We found multiple aneurysms in the intracranial arteries and abdominal aorta of an 87-year-old Korean female cadaver, whose cause of death was reported as "cholangiocarcinoma." An abdominal aortic aneurysm was observed in the infrarenal aorta, where the inferior mesenteric artery arose. The intracranial aneurysms were found in the A3 segment of the anterior cerebral artery and at the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery. This case provides an example of the very rare association of peripheral intracranial aneurysms with an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Clinicians as well as anatomists should recognize the potential association between these two aneurysm types.
Abdominal aorta; Aneurysm; Anterior cerebral artery; Korean cadaver
The corresponding author of the study has been sketching comic strips to explain anatomy in a humorous manner. All the anatomy comic strips, including those in Korean (650 episodes) and English (451 episodes), can be viewed on the homepage (http://anatomy.co.kr). Such comic strips were created with the aim of assisting medical students. However, their impact was unknown, and therefore, we surveyed the students' responses. We noted that anatomy grades were better in the students who read the comic strips. The comics helped the trainees chat with individuals with and without a medical background. The authors also considered comments on the problems with the comic strips and attempted to find solutions. The episodes are being currently used and further produced for educational purposes. To support this effort, the readers' valuable opinions will be continuously collected and assessed.
Artistic anatomy; Cartoons; Humor; Medical education; Questionnaires
Hypoxia-ischemia leads to serious neuronal damage in some brain regions and is a strong risk factor for stroke. The aim of this study was to investigate the neuroprotective effect of tanshinone I (TsI) derived from Danshen (Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza root extract) against neuronal damage using a mouse model of cerebral hypoxia-ischemia. Brain infarction and neuronal damage were examined using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining, hematoxylin and eosin histochemistry, and Fluoro-Jade B histofluorescence. Pre-treatment with TsI (10 mg/kg) was associated with a significant reduction in infarct volume 1 day after hypoxia-ischemia was induced. In addition, TsI protected against hypoxia-ischemia-induced neuronal death in the ipsilateral region. Our present findings suggest that TsI has strong potential for neuroprotection against hypoxic-ischemic damage. These results may be used in research into new anti-stroke medications.
Hypoxia-ischemia; Neuronal death; Neuroprotection; Radix Salvia miltiorrhiza
Fracture is one of the pathological signs most frequently encountered in archaeologically obtained bones. To expand the paleopathological knowledge on traumatic injuries, it is desirable to secure data on long bone fractures from as wide a geographic and temporal range as possible. We present, for the first time, evidence of long bone fractures in a 16th-18th century Joseon skeletal series (n=96). In this study, we found 3 Colles' fractures of the radius in 2 individual cases. The pattern of fractures was unique. Although previous reports show that the ulna is broken more often than the radius, ulnar fracture associated with fending off a blunt attack was rare in our series (1/7 cases). Transverse fractures, typically caused by intentional violence, were also very rare (1/7 cases) in this study. These results may reflect the relatively tranquil lives of the Joseon people in 16th-18th century Korea. We also found post-fracture complications such as deformations, bone length shortening, and osteomyelitis. The present study would be of interest to medical scientists in related fields because it is one of the few studies conducted on long bone fractures among pre-modern societies in East Asian countries, thus far.
Bone fracture; Wounds and injuries; Colles' fracture; Korea; Joseon Dynasty
Women with tubal ectopic pregnancies have high levels of circulating interleukin 6 (IL-6). IL-6 treatment in vitro significantly reduces the ciliary activity of tubal epithelium. The effects of IL-6 on target cells occur via the formation of a high-affinity complex with its receptors IL-6Rα and glycoprotein 130 (Gp130). IL-6Rα is specifically expressed in the cilia of the epithelial cells. In this study, we performed a quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction to determine the mRNA expression of IL-6Rα and Gp130 in the fallopian tubes obtained from 12 women with ectopic pregnancies, 12 women with normal pregnancies, and 12 healthy nonpregnant women in the luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. Fallopian tubes were evaluated from specimens taken during tubal ligation in normal pregnancies and nonpregnant fertile women or during tubal surgery in ectopic pregnancies. We observed that IL-6Rα mRNA expression in fallopian tubes was increased in ectopic pregnancy compared with that in the midluteal phase. We also found that the Gp130 mRNA expression was significantly lower in fallopian tubes from ectopic pregnancies than in those from nonpregnant women during the midluteal phase of their menstrual cycle, although its expression was noticeably high in fallopian tubes in the midluteal phase, which suggests that high Gp130 levels may possibly contribute to embryo transport into the uterus.
