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Genesis 2021 Feb 01;591-2:e23406. doi: 10.1002/dvg.23406.
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Xenopus epidermal and endodermal epithelia as models for mucociliary epithelial evolution, disease, and metaplasia.

The Xenopus embryonic epidermis is a powerful model to study mucociliary biology, development, and disease. Particularly, the Xenopus system is being used to elucidate signaling pathways, transcription factor functions, and morphogenetic mechanisms regulating cell fate specification, differentiation and cell function. Thereby, Xenopus research has provided significant insights into potential underlying molecular mechanisms for ciliopathies and chronic airway diseases. Recent studies have also established the embryonic epidermis as a model for mucociliary epithelial remodeling, multiciliated cell trans-differentiation, cilia loss, and mucus secretion. Additionally, the tadpole foregut epithelium is lined by a mucociliary epithelium, which shows remarkable features resembling mammalian airway epithelia, including its endodermal origin and a variable cell type composition along the proximal-distal axis. This review aims to summarize the advantages of the Xenopus epidermis for mucociliary epithelial biology and disease modeling. Furthermore, the potential of the foregut epithelium as novel mucociliary model system is being highlighted. Additional perspectives are presented on how to expand the range of diseases that can be modeled in the frog system, including proton pump inhibitor-associated pneumonia as well as metaplasia in epithelial cells of the airway and the gastroesophageal region.

PubMed ID: 33400364
Article link: Genesis
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ctnnb1 foxa1 foxi1 foxj1 foxn4 foxq1 gmnc il4r jak1 jak2 jak3 mcc mcidas myb rfx2 rfx3 spdef stat6 stom tp63 tuba4b tubb2b tubb4a tyk2 ubp1

Disease Ontology terms: idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions