly suppress the default muscle fate in induced mesenchyme cells. Similarly in notochord induction, Brachyury, which is required for notochord differentiation, and other factors, Lhx3 and Mnx, are likely to suppress the default nerve cord fate redundantly. Lhx3 commonly suppresses the default fates in two kinds of induction. Mis-activation of the autonomously executed default program in induced cells is detrimental to choice of the binary cell fate. Multifold redundant mechanisms would be required for suppression of the default fate to be secure. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. FoxA4 favours notochord formation by inhibiting contiguous mesodermal fates and restricts anterior neural development in Xenopus embryos.

    PubMed

    Murgan, Sabrina; Castro Colabianchi, Aitana Manuela; Monti, Renato José; Boyadjián López, Laura Elena; Aguirre, Cecilia E; Stivala, Ernesto González; Carrasco, Andrés E; López, Silvia L

    2014-01-01

    In vertebrates, the embryonic dorsal midline is a crucial signalling centre that patterns the surrounding tissues during development. Members of the FoxA subfamily of transcription factors are expressed in the structures that compose this centre. Foxa2 is essential for dorsal midline development in mammals, since knock-out mouse embryos lack a definitive node, notochord and floor plate. The related gene foxA4 is only present in amphibians. Expression begins in the blastula -chordin and -noggin expressing centre (BCNE) and is later restricted to the dorsal midline derivatives of the Spemann's organiser. It was suggested that the early functions of mammalian foxa2 are carried out by foxA4 in frogs, but functional experiments were needed to test this hypothesis. Here, we show that some important dorsal midline functions of mammalian foxa2 are exerted by foxA4 in Xenopus. We provide new evidence that the latter prevents the respecification of dorsal midline precursors towards contiguous fates, inhibiting prechordal and paraxial mesoderm development in favour of the notochord. In addition, we show that foxA4 is required for the correct regionalisation and maintenance of the central nervous system. FoxA4 participates in constraining the prospective rostral forebrain territory during neural specification and is necessary for the correct segregation of the most anterior ectodermal derivatives, such as the cement gland and the pituitary anlagen. Moreover, the early expression of foxA4 in the BCNE (which contains precursors of the whole forebrain and most of the midbrain and hindbrain) is directly required to restrict anterior neural development.

  7. Characterization of zebrafish dysferlin by morpholino knockdown

    SciTech Connect

    Kawahara, Genri; Serafini, Peter R.; Myers, Jennifer A.

    2011-09-23

    Highlights: {yields} cDNAs of zebrafish dysferlin were cloned (6.3 kb). {yields} The dysferlin expression was detected in skeletal muscle, heart and eye. {yields} Injection of antisense morpholinos to dysferlin caused marked muscle disorganization. {yields} Zebrafish dysferlin expression may be involved in stabilizing muscle structures. -- Abstract: Mutations in the gene encoding dysferlin cause two distinct muscular dystrophy phenotypes: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2B (LGMD-2B) and Miyoshi myopathy (MM). Dysferlin is a large transmembrane protein involved in myoblast fusion and membrane resealing. Zebrafish represent an ideal animal model to use for studying muscle disease including abnormalities of dysferlin. cDNAs of zebrafishmore » dysferlin were cloned (6.3 kb) and the predicted amino acid sequences, showed 68% similarity to predicted amino acid sequences of mammalian dysferlin. The expression of dysferlin was mainly in skeletal muscle, heart and eye, and the expression could be detected as early as 11 h post fertilization (hpf). Three different antisense oligonucleotide morpholinos were targeted to inhibit translation of this dysferlin mRNA and the morpholino-injected fish showed marked muscle disorganization which could be detected by birefringence assay. Western blot analysis using dysferlin antibodies showed that the expression of dysferlin was reduced in each of the three morphants. Dysferlin expression was shown to be reduced at the myosepta of zebrafish muscle using immunohistochemistry, although the expression of other muscle membrane components, dystrophin, laminin, {beta}-dystroglycan were detected normally. Our data suggest that zebrafish dysferlin expression is involved in stabilizing muscle structures and its downregulation causes muscle disorganization.« less

  8. Tegument Protein ORF45 Plays an Essential Role in Virion Morphogenesis of Murine Gammaherpesvirus 68

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Xing; Shen, Sheng; Lv, Ying; Zhang, Ziwei; Guo, Haitao

