Generation of the squamous epithelial roof of the 4th ventricle.
ABSTRACT: We use the transparency of zebrafish embryos to reveal the de novo generation of a simple squamous epithelium and identify the cellular architecture in the epithelial transition zone that ties this squamous epithelium to the columnar neuroepithelium within the embryo's brain. The simple squamous epithelium of the rhombencephalic roof plate is pioneered by distinct mesenchymal cells at the dorsal midline of the neural tube. Subsequently, a progenitor zone is established at the interface between columnar epithelium of the rhombic lip and the expanding squamous epithelium of the roof plate. Surprisingly, this interface consists of a single progenitor cell type that we have named the veil cell. Veil cells express gdf6a and constitute a lineage restricted stem zone that generates the squamous roof plate by direct transformation and asymmetrically fated divisions. Experimental restriction of roof plate expansion leads to extrusion of veil cell daughters and squamous cells, suggesting veil cell fate is regulated by the space available for roof plate growth.
Project description:In several organ systems, the transitional zone between different types of epithelium is a hotspot for pre-neoplastic metaplasia and malignancy, but the cells of origin for these metaplastic epithelia and subsequent malignancies remain unknown. In the case of Barrett's oesophagus, intestinal metaplasia occurs at the gastro-oesophageal junction, where stratified squamous epithelium transitions into simple columnar cells. On the basis of a number of experimental models, several alternative cell types have been proposed as the source of this metaplasia but in all cases the evidence is inconclusive: no model completely mimics Barrett's oesophagus in terms of the presence of intestinal goblet cells. Here we describe a transitional columnar epithelium with distinct basal progenitor cells (p63+KRT5+KRT7+) at the squamous-columnar junction of the upper gastrointestinal tract in a mouse model. We use multiple models and lineage tracing strategies to show that this squamous-columnar junction basal cell population serves as a source of progenitors for the transitional epithelium. On ectopic expression of CDX2, these transitional basal progenitors differentiate into intestinal-like epithelium (including goblet cells) and thereby reproduce Barrett's metaplasia. A similar transitional columnar epithelium is present at the transitional zones of other mouse tissues (including the anorectal junction) as well as in the gastro-oesophageal junction in the human gut. Acid reflux-induced oesophagitis and the multilayered epithelium (believed to be a precursor of Barrett's oesophagus) are both characterized by the expansion of the transitional basal progenitor cells. Our findings reveal a previously unidentified transitional zone in the epithelium of the upper gastrointestinal tract and provide evidence that the p63+KRT5+KRT7+ basal cells in this zone are the cells of origin for multi-layered epithelium and Barrett's oesophagus.
Project description:AIMS:The dynamics and topographical distribution of SOX17 and SOX2 expression was studied in the transformation zone (TZ) of the uterine cervix. This TZ is a dynamic area where switches from glandular into squamous epithelium can be recognized, new squamocolumnar junctions are formed, and premalignant lesions originate. SOX17 and SOX2 show mutually exclusive expression patterns in the normal uterine cervix, with SOX2 being exclusively found in squamous epithelium, while SOX17 is detected in endocervical columnar cells and reserve cells. METHODS AND RESULTS:Normal cervices and squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) were studied with immunohistochemistry, methylation of SOX17, human papilloma virus (HPV) genotyping, and in situ hybridization. In the TZ squamous metaplasia originating from these reserve cells can still show SOX17 expression, while also remnants of SOX17-positive immature metaplasia can be recognized in the normal squamous epithelium. SOX17 expression is gradually lost during maturation, resulting in the exclusive expression of SOX2 in the majority of (SIL). This loss of SOX17 expression is independent of methylation of the CpG island in its promotor region. HPV can be detected in SOX17-positive immature metaplastic regions in the immediate vicinity of SOX2-positive SIL, suggesting that switches in SOX17 and 2 expression can occur upon HPV infection. CONCLUSIONS:This switch in expression, and the strong association between the distribution of reserve cells and squamous areas within the columnar epithelium in the TZ, suggests that reserve cell proliferations, next to basal cells in the squamous epithelium, are potential targets for the formation of squamous lesions upon viral infection.
