J. Dev. Biol.2015, 3(1), 11-24; doi:10.3390/jdb3010011 - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1; SERPINE1) is a prominent member of the serine protease inhibitor superfamily (SERPIN) and a causative factor of multi-organ fibrosis as well as a key regulator of the tissue repair program. PAI-1 attenuates pericellular proteolysis by inhibiting the catalytic activity of both urokinase and tissue-type protease activators (uPA and tPA) effectively modulating, thereby, plasmin-mediated fibrinolysis and the overall pericellular proteolytic cascade. PAI-1 also impacts cellular responses to tissue injury and stress situations (growth, survival, migration) by titering the locale and temporal activation of multimeric cell-surface signaling complexes. This review will describe PAI-1 structure and function and detail the role of PAI-1 in the tissue repair program with an emphasis on cutaneous wound healing.
J. Dev. Biol.2015, 3(1), 2-10; doi:10.3390/jdb3010002 - published 6 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effect of strain background on gene function in growth and development has been well documented. However, it has not been extensively reported whether the strain background affects the gene expression pattern. Here, we found that the expression of homeobox gene Meox-2 and FGF receptor 1 gene Fgfr1 during mouse palate development is strain-dependent. On the C57B6 inbred background, Meox-2 is expressed in the palatal outgrowth on Embryonic Day 11.5 (E11.5); the expression shifts posteriorly and is restricted to the back of palate on E14.5. On the Swiss Webster outbred background, Meox-2 expression covers both anterior and posterior regions with the same intensity from E12.5 to E14.5. On the Black Swiss background, Meox-2 expression also covers the entire palate A-P axis, but is much weaker in the anterior region on E14.5. Fgfr1 also displays distinct expression patterns in the palatal outgrowth on E11.5 in these three strains. On the Black Swiss outbred background, the expression is restricted to the anterior palatal outgrowth. In marked contrast, the expression in the Swiss Webster outbred strain is located exclusively in the posterior palate outgrowth on E11.5, whereas in the C57B6 inbred strain, the expression is undetectable in the palatal outgrowth on E11.5.
J. Dev. Biol.2014, 2(4), 210-229; doi:10.3390/jdb2040210 - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The lumbar spinal cords of lizards were transected, but after the initial paralysis most lizards recovered un-coordinated movements of hind limbs. At 25-45 days post-lesion about 50% of lizards were capable of walking with a limited coordination. Histological analysis showed that the spinal cord was transected and the ependyma of the central canal formed two enlargements to seal the proximal and distal ends of the severed spinal cord. Glial and few small neurons were formed while bridge axons crossed the gap between the proximal and the distal stumps of the transected spinal cord as was confirmed by retrograde tract-tracing technique. The bridging fibers likely derived from interneurons located in the central and dorsal grey matter of the proximal spinal cord stump suggesting they belong to the local central locomotory pattern generator circuit. The limited recovery of hind limb movements may derive from the regeneration or sprouting of short proprio-spinal axons joining the two stumps of the transected spinal cord. The present observations indicate that the study on spinal cord regeneration in lizards can give insights on the permissive conditions that favor nerve regeneration in amniotes.
J. Dev. Biol.2014, 2(4), 198-209; doi:10.3390/jdb2040198 - published 19 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Wound healing is a well-orchestrated process, with various cells and growth factors coming into the wound bed at a specific time to influence the healing. Understanding the wound healing process is essential to generating wound healing products that help with hard-to-heal acute wounds and chronic wounds. The 2D scratch assay whereby a wound is created by scratching a confluent layer of cells on a 2D substrate is well established and used extensively but it has a major limitation—it lacks the complexity of the 3D wound healing environment. Established 3D wound healing models also have many limitations. In this paper, we present a novel 3D wound healing model that closely mimics the skin wound environment to study the cell migration of fibroblasts and keratinocytes. Three major components that exist in the wound environment are introduced in this new model: collagen, fibrin, and human foreskin fibroblasts. The novel 3D model consists of a defect, representing the actual wound, created by using a biopsy punch in a 3D collagen construct. The defect is then filled with collagen or with various solutions of fibrinogen and thrombin that polymerize into a 3D fibrin clot. Fibroblasts are then added on top of the collagen and their migration into the fibrin—or collagen—filled defect is followed for nine days. Our data clearly shows that fibroblasts migrate on both collagen and fibrin defects, though slightly faster on collagen defects than on fibrin defects. This paper shows the visibility of the model by introducing a defect filled with fibrin in a 3D collagen construct, thus mimicking a wound. Ongoing work examines keratinocyte migration on the defects of a 3D construct, which consists of collagen-containing fibroblasts. The model is also used to determine the effects of various growth factors, delivered in the wound defects, on fibroblasts’ and keratinocytes’ migration into the defects. Thus this novel 3D wound healing model provides a more complex wound healing assay than existing wound models.
J. Dev. Biol.2014, 2(3), 174-197; doi:10.3390/jdb2030174 - published 26 June 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Retinoic acid signaling is required at several steps during the development of the spinal cord, from the specification of generic properties to the final acquisition of neuronal subtype identities, including its role in trunk neural crest development. These functions are associated with the production of retinoic acid in specific tissues and are highly dependent on context. Here, we review the defects associated with retinoic acid signaling manipulations, mostly in chick and mouse models, trying to separate the different processes where retinoic acid signaling is involved and to highlight common features, such as its ability to promote transitions along the neuronal differentiation cascade.