Transcription factor Foxc1 is involved in anterior part of cranial base formation

Nandar Mya, Toshiko Furutera, Shigeru Okuhara, Tsutomu Kume, Masaki Takechi, Sachiko Iseki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The cranial base is a structure mainly formed through endochondral ossification and integrated into the craniofacial complex, which acts as an underlying platform for the developing brain. Foxc1 is an indispensable regulator during intramembranous and endochondral ossification. In this study, we found that the spontaneous loss of Foxc1 function in a mouse (congenital hydrocephalous), Foxc1ch/ch , demonstrated the anterior cranial base defects, including unossified presphenoid and lack of middle part of the basisphenoid bone. Hypoplastic presphenoid primordial cartilage (basal portion of the trabecular cartilage [bTB]) and a lack of the middle part of basisphenoid primordial cartilage (the hypophyseal cartilage) were consistently observed at earlier developmental stage. Foxc1 was expressed robustly and ubiquitously in undifferentiated mesenchyme of the cranial base-forming area in E11.0 wild-type fetuses. Once chondrogenesis commenced, the expression was downregulated and later limited to the perichondrium. Detection of transcripts of Collagen type2 A1 (Col2a1) revealed that both bTB and the anterior part of the hypophyseal cartilage developing anterior to the persistent epithelial stalk of the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland were suppressed in the Foxc1ch/ch . Proliferation activity of chondrocyte precursor cells was higher in the Foxc1ch/ch . Loss of Foxc1 function only in the neural crest cell lineage (Wnt1-cre;Foxc1ch/flox ) showed ossification of the posterior part of the hypophyseal cartilage derived from the mesoderm. These findings suggest that Foxc1 is an important regulator to further chondrogenesis and initiate the ossification of the presphenoid and basisphenoid bones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalCongenital anomalies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Foxc1
  • chondrocyte differentiation
  • cranial base
  • endochondral ossification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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