Interleukin-6 receptor alpha; Gp130; Ectopic pregnancy; Fallopian tubes
This study aimed to measure the thickness of the epithelium and lamina propria of the palatal mucosa and to elucidate the location of the greater palatine artery to provide the anatomical basis for subepithelial connective tissue grafting. Thirty-two maxillary specimens, taken from the canine distal area to the first molar distal area, were embedded in paraffin and stained with hematoxylin-eosin. The thickness of the epithelium and lamina propria of the palatal mucosa was measured at three positions on these specimens, starting from 3 mm below the alveolar crest and in 3-mm intervals. The location of the greater palatine artery was evaluated by using image-processing software. The mean epithelial thickness decreased significantly in the posterior teeth; it was 0.41, 0.36, 0.32, and 0.30 mm in the canine, first premolar, second premolar, and first molar distal areas, respectively. The lamina propria was significantly thicker in the canine distal; it was 1.36, 1.08, 1.09, and 1.05 mm, respectively. The mean length from the alveolar crest to the greater palatine artery increased toward the posterior molar; it was 7.76, 9.21, 10.93, and 11.28 mm, respectively. The mean depth from the surface of the palatal mucosa to the greater palatine artery decreased from the canine distal to the first premolar distal but increased again toward the posterior molar; it was 3.97, 3.09, 3.58, and 5.50 mm, respectively. Detailed histological assessments of the lamina propria of the palatal mucosa and the greater palatine artery are expected to provide useful anatomical guidelines for subepithelial connective tissue grafting.
Palatal mucosa; Mucous membrane; Greater palatine artery; Histological assessment; Subepithelial connective tissue grafting
Quantitative studies to date on the effects of opioid consumption and abstinence on the nervous system using modern stereological methods have not received enough attention. In addition, they have yielded controversial results. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of morphine, with or without abstinence, on the neurons and oligodendrocytes of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) in rats using quantitative stereological methods. The male rats were divided into four groups: the first (saline [SAL]) and second (morphine [MOR]) groups were treated with saline and an escalating dose of morphine (5-20 mg/kg) for 30 days, respectively; the third (SAL+abstinence [ABS]) and fourth (MOR+ABS) groups were treated in the same manner as the previous groups plus they had a 30-day abstinence period. The results showed that the volume of the MPFC and its subdivisions decreased by approximately 15% in the MOR group compared with that in the SAL group (P<0.05). In addition, the volume decreased by approximately 24% in the MOR+ABS group compared with that in the SAL+ABS group (P<0.05). The number of neurons in the MOR and MOR+ABS groups decreased by approximately 44% and 35%, respectively, compared with that in their corresponding control groups. Moreover, the number of the oligodendrocytes in the MOR and MOR+ABS groups decreased by approximately 41% and 37%, respectively. No significant difference was noted in the number of cells in the MOR and MOR+ABS groups. In conclusion, morphine consumption leads to a permanent reduction in the number of neurons and oligodendrocytes, and no additional neuron and oligodendrocyte loss occurs after abstinence.
Morphine; Cortex; Neurons; Oligodendroglia; Stereology; Rat
The occurrence of a brachial plexus united into a single cord is very rare. During routine dissection of an elderly female cadaver, the brachial plexus united into a single cord was observed bilaterally. On the left side, C4, C5, and C6 roots combined to form the upper trunk, the C7 root continued as the middle trunk, and C8 and T1 united to form the lower trunk. All three trunks almost immediately fused to form a single cord. On the right side, C5 and C6 roots joined to form the upper trunk, which divided into anterior and posterior divisions. C7, C8, and T1 roots combined to form the lower trunk. The anterior and posterior divisions united with the lower trunk to form a single cord. On both sides, the subclavian artery was superior to the single cord. Supraclavicular brachial plexus injuries in such individuals may have serious clinical manifestations.
