Scoliosis and segmentation defects of the vertebrae

Walter L. Eckalbar, Rebecca E. Fisher, Alan Rawls, Kenro Kusumi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The vertebral column derives from somites, which are transient paired segments of mesoderm that surround the neural tube in the early embryo. Somites are formed by a genetic mechanism that is regulated by cyclical expression of genes in the Notch, Wnt, and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling pathways. These oscillators together with signaling gradients within the presomitic mesoderm help to set somitic boundaries and rostral-caudal polarity that are essential for the precise patterning of the vertebral column. Disruption of this mechanism has been identified as the cause of severe segmentation defects of the vertebrae in humans. These segmentation defects are part of a spectrum of spinal disorders affecting the skeletal elements and musculature of the spine, resulting in curvatures such as scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis. While the etiology of most disorders with spinal curvatures is still unknown, genetic and developmental studies of somitogenesis and patterning of the axial skeleton and musculature are yielding insights into the causes of these diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-423
Number of pages23
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2012

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Scoliosis
Spine
Somites
Mesoderm
Spinal Curvatures
Lordosis
Kyphosis
Neural Tube
Fibroblast Growth Factors
Skeleton
Embryonic Structures
Gene Expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

Scoliosis and segmentation defects of the vertebrae. / Eckalbar, Walter L.; Fisher, Rebecca E.; Rawls, Alan; Kusumi, Kenro.

In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Developmental Biology, Vol. 1, No. 3, 05.2012, p. 401-423.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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