Wilms Tumor 1b defines a wound-specific sheath cell subpopulation associated with notochord repair

Juan Carlos Lopez-Baez, Daniel J Simpson, Laura LLeras Forero, Zhiqiang Zeng, Hannah Brunsdon, Angela Salzano, Alessandro Brombin, Witold Rybski, Cameron Wyatt, Leonie F A Huitema, Rodney M Dale, Koichi Kawakami, Christoph Englert, Tamir Chandra, Stefan Schulte-Merker, Nicholas D Hastie, E Elizabeth Patton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Regenerative therapy for degenerative spine disorders requires the identification of cells that can slow down and possibly reverse degenerative processes. Here, we identify an unanticipated wound-specific notochord sheath cell subpopulation that expresses Wilms Tumor (WT) 1b following injury in zebrafish. We show that localized damage leads to Wt1b expression in sheath cells, and that wt1b+cells migrate into the wound to form a stopper-like structure, likely to maintain structural integrity. Wt1b+sheath cells are distinct in expressing cartilage and vacuolar genes, and in repressing a Wt1b-p53 transcriptional programme. At the wound, wt1b+and entpd5+ cells constitute separate, tightly-associated subpopulations. Surprisingly, wt1b expression at the site of injury is maintained even into adult stages in developing vertebrae, which form in an untypical manner via a cartilage intermediate. Given that notochord cells are retained in adult intervertebral discs, the identification of novel subpopulations may have important implications for regenerative spine disorder treatments.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere30657
Number of pages26
Early online date6 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2018


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