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J Mol Histol. 2005 Jun;36(5):367-72. Epub 2005 Sep 30.

Dkk1, -2, and -3 expression in mouse craniofacial development.

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Section of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies V91, 5009, Bergen, Norway.


The Dickkopf family is important for embryogenesis and postnatal development and growth. Dkk1 is a strong head inducer and knockout of this gene leads to absence of anterior head structures, which are predominantly formed through neural crest migration. During early craniofacial development, Dkk1 to Dkk3 show developmentally regulated expression in a number of elements. However, their expression and roles in late times of craniofacial development are largely unknown. This study focuses on the expression profile of Dkk1-3 on late embryonic and early postnatal stages. It was found that Dkks were involved in a variety of craniofacial developmental processes, including facial outgrowth, myogenesis, osteogenesis, palatogenesis, olfactory epithelium and tooth development; and the expression persisted to postnatal stage in the muscles and bones. Their expression patterns suggest important roles in these processes; further study is warranted to elucidate these roles.

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