Cranial sutures are major growth centers for the calvarial vault, and their premature fusion leads to a pathologic condition called craniosynostosis. This study investigates whether skeletal stem/progenitor cells are resident in the cranial sutures. Prospective isolation by FACS identifies this population with a significant difference in spatio-temporal representation between fusing versus patent sutures. Transcriptomic analysis highlights a distinct signature in cellsderived from the physiological closing PF suture, and scRNA sequencing identifies transcriptional heterogeneity among sutures. Wnt-signaling activation increases skeletal stem/progenitor cells in sutures, whereas its inhibition decreases. Crossing Axin2LacZ/+ mouse, endowing enhanced Wnt activation, to a Twist1+/- mouse model of coronal craniosynostosis enriches skeletal stem/progenitor cells in sutures restoring patency. Co-transplantation of these cells with Wnt3a prevents resynostosis following suturectomy in Twist1+/- mice. Our study reveals that decrease and/or imbalance of skeletal stem/progenitor cells representation within sutures may underlie craniosynostosis. These findings have translational implications toward therapeutic approaches for craniosynostosis.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-24801-6
View details for PubMedID 34330896