    2016-01-01

    Tegument proteins play critical roles in herpesvirus morphogenesis. ORF45 is a conserved tegument protein of gammaherpesviruses; however, its role in virion morphogenesis is largely unknown. In this work, we determined the ultrastructural localization of murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) ORF45 and found that this protein was incorporated into virions around the site of host-derived vesicles. Notably, the absence of ORF45 inhibited nucleocapsid egress and blocked cytoplasmic virion maturation, demonstrating that ORF45 is essential for MHV-68 virion morphogenesis. PMID:27226376

  9. Analysis of Lethality and Malformations During Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Development.

    PubMed

    Raghunath, Azhwar; Perumal, Ekambaram

    2018-01-01

    The versatility offered by zebrafish (Danio rerio) makes it a powerful and an attractive vertebrate model in developmental toxicity and teratogenicity assays. Apart from the newly introduced chemicals as drugs, xenobiotics also induce abnormal developmental abnormalities and congenital malformations in living organisms. Over the recent decades, zebrafish embryo/larva has emerged as a potential tool to test teratogenicity potential of these chemicals. Zebrafish responds to compounds as mammals do as they share similarities in their development, metabolism, physiology, and signaling pathways with that of mammals. The methodology used by the different scientists varies enormously in the zebrafish embryotoxicity test. In this chapter, we present methods to assess lethality and malformations during zebrafish development. We propose two major malformations scoring systems: binomial and relative morphological scoring systems to assess the malformations in zebrafish embryos/larvae. Based on the scoring of the malformations, the test compound can be classified as a teratogen or a nonteratogen and its teratogenic potential is evaluated.

  10. Biosecurity and Health Monitoring at the Zebrafish International Resource Center

    PubMed Central

    Varga, Zoltán M.; Kent, Michael L.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC) is a repository and distribution center for mutant, transgenic, and wild-type zebrafish. In recent years annual imports of new zebrafish lines to ZIRC have increased tremendously. In addition, after 15 years of research, we have identified some of the most virulent pathogens affecting zebrafish that should be avoided in large production facilities, such as ZIRC. Therefore, while importing a high volume of new lines we prioritize safeguarding the health of our in-house fish colony. Here, we describe the biosecurity and health-monitoring program implemented at ZIRC. This strategy was designed to prevent introduction of new zebrafish pathogens, minimize pathogens already present in the facility, and ensure a healthy zebrafish colony for in-house uses and shipment to customers. PMID:27031282

  11. Caudal migration and proliferation of renal progenitors regulates early nephron segment size in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Richard W; Dodd, Rachel C; Davidson, Alan J

    2016-10-19

    The nephron is the functional unit of the kidney and is divided into distinct proximal and distal segments. The factors determining nephron segment size are not fully understood. In zebrafish, the embryonic kidney has long been thought to differentiate in situ into two proximal tubule segments and two distal tubule segments (distal early; DE, and distal late; DL) with little involvement of cell movement. Here, we overturn this notion by performing lineage-labelling experiments that reveal extensive caudal movement of the proximal and DE segments and a concomitant compaction of the DL segment as it fuses with the cloaca. Laser-mediated severing of the tubule, such that the DE and DL are disconnected or that the DL and cloaca do not fuse, results in a reduction in tubule cell proliferation and significantly shortens the DE segment while the caudal movement of the DL is unaffected. These results suggest that the DL mechanically pulls the more proximal segments, thereby driving both their caudal extension and their proliferation. Together, these data provide new insights into early nephron morphogenesis and demonstrate the importance of cell movement and proliferation in determining initial nephron segment size.

  12. Tumor suppressor Lzap regulates cell cycle progression, doming and zebrafish epiboly

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dan; Wang, Wen-Der; Melville, David B.; Cha, Yong I.; Yin, Zhirong; Issaeva, Natalia; Knapik, Ela W.; Yarbrough, Wendell G.

    2012-01-01

    Initial stages of embryonic development rely on rapid, synchronized cell divisions of the fertilized egg followed by a set of morphogenetic movements collectively called epiboly and gastrulation. Lzap is a putative tumor suppressor whose expression is lost in 30% of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Lzap activities include regulation of cell cycle progression and response to therapeutic agents. Here we explore developmental roles of the lzap gene during zebrafish morphogenesis. Lzap is highly conserved among vertebrates and is maternally deposited. Expression is initially ubiquitous during gastrulation, and later becomes more prominent in the pharyngeal arches, digestive tract and brain. Antisense morpholino-mediated depletion of Lzap resulted in delayed cell divisions and apoptosis during blastomere formation, resulting in fewer, larger cells. Cell cycle analysis suggested that Lzap loss in early embryonic cells resulted in a G2/M arrest. Furthermore, the Lzap-deficient embryos failed to initiate epiboly – the earliest morphogenetic movement in animal development – which has been shown to be dependent on cell adhesion and migration of epithelial sheets. Our results strongly implicate Lzap in regulation of cell cycle progression, adhesion and migratory activity of epithelial cell sheets during early development. These functions provide further insight into Lzap activity that may contribute not only to development, but also to tumor formation. PMID:21523853

