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Dis Model Mech 2011 Mar 01;42:179-92. doi: 10.1242/dmm.006494.
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Embryonic frog epidermis: a model for the study of cell-cell interactions in the development of mucociliary disease.

Specialised epithelia such as mucociliary, secretory and transporting epithelia line all major organs, including the lung, gut and kidney. Malfunction of these epithelia is associated with many human diseases. The frog embryonic epidermis possesses mucus-secreting and multiciliated cells, and has served as an excellent model system for the biogenesis of cilia. However, ionic regulation is important for the function of all specialised epithelia and it is not clear how this is achieved in the embryonic frog epidermis. Here, we show that a third cell type develops alongside ciliated and mucus-secreting cells in the tadpole skin. These cells express high levels of ion channels and transporters; therefore, we suggest that they are analogous to ionocytes found in transporting epithelia such as the mammalian kidney. We show that frog ionocytes express the transcription factor foxi1e, which is required for the development of these cells. Depletion of ionocytes by foxi1e knockdown has detrimental effects on the development of multiciliated cells, which show fewer and aberrantly beating cilia. These results reveal a newly identified role for ionocytes and suggest that the frog embryonic skin is a model system that is particularly suited to studying the interactions of different cell types in mucociliary, as well as in secretory and transporting, epithelia.

PubMed ID: 21183475
PMC ID: PMC3046089
Article link: Dis Model Mech
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: actl6a atp6v0d1 atp6v1a atp6v1g1 ca12 foxi1 itln1 mical2 slc16a3 slc26a4.3 tbx2 tuba1cl.3 tuba4b
GO keywords: epithelial cell development [+]
Antibodies: Ca12 Ab1 Foxi1 Ab1 Itln2 Ab1 Tjp1 Ab2 Tjp1 Ab3 Tuba4b Ab4
Morpholinos: foxi1 MO1 foxi1 MO2

Disease Ontology terms: sinusitis [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Al-Awqati, A fork in the road of cell differentiation in the kidney tubule. 2004, Pubmed