ELUCIDATING THE ROLE OF THE EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX IN SKELETOGENIC CONDENSATION GROWTH
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Skeletogenic condensations are critical to bone development. The scleral ossicles of chickens, Gallus gallus, are a convenient model to study intramembranous ossification. In this study on chicken scleral ossicle primordia, histological analyses of developing condensations revealed that condensation depth changes over developmental time. The variation of condensation depth within a given eye suggested that the scleral ossicle ring is orientated at a tilt within the eye. Immunohistochemical analysis of tenascin-C demonstrated its dynamic spatial expression over developmental time, pointing towards its potential role in condensation development, and possibly in condensation boundary formation. Although further investigation is needed to confirm the presence of MMP1 and MMP2 in chick scleral mesenchyme, preliminary data in this study have set the stage for further studies on a potential role of matrix remodeling by MMPs in condensation development. These data therefore aid in bridging the gap in knowledge of condensation development and intramembranous ossification.