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Ontogeny of the human maxilla: A study of intra-population variability combining surface bone histology and geometric morphometrics

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Schuh,  Alexandra
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
The Leipzig School of Human Origins (IMPRS), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Kupczik,  Kornelius
Max Planck Weizmann Center for integrative Archaeology and Anthropology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Gunz,  Philipp
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Hublin,  Jean-Jacques
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Freidline,  Sarah E.
Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schuh, A., Kupczik, K., Gunz, P., Hublin, J.-J., & Freidline, S. E. (2019). Ontogeny of the human maxilla: A study of intra-population variability combining surface bone histology and geometric morphometrics. Journal of Anatomy, 235(2), 233-245. doi:10.1111/joa.13002.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-8816-A
Abstract
Abstract Bone modeling is the process by which bone grows in size and models its shape via the cellular activities of the osteoblasts and osteoclasts that respectively form and remove bone. The patterns of expression of these two activities, visible on bone surfaces, are poorly understood during facial ontogeny in Homo sapiens; this is due mainly to small sample sizes and a lack of quantitative data. Furthermore, how microscopic activities are related to the development of morphological features, like the uniquely human-canine fossa, has been rarely explored. We developed novel techniques for quantifying and visualizing variability in bone modeling patterns and applied these methods to the human maxilla to better understand its development at the micro- and macroscopic levels. We used a cross-sectional ontogenetic series of 47 skulls of known calendar age, ranging from birth to 12 years, from a population of European ancestry. Surface histology was employed to record and quantify formation and resorption on the maxilla, and digital maps representing each individual's bone modeling patterns were created. Semilandmark geometric morphometric (GM) methods and multivariate statistics were used to analyze facial growth. Our results demonstrate that surface histology and GM methods give complementary results, and can be used as an integrative approach in ontogenetic studies. The bone modeling patterns specific to our sample are expressed early in ontogeny, and fairly constant through time. Bone resorption varies in the size of its fields, but not in location. Consequently, absence of bone resorption in extinct species with small sample sizes should be interpreted with caution. At the macroscopic level, maxillary growth is predominant in the top half of the bone where bone formation is mostly present. Our results suggest that maxillary growth in humans is highly constrained from early stages in ontogeny, and morphological changes are likely driven by changes in osteoblastic and osteoclastic rates of expression rather than differences in the bone modeling patterns (i.e. changes in location of formation and resorption). Finally, the results of the micro- and macroscopic analyses suggest that the development of the canine fossa results from a combination of bone resorption and bone growth in the surrounding region.