Articulation of the spine is a key adaptation to facilitate movement and to accommodate physical forces such as gravity and load bearing. Patterning of the mineralized vertebrae centra surrounding the notochord is essential for normal function and disruption of this pattern can lead to scoliosis and stenosis, inhibiting mobility and quality of life of patients. Our work identifying and characterizing zebrafish mutant with altered pattern of the spine has uncovered novel models for the evolution of centra patterning, and provided working models for idiopathic scoliosis for the discovery of treatments to alleviate the overt pathology of these disorders.

Key Publications

  • Peskin B, Henke K, Nicolás Cumplido, Treaster S, Harris MP#, Bagnat M, Arratia, G*. (2020). Notochordal signals establish phylogenetic identity of the teleost spine. Curr Biol. Jul 20;30(14):2805-2814.e3. PMID: 32559448; *, shared last authors #communicating
  • Rose CD, Pompili D, Henke K, Van Gennip JLM, Meyer-Miner A, Rana R, Gobron S, Harris MP, Nitz M, and Ciruna B (2020) SCO-spondin defects and neuroinflammation identified as conserved mechanisms driving severe spine deformity across genetic models of idiopathic scoliosis. Current Biology. Jun 22;30(12):2363-2373.e6. PMID: 32386528