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J. Dev. Biol., Volume 6, Issue 4 (December 2018)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle It’s about Time: Ossification Center Formation in C57BL/6 Mice from E12–E16
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040031
Received: 25 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 13 December 2018 / Published: 15 December 2018
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Abstract
The establishment of precise, high-resolution temporal sequences for morphogenetic events in laboratory mice remains a vexing issue in developmental biology. Mouse embryos collected at the same period of gestation, even those from the same litter, show wide variation in individual levels of progress
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The establishment of precise, high-resolution temporal sequences for morphogenetic events in laboratory mice remains a vexing issue in developmental biology. Mouse embryos collected at the same period of gestation, even those from the same litter, show wide variation in individual levels of progress along their developmental trajectory. Therefore, age at harvest does not provide sufficient information about developmental progress to serve as the basis for forming samples for the study of rapidly or near-simultaneously occurring events such as the sequence of ossification center formation. Here, we generate two measures of individual developmental progress (developmental age) for a large sample of mouse embryos using crown–rump lengths that measures size, and limbstaging ages produced by the embryonic Mouse Ontogenetic Staging System (eMOSS) that measure shape. Using these measures, we establish fine-grained sequences of ossification center appearance for mouse embryos. The two measures of developmental progress generate slightly different sequences of ossification center formation demonstrating that despite their tight correlation throughout the developmental period, size and shape are aspects of form that are at least partially dissociated in development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Development)
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Open AccessReview The Signaling Network Controlling C. elegans Vulval Cell Fate Patterning
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040030
Received: 15 November 2018 / Revised: 8 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 11 December 2018
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Abstract
EGF, emitted by the Anchor Cell, patterns six equipotent C. elegans vulval precursor cells to assume a precise array of three cell fates with high fidelity. A group of core and modulatory signaling cascades forms a signaling network that demonstrates plasticity during the
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EGF, emitted by the Anchor Cell, patterns six equipotent C. elegans vulval precursor cells to assume a precise array of three cell fates with high fidelity. A group of core and modulatory signaling cascades forms a signaling network that demonstrates plasticity during the transition from naïve to terminally differentiated cells. In this review, we summarize the history of classical developmental manipulations and molecular genetics experiments that led to our understanding of the signals governing this process, and discuss principles of signal transduction and developmental biology that have emerged from these studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Caenorhabditis elegans - A Developmental Genetic Model System)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Prenatal Neuropathologies in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability: The Gestation of a Comprehensive Zebrafish Model
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040029
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 20 November 2018 / Accepted: 27 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
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Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) are neurodevelopmental disorders with overlapping diagnostic behaviors and risk factors. These include embryonic exposure to teratogens and mutations in genes that have important functions prenatally. Animal models, including rodents and zebrafish, have been essential in
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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) are neurodevelopmental disorders with overlapping diagnostic behaviors and risk factors. These include embryonic exposure to teratogens and mutations in genes that have important functions prenatally. Animal models, including rodents and zebrafish, have been essential in delineating mechanisms of neuropathology and identifying developmental critical periods, when those mechanisms are most sensitive to disruption. This review focuses on how the developmentally accessible zebrafish is contributing to our understanding of prenatal pathologies that set the stage for later ASD-ID behavioral deficits. We discuss the known factors that contribute prenatally to ASD-ID and the recent use of zebrafish to model deficits in brain morphogenesis and circuit development. We conclude by suggesting that a future challenge in zebrafish ASD-ID modeling will be to bridge prenatal anatomical and physiological pathologies to behavioral deficits later in life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish - A Model System for Developmental Biology Study)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview G Proteins and GPCRs in C. elegans Development: A Story of Mutual Infidelity
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040028
Received: 20 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 25 November 2018
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Abstract
Many vital processes during C. elegans development, especially the establishment and maintenance of cell polarity in embryogenesis, are controlled by complex signaling pathways. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), such as the four Frizzled family Wnt receptors, are linchpins in regulating and orchestrating several of
