Radhika P . Atit

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Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays key roles in tooth development, but how this pathway intersects with the complex interplay of signaling factors regulating dental morphogenesis has been unclear. We demonstrate that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling is active at multiple stages of tooth development. Mutation of beta-catenin to a constitutively active form in oral(More)
Dermal fibroblasts are required for structural integrity of the skin and for hair follicle development. Uniform Wnt signaling activity is present in dermal fibroblast precursors preceding hair follicle initiation, but the functional requirement of dermal Wnt signaling at early stages of skin differentiation and patterning remains largely uncharacterized. We(More)
Dorsal dermis and epaxial muscle have been shown to arise from the central dermomyotome in the chick. En1 is a homeobox transcription factor gene expressed in the central dermomyotome. We show by genetic fate mapping in the mouse that En1-expressing cells of the central dermomyotome give rise to dorsal dermis and epaxial muscle and, unexpectedly, to(More)
Cranial dermis develops from cephalic mesoderm and neural crest cells, but what signal(s) specifies the dermal lineage is unclear. Using genetic tools to fate map and manipulate a cranial mesenchymal progenitor population in the supraorbital region, we show that the dermal progenitor cells beneath the surface ectoderm process canonical Wnt signaling at the(More)
Feather buds form sequentially in a hexagonal array. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling from the feather bud inhibits bud formation in the adjacent interbud tissue, but whether interbud fate and patterning is actively promoted by BMP or other factors is unclear. We show that epidermal growth factor (EGF) signaling acts positively to establish(More)
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common genetic disorder characterized by multiple neurofibromas, peripheral nerve tumors containing mainly Schwann cells and fibroblasts. The NF1 gene encodes neurofibromin, a tumor suppressor postulated to function in part as a Ras GTPase-activating protein. The roles of different cell types and of elevated Ras-GTP in(More)
β-Catenin, a key transducer molecule of Wnt signaling, is required for adult hair follicle growth and regeneration. However, the cellular source of Wnt ligands required for Wnt/β-catenin activation during anagen induction is unknown. In this study, we genetically deleted Wntless (Wls), a gene required for Wnt ligand secretion by Wnt-producing cells,(More)
The cranial bones and dermis differentiate from mesenchyme beneath the surface ectoderm. Fate selection in cranial mesenchyme requires the canonical Wnt effector molecule β-catenin, but the relative contribution of Wnt ligand sources in this process remains unknown. Here we show Wnt ligands are expressed in cranial surface ectoderm and underlying(More)
Neurofibromatosis type 1 patients develop peripheral nerve tumors (neurofibromas) composed mainly of Schwann cells and fibroblasts, in an abundant collagen matrix produced by fibroblasts. Trauma has been proposed to trigger neurofibroma formation. To test if loss of the neurofibromatosis type 1 gene (Nf1) compromises fibroblast function in vivo following(More)
The neural crest gives rise to numerous cell types, including Schwann cells, neurons, and melanocytes. The extent to which adult neural crest-derived cells retain plasticity has not been tested previously. We report that cutting adult mouse sciatic nerve induces pigmentation around nerve fascicles, among muscle bundles, and in the hypodermis. Pigmented(More)