Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome (SCS) is an autosomal dominant syndrome that occurs due to a mutation or deletion of the Twist1 gene at chromosome 7p21. Our aim was to conduct a morphometric analysis of the craniofacial features in the mouse associated with a Twist1+/- mutation.
Micro-computed imaging was conducted for the skulls of forty skeletally mature mice, equally distributed by sex (male and female) and two genotypes (Twist1+/- or murine model of SCS; and Twist1+/+ or wild-type). A morphometric analysis was carried out for eight parameters for the maxillary-zygomatico-temporal region, 10 parameters for the mandible and three parameters for teeth from three-dimensional reconstructions.
Compared with wild-type, the murine model of SCS showed these trends: (1) maxillary-zygomatico-temporal region, significantly shorter length and width posteriorly (p<0.05), (2) mandible, significantly reduced height and width (p<0.05), and (3) teeth, significantly shorter height, shorter mesio-distal width but longer bucco-lingual width (p<0.05). In the murine model of SCS, the key morphological variations included incomplete ossification of the temporal bone and zygomatic arch, twisting and/or incomplete ossification of the palatal process of the maxilla, premaxilla and the ventral nasal concha, as well as bifid coronoid processes.
The skeletal and dental alterations in the height, length and width provide a foundation for large-scale phenomics studies, which will improve existing knowledge of the Twist1 signalling cascade. This is relevant given the predicted shift towards minimally invasive molecular medical treatment for craniosynostosis.