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Many vital processes during C. elegans development, especially the establishment and maintenance of cell polarity in embryogenesis, are controlled by complex signaling pathways. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), such as the four Frizzled family Wnt receptors, are linchpins in regulating and orchestrating several of these mechanisms. However, despite being GPCRs, which usually couple to G proteins, these receptors do not seem to activate classical heterotrimeric G protein-mediated signaling cascades. The view on signaling during embryogenesis is further complicated by the fact that heterotrimeric G proteins do play essential roles in cell polarity during embryogenesis, but their activity is modulated in a predominantly GPCR-independent manner via G protein regulators such as GEFs GAPs and GDIs. Further, the triggered downstream effectors are not typical. Only very few GPCR-dependent and G protein-mediated signaling pathways have been unambiguously defined in this context. This unusual and highly intriguing concept of separating GPCR function and G-protein activity, which is not restricted to embryogenesis in C. elegans but can also be found in other organisms, allows for essential and multi-faceted ways of regulating cellular communication and response. Although its relevance cannot be debated, its impact is still poorly discussed, and C. elegans is an ideal model to understand the underlying principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Caenorhabditis elegans - A Developmental Genetic Model System)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Kat2a and Kat2b Acetyltransferase Activity Regulates Craniofacial Cartilage and Bone Differentiation in Zebrafish and Mice
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040027
Received: 2 October 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
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Abstract
Cranial neural crest cells undergo cellular growth, patterning, and differentiation within the branchial arches to form cartilage and bone, resulting in a precise pattern of skeletal elements forming the craniofacial skeleton. However, it is unclear how cranial neural crest cells are regulated to
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Cranial neural crest cells undergo cellular growth, patterning, and differentiation within the branchial arches to form cartilage and bone, resulting in a precise pattern of skeletal elements forming the craniofacial skeleton. However, it is unclear how cranial neural crest cells are regulated to give rise to the different shapes and sizes of the bone and cartilage. Epigenetic regulators are good candidates to be involved in this regulation, since they can exert both broad as well as precise control on pattern formation. Here, we investigated the role of the histone acetyltransferases Kat2a and Kat2b in craniofacial development using TALEN/CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis in zebrafish and the Kat2ahat/hat (also called Gcn5) allele in mice. kat2a and kat2b are broadly expressed during embryogenesis within the central nervous system and craniofacial region. Single and double kat2a and kat2b zebrafish mutants have an overall shortening and hypoplastic nature of the cartilage elements and disruption of the posterior ceratobranchial cartilages, likely due to smaller domains of expression of both cartilage- and bone-specific markers, including sox9a and col2a1, and runx2a and runx2b, respectively. Similarly, in mice we observe defects in the craniofacial skeleton, including hypoplastic bone and cartilage and altered expression of Runx2 and cartilage markers (Sox9, Col2a1). In addition, we determined that following the loss of Kat2a activity, overall histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9) acetylation, the main epigenetic target of Kat2a/Kat2b, was decreased. These results suggest that Kat2a and Kat2b are required for growth and differentiation of craniofacial cartilage and bone in both zebrafish and mice by regulating H3K9 acetylation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Development)
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Open AccessReview I Spy in the Developing Fly a Multitude of Ways to Die
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040026
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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Abstract
Cell proliferation and cell death are two opposing, yet complementary fundamental processes in development. Cell proliferation provides new cells, while developmental programmed cell death adjusts cell numbers and refines structures as an organism grows. Apoptosis is the best-characterized form of programmed cell death;
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Cell proliferation and cell death are two opposing, yet complementary fundamental processes in development. Cell proliferation provides new cells, while developmental programmed cell death adjusts cell numbers and refines structures as an organism grows. Apoptosis is the best-characterized form of programmed cell death; however, there are many other non-apoptotic forms of cell death that occur throughout development. Drosophila is an excellent model for studying these varied forms of cell death given the array of cellular, molecular, and genetic techniques available. In this review, we discuss select examples of apoptotic and non-apoptotic cell death that occur in different tissues and at different stages of Drosophila development. For example, apoptosis occurs throughout the nervous system to achieve an appropriate number of neurons. Elsewhere in the fly, non-apoptotic modes of developmental cell death are employed, such as in the elimination of larval salivary glands and midgut during metamorphosis. These and other examples discussed here demonstrate the versatility of Drosophila as a model organism for elucidating the diverse modes of programmed cell death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drosophila - A Model System for Developmental Biology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Drosophila as a Model for Developmental Biology: Stem Cell-Fate Decisions in the Developing Nervous System