  13. Morphogenesis and maturation of the embryonic and postnatal intestine.

    PubMed

    Chin, Alana M; Hill, David R; Aurora, Megan; Spence, Jason R

    2017-06-01

    The intestine is a vital organ responsible for nutrient absorption, bile and waste excretion, and a major site of host immunity. In order to keep up with daily demands, the intestine has evolved a mechanism to expand the absorptive surface area by undergoing a morphogenetic process to generate finger-like units called villi. These villi house specialized cell types critical for both absorbing nutrients from food, and for protecting the host from commensal and pathogenic microbes present in the adult gut. In this review, we will discuss mechanisms that coordinate intestinal development, growth, and maturation of the small intestine, starting from the formation of the early gut tube, through villus morphogenesis and into early postnatal life when the intestine must adapt to the acquisition of nutrients through food intake, and to interactions with microbes. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Involvement of actin filaments in rhizoid morphogenesis of Spirogyra.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Katsuhisa; Shimmen, Teruo

    2009-01-01

    The role of actin filaments in rhizoid morphogenesis was studied in Spirogyra. When the algal filaments were severed, new terminal cells started tip growth and finally formed rhizoids. Actin inhibitors, latrunculin B and cytochalasin D, reversibly inhibited the process. A mesh-like structure of actin filaments (AFs) was formed at the tip region. Gd(3+) inhibited tip growth and decreased AFs in the tip region. Either a decrease in turgor pressure or lowering of the external Ca(2+) concentration also induced similar results. It was suggested that the mesh-like AF structure is indispensable for the elongation of rhizoids. A possible organization mechanism of the mesh-like AF structure was discussed.

  15. Mesenchymal-epithelial interactions during hair follicle morphogenesis and cycling

    PubMed Central

    Sennett, Rachel; Rendl, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Embryonic hair follicle induction and formation are regulated by mesenchymal-epithelial interactions between specialized dermal cells and epidermal stem cells that switch to a hair fate. Similarly, during postnatal hair growth, communication between mesenchymal dermal papilla cells and surrounding epithelial matrix cells coordinates hair shaft production. Adult hair follicle regeneration in the hair cycle again is thought to be controlled by activating signals originating from the mesenchymal compartment and acting on hair follicle stem cells. Although many signaling pathways are implicated in hair follicle formation and growth, the precise nature, timing, and intersection of these inductive and regulatory signals remains elusive. The goal of this review is to summarize our current understanding and to discuss recent new insights into mesenchymal-epithelial interactions during hair follicle morphogenesis and cycling. PMID:22960356

  16. Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus Particle Morphogenesis in Plant Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kikkert, Marjolein; Van Lent, Jan; Storms, Marc; Bodegom, Pentcho; Kormelink, Richard; Goldbach, Rob

    1999-01-01

    A model for the maturation of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) particles is proposed, mainly based on results with a protoplast infection system, in which the chronology of different maturation events could be determined. By using specific monoclonal and polyclonal antisera in immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, the site of TSWV particle morphogenesis was determined to be the Golgi system. The viral glycoproteins G1 and G2 accumulate in the Golgi prior to a process of wrapping, by which the viral nucleocapsids obtain a double membrane. In a later stage of the maturation, these doubly enveloped particles fuse to each other and to the endoplasmic reticulum to form singly enveloped particles clustered in membranes. Similarities and differences between the maturation of animal-infecting (bunya)viruses and plant-infecting tospoviruses are discussed. PMID:9971812

  17. Turing mechanism underlying a branching model for lung morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hui; Sun, Mingzhu; Zhao, Xin

