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J. Dev. Biol., Volume 7, Issue 2 (June 2019) – 7 articles

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Communication
Vitamin D Receptor Signaling Regulates Craniofacial Cartilage Development in Zebrafish
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7020013 - 22 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
Vitamin D plays essential roles in supporting the skeletal system. The active form of vitamin D functions through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). A hereditary vitamin-D-resistant rickets with facial dysmorphism has been reported, but the involvement of VDR signaling during early stages of [...] Read more.
Vitamin D plays essential roles in supporting the skeletal system. The active form of vitamin D functions through the vitamin D receptor (VDR). A hereditary vitamin-D-resistant rickets with facial dysmorphism has been reported, but the involvement of VDR signaling during early stages of craniofacial development remains to be elucidated. The present study investigated whether VDR signaling is implicated in zebrafish craniofacial cartilage development using a morpholino-based knockdown approach. Two paralogous VDR genes, vdra and vdrb, have been found in zebrafish embryos. Loss-of-vdra has no discernible effect on cartilage elements, whereas loss-of-vdrb causes reduction and malformation of craniofacial cartilages. Disrupting both vdra and vdrb leads to more severe defects or complete loss of cartilage. Notably, knockdown of vdrb results in elevated expression of follistatin a (fsta), a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist, in the adjacent pharyngeal endoderm. Taken together, these findings strongly indicate that VDR signaling is required for early craniofacial cartilage development in zebrafish. Full article
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Review
The Developmental Phases of Zebrafish Myogenesis
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7020012 - 02 Jun 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2413
Abstract
The development and growth of vertebrate axial muscle have been studied for decades at both the descriptive and molecular level. The zebrafish has provided an attractive model system for investigating both muscle patterning and growth due to its simple axial musculature with spatially [...] Read more.
The development and growth of vertebrate axial muscle have been studied for decades at both the descriptive and molecular level. The zebrafish has provided an attractive model system for investigating both muscle patterning and growth due to its simple axial musculature with spatially separated fibre types, which contrasts to complex muscle groups often deployed in amniotes. In recent years, new findings have reshaped previous concepts that define how final teleost muscle form is established and maintained. Here, we summarise recent findings in zebrafish embryonic myogenesis with a focus on fibre type specification, followed by an examination of the molecular mechanisms that control muscle growth with emphasis on the role of the dermomyotome-like external cell layer. We also consider these data sets in a comparative context to gain insight into the evolution of axial myogenic patterning systems within the vertebrate lineage. Full article
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Review
Reiterative Mechanisms of Retinoic Acid Signaling during Vertebrate Heart Development
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7020011 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1804
Abstract
Tightly-regulated levels of retinoic acid (RA) are critical for promoting normal vertebrate development. The extensive history of research on RA has shown that its proper regulation is essential for cardiac progenitor specification and organogenesis. Here, we discuss the roles of RA signaling and [...] Read more.
Tightly-regulated levels of retinoic acid (RA) are critical for promoting normal vertebrate development. The extensive history of research on RA has shown that its proper regulation is essential for cardiac progenitor specification and organogenesis. Here, we discuss the roles of RA signaling and its establishment of networks that drive both early and later steps of normal vertebrate heart development. We focus on studies that highlight the drastic effects alternative levels of RA have on early cardiomyocyte (CM) specification and cardiac chamber morphogenesis, consequences of improper RA synthesis and degradation, and known effectors downstream of RA. We conclude with the implications of these findings to our understanding of cardiac regeneration and the etiologies of congenital heart defects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinoids in Development 2019)
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Review
Retinoids in Stellate Cells: Development, Repair, and Regeneration
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7020010 - 24 May 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Stellate cells, either hepatic (HSCs) or pancreatic (PSCs), are a type of interstitial cells characterized by their ability to store retinoids in lipid vesicles. In pathological conditions both HSCs and PSCs lose their retinoid content and transform into fibroblast-like cells, contributing to the [...] Read more.