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040025
Received: 25 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
Stem cells face a diversity of choices throughout their lives. At specific times, they may decide to initiate cell division, terminal differentiation, or apoptosis, or they may enter a quiescent non-proliferative state. Neural stem cells in the Drosophila central nervous system do all
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Stem cells face a diversity of choices throughout their lives. At specific times, they may decide to initiate cell division, terminal differentiation, or apoptosis, or they may enter a quiescent non-proliferative state. Neural stem cells in the Drosophila central nervous system do all of these, at stereotypical times and anatomical positions during development. Distinct populations of neural stem cells offer a unique system to investigate the regulation of a particular stem cell behavior, while comparisons between populations can lead us to a broader understanding of stem cell identity. Drosophila is a well-described and genetically tractable model for studying fundamental stem cell behavior and the mechanisms that underlie cell-fate decisions. This review will focus on recent advances in our understanding of the factors that contribute to distinct stem cell-fate decisions within the context of the Drosophila nervous system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drosophila - A Model System for Developmental Biology)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview The Role of Apoptotic Signaling in Axon Guidance
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040024
Received: 15 September 2018 / Revised: 16 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 18 October 2018
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Abstract
Navigating growth cones are exposed to multiple signals simultaneously and have to integrate competing cues into a coherent navigational response. Integration of guidance cues is traditionally thought to occur at the level of cytoskeletal dynamics. Drosophila studies indicate that cells exhibit a low
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Navigating growth cones are exposed to multiple signals simultaneously and have to integrate competing cues into a coherent navigational response. Integration of guidance cues is traditionally thought to occur at the level of cytoskeletal dynamics. Drosophila studies indicate that cells exhibit a low level of continuous caspase protease activation, and that axon guidance cues can activate or suppress caspase activity. We base a model for axon guidance on these observations. By analogy with other systems in which caspase signaling has non-apoptotic functions, we propose that caspase signaling can either reinforce repulsion or negate attraction in response to external guidance cues by cleaving cytoskeletal proteins. Over the course of an entire trajectory, incorrectly navigating axons may pass the threshold for apoptosis and be eliminated, whereas axons making correct decisions will survive. These observations would also explain why neurotrophic factors can act as axon guidance cues and why axon guidance systems such as Slit/Robo signaling may act as tumor suppressors in cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drosophila - A Model System for Developmental Biology)
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Open AccessArticle Protein Kinase A Signaling Inhibits Iridophore Differentiation in Zebrafish
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6040023
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 26 September 2018
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Abstract
In zebrafish (Danio rerio), iridophores are specified from neural crest cells and represent a tractable system for examining mechanisms of cell fate and differentiation. Using this system, we have investigated the role of cAMP protein kinase A (PKA) signaling in pigment
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In zebrafish (Danio rerio), iridophores are specified from neural crest cells and represent a tractable system for examining mechanisms of cell fate and differentiation. Using this system, we have investigated the role of cAMP protein kinase A (PKA) signaling in pigment cell differentiation. Activation of PKA with the adenylyl cyclase activator forskolin reduces the number of differentiated iridophores in wildtype larvae, with insignificant changes to melanophore number. Inhibition of PKA with H89 significantly increases iridophore number, supporting a specific role for PKA during iridophore development. To determine the effects of altering PKA activity on iridophore and melanophore gene expression, we examined expression of iridophore marker pnp4a, melanophore marker mitfa, and the mitfa repressor foxd3. Consistent with our cell counts, forskolin significantly decreased pnp4a expression as detected by in situ hybridization and quantification of pnp4a+ cells. Forskolin had the opposite effect on mitfa and foxd3 gene activity, increasing the area of expression. As mitfa/nacre mutants have extra iridophores as compared to wildtype larvae, we examined the function of mitfa during PKA-sensitive iridophore development. Forskolin treatment of mitfa/nacre mutants did significantly reduce the number of iridophores but to a lesser extent than that observed in treated wildtype larvae. Taken together, our data suggests that PKA inhibits iridophore development in a subset of iridophore precursors, potentially via a foxd3-independent pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zebrafish - A Model System for Developmental Biology Study)
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J. Dev. Biol. EISSN 2221-3759 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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