Brachial plexus; Single cord; Bilateral
The extensor digitorum brevis muscle (EDB) is a practical option for use as an island flap or free flap when reconstructing soft tissue defects in the ankle as well as in the entire lower limb. It is frequently used to correct crossover toe deformity and other painful toe disorders. We evaluated the morphometry of the EDB in 44 formalin-fixed limbs. Length and width of the muscles were measured. Surface area was calculated as the product of length and width of the muscle. The length of each tendon was also measured from its origin to the point of distal attachment. Presence of any additional tendons was noted. Mean length, width, and surface area of the muscle were 7.39±0.71 cm, 4.1±0.37 cm, and 30.5±4.78 cm2 on the right side and 7.2±0.84 cm, 3.9±0.37 cm, and 28.4±5.35 cm2 on the left side, respectively. Morphometry of the tendons revealed that the tendon of the great toe had the highest mean length (9.5 cm) and the tendon of the fourth toe had the lowest mean length (6.3 cm). Four of the limbs studied (9.09%) had only three tendons. Three of the limbs studied (6.81%) had five tendons, and in one exceptional case (2.27%), six tendons were detected. These observations have significant value and are applicable to plastic and orthopedic surgery.
Tendon transfer; Morphometry; Reconstruction; Crossover toe deformity; Extensor digitorum brevis
Vascular variations in and around the porta hepatis are common. A sound knowledge of possible variations at these sites is vital for surgeons during laparoscopic cholecystectomy and surgical resection of the liver lobes. We report the case of several variations of the hepatic and cystic arteries in which, the common hepatic artery trifurcated into the gastroduodenal, right hepatic, and left hepatic arteries. The right gastric artery arose from the left hepatic artery and divided into a left and a right branch. The left branch entered the liver through the porta hepatis, while the right branch passed behind the common hepatic duct into the Calot's triangle, provided 2 branches to the gallbladder, and continued to supply the right hepatic lobe. Ligation of the right branch of the right hepatic artery in Calot's triangle during cholecystectomy could cause avascular necrosis of the liver segments it supplies.
Cystic artery; Hepatic artery; Celiac trunk; Calot's triangle; Right gastric artery
Using immunohistochemical staining for alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), S100 protein (S100), p63, cytokeratin 14 (CK14), and cytokeratin 19 (CK19), we studied acinar and myoepithelial cells of major and minor salivary glands obtained from 14 donated cadavers (78-92 years old) and 5 donated fetuses (aborted at 15-16 weeks of gestation). CK and p63 expression was investigated only in the adult specimens. SMA was detected in all adult glands as well as in fetal sublingual and pharyngeal glands. GFAP expression was seen in a limited number of cells in adult glands, but was highly expressed in fetal pharyngeal glands. S100-positive myoepithelial-like cells were present in adult minor glands as well as in fetal sublingual and pharyngeal glands. Expression of p63 was evident in the ducts of adult glands. CK14 immunoreactivity was observed in a limited number of glandular cells in adults, in contrast to consistent expression of CK19. In both adults and fetuses, a mosaic expression pattern was usually evident for each of the examined proteins. A difference in immunoreactivity for the nerve markers GFAP and S100 was observed between the major and minor glands. Thus, in the present histologic study, we distinguished between the specific gland types on the basis of their immunohistochemical staining. A mosaic expression pattern suggested that the immunoreactivity against nerve protein markers in myoepithelial cells could not be due to the persistence of neural crest remnants or the physiological status of the gland, such as age-related degeneration.
