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Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology

Katia Troha, Nicolas Buchon
From flies to humans, many components of the innate immune system have been conserved during metazoan evolution. This foundational observation has allowed us to develop Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, into a powerful model to study innate immunity in animals. Thanks to an ever-growing arsenal of genetic tools, an easily manipulated genome, and its winning disposition, Drosophila is now employed to study not only basic molecular mechanisms of pathogen recognition and immune signaling, but also the nature of physiological responses activated in the host by microbial challenge and how dysregulation of these processes contributes to disease...
April 16, 2019: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Sarthak Mohanty, Chitra L Dahia
Intervertebral discs are cartilaginous joints present between vertebrae. The centers of the intervertebral discs consist of a gelatinous nucleus pulposus derived from the embryonic notochord. With age or injury, intervertebral discs may degenerate, causing neurological symptoms including back pain, which affects millions of people worldwide. Back pain is a multifactorial disorder, and disc degeneration is one of the primary contributing factors. Recent studies in mice have identified the key molecules involved in the formation of intervertebral discs...
April 11, 2019: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Q Richard Lu, Lily Qian, Xianyao Zhou
Brain tumors such as adult glioblastomas and pediatric high-grade gliomas or medulloblastomas are among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths, exhibiting poor prognoses with little improvement in outcomes in the past several decades. These tumors are heterogeneous and can be initiated from various neural cell types, contributing to therapy resistance. How such heterogeneity arises is linked to the tumor cell of origin and their genetic alterations. Brain tumorigenesis and progression recapitulate key features associated with normal neurogenesis; however, the underlying mechanisms are quite dysregulated as tumor cells grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner...
April 3, 2019: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Yoshikazu Hayashi, Maiko Sezaki, Hitoshi Takizawa
Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have two defining features, multipotency and self-renewal, both of which are tightly controlled by cell autonomous programs and environmental factors throughout the lifetime of an organism. During development, HSCs are born in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region, and migrate to distinct hematopoietic organs such as the placenta, fetal liver and spleen, continuously self-renewing and expanding to reach a homeostatic number. HSCs ultimately seed the bone marrow around the time of birth and become dormant to sustain lifelong hematopoiesis...
March 27, 2019: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Anan Abu Rmilah, Wei Zhou, Erek Nelson, Li Lin, Bruce Amiot, Scott L Nyberg
Tissue regeneration is a process by which the remaining cells of an injured organ regrow to offset the missed cells. This field is relatively a new discipline that has been a focus of intense research by clinicians, surgeons, and scientists for decades. It constitutes the cornerstone of tissue engineering, creation of artificial organs, and generation and utilization of therapeutic stem cells to undergo transformation to different types of mature cells. Many medical experts, scientists, biologists, and bioengineers have dedicated their efforts to deeply comprehend the process of liver regeneration, striving for harnessing it to invent new therapies for liver failure...
May 2019: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Ming S Tham, Ian M Smyth
Kidneys are bilateral organs required to maintain homeostasis in the body through the regulation of fluid composition and the excretion of metabolic waste products. The initial steps in organ development are characterized by cellular interactions which regulate both the position and number of kidneys formed. Once established, further development is driven by orchestrated interactions between progenitor cell populations which serve to establish both nephrons-the functional unit of the organ which filters the blood-and the complex ramified collecting duct system which transports urine to the bladder...
December 20, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Arthur Luhur, Kristin M Klueg, Andrew C Zelhof
The use of Drosophila cell cultures has positively impacted both fundamental and biomedical research. The most widely used cell lines: Schneider, Kc, the CNS and imaginal disc lines continue to be the choice for many applications. Drosophila cell lines provide a homogenous source of cells suitable for biochemical experimentations, transcriptomics, functional genomics, and biomedical applications. They are amenable to RNA interference and serve as a platform for high-throughput screens to identify relevant candidate genes or drugs for any biological process...
December 18, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Hannah G Yevick, Adam C Martin
Computational approaches that enable quantification of microscopy data have revolutionized the field of developmental biology. Due to its inherent complexity, elucidating mechanisms of development requires sophisticated analysis of the structure, shape, and kinetics of cellular processes. This need has prompted the creation of numerous techniques to visualize, quantify, and merge microscopy data. These approaches have defined the order and structure of developmental events, thus, providing insight into the mechanisms that drive them...
November 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Michelle M Frank, Lisa V Goodrich
Developing sensory systems must coordinate the growth of neural circuitry spanning from receptors in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) to multilayered networks within the central nervous system (CNS). This breadth presents particular challenges, as nascent processes must navigate across the CNS-PNS boundary and coalesce into a tightly intermingled wiring pattern, thereby enabling reliable integration from the PNS to the CNS and back. In the auditory system, feedforward spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) from the periphery collect sound information via tonotopically organized connections in the cochlea and transmit this information to the brainstem for processing via the VIII cranial nerve...
November 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Yunyun Huang, Rudolf Winklbauer
Xenopus gastrulation movements are in large part based on the rearrangement of cells by differential cell-on-cell migration within multilayered tissues. Different patterns of migration-based cell intercalation drive endoderm and mesoderm internalization and their positioning along their prospective body axes. C-cadherin, fibronectin, integrins, and focal contact components are expressed in all gastrula cells and play putative roles in cell-on-cell migration, but their actual functions in this respect are not yet understood...
November 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
April DeLaurier
The evolution of the jaw represents a key innovation in driving the diversification of vertebrate body plans and behavior. The pharyngeal apparatus originated as gill bars separated by slits in chordate ancestors to vertebrates. Later, with the acquisition of neural crest, pharyngeal arches gave rise to branchial basket cartilages in jawless vertebrates (agnathans), and later bone and cartilage of the jaw, jaw support, and gills of jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). Major events in the evolution of jaw structure from agnathans to gnathostomes include axial regionalization of pharyngeal elements and formation of a jaw joint...
October 31, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Hiroshi Kurosaka
Proper craniofacial development in vertebrates depends on growth and fusion of the facial processes during embryogenesis. Failure of any step in this process could lead to craniofacial anomalies such as facial clefting, which has been well studied with regard to its molecular etiology and cellular pathogenesis. Nasal cavity invagination is also a critical event in proper craniofacial development, and is required for the formation of a functional nasal cavity and airway. The nasal cavity must connect the nasopharynx with the primitive choanae to complete an airway from the nostril to the nasopharynx...
October 15, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Shijie Liu, James F Martin
Heart failure caused by cardiomyocyte loss and fibrosis is a leading cause of death worldwide. Although current treatments for heart failure such as heart transplantation and left ventricular assist device implantation have obvious value, new approaches are needed. Endogenous adult cardiomyocyte renewal is measurable but inefficient and inadequate in response to extensive acute heart damage. Stimulating self-renewal of endogenous cardiomyocytes holds great promise for heart repair. Uncovering the genetic mechanisms underlying cardiomyocyte renewal is a critical step in developing new approaches to repairing the heart...
August 31, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Claire S Simon, Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis, Christian Schröter
Understanding how individual cells make fate decisions that lead to the faithful formation and homeostatic maintenance of tissues is a fundamental goal of contemporary developmental and stem cell biology. Seemingly uniform populations of stem cells and multipotent progenitors display a surprising degree of heterogeneity, primarily originating from the inherent stochastic nature of molecular processes underlying gene expression. Despite this heterogeneity, lineage decisions result in tissues of a defined size and with consistent proportions of differentiated cell types...
July 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Katherine D Walton, Darcy Mishkind, Misty R Riddle, Clifford J Tabin, Deborah L Gumucio
Efficient absorption of nutrients by the intestine is essential for life. In mammals and birds, convolution of the intestinal surface into finger-like projections called villi is an important adaptation that ensures the massive surface area for nutrient contact that is required to meet metabolic demands. Each villus projection serves as a functional absorptive unit: it is covered by a simple columnar epithelium that is derived from endoderm and contains a mesodermally derived core with supporting vasculature, lacteals, enteric nerves, smooth muscle, fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, and immune cells...
July 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Veronica F Hinman, Robert D Burke
The phylogenetic position of echinoderms is well suited to revealing shared features of deuterostomes that distinguish them from other bilaterians. Although echinoderm neurobiology remains understudied, genomic resources, molecular methods, and systems approaches have enabled progress in understanding mechanisms of embryonic neurogenesis. Even though the morphology of echinoderm larvae is diverse, larval nervous systems, which arise during gastrulation, have numerous similarities in their organization. Diverse neural subtypes and specialized sensory neurons have been identified and details of neuroanatomy using neuron-specific labels provide hypotheses for neural function...
July 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Michael D Cleary
Cell type-specific transcription is a key determinant of cell fate and function. An ongoing challenge in biology is to develop robust and stringent biochemical methods to explore gene expression with cell type specificity. This challenge has become even greater as researchers attempt to apply high-throughput RNA analysis methods under in vivo conditions. TU-tagging and EC-tagging are in vivo biosynthetic RNA tagging techniques that allow spatial and temporal specificity in RNA purification. Spatial specificity is achieved through targeted expression of pyrimidine salvage enzymes (uracil phosphoribosyltransferase and cytosine deaminase) and temporal specificity is achieved by controlling exposure to bioorthogonal substrates of these enzymes (4-thiouracil and 5-ethynylcytosine)...
July 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Jonathan M W Slack
The historical roots of the stem cell concept are traced with respect to its usage in embryology and in hematology. The modern consensus definition of stem cells, comprising both pluripotent stem cells in culture and tissue-specific stem cells in vivo, is explained and explored. Methods for identifying stem cells are discussed with respect to cell surface markers, telomerase, label retention and transplantability, and properties of the stem cell niche are explored. The CreER method for identifying stem cells in vivo is explained, as is evidence in favor of a stochastic rather than an obligate asymmetric form of cell division...
May 15, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Crystal D Rogers, Shuyi Nie
Neural crest (NC) cells are a stem-like multipotent population of progenitor cells that are present in vertebrate embryos, traveling to various regions in the developing organism. Known as the "fourth germ layer", these cells originate in the ectoderm between the neural plate (NP), which will become the brain and spinal cord, and nonneural tissues that will become the skin and the sensory organs. NC cells can differentiate into more than 30 different derivatives in response to the appropriate signals including, but not limited to, craniofacial bone and cartilage, sensory nerves and ganglia, pigment cells, and connective tissue...
May 3, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
Lorenzo Ricci, Mansi Srivastava
Many animal species are capable of replacing missing tissues that are lost upon injury or amputation through the process of regeneration. Although the extent of regeneration is variable across animals, that is, some animals can regenerate any missing cell type whereas some can only regenerate certain organs or tissues, regulated cell proliferation underlies the formation of new tissues in most systems. Notably, many species display an increase in proliferation within hours or days upon wounding. While different cell types proliferate in response to wounding in various animal taxa, comparative molecular data are beginning to point to shared wound-induced mechanisms that regulate cell division during regeneration...
May 2, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology
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