gp130-mediated signaling is involved in both chondrogenesis and osteogenesis, but its direct role in the formation of embryonic Meckel's cartilage and associated mandibular development has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we examined the influence of gp130 ablation on the developing mandibular Meckel's cartilage by evaluating the morphological and histological changes as well as the gene expression patterns in developing embryonic gp130-/- mice. The ablation of the gp130 gene showed no change in region-specific collagen mRNA expression except for a slight delay in its expression but caused shortened embryonic Meckel's cartilage, delayed hypertrophic chondrocyte maturation and subsequent bony replacement with characteristic bending of the intramandibular Meckel's cartilage. The bending of Meckel's cartilage led to a narrow mandibular arch at the rostral area with poor cortical plate formation. These findings indicate that gp130-mediated signaling is important for the normal morphogenesis of Meckel's cartilage and subsequent mandibular development.
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