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Although it is known that mechanical forces are needed for normal bone development, the current understanding of how biophysical stimuli are interpreted by and integrated with genetic regulatory mechanisms is limited. Mechanical forces are thought to be mediated in cells by "mechanosensitive" genes, but it is a challenge to demonstrate that the genetic(More)
Chick embryos are good models for vertebrate development due to their accessibility and manipulability. Recent large increases in available genomic data from both whole genome sequencing and EST projects provide opportunities for identifying many new developmentally important chicken genes. Traditional methods of documenting when and where specific genes(More)
Mechanical forces are essential for normal adult bone function and repair, but the impact of prenatal muscle contractions on bone development remains to be explored in depth in mammalian model systems. In this study, we analyze skeletogenesis in two 'muscleless' mouse mutant models in which the formation of skeletal muscle development is disrupted;(More)
Muscle contractions begin in early embryonic life, generating forces that regulate the correct formation of the skeleton. In this paper we test the hypothesis that the biophysical stimulation generated by muscle forces may be a causative factor for the changes in shape of the knee joint as it grows. We do this by predicting the spatial and temporal patterns(More)
Very little is known about the regulation of morphogenesis in synovial joints. Mechanical forces generated from muscle contractions are required for normal development of several aspects of normal skeletogenesis. Here we show that biophysical stimuli generated by muscle contractions impact multiple events during chick knee joint morphogenesis influencing(More)
Construction of a functional skeleton is accomplished through coordination of the developmental processes of chondrogenesis, osteogenesis, and synovial joint formation. Infants whose movement in utero is reduced or restricted and who subsequently suffer from joint dysplasia (including joint contractures) and thin hypo-mineralised bones, demonstrate that(More)
Wnt signalling is one of the fundamental cell communication systems operating in the embryo and the collection of 19 Wnt and 10 Frizzled (Fzd) receptor genes (in mouse and human) represent just part of a complex system to be unravelled. Here we present a spatially comprehensive set of data on the 3D distribution of Wnt and Fzd gene expression patterns at a(More)
The development of different brain regions involves the coordinated control of proliferation and cell fate specification along and across the neuraxis. Here, we identify Plxdc2 as a novel regulator of these processes, using in ovo electroporation and in vitro cultures of mammalian cells. Plxdc2 is a type I transmembrane protein with some homology to nidogen(More)
The knee joint has a highly complex 3-dimensional (3D) morphology that is sculpted at the interface of the forming long bones as they are generated in the embryo. Although it is clear that regulatory genes guide joint formation, the mechanisms that are responsible for morphogenesis of the knee are poorly understood. Certainly the process involves(More)
Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) have been shown to control formation and differentiation of multiple organ systems in the developing vertebrate embryo. The analysis of differential gene expression during embryogenesis is, therefore, a potent tool to identify novel target genes regulated by FGF signalling. Here, we have applied microarray analysis to(More)