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CXC chemokines, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) and KC, (a cloning designation based on ordinate and abscissa position) as well as the CXC chemokine receptor, CXCR2, are expressed in a variety of cells and tissues in adult mice. Targeted deletion of the gene encoding murine CXCR2 does not result in obvious changes in the development of the organ system of the mouse, though the CXCR2-/- mouse is compromised with regard to its ability to resist infection, heal wounds, and maintain homeostasis when challenged with microbes and/or chemicals. In an attempt to develop insight into additional possible subtle roles of CXCR2 and its ligands in the development of the mouse, we examined the expression of MIP-2, KC, CXCR2, as well as the Duffy antigen binding protein for chemokines during embryonic (p.c.) days 11.5 through 14.5 in the mouse. We observed strong correlation between the expression of MIP-2 and CXCR2 in the developing brain, cardiovascular system and condensing mesenchyme between 11.5 and 13.5 days. Moreover, the expression of KC was parallel to the expression of the Duffy antigen binding protein for chemokines with regard to temporal pattern and tissue localization. MIP-2 and CXCR2 are highly expressed in the brain, first in the cerebellum and in the head mesenchyme, the meninges and the floor plate, and by 14.5 days are also present in the telencephalon, thalamus and hypothalamus. In the developing brain KC and Duffy were prominently expressed in the neuronal tracts, the forebrain, sympathetic ganglia, and along the periphery of the neural tube. However, KC and Duffy were less prevalent in the developing cardiovascular system, lung and other organs, muscle and bone, than are CXCR2 and MIP-2. These data suggest that the roles for these chemokines and their receptors during development may be more significant than was initially thought based upon the phenotype of the mice with targeted deletion of CXCR2 and Duffy.
Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
FGD1 encodes a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that specifically activates the Rho GTPase Cdc42; FGD1 mutations result in Faciogenital Dysplasia (FGDY, Aarskog syndrome), an X-linked developmental disorder that adversely affects the formation of multiple skeletal structures. To further define the role of FGD1 in skeletal development, we examined its expression in developing mouse embryos and correlated this pattern with FGDY skeletal defects. In this study, we show that Fgd1, the mouse FGD1 ortholog, is initially expressed during the onset of ossification during embryogenesis. Fgd1 is expressed in regions of active bone formation in the trabeculae and diaphyseal cortices of developing long bones. The onset of Fgd1 expression correlates with the expression of bone sialo-protein, a protein specifically expressed in osteoblasts at the onset of matrix mineralization; an analysis of serial sections shows that Fgd1 is expressed in tissues containing calcified and mineralized extracellular matrix. Fgd1 protein is specifically expressed in cultured osteoblast and osteoblast-like cells including MC3T3-E1 cells and human osteosarcoma cells but not in other mesodermal cells; immunohistochemical studies confirm the presence of Fgd1 protein in mouse calvarial cells. Postnatally, Fgd1 is expressed more broadly in skeletal tissue with expression in the perichondrium, resting chondrocytes, and joint capsule fibroblasts. The data indicate that Fgd1 is expressed in a variety of regions of incipient and active endochondral and intramembranous ossification including the craniofacial bones, vertebrae, ribs, long bones and phalanges. The observed pattern of Fgd1 expression correlates with FGDY skeletal manifestations and provides an embryologic basis for the prevalence of observed skeletal defects. The observation that the induction of Fgd1 expression coincides with the initiation of ossification strongly suggests that FGD1 signaling plays a role in ossification and bone formation; it also suggests that FGD1 signaling does not play a role in the earlier phases of skeletogenesis. With the observation that FGD1 mutations result in the skeletal dysplasia FGDY, accumulated data indicate that FGD1 signaling plays a critical role in ossification and skeletal development.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
BMP signaling is essential for a wide variety of developmental processes. To evaluate the role of Bmp2/4 in cranial neural crest (CNC) formation or differentiation after its migration into the branchial arches, we used Xnoggin to block their activities in specific areas of the CNC in transgenic mice. This resulted in depletion of CNC cells from the targeted areas. As a consequence, the branchial arches normally populated by the affected neural crest cells were hypomorphic and their skeletal and neural derivatives failed to develop. In further analyses, we have identified Bmp2 as the factor required for production of migratory cranial neural crest. Its spatial and temporal expression patterns mirror CNC emergence and Bmp2 mutant embryos lack both branchial arches and detectable migratory CNC cells. Our results provide functional evidence for an essential role of BMP signaling in CNC development.
