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J Craniofac Surg. 2006 Jul;17(4):736-44.

Defects in aortic fusion and craniofacial vasculature in the holoprosencephalic mouse embryo under inhibition of sonic hedgehog signaling.

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  • 1Clinical Research Center, National Hospital Organization Murayama Medical Center, 2-37-1 Gakuen, Musashimurayama-City, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan.


Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is a well-known morphogen indispensable in facial and nervous development, and recently it has also garnered much attention as a potent angiogenic factor. We previously created an animal model of holoprosencephaly by administration of cyclopamine, a specific inhibitor of hedgehog signaling, to the mouse embryos cultured in vitro, and found several types of angiogenic defects. In this study, we focused on other angiogenic phenotypes in the same model. When cyclopamine was added for embryonic day (E) 8.0-9.5, a pair of immature dorsal aortae, which normally fuse to form the single aorta by E9.5, remained to be separated. Expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor and bone morphogenetic protein 4, putative mediators of aortic fusion, were also reduced around the aorta by blockade of Shh signaling. When cyclopamine was added for E8.5-10.5, vessels on the surface of craniofacial region (possibly external cardinal veins) were extended and malformed. These results suggest that Shh signaling is essential for some aspects of embryonic angiogenesis, and that pathophysiology of holoprosencephaly may involve, at least in part, the Shh-dependent angiogenesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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