Project description:Human papillomaviruses (HPV) cause cancer at a number of vulnerable epithelial sites, including the cervix, the anus and the oropharynx, with cervical cancer being the most significant in terms of numbers. The cervix has a complex epithelial organisation, and comprises the stratified epithelium of the ectocervix, the columnar epithelium of the endocervix, and the cervical transformation zone (TZ). Most cervical cancers arise at the TZ, which is a site where a stratified squamous epithelium can develop via metaplasia from a simple columnar epithelium. It is thought that this process is mediated by the cervical reserve cell, a specialised type of stem cell that is located at the TZ, which has been proposed as the target cell for HPV infection. Reserve cells may be derived from the basal cells of the ectocervix, or may originate from the cuboidal cells found at the squamo columnar junction. It appears that HPV infection of these diverse cell types, including the columnar cells of the endocervix, facilitates deregulated viral gene expression and the development of neoplasia, with different epithelial sites having different cancer risk. It is envisaged that these concepts may explain the vulnerability of the oropharynx, and other TZ regions where HPV-associated cancers arise.
Project description:Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection causes cancers and their precursors (high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions) near cervical and anal squamocolumnar junctions. Recently described cervical squamocolumnar junction cells are putative residual embryonic cells near the cervical transformation zone. These cells appear multipotential and share an identical immunophenotype (strongly CK7-positive) with over 90% of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions and cervical carcinomas. However, because the number of new cervical cancers discovered yearly world wide is 17-fold that of anal cancer, we posed the hypothesis that this difference in cancer risk reflects differences in the transition zones at the two sites. The microanatomy of the normal anal transformation zone (n=37) and topography and immunophenotype of anal squamous neoplasms (n=97) were studied. A discrete anal transition zone was composed of multilayered CK7-positive/p63-negative superficial columnar cells and an uninterrupted layer of CK7-negative/p63-positive basal cells. The CK7-negative/p63-positive basal cells were continuous with-and identical in appearance to-the basal cells of the mature squamous epithelium. This was in contrast to the cervical squamocolumnar junction, which harbored a single-layered CK7-positive/p63-negative squamocolumnar junction cell population. Of the 97 anal intraepithelial neoplasia/squamous cell carcinomas evaluated, only 27% (26/97) appeared to originate near the anal transition zone and only 23% (22/97) were CK7-positive. This study thus reveals two fundamental differences between the anus and the cervix: (1) the anal transition zone does not harbor a single monolayer of residual undifferentiated embryonic cells and (2) the dominant tumor immunophenotype is in keeping with an origin in metaplastic (CK7-negative) squamous rather than squamocolumnar junction (CK7-positive) epithelium. The implication is that, at birth, the embryonic cells in the anal transition zone have already begun to differentiate, presenting a metaplasia that-similar to vaginal and vulvar epithelium-is less prone to HPV-directed carcinogenesis. This in turn underscores the link between cancer risk and a very small and discrete population of vulnerable squamocolumnar junction cells in the cervix.
Project description:Single-layered epithelia are the first differentiated cell types to develop in the embryo, with columnar and squamous types appearing immediately after blastocyst implantation. Here, we show that mouse embryonic stem cells seeded on hensin or laminin, but not fibronectin or collagen type IV, formed hemispheric epithelial structures whose outermost layer terminally differentiated to an epithelium that resembled the visceral endoderm. Hensin induced columnar epithelia, whereas laminin formed squamous epithelia. At the egg cylinder stage, the distal visceral endoderm is columnar, and these cells begin to migrate anteriorly to create the anterior visceral endoderm, which assumes a squamous shape. Hensin expression coincided with the dynamic appearance and disappearance of columnar cells at the egg cylinder stage of the embryo. These expression patterns, and the fact that hensin null embryos (and those already reported for laminin) die at the onset of egg cylinder formation, support the view that hensin and laminin are required for terminal differentiation of columnar and squamous epithelial phenotypes during early embryogenesis.