Indian hedgehog (Ihh) and Parathyroid Hormone-related Protein (PTHrP) play a critical role in the morphogenesis of the vertebrate skeleton. Targeted deletion of Ihh results in short-limbed dwarfism, with decreased chondrocyte proliferation and extensive hypertrophy, features shared by mutants in PTHrP and its receptor. Activation of Ihh signaling upregulates PTHrP at the articular surface and prevents chondrocyte hypertrophy in wild-type but not PTHrP null explants, suggesting that Ihh acts through PTHrP. To investigate the relationship between these factors during development of the appendicular skeleton, mice were produced with various combinations of an Ihh null mutation (Ihh(-/-)), a PTHrP null mutation (PTHrP(-/-)), and a constitutively active PTHrP/Parathyroid hormone Receptor expressed under the control of the Collagen II promoter (PTHrPR*). PTHrPR* rescues PTHrP(-/-) embryos, demonstrating this construct can completely compensate for PTHrP signalling. At 18.5 dpc, limb skeletons of Ihh, PTHrP compound mutants were identical to Ihh single mutants suggesting Ihh is necessary for PTHrP function. Expression of PTHrPR* in chondrocytes of Ihh(-/-) mice prevented premature chondrocyte hypertrophy but did not rescue either the short-limbed dwarfism or decreased chondrocyte proliferation. These experiments demonstrate that the molecular mechanism that prevents chondrocyte hypertrophy is distinct from that which drives proliferation. Ihh positively regulates PTHrP, which is sufficient to prevent chondrocyte hypertrophy and maintain a normal domain of cells competent to undergo proliferation. In contrast, Ihh is necessary for normal chondrocyte proliferation in a pathway that can not be rescued by PTHrP signaling. This identifies Ihh as a coordinator of skeletal growth and morphogenesis, and refines the role of PTHrP in mediating a subset of Ihh's actions.
BACKGROUND - Telomerase is a ribonucleoprotein that adds TTAGGG nucleotide repeats onto the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes to maintain telomere integrity. Somatic cells do not express telomerase and stop dividing when the chromosomal ends are shortened critically after many cell divisions. Immortal cell lines and cancer cells apparently have telomerase activity that contributes to an unlimited number of cell cycles. The purpose of our study is to investigate whether telomerase activity is expressed in primary malignant tumors of the skeletal system when compared to adjacent normal tissue.
METHODS - Fresh tumor and normal tissue was collected from 14 patients (10 males, 4 females; age range, 8 to 76 years) and protein extraction performed. The tumors included seven osteosarcomas (three examined before and after chemotherapy), two chondrosarcomas, two spindle cell tumors, one hemangiopericytoma, one chordoma, and one adamantinoma. Telomerase activity was analyzed by using a highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay (telomere repeat amplification protocol [TRAP]).
RESULTS - Telomerase activity was found in 8 of 14 sarcoma patients (57%) using the TRAP assay. Compared to HeLa cell extract (positive control), telomerase activity in the tumor specimen ranged from 0 (in osteosarcoma) to 11.7% (in hemangiopericytoma). There was variation in the number of telomeric repeats generated by telomerase. At least five telomeric bands (e.g. 50, 56, 62, 68, 74 bp) in a ladder pattern had to be present before telomerase activity was considered positive in our analysis.
CONCLUSIONS - Telomerase activity may be an oncogenic sustaining event helping to maintain the transformed phenotype seen in malignant tumors of the bone. The degree of telomerase activity varies among skeletal malignancies, but was less than that observed in HeLa cells. The majority of osteosarcomas showed no telomerase activity.
Members of the TGF-beta superfamily are important regulators of skeletal development. TGF-betas signal through heteromeric type I and type II receptor serine/threonine kinases. When over-expressed, a cytoplasmically truncated type II receptor can compete with the endogenous receptors for complex formation, thereby acting as a dominant-negative mutant (DNIIR). To determine the role of TGF-betas in the development and maintenance of the skeleton, we have generated transgenic mice (MT-DNIIR-4 and -27) that express the DNIIR in skeletal tissue. DNIIR mRNA expression was localized to the periosteum/perichondrium, syno-vium, and articular cartilage. Lower levels of DNIIR mRNA were detected in growth plate cartilage. Transgenic mice frequently showed bifurcation of the xiphoid process and sternum. They also developed progressive skeletal degeneration, resulting by 4 to 8 mo of age in kyphoscoliosis and stiff and torqued joints. The histology of affected joints strongly resembled human osteo-arthritis. The articular surface was replaced by bone or hypertrophic cartilage as judged by the expression of type X collagen, a marker of hypertrophic cartilage normally absent from articular cartilage. The synovium was hyperplastic, and cartilaginous metaplasia was observed in the joint space. We then tested the hypothesis that TGF-beta is required for normal differentiation of cartilage in vivo. By 4 and 8 wk of age, the level of type X collagen was increased in growth plate cartilage of transgenic mice relative to wild-type controls. Less proteoglycan staining was detected in the growth plate and articular cartilage matrix of transgenic mice. Mice that express DNIIR in skeletal tissue also demonstrated increased Indian hedgehog (IHH) expression. IHH is a secreted protein that is expressed in chondrocytes that are committed to becoming hypertrophic. It is thought to be involved in a feedback loop that signals through the periosteum/ perichondrium to inhibit cartilage differentiation. The data suggest that TGF-beta may be critical for multifaceted maintenance of synovial joints. Loss of responsiveness to TGF-beta promotes chondrocyte terminal differentiation and results in development of degenerative joint disease resembling osteoarthritis in humans.
Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (Bmp4), a vertebrate homolog of Drosophila decapentaplegic (dpp), encodes a signaling protein with multiple functions during embryogenesis. Most mouse embryos homozygous for the Bmp4(tm1blh) null allele die around the time of gastrulation, with little or no mesoderm. Two independently derived Bmp4(tm1) mutations were backcrossed onto the C57BL/6 genetic background. Several independently expressed, incompletely penetrant abnormalities were observed in heterozygotes, including cystic kidney, craniofacial malformations, microphthalmia, and preaxial polydactyly of the right hindlimb. In addition, heterozygotes were consistently underrepresented at weaning. These results indicate that Bmp4 gene dosage is essential for the normal development of a variety of organs and for neonatal viability. Two mutations that enhance the penetrance and expressivity of the polydactylous phenotype were identified: Gli3(XtJ), a deletion mutation involving a gene encoding a zinc-finger protein related to Drosophila cubitus interruptus, and Alx4(tm1rwm), a targeted null mutation in a gene encoding a paired class homeoprotein related to Drosophila aristaless. All double Bmp4(tm1); Gli3(XtJ) heterozygotes have extensive anterior digit abnormalities of both fore- and hindlimbs, while all double Bmp4(tm1); Alx4(tm1) heterozygotes display ectopic anterior digits only on the hindlimbs. These genetic interactions suggest a model for the multigenic control of anterior digit patterning during vertebrate limb development.
Transcription factors of the AML (core binding factor-alpha/polyoma enhancer binding protein 2) class are key transactivators of tissue-specific genes of the hematopoietic and bone lineages. Alternative splicing of the AML-1 gene results in two major AML variants, AML-1 and AML-1B. We show here that the transcriptionally active AML-1B binds to the nuclear matrix, and the inactive AML-1 does not. The association of AML-1B with the nuclear matrix is independent of DNA binding and requires a nuclear matrix targeting signal (NMTS), a 31 amino acid segment near the C terminus that is distinct from nuclear localization signals. A similar NMTS is present in AML-2 and the bone-related AML-3 transcription factors. Fusion of the AML-1B NMTS to the heterologous GAL4-(1-147) protein directs GAL4 to the nuclear matrix. Thus, the NMTS is necessary and sufficient to target the transcriptionally active AML-1B to the nuclear matrix. The loss of the C-terminal domain of AML-1B is a frequent consequence of the leukemia-related t(8;21) and t(3;21) translocations. Our results suggest this loss may be functionally linked to the modified interrelationships between nuclear structure and gene expression characteristic of cancer cells.
Dairy products doubly labeled with 45Ca and 47Ca were used to evaluate an extrinsic labeling procedure for calcium bioavailability determination. Nonfat milk, yogurt, and fresh cheese curd were prepared from caprine milk that was intrinsically labeled with 45Ca. The products were then labeled extrinsically with 47Ca and administered to rats by gavage. The 47Ca to 45Ca ratio in bone and teeth averaged about 1.00 with either milk, yogurt, or CaCl2, but the ratio was about 1.04 when dosed with cheese curd. Ca absorption, determined by whole-body counting of 47Ca, was lower (P less than 0.05) in cheese curd (59%) than in either milk (69%), yogurt (72%), or CaCl2 (72%). Expressed as percent of dose, the absorption of 47Ca was highly correlated with bone 47Ca (r = 0.973) and with bone 45Ca (r = 0.946). Correlation between tibia 47Ca and tibia 45Ca was r = 0.923. For the dairy products tested, our results indicated that extrinsic 47Ca was absorbed similarly to intrinsic 45Ca. Moreover, the percent of radioactive dose retained in bone appears to be a valid indicator of relative bioavailability of food Ca.
The performance of a bone biopsy results in a dramatically altered magnetic resonance image (MRI) signal in both the biopsied segment and the surrounding bone. An experimental canine model was used to determine the cause and imaging sensitivity of this postbiopsy signal change in the adjacent intraosseous contents. Six dogs were used in the study. Half of the dogs had the cortical window left open, and the other half had a polymethylmethacrylate plug inserted. After hemostatic closure, images were obtained immediately postbiopsy and 6 weeks thereafter. MRI defect length was examined on both T1 and T2 weighted sequences at both time periods. After the final image was taken at 6 weeks, the bone was harvested and examined grossly and histologically for the purpose of making pathoradiographic correlations. The results suggest that magnetic resonance imaging is a sensitive method that accurately reflects the defect caused by bone biopsy and the surrounding hemorrhage. The defect length increased in size over time. The image was slightly smaller than the corresponding histologic response. Insertion of a cortical plug had no predictable effect on defect length, which depended upon the amount of pressurization used during insertion. We conclude that MRI may be useful in the staging of intraosseous primary neoplasms of bone after bone biopsy, especially in the detection of an iatrogenically induced tumor/hemorrhage margin. This may be critical when planning an intraosseous surgical resection in which short, wide margins are anticipated.