    2017-01-01

    The mammalian lung develops through branching morphogenesis. Two primary forms of branching, which occur in order, in the lung have been identified: tip bifurcation and side branching. However, the mechanisms of lung branching morphogenesis remain to be explored. In our previous study, a biological mechanism was presented for lung branching pattern formation through a branching model. Here, we provide a mathematical mechanism underlying the branching patterns. By decoupling the branching model, we demonstrated the existence of Turing instability. We performed Turing instability analysis to reveal the mathematical mechanism of the branching patterns. Our simulation results show that the Turing patterns underlying the branching patterns are spot patterns that exhibit high local morphogen concentration. The high local morphogen concentration induces the growth of branching. Furthermore, we found that the sparse spot patterns underlie the tip bifurcation patterns, while the dense spot patterns underlies the side branching patterns. The dispersion relation analysis shows that the Turing wavelength affects the branching structure. As the wavelength decreases, the spot patterns change from sparse to dense, the rate of tip bifurcation decreases and side branching eventually occurs instead. In the process of transformation, there may exists hybrid branching that mixes tip bifurcation and side branching. Since experimental studies have reported that branching mode switching from side branching to tip bifurcation in the lung is under genetic control, our simulation results suggest that genes control the switch of the branching mode by regulating the Turing wavelength. Our results provide a novel insight into and understanding of the formation of branching patterns in the lung and other biological systems.

  18. Giga-voxel computational morphogenesis for structural design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aage, Niels; Andreassen, Erik; Lazarov, Boyan S.; Sigmund, Ole

    2017-10-01

    In the design of industrial products ranging from hearing aids to automobiles and aeroplanes, material is distributed so as to maximize the performance and minimize the cost. Historically, human intuition and insight have driven the evolution of mechanical design, recently assisted by computer-aided design approaches. The computer-aided approach known as topology optimization enables unrestricted design freedom and shows great promise with regard to weight savings, but its applicability has so far been limited to the design of single components or simple structures, owing to the resolution limits of current optimization methods. Here we report a computational morphogenesis tool, implemented on a supercomputer, that produces designs with giga-voxel resolution—more than two orders of magnitude higher than previously reported. Such resolution provides insights into the optimal distribution of material within a structure that were hitherto unachievable owing to the challenges of scaling up existing modelling and optimization frameworks. As an example, we apply the tool to the design of the internal structure of a full-scale aeroplane wing. The optimized full-wing design has unprecedented structural detail at length scales ranging from tens of metres to millimetres and, intriguingly, shows remarkable similarity to naturally occurring bone structures in, for example, bird beaks. We estimate that our optimized design corresponds to a reduction in mass of 2-5 per cent compared to currently used aeroplane wing designs, which translates into a reduction in fuel consumption of about 40-200 tonnes per year per aeroplane. Our morphogenesis process is generally applicable, not only to mechanical design, but also to flow systems, antennas, nano-optics and micro-systems.

  19. Ovule Morphogenesis in Ranunculaceae and its Systematic Significance

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zi-Fen; Ren, Yi

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Ranunculaceae has a prominent phylogenetic position in Ranunculales which appears at the base of eudicots. The aims of the present paper are to reveal the features of ovule morphogenesis in different taxa and gain a better understanding of the systematics of Ranunculaceae. Methods Flowers of 17 species from three subfamilies, nine tribes and 16 genera of Ranunculaceae, at successive developmental stages, were collected in the wild and studied with a scanning electron microscope. Key Results The integuments in the unitegmic ovules in Helleborus, Ranunculus and Oxygraphis, as well as the inner integuments in the bitegmic genera, initiate annularly and eventually become cup-shaped. However, the integuments in the unitegmic ovules in Anemone and Clematis, as well as the outer integuments in the bitegmic genera, arise semi-annularly and eventually become hood-shaped. Different kinds of appendages appear on the ovules during development. In Coptis of subfamily Coptidoideae, a wrap-shaped appendage arises outside the ovule and envelopes the ovule entirely. In the genera of subfamily Thalictroideae and tribe Anemoneae of subfamily Ranunculoideae, appendages appear on the placenta, the funicle or both. In tribe Helleboreae of subfamily Ranunculoideae, an alary appendage is initiated where the integument and the funicle join and becomes hood-shaped. Conclusions Ovule morphogenesis characteristics are significant in classification at the levels of subfamilies and tribes. The initiation patterns of the integuments and the development of appendages show diversity in Ranunculaceae. The present observations suggest that the bitegmic, hood-shaped outer integument and endostomic micropyle are primitive while the unitegmic, cupular-shaped outer integument and bistomic micropyle are derivative. PMID:18065776

