Epicardial outgrowth inhibition leads to compensatory mesothelial outflow tract collar and abnormal cardiac septation and coronary formation.
ABSTRACT In the present study, we investigated the modulatory role of the epicardium in myocardial and coronary development. Epicardial cell tracing experiments have shown that epicardium-derived cells are the source of interstitial myocardial fibroblasts, cushion mesenchyme, and smooth muscle cells. Epicardial outgrowth inhibition studies show abnormalities of the compact myocardial layer, myocardialization of cushion tissue, looping, septation, and coronary vascular formation. Lack of epicardial spreading is partly compensated by mesothelial outgrowth over the conotruncal region. Heterospecific epicardial transplant is able to partially rescue the myocardial development, as well as septation and coronary formation.
- SourceAvailable from: Maurice J B van den Hoff[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The importance of the epicardium for myocardial and valvuloseptal development has been well established; perturbation of epicardial development results in cardiac abnormalities, including thinning of the ventricular myocardial wall and malformations of the atrioventricular valvuloseptal complex. To determine the spatiotemporal contribution of epicardially derived cells to the developing fibroblast population in the heart, we have used a mWt1/IRES/GFP-Cre mouse to trace the fate of EPDCs from embryonic day (ED)10 until birth. EPDCs begin to populate the compact ventricular myocardium around ED12. The migration of epicardially derived fibroblasts toward the interface between compact and trabecular myocardium is completed around ED14. Remarkably, epicardially derived fibroblasts do not migrate into the trabecular myocardium until after ED17. Migration of EPDCs into the atrioventricular cushion mesenchyme commences around ED12. As development progresses, the number of EPDCs increases significantly, specifically in the leaflets which derive from the lateral atrioventricular cushions. In these developing leaflets the epicardially derived fibroblasts eventually largely replace the endocardially derived cells. Importantly, the contribution of EPDCs to the leaflets derived from the major AV cushions is very limited. The differential contribution of EPDCs to the various leaflets of the atrioventricular valves provides a new paradigm in valve development and could lead to new insights into the pathogenesis of abnormalities that preferentially affect individual components of this region of the heart. The notion that there is a significant difference in the contribution of epicardially and endocardially derived cells to the individual leaflets of the atrioventricular valves has also important pragmatic consequences for the use of endocardial and epicardial cre-mouse models in studies of heart development.Developmental Biology 04/2012; 366(2):111-24. DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.04.020 · 3.64 Impact Factor
- Vasculogenesis and Angiogenesis - from Embryonic Development to Regenerative Medicine, 11/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-882-3
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ABSTRACT: An epithelial sheet, the epicardium, lines the surface of the heart. In the developing embryo, the epicardium expresses the transcriptional regulator Wilm's Tumor Gene 1 (Wt1). Through incompletely understood mechanisms, Wt1 inactivation derails normal heart development. We investigated mechanisms by which Wt1 regulates heart development and epicardial epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). We used genetic lineage tracing approaches to track and isolate epicardium and epicardium derivatives in hearts lacking Wt1 (Wt1(KO)). Wt1(KO) hearts had diminished proliferation of compact myocardium and impaired coronary plexus formation. Wt1(KO) epicardium failed to undergo EMT. Wt1(KO) epicardium expressed reduced Lef1 and Ctnnb1 (β-catenin), key components of the canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Wt1(KO) epicardium expressed decreased levels of canonical Wnt downstream targets Axin2, Cyclin D1, