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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Developmental expression of Dkk1-3 and Mmp9 and apoptosis in cranial base of mice.

The Dickkopf (Dkk) family and Mmp9 are important for apoptosis and a number of other developmental processes. However, little is known about their roles in the development of cranial base, which is an important structure for coordinated development and growth of the craniofacial skeletons. In order to establish whether and in what way these genes are involved in cranial base development, we examined their expression patterns and cell apoptosis. Dkk1 was first seen in the perichondral mesenchyme in restricted domains from E14, and later in the migrating mesenchymal cells within the cartilage. Thereafter, it was widespread throughout the bones of the cranial base. The expression was downregulated in postnatal stages. Dkk2 was localized in the perichondral mesenchyme outlining the anterior cranial base in embryogenesis. Dkk3 was mainly detected in the occipital-vertebral joint at E13 and E14. Mmp9 transcripts were clustered in the inner layer of perichondral mesenchyme, juxtaposed with the terminally differentiated hypertrophic chondrocytes from E14. Later Mmp9-expressing cells were found at the sites of chondrocyte apoptosis. This was particularly clear at the distal ends of the synchondroses. These data indicate that Mmp9 regulates skeletogenesis in cranial base in a manner that is largely similar to that of the appendicular skeletons. Expression of Dkks suggests other roles that remain to be defined.[1]


  1. Developmental expression of Dkk1-3 and Mmp9 and apoptosis in cranial base of mice. Nie, X., Luukko, K., Fjeld, K., Kvinnsland, I.H., Kettunen, P. J. Mol. Histol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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