Muscle interactions with surrounding tissues


Subproject Speakers
Berlin: Sigmar Stricker, PhD
Paris:  Delphine Duprez, PhD



Embryonic muscle patterning, differentiation, and morphogenesis are processes that depend not only on the differentiation capacities of the muscle precursors themselves, but also on environmental cues coming from the resident tissues at places where muscles will form. Several lines of evidence indicate that connective tissue cells at the site of muscle formation regulate the formation and patterning of individual muscles. Connective tissue (CT) is an indispensable component for any multicellular organism. The CT proper comprises loose irregular connective tissue (ICT) like the subdermal CT and the muscle connective tissue (MCT). Furthermore it is those connective tissue cells that replace muscle and lead to fibrosis in dystrophic conditions. Tendons have the same embryological origin as connective tissues and have also been studied as one candidate tissue for being involved in muscle organization. We recently found that the zinc-finger transcription factors Odd-skipped related-1 and -2 (Osr1, Osr2) are expressed in close association with, but not in differentiating muscle cells in chick and mouse embryos. We propose that Osr1 and the closely related paralog Osr2 are two candidate pivotal transcription factors playing a role in muscle patterning and potentially also in muscle maintenance controlled by connective tissue. We aim at analyzing the regulatory network implemented by Osr1 and Osr2 on a genomic level and want to analyze candidate downstream targets in vitro and in vivo.



Completed theses


MyoGrad PhD student from

Thesis project

Defence and degree

Sonya Nassari 2013-2017

The contribution of connective tissues to muscle morphogenesis: an unexpected role for CXCL12 and CXCL14 chemokines

Defence on Oct 2, 2017 in Paris

Doctoral degree from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris 6 

Mickael Orgeur 2012-2016 Transcriptional regulatory network underlying connective tissue differentiation during limb development
Defence on Sep 26, 2016 in Paris

Joint doctoral degree from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris 6 and Freie Universität Berlin
Jürgen Stumm 2011-2016 The role of Osr1 in postnatal muscle development and muscle regeneration

Defence on July 11, 2016 in Berlin

Doctoral degree from Freie Universität Berlin

Pedro Vallecillo Garcia 2011-2015 Function of the transcription factor Osr1 in the connective tissue-mediated control of muscle formation Defence on Sep 30, 2015 in Berlin

Joint doctoral degree from Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC), Paris 6 and Freie Universität Berlin