NIH Research Festival
Synovial joints are important components of the skeletal system and consist of bone-lining cartilage, synovial membranes and fluids that endow us with our mobility. How these tissues develop during embryogenesis, are maintained during life, and how they degenerate during aging and in disease is a major interest in our group. Previously, we used scRNA-seq to characterize synovial joint formation in the murine knee during fetal development. We identified a gene called Mab21l2 that was expressed in a unique population of neural/neuronal progenitor cells, and in a subset of early joint precursor cells. While little is known about Mab21l2, certain mutations of this gene lead to osteochondral anomalies in humans and mice. We hypothesize that Mab21l2-expressing cells may represent a chondrogenic progenitor cell or a cell type that guides cartilage development in the morphogenetic field. In this study, Tamoxifen-inducible Mab21l2-iCreERT2;R26R-EYFP mice will be used that employs a flox-cre reporter system to trace Mab21l2-expressing cells during synovial joint development.
Pregnant mice will be injected with tamoxifen at E11.5 to induce Cre recombinase activity, which results in an eYFP fluorescence signal in Mab21l2-expressing cells and their progeny. Following induction, mice will be collected on embryonic days specific to critical events during joint development (E11.5-E18.5). eYFP expressing cells will be enriched for by using FACS and then analyzed using scRNA-seq for cell cluster annotation. Additionally, the mediolateral knee section will be analyzed using immunohistochemistry methods.
We hope that this study will help elucidate the role of Mab21l2-expressing cells during joint development.
Scientific Focus Area: Developmental Biology
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023