Salivary glands; Myoepithelial cells; Immunohistochemistry; Adult; Fetus
In recent years, examination and comparison of the biological characteristics of bone marrow- and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from various perspectives have come into the focus of stem cell research, as these cells should be well characterized in order to utilize them in future cellular therapies. Therefore, in the present study, surface protein markers and the skeletal myogenic differentiation potential of rat bone marrow- and adipose-derived MSCs were examined. The expression of CD44, CD45, CD73, and CD90 on bone marrow- and adipose-derived MSCs was characterized using flow cytometry. Subsequently, the stem cells were differentiated into myogenic lineages, and the expression of the skeletal myogenic markers MyoD1, Myog, and Myh2 was studied in cells using real time polymerase chain reaction and immunofluorescence. Our results reveal that the pattern of CD marker expression differs between these 2 types of MSCs to some extent, whereas no significant difference was observed with respect to their myogenic differentiation potential. Therefore, we concluded that despite the differences observed in the biological features of these 2 types of MSCs, their myogenic potential appears to be similar, and that adipose-derived stem cells may be useful in skeletal muscle tissue engineering, due to their easy isolation and capacity for rapid expansion in a short time span.
Surface antigens; Myogenic potential; Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells; Adipose-derived stem cells; Rat
The present study examined the efficacy of Ocimum basilicum (basil) extract, a natural herb, with antioxidant properties, against testicular toxicity induced by cadmium (Cd), which is one of the most important toxic heavy metals. The intoxicated rats showed significant alterations in the testicular tissue including decreased seminiferous epithelium height and changes in the arrangement of spermatogenic layers. Hypospermatogensis with cytoplasmic vacuolization and pyknotic nuclei were observed. Intertubular hemorrahage and absence of spermatozoa were noted. Decreased cell proliferation was reflected by a decrease in Ki-67 expression, whereas the increase in apoptotic rate was associated with a decrease in the Bcl/Bax ratio. Concomitant treatment with aqueous basil extract led to an improvement in histological, morphometrical and immunohistochemical changes induced by Cd. The beneficial effects of basil extract could be attributed to its antioxidant properties.
Apoptosis; Cadmium; Ocimum basilicum; Ki-67; Rats; Testis
Recent studies have suggested that nestin facilitates cellular structural remodeling in vasculature-associated cells in response to ischemic injury. The current study was designed to investigate the potential role of post-ischemic nestin expression in parenchymal astrocytes. With this aim, we characterized ischemia-induced nestin expression in the CA1 hippocampal region, an area that undergoes a delayed neuronal death, followed by a lack of neuronal generation after transient forebrain ischemia. Virtually all of the nestin-positive cells in the ischemic CA1 hippocampus were reactive astrocytes. However, induction of nestin expression did not correlate simply with astrogliosis, but rather showed characteristic time- and strata-dependent expression patterns. Nestin induction in astrocytes of the pyramidal cell layer was rapid and transient, while a long-lasting induction of nestin was observed in astrocytes located in the CA1 dendritic subfields, such as the stratum oriens and radiatum, until at least day 28 after ischemia. There was no detectable expression in the stratum lacunosum moleculare despite the evident astroglial reaction. Almost all of the nestin-positive cells also expressed a transcription factor for neural/glial progenitors, i.e., Sox-2 or Sox-9, and some cells were also positive for Ki-67. However, all of the nestin-positive astrocytes expressed the calcium-binding protein S100β, which is known to be expressed in a distinct, post-mitotic astrocyte population. Thus, our data indicate that in the ischemic CA1 hippocampus, nestin expression was induced in astroglia that were becoming reactive, but not in a progenitor/stem cell population, suggesting that nestin may allow for the structural remodeling of these cells in response to ischemic injury.
Nestin; Transient forebrain ischemia; Reactive astrocytes; Hippocampus
We examined pharyngeal nerve courses in paraffin-embedded sagittal sections from 10 human fetuses, at 25-35 weeks of gestation, by using S100 protein immunohistochemical analysis. After diverging from the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves at the level of the hyoid bone, the pharyngeal nerves entered the constrictor pharyngis medius muscle, then turned upward and ran superiorly and medially through the constrictor pharyngis superior muscle, to reach either the levator veli palatini muscle or the palatopharyngeus muscle. None of the nerves showed a tendency to run along the posterior surface of the pharyngeal muscles. Therefore, the pharyngeal nerve plexus in adults may become established by exposure of the fetal intramuscular nerves to the posterior aspect of the pharyngeal wall because of muscle degeneration and the subsequent rearrangement of the topographical relationship between the muscles that occurs after birth.
