Mechanisms of cranial suture regeneration in mitigating skull and neurocognitive defects in craniosynostosis

Tuesday, June 28, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Yang Chai, DDS, PhD University Professor George and MaryLou Boone Chair in Craniofacial Biology Director, Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology Ostrow School of Dentistry University of Southern California

Dr. Chai will discuss recent scientific advances in craniosynostosis. Infants born with craniosynostosis have skull dysmorphology, increased intracranial pressure (ICP), and cognitive impairment, compromising quality of life. Animal models recapitulating these phenotypes are lacking. The speaker will show that Twist1+/- mice with craniosynostosis have increased ICP and neurocognitive behavioral abnormalities, recapitulating features of human Saethre-Chotzen syndrome. Furthermore, citalopram is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressant drugs. Maternal SSRI usage is also known as an environmental risk factor for craniosynostosis in humans. Dr. Chai will discuss a preliminary study showing that Twist1 mutation may interplay with citalopram in exacerbating skull and neurocognitive defects in craniosynostosis. Using a biodegradable material combined with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), researchers successfully regenerated a functional cranial suture that recruited endogenous MSCs, corrected skull deformity, normalized ICP, and rescued neurocognitive behavior deficits. MSC-based cranial suture regeneration offers a paradigm shift in treatment to reverse skull and neurocognitive abnormalities in this devastating disease.


For more information, contact:

Email: scholar1@buffalo.edu
Phone: 716-829-4718.