Stellate cells, either hepatic (HSCs) or pancreatic (PSCs), are a type of interstitial cells characterized by their ability to store retinoids in lipid vesicles. In pathological conditions both HSCs and PSCs lose their retinoid content and transform into fibroblast-like cells, contributing to the fibrogenic response. HSCs also participate in other functions including vasoregulation, drug detoxification, immunotolerance, and maintenance of the hepatocyte population. PSCs maintain pancreatic tissue architecture and regulate pancreatic exocrine function. Recently, PSCs have attracted the attention of researchers due to their interactions with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells. PSCs promote tumour growth and angiogenesis, and their fibrotic activity increases the resistance of pancreatic cancer to chemotherapy and radiation. We are reviewing the current literature concerning the role played by retinoids in the physiology and pathophysiology of the stellate cells, paying attention to their developmental aspects as well as the function of stellate cells in tissue repair and organ regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinoids in Development 2019)
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Review
Hedgehog Signaling and Embryonic Craniofacial Disorders
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(2), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7020009 - 24 Apr 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2570
Abstract
Since its initial discovery in a Drosophila mutagenesis screen, the Hedgehog pathway has been revealed to be instrumental in the proper development of the vertebrate face. Vertebrates possess three hedgehog paralogs: Sonic hedgehog (Shh), Indian hedgehog (Ihh), and Desert [...] Read more.
Since its initial discovery in a Drosophila mutagenesis screen, the Hedgehog pathway has been revealed to be instrumental in the proper development of the vertebrate face. Vertebrates possess three hedgehog paralogs: Sonic hedgehog (Shh), Indian hedgehog (Ihh), and Desert hedgehog (Dhh). Of the three, Shh has the broadest range of functions both in the face and elsewhere in the embryo, while Ihh and Dhh play more limited roles. The Hedgehog pathway is instrumental from the period of prechordal plate formation early in the embryo, until the fusion of the lip and secondary palate, which complete the major patterning events of the face. Disruption of Hedgehog signaling results in an array of developmental disorders in the face, ranging from minor alterations in the distance between the eyes to more serious conditions such as severe clefting of the lip and palate. Despite its critical role, Hedgehog signaling seems to be disrupted through a number of mechanisms that may either be direct, as in mutation of a downstream target of the Hedgehog ligand, or indirect, such as mutation in a ciliary protein that is otherwise seemingly unrelated to the Hedgehog pathway. A number of teratogens such as alcohol, statins and steroidal alkaloids also disrupt key aspects of Hedgehog signal transduction, leading to developmental defects that are similar, if not identical, to those of Hedgehog pathway mutations. The aim of this review is to highlight the variety of roles that Hedgehog signaling plays in developmental disorders of the vertebrate face. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Hedgehog Signaling in Embryogenesis)
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Review
Novel Technological Advances in Functional Connectomics in C. elegans
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(2), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7020008 - 23 Apr 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2277
Abstract
The complete structure and connectivity of the Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system (“mind of a worm”) was first published in 1986, representing a critical milestone in the field of connectomics. The reconstruction of the nervous system (connectome) at the level of synapses provided a [...] Read more.
The complete structure and connectivity of the Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system (“mind of a worm”) was first published in 1986, representing a critical milestone in the field of connectomics. The reconstruction of the nervous system (connectome) at the level of synapses provided a unique perspective of understanding how behavior can be coded within the nervous system. The following decades have seen the development of technologies that help understand how neural activity patterns are connected to behavior and modulated by sensory input. Investigations on the developmental origins of the connectome highlight the importance of role of neuronal cell lineages in the final connectivity matrix of the nervous system. Computational modeling of neuronal dynamics not only helps reconstruct the biophysical properties of individual neurons but also allows for subsequent reconstruction of whole-organism neuronal network models. Hence, combining experimental datasets with theoretical modeling of neurons generates a better understanding of organismal behavior. This review discusses some recent technological advances used to analyze and perturb whole-organism neuronal function along with developments in computational modeling, which allows for interrogation of both local and global neural circuits, leading to different behaviors. Combining these approaches will shed light into how neural networks process sensory information to generate the appropriate behavioral output, providing a complete understanding of the worm nervous system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Caenorhabditis elegans - A Developmental Genetic Model System)
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Review
Mesothelium and Malignant Mesothelioma
J. Dev. Biol. 2019, 7(2), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb7020007 - 08 Apr 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3551
Abstract
The mesothelium is an epithelial structure derived from the embryonic mesoderm. It plays an important role in the development of a number of different organs, including the heart, lungs, and intestines. In this publication, we discuss aspects of the development of the mesothelium, [...] Read more.
The mesothelium is an epithelial structure derived from the embryonic mesoderm. It plays an important role in the development of a number of different organs, including the heart, lungs, and intestines. In this publication, we discuss aspects of the development of the mesothelium, where mesothelial structures can be found, and review molecular and cellular characteristics associated with the mesothelium. Furthermore, we discuss the involvement of the mesothelium in a number of disease conditions, in particular in the pathogenesis of mesotheliomas with an emphasis on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM)—a primary cancer developing in the pleural cavity. Full article
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