Pharyngeal nerve plexus; Glossopharyngeal nerve; Constrictor pharyngis superior muscle; Levator veli palatini muscle; Human fetus
The supinator muscle originates from the annular ligament of the radius, and the muscle fibers and ligament take a similar winding course. Likewise, the coccygeus muscle and the sacrospinous ligament are attached together, and show a similar fiber orientation. During dissection of adult cadavers for our educational curriculum, we had the impression that these ligaments grow in combination with degeneration of parts of the muscles. In histological sections of 25 human fetuses at 10-32 weeks of gestation, we found that the proximal parts of the supinator muscle were embedded in collagenous tissue when the developing annular ligament of the radius joined the thick intermuscular connecting band extending between the extensor carpi radialis and anconeus muscles at 18-22 weeks of gestation, and the anterior parts of the coccygeus muscle were surrounded by collagenous tissue when the intramuscular tendon became the sacrospinous ligament at 28-32 weeks. Parts of these two muscles each seemed to provide a mold for the ligament, and finally became involved with it. This may be the first report to indicate that a growing ligament has potential to injure parts of the "mother muscle," and that this process may be involved in the initial development of the ligament.
Supinator muscle; Coccygeus muscle; Sacrospinous ligament; Annular ligament of the radius; Human fetus
Among medical education institutions worldwide, the time allotted for anatomy instruction has decreased without any reasonable time optimization suggestions. In addition, the utility of cadaver dissection has long been debated. Herein, we surveyed students' perceptions of anatomy education with respect to time and hands-on cadaver dissection, at Seoul National University College of Medicine. With the help of a questionnaire, we surveyed third- and fourth-year students at our institute who had completed the anatomy module as freshmen as well as their clinical clerkship. At our institute, students complete 50 hours of anatomy lectures and 120 hours of dissection laboratory during their first year. According to the survey responses, they generally considered these durations to be adequate for achieving their anatomy education goals. Almost all the students regarded the dissection laboratory as an essential and most helpful modality. Thus, we suggest that these ranges of time along with cadaver dissection could be useful guidelines for optimized anatomy education. The survey data also indicated that a more clinically oriented anatomy education could improve students' results.
Anatomy education; Cadaver dissection; Korean medical college
Anatomical variations of the nerves, muscles, and vessels in the upper limb have been described in many anatomical studies; however, the occurrence of 6 variations in an ipsilateral limb is very rare. These variations occur in the following structures: the pectoralis minimus muscle, the communication between the external jugular vein and cephalic vein, axillary arch, the Struthers ligament, the medial, lateral, and posterior cords of the brachial plexus, and the common arterial trunk from the third part of the axillary artery. The relationship of these variations to each other and their probable clinical presentation is discussed.
Pectoralis minimus; Axillary arch; Struthers ligament; Bifurcated posterior cord; Median nerve
We present a rare variation of the right-sided aortic arch with the retroesophageal left subclavian artery as the forth branch found in a cadaver of an 89-year-old Korean woman during a routine dissection. In this case, the first branch that arose from the ascending aorta was the left common carotid artery, which crossed ventral to the trachea in a left cephalic direction, followed by the right common carotid artery and then the right subclavian artery. Distal to these branches the aortic arch ran dorsally, passing between the esophagus and the vertebra. The left subclavian artery arose from the descending portion of the aortic arch, crossing over to the left upper extremity behind the esophagus. This anomaly was not accompanied by congenital heart disease. Accurate information regarding this variation is of great importance to surgeons for its early identification and preservation during interventions and to radiologists for precise interpretation of angiograms.
