In vitro murine posterior frontal suture fate is age-dependent: Implications for cranial suture biology

HanJoon M. Song, David E Sahar, Kenton D. Fong, Randall P. Nacamuli, Tony D. Fang, Jonathan A. Mathy, Oliver O. Aalami, Stephen M. Warren, Michael T. Longaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In CD-1 mice, the posterior frontal suture (analogous to the human metopic suture) fuses while all other cranial sutures remain patent. In an in vitro organ culture model, the authors previously demonstrated that posterior frontal sutures explanted immediately before the onset of suture fusion (at 25 days old) mimic in vivo physiologic fusion. In the first portion of this study, the authors defined how early in development the posterior frontal suture fuses in their tension-free, serum-free organ culture system by serially analyzing posterior frontal suture fusion from calvariae explanted at different stages of postnatal development. Their results revealed a divergence of suture fate leading to abnormal patency or physiologic fusion between the first and second weeks of life, respectively, despite viability and continued growth of the calvarial explants in vitro. From these data, the authors postulated that the gene expression patterns present in the suture complex at the time of explant may determine whether the posterior frontal suture fuses or remains patent in organ culture. Therefore, to elucidate potentially important differences in gene expression within this "window of opportunity," they performed a cDNA microarray analysis on 5-day-old and 15-day-old posterior frontal and sagittal whole suture complexes corresponding to the age ranges for unsuccessful (1 to 7 days old) and successful (14 to 21 days old) in vitro posterior frontal suture fusion. Overall, their microarray results reveal interesting differential expression patterns of candidate genes in different categories, including angiogenic cytokines and mechanosensitive genes potentially important in cranial suture biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1204
Number of pages13
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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