Medial edge epithelial cell fate during palatal fusion

Developmental Biology
Concepción Martínez-AlvarezM W Ferguson


To explain the disappearance of medial edge epithelial (MEE) cells during palatal fusion, programmed cell death, epithelial-mesenchymal transformation, and migration of these cells to the oral and nasal epithelia have been proposed. However, MEE cell death has not always been accepted as a mechanism involved in midline epithelial seam disappearance. Similarly, labeling of MEE cells with vital lipophilic markers has not led to a clear conclusion as to whether MEE cells migrate, transform into mesenchyme, or both. To clarify these controversies, we first utilized TUNEL techniques to detect apoptosis in mouse palates at the fusion stage and concomitantly analyzed the presence of macrophages by immunochemistry and confocal microscopy. Second, we in vitro infected the MEE with the replication-defective helper-free retroviral vector CXL, which carries the Escherichia coli lacZ gene, and analyzed beta-galactosidase activity in cells after fusion to follow their fate. Our results demonstrate that MEE cells die and transform into mesenchyme during palatal fusion and that dead cells are phagocytosed by macrophages. In addition, we have investigated the effects of the absence of transforming growth factor beta(3) (TGF-beta(3)) during pala...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Recombinant Transforming Growth Factor
Galactosidase Activity
Transforming Growth Factor beta
Nasal Epithelium
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Apoptosis, Intrinsic Pathway
Cell Motility
Recombinant Transforming Growth Factor-Beta

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Apoptosis is a specific process that leads to programmed cell death through the activation of an evolutionary conserved intracellular pathway leading to pathognomic cellular changes distinct from cellular necrosis