Right-sided aortic arch; Retroesophageal left subclavian artery
Cases reporting traumatic injuries to the brain and spinal cord are extended range of disorders that affect a large percentage of the world's population. But, there are only few effective treatments available for central nervous system (CNS) injuries because the CNS is refractory to axonal regeneration and relatively inaccessible to many pharmacological treatments. The use of stem cell therapy in regenerative medicine has been extensively examined to replace lost cells during CNS injuries. But, given the complexity of CNS injuries oxidative stress, toxic byproducts, which prevails in the microenvironment during the diseased condition, may limit the survival of the transplanted stem cells affecting tissue regeneration and even longevity. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are a new class of nanomaterials, which have been shown to be promising in different areas of nanomedicine for the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of certain diseases, including CNS diseases. In particular, the use of CNTs as substrates/scaffolds for supporting the stem cell differentiation has been an area of active research. Single-walled and multi-walled CNT's have been increasingly used as scaffolds for neuronal growth and more recently for neural stem cell growth and differentiation. This review summarizes recent research on the application of CNT-based materials to direct the differentiation of progenitor and stem cells toward specific neurons and to enhance axon regeneration and synaptogenesis for the effective treatment of CNS injuries. Nonetheless, accumulating data support the use of CNTs as a biocompatible and permissive substrate/scaffold for neural cells and such application holds great potential in neurological research.
Crbon nano tubes; Biocompatability; Stem cells; Stem cell differentiation; Central nervous system injuries
Eyelid anatomy, including thickness measurements, was examined in numerous age groups. The thickest part of the upper eyelid is just below the eyebrow (1.127±238 µm), and the thinnest near the ciliary margin (320±49 µm). The thickness of skin at 7 mm above the eyelashes was 860±305 µm. The results revealed no significant differences among the age groups. Fast fibers (87.8±3.7%) occupied a significantly larger portion of the orbicularis oculi muscle (OOM) than nonfast fibers (12.2±3.7%). The frontalis muscle passed through and was inserted into the bundles of the OOM on the superior border of the eyebrow at the middle and medial portions of the upper eyelid. Laterally, the frontalis muscle inserted about 0.5 cm below the superior border of the eyebrow. Fast fibers occupied a significantly larger portion of the OOM than did non-fast fibers. The oculomotor nerve ends that extend forward to the distal third of the levator muscle are exposed and vulnerable to local anesthetics and may be numbed during blepharoplasty. The orbital septum consists of 2 layers. The outer layer of loose connective tissue descends to interdigitate with the levator aponeurosis and disperses inferiorly. The inner layer follows the outer layer, then reflects and continues posteriorly with the levator sheath. Widths of the tarsal plate at its lower border, mid-height, and upper border were 21.8±1.8, 16.2±1.6, and 8.3±1.0 mm, respectively. The widths of the levator aponeurosis were 32.0±2.2, 29.2±3.5, and 27.2±3.9 mm, respectively. Below the levator, the "conjoint fascial sheath" (CFS) is attached to the conjunctival fornix. The CFS was 12.2±2.0 mm anteroposterior length and 1.1±0.1 mm thick. The shape was equilateral trapezoid with a longer base anteriorly. The superior palpebral muscle was trapezoidal. The lengths of its sides were 15.58±1.82 and 22.30±5.25 mm, and its height was 13.70±2.74 mm. The width of the levator aponeurosis was approximately 4 mm wider than the superior palpebral muscle.
Eyelids; Anatomy and histology; Blepharoplasty; Blepharoptosis
Inflammation within the central nervous system often accompanies ischemia, trauma, infection, and other neuronal injuries. The immune system is now recognized to play a major role in neuronal cell death due to microglial activation, leukocyte recruitment, and cytokine secretion. The participation of heat shock proteins (Hsps) in the immune response following in brain injury can be seen as an attempt to correct the inflammatory condition. The Hsps comprise various families on the basis of molecular size. One of the most studied is Hsp70. Hsp70 is thought to act as a molecular chaperone that is present in almost intracellular compartments, and function by refolding misfolded or aggregated proteins. Hsps have recently been studied in inflammatory conditions. Hsp70 can both induce and arrest inflammatory reactions and lead to improved neurological outcome in experimental brain injury and ischemia. In this review, we will focus on underlying inflammatory mechanisms and Hsp70 in acute neurological injury.
Heat shock proteins; Brain injury; Molecular chaperones; Immune system; Anti-inflammation
Genetically engineered mice have provided much information about gene function in the field of developmental biology. Recently, conditional gene targeting using the Cre/loxP system has been developed to control the cell type and timing of the target gene expression. The increase in number of kidney-specific Cre mice allows for the analysis of phenotypes that cannot be addressed by conventional gene targeting. The mammalian kidney is a vital organ that plays a critical homeostatic role in the regulation of body fluid composition and excretion of waste products. The interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal cells are very critical events in the field of developmental biology, especially renal development. Kidney development is a complex process, requiring inductive interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal cells that eventually lead to the growth and differentiation of multiple highly specialized stromal, vascular, and epithelial cell types. Through the use of genetically engineered mouse models, the molecular bases for many of the events in the developing kidney have been identified. Defective morphogenesis may result in clinical phenotypes that range from complete renal agenesis to diseases such as hypertension that exist in the setting of grossly normal kidneys. In this review, we focus on the growth and transcription factors that define kidney progenitor cell populations, initiate ureteric bud branching, induce nephron formation within the metanephric mesenchyme, and differentiate stromal and vascular progenitors in the metanephric mesenchyme.
Cre/loxP system; Kidney; Development; Metanephric mesenchyme; Ureteric bud
There is little or no information about the distribution of elastic fibers in the human fetal head. We examined this issue in 15 late-stage fetuses (crown-rump length, 220-320 mm) using aldehyde-fuchsin and elastica-Masson staining, and we used the arterial wall elastic laminae and external ear cartilages as positive staining controls. The posterior pharyngeal wall, as well as the ligaments connecting the laryngeal cartilages, contained abundant elastic fibers. In contrast with the sphenomandibular ligament and the temporomandibular joint disk, in which elastic fibers were partly present, the discomalleolar ligament and the fascial structures around the pterygoid muscles did not have any elastic fibers. In addition, the posterior marginal fascia of the prestyloid space did contain such fibers. Notably, in the middle ear, elastic fibers accumulated along the tendons of the tensor tympani and stapedius muscles and in the joint capsules of the ear ossicle articulations. Elastic fibers were not seen in any other muscle tendons or vertebral facet capsules in the head and neck. Despite being composed of smooth muscle, the orbitalis muscle did not contain any elastic fibers. The elastic fibers in the sphenomandibular ligament seemed to correspond to an intermediate step of development between Meckel's cartilage and the final ligament. Overall, there seemed to be a mini-version of elastic fiber distribution compared to that in adults and a different specific developmental pattern of connective tissues. The latter morphology might be a result of an adaptation to hypoxic conditions during development.
Elastic fibers; Sphenomandibular ligament; Ear ossicles; Head; Human fetus
We examined a series of changes that occur in the trabecular meshwork fibers of human eyes during fetal development at 12-30 weeks of gestation. At 12 and 15 weeks, the uveal meshwork was stained black with silver impregnation (indicating the predominance of collagen types III and IV) in the endomysium of the ciliary muscle. At 20 weeks, in combination with Schlemm's canal, a dense fibrous tissue mass corresponding to the trabecular meshwork anlage appeared and was colored black. The anlage was continuous with the corneal endothelium rather than with the ciliary muscle. Until 25 weeks, the trabecular meshwork was identifiable as fragmented fiber bundles that stained red-black, suggesting a mixture of collagen types I, III, and IV. At 30 weeks, half of the ciliary muscle fibers were inserted into the scleral spur and not into the meshwork. Therefore, any contribution of ciliary muscle contraction to the differentiation of the trabecular meshwork would appear to be limited. We hypothesize that an uneven distribution of mechanical stresses in the area of the cornea-sclera junction causes a tear thereby creating Schlemm's canal and is accompanied by a change in the collagen fiber types comprising the meshwork.
Trabecular meshwork; Schlemm's canal; Collagen; Silver staining