Visualizing canonical Wnt signaling during mouse craniofacial development



Wnt signaling is critical for proper development of the head and face in the mouse embryo, playing important roles in various aspects of craniofacial development ranging from axis formation to survival of cranial neural crest cells to patterning of the brain. The signaling requirements for the development of different cell lineages in the head and face are active areas of investigation. In this study, we use a recently developed TCF/Lef-LacZ transgenic reporter mouse to characterize the expression of canonical Wnt signaling activity during craniofacial development. We present an atlas of representative sections to show embryonic craniofacial development. Our results demonstrate a pattern of sustained Wnt signaling reporter activity in most tissues which suggests sequential roles in craniofacial development. Developmental Dynamics 239:354–363, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.