  20. Giga-voxel computational morphogenesis for structural design.

    PubMed

    Aage, Niels; Andreassen, Erik; Lazarov, Boyan S; Sigmund, Ole

    2017-10-04

    In the design of industrial products ranging from hearing aids to automobiles and aeroplanes, material is distributed so as to maximize the performance and minimize the cost. Historically, human intuition and insight have driven the evolution of mechanical design, recently assisted by computer-aided design approaches. The computer-aided approach known as topology optimization enables unrestricted design freedom and shows great promise with regard to weight savings, but its applicability has so far been limited to the design of single components or simple structures, owing to the resolution limits of current optimization methods. Here we report a computational morphogenesis tool, implemented on a supercomputer, that produces designs with giga-voxel resolution-more than two orders of magnitude higher than previously reported. Such resolution provides insights into the optimal distribution of material within a structure that were hitherto unachievable owing to the challenges of scaling up existing modelling and optimization frameworks. As an example, we apply the tool to the design of the internal structure of a full-scale aeroplane wing. The optimized full-wing design has unprecedented structural detail at length scales ranging from tens of metres to millimetres and, intriguingly, shows remarkable similarity to naturally occurring bone structures in, for example, bird beaks. We estimate that our optimized design corresponds to a reduction in mass of 2-5 per cent compared to currently used aeroplane wing designs, which translates into a reduction in fuel consumption of about 40-200 tonnes per year per aeroplane. Our morphogenesis process is generally applicable, not only to mechanical design, but also to flow systems, antennas, nano-optics and micro-systems.

  1. Biologically inspired robots elicit a robust fear response in zebrafish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladu, Fabrizio; Bartolini, Tiziana; Panitz, Sarah G.; Butail, Sachit; Macrı, Simone; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2015-03-01

    We investigate the behavioral response of zebrafish to three fear-evoking stimuli. In a binary choice test, zebrafish are exposed to a live allopatric predator, a biologically-inspired robot, and a computer-animated image of the live predator. A target tracking algorithm is developed to score zebrafish behavior. Unlike computer-animated images, the robotic and live predator elicit a robust avoidance response. Importantly, the robotic stimulus elicits more consistent inter-individual responses than the live predator. Results from this effort are expected to aid in hypothesis-driven studies on zebrafish fear response, by offering a valuable approach to maximize data-throughput and minimize animal subjects.

  2. Automatic multiple zebrafish larvae tracking in unconstrained microscopic video conditions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoying; Cheng, Eva; Burnett, Ian S; Huang, Yushi; Wlodkowic, Donald

    2017-12-14

    The accurate tracking of zebrafish larvae movement is fundamental to research in many biomedical, pharmaceutical, and behavioral science applications. However, the locomotive characteristics of zebrafish larvae are significantly different from adult zebrafish, where existing adult zebrafish tracking systems cannot reliably track zebrafish larvae. Further, the far smaller size differentiation between larvae and the container render the detection of water impurities inevitable, which further affects the tracking of zebrafish larvae or require very strict video imaging conditions that typically result in unreliable tracking results for realistic experimental conditions. This paper investigates the adaptation of advanced computer vision segmentation techniques and multiple object tracking algorithms to develop an accurate, efficient and reliable multiple zebrafish larvae tracking system. The proposed system has been tested on a set of single and multiple adult and larvae zebrafish videos in a wide variety of (complex) video conditions, including shadowing, labels, water bubbles and background artifacts. Compared with existing state-of-the-art and commercial multiple organism tracking systems, the proposed system improves the tracking accuracy by up to 31.57% in unconstrained video imaging conditions. To facilitate the evaluation on zebrafish segmentation and tracking research, a dataset with annotated ground truth is also presented. The software is also publicly accessible.

  3. Investigating How the Microbiome Interacts With Environmental Chemicals in Zebrafish

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This internship will use an innovative experimental system comprised of colonized and microbe-free zebrafish to learn how microbial colonization status affects the toxicity of environmental chemicals.

  4. A Zebrafish Heart Failure Model for Assessing Therapeutic Agents.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiao-Yu; Wu, Si-Qi; Guo, Sheng-Ya; Yang, Hua; Xia, Bo; Li, Ping; Li, Chun-Qi

    2018-03-20

    Heart failure is a leading cause of death and the development of effective and safe therapeutic agents for heart failure has been proven challenging. In this study, taking advantage of larval zebrafish, we developed a zebrafish heart failure model for drug screening and efficacy assessment. Zebrafish at 2 dpf (days postfertilization) were treated with verapamil at a concentration of 200 μM for 30 min, which were determined as optimum conditions for model development. Tested drugs were administered into