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In vivo impact of Dlx3 conditional inactivation in neural crest-derived craniofacial bones.

Journal of cellular physiology (2012-08-14)
Olivier Duverger, Juliane Isaac, Angela Zah, Joonsung Hwang, Ariane Berdal, Jane B Lian, Maria I Morasso

Mutations in DLX3 in humans lead to defects in craniofacial and appendicular bones, yet the in vivo activities related to Dlx3 function during normal skeletal development have not been fully elucidated. Here we used a conditional knockout approach to analyze the effects of neural crest deletion of Dlx3 on craniofacial bones development. At birth, mutant mice exhibit a normal overall positioning of the skull bones, but a change in the shape of the calvaria was observed. Molecular analysis of the genes affected in the frontal bones and mandibles from these mice identified several bone markers known to affect bone development, with a strong prediction for increased bone formation and mineralization in vivo. Interestingly, while a subset of these genes were similarly affected in frontal bones and mandibles (Sost, Mepe, Bglap, Alp, Ibsp, Agt), several genes, including Lect1 and Calca, were specifically affected in frontal bones. Consistent with these molecular alterations, cells isolated from the frontal bone of mutant mice exhibited increased differentiation and mineralization capacities ex vivo, supporting cell autonomous defects in neural crest cells. However, adult mutant animals exhibited decreased bone mineral density in both mandibles and calvaria, as well as a significant increase in bone porosity. Together, these observations suggest that mature osteoblasts in the adult respond to signals that regulate adult bone mass and remodeling. This study provides new downstream targets for Dlx3 in craniofacial bone, and gives additional evidence of the complex regulation of bone formation and homeostasis in the adult skeleton.

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Thymol, ≥98.5%