Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University


Highlighted Publications

Wang, X. and Astrof, S. (2015) Neural crest cell-autonomous roles of fibronectin in cardiovascular development. Development DOI 10.1242/dev.125286, 2015

This paper shows that in vivo, fibronectin functions in a cell type-specific and cell-autonomous manner. It shows that fibronectin specifically synthesized by the neural crest mediates the differentiation of neural crest cells into vascular smooth muscle cells by regulating Notch signaling. Fibronectin synthesized by other cell types and provided to neural crest cells in trans, is not sufficient to activate Notch signaling and smooth muscle differentiation in fibronectin-deficient neural crest cells. 

Chen, D., Wang., X, Liang, D., Gordon, J., Mittal, A.,, Manley, M., Degenhardt, K,, and Astrof, S. (2015) Fibronectin signals through integrin a5b1 to regulate cardiovascular development in a cell type-specific manner. Developmental Biology 407: 195–210, 2015

This paper demonstrates the requisite roles of fibronectin and integrin alpha 5 expressed in the Isl1+ tissues and their derivatives during the formation of the pharyngeal arch arteries.

Liang, D., Wang, X., Mittal, A., Dhiman, S., Hou, S., Degenhardt, K., and Astrof, S. (2014) Mesodermal expression of integrin a5b1 regulates neural crest development and cardiovascular morphogenesis. Developmental Biology 395: 232–244, 2014

This paper shows that integrin a5 expressed by the anterior mesoderm regulates mesoderm-neural crest interactions and the remodeling of the symmetrical pharyngeal vasculature into the aortic arch arteries.