Mary E Swartz

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Hedgehog (Hh) signaling plays multiple roles in the development of the anterior craniofacial skeleton. We show that the earliest function of Hh is indirect, regulating development of the stomodeum, or oral ectoderm. A subset of post-migratory neural crest cells, that gives rise to the cartilages of the anterior neurocranium and the pterygoid process of the(More)
Disruption of signaling pathways such as those mediated by sonic hedgehog (Shh) or platelet-derived growth factor (Pdgf) causes craniofacial abnormalities, including cleft palate. The role that microRNAs play in modulating palatogenesis, however, is completely unknown. We show that, in zebrafish, the microRNA Mirn140 negatively regulates Pdgf signaling(More)
Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrins are required for axon patterning and plasticity in the developing nervous system. Typically, Eph-ephrin interactions promote inhibitory events; for example, prohibiting the entry of neural cells into certain embryonic territories. Here, we show that distinct subsets of motor neurons that express EphA4 respond(More)
Pharyngeal endoderm is essential for and can reprogram development of the head skeleton. Here we investigate the roles of specific endodermal structures in regulating craniofacial development. We have isolated an integrinalpha5 mutant in zebrafish that has region-specific losses of facial cartilages derived from hyoid neural crest cells. In addition, the(More)
We report the expression pattern and construction of a transgenic zebrafish line for a transcription factor involved in otic vesicle formation and skeletogenesis. The zinc finger transcription factor sp7 (formerly called osterix) is reported as a marker of osteoblasts. Using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-mediated transgenesis, we generated a(More)
Mef2 genes encode highly conserved transcription factors involved in somitic and cardiac mesoderm development in diverse bilaterians. Vertebrates have multiple mef2 genes. In mice, mef2c is required for heart and vascular development. We show that a zebrafish mef2c gene (mef2ca) is required in cranial neural crest (CNC) for proper head skeletal patterning.(More)
The proper function of the craniofacial skeleton requires the proper shaping of many individual skeletal elements. Neural crest cells generate much of the craniofacial skeleton and morphogenesis of skeletal elements occurs in transient, reiterated structures termed pharyngeal arches. The shape of individual elements depends upon intrinsic patterning within(More)
Phenotypic robustness requires a process of developmental buffering that is largely not understood, but which can be disrupted by mutations. Here we show that in mef2ca(b1086) loss of function mutant embryos and early larvae, development of craniofacial hyoid bones, the opercle (Op) and branchiostegal ray (BR), becomes remarkably unstable; the large(More)
Development of the facial skeleton depends on interactions between intrinsic factors in the skeletal precursors and extrinsic signals in the facial environment. Hox genes have been proposed to act cell-intrinsically in skeletogenic cranial neural crest cells (CNC) for skeletal pattern. However, Hox genes are also expressed in other facial tissues, such as(More)
Human palatal clefting is debilitating and difficult to rectify surgically. Animal models enhance our understanding of palatogenesis and are essential in strategies designed to ameliorate palatal malformations in humans. Recent studies have shown that the zebrafish palate, or anterior neurocranium, is under similar genetic control to the amniote palatal(More)