Project description:Although cells comprising esophageal submucosal glands (ESMGs) represent a potential progenitor cell niche, new models are needed to understand their capacity to proliferate and differentiate. By histologic appearance, ESMGs have been associated with both overlying normal squamous epithelium and columnar epithelium. Our aim was to assess ESMG proliferation and differentiation in a 3-dimensional culture model.We evaluated proliferation in human ESMGs from normal and diseased tissue by proliferating cell nuclear antigen immunohistochemistry. Next, we compared 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine labeling in porcine ESMGs in vivo before and after esophageal injury with a novel in vitro porcine organoid ESMG model. Microarray analysis of ESMGs in culture was compared with squamous epithelium and fresh ESMGs.Marked proliferation was observed in human ESMGs of diseased tissue. This activated ESMG state was recapitulated after esophageal injury in an in vivo porcine model, ESMGs assumed a ductal appearance with increased proliferation compared with control. Isolated and cultured porcine ESMGs produced buds with actively cycling cells and passaged to form epidermal growth factor-dependent spheroids. These spheroids were highly proliferative and were passaged multiple times. Two phenotypes of spheroids were identified: solid squamous (P63+) and hollow/ductal (cytokeratin 7+). Microarray analysis showed spheroids to be distinct from parent ESMGs and enriched for columnar transcripts.Our results suggest that the activated ESMG state, seen in both human disease and our porcine model, may provide a source of cells to repopulate damaged epithelium in a normal manner (squamous) or abnormally (columnar epithelium). This culture model will allow the evaluation of factors that drive ESMGs in the regeneration of injured epithelium. The raw microarray data have been uploaded to the National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus (accession number: GSE100543).
Project description:The roof plate is a specialized embryonic midline tissue of the central nervous system that functions as a signaling center regulating dorsal neural patterning. In the developing hindbrain, roof plate cells express Gdf7 and previous genetic fate mapping studies showed that these cells contribute mostly to non-neural choroid plexus epithelium. We demonstrate here that constitutive activation of the Sonic hedgehog signaling pathway in the Gdf7 lineage invariably leads to medulloblastoma. Lineage tracing analysis reveals that Gdf7-lineage cells not only are a source of choroid plexus epithelial cells, but are also present in the cerebellar rhombic lip and contribute to a subset of cerebellar granule neuron precursors, the presumed cell-of-origin for Sonic hedgehog-driven medulloblastoma. We further show that Gdf7-lineage cells also contribute to multiple neuronal and glial cell types in the cerebellum, including glutamatergic granule neurons, unipolar brush cells, Purkinje neurons, GABAergic interneurons, Bergmann glial cells, and white matter astrocytes. These findings establish hindbrain roof plate as a novel source of diverse neural cell types in the cerebellum that is also susceptible to oncogenic transformation by deregulated Sonic hedgehog signaling.
Project description:Worldwide, HIV-1 infects millions of people annually, the majority of whom are women. To establish infection in the female reproductive tract (FRT), HIV-1 in male ejaculate must overcome numerous innate and adaptive immune factors, traverse the genital epithelium, and establish infection in underlying CD4(+) target cells. How the virus achieves this remains poorly defined. By utilizing a new technique, we define how HIV-1 interacts with different tissues of the FRT using human cervical explants and in vivo exposure in the rhesus macaque vaginal transmission model. Despite previous claims of the squamous epithelium being an efficient barrier to virus entry, we reveal that HIV-1 can penetrate both intact columnar and squamous epithelial barriers to depths where the virus can encounter potential target cells. In the squamous epithelium, we identify virus entry occurring through diffusive percolation, penetrating areas where cell junctions are absent. In the columnar epithelium, we illustrate that virus does not transverse barriers as well as previously thought due to mucus impediment. We also show a statistically significant correlation between the viral load of inocula and the ability of HIV-1 to pervade the squamous barrier. Overall, our results suggest a diffusive percolation mechanism for the initial events of HIV-1 entry. With these data, we also mathematically extrapolate the number of HIV-1 particles that penetrate the mucosa per coital act, providing a biological description of the mechanism for HIV-1 transmission during the acute and chronic stages of infection.
Project description:Chlamydia infection targets the mucosal epithelium, where squamous and columnar epithelia can be found. Research on Chlamydia-epithelia interaction has predominantly focused on columnar epithelia, with very little known on how Chlamydia interacts with the squamous epithelium. The stratification and differentiation processes found in the squamous epithelium might influence chlamydial growth and infection dissemination. For this reason, three-dimensional (3D) organotypic stratified squamous epithelial cultures were adapted to mimic the stratified squamous epithelium and chlamydial infection was characterized. Chlamydia trachomatis infection in monolayers and 3D cultures were monitored by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy to evaluate inclusion growth and chlamydial interconversion between elementary and reticulate body. We observed that the stratified epithelium varied in susceptibility to C. trachomatis serovars L2 and D infection. The undifferentiated basal cells were susceptible to infection by both serovars, while the terminally differentiated upper layers were resistant. The differentiating suprabasal cells exhibited different susceptibilities to serovars L2 and D, with the latter unable to establish a successful infection in this layer. Mature elementary body-containing inclusions were much more prevalent in these permissive basal layers, while the uppermost differentiated layers consistently harbored very few reticulate bodies with no elementary bodies, indicative of severely limited bacterial replication and development. For serovar D, the differentiation state of the host cell was a determining factor, as calcium-induced differentiation of cells in a monolayer negatively affected growth of this serovar, in contrast to serovar L2. The apparent completion of the developmental cycle in the basal layers of the 3D cultures correlated with the greater degree of dissemination within and the level of disruption of the stratified epithelium. Our studies indicate that the squamous epithelium is a suboptimal environment for growth, and thus potentially contributing to the protection of the lower genital tract from infection. The relatively more fastidious serovar D exhibited more limited growth than the faster-growing and more invasive L2 strain. However, if given access to the more hospitable basal cell layer, both strains were able to produce mature inclusions, replicate, and complete their developmental cycle.
Project description:The roof plate is an organizing center in the dorsal CNS that controls specification and differentiation of adjacent neurons through secretion of the BMP and WNT signaling molecules. Lmx1a, a member of the LIM-homeodomain (LIM-HD) transcription factor family, is expressed in the roof plate and its progenitors at all axial levels of the CNS and is necessary and sufficient for roof plate formation in the spinal cord. In the anterior CNS, however, a residual roof plate develops in the absence of Lmx1a. Lmx1b, another member of the LIM-HD transcription factor family which is highly related to Lmx1a, is expressed in the roof plate in the anterior CNS. Although Lmx1b-null mice do not show a substantial deficiency in hindbrain roof plate formation, Lmx1a/Lmx1b compound-null mutants fail to generate hindbrain roof plate. This observation indicates that both genes act in concert to direct normal hindbrain roof plate formation. Since the requirement of Lmx1b function for normal isthmic organizer at the mid-hindbrain boundary complicates analysis of a distinct dorsal patterning role of this gene, we also used a conditional knock-out strategy to specifically delete dorsal midline Lmx1b expression. Phenotypic analysis of single and compound conditional mutants confirmed overlapping roles for Lmx1 genes in regulating hindbrain roof plate formation and growth and also revealed roles in regulating adjacent cerebellar morphogenesis. Our data provides the first evidence of overlapping function of the Lmx1 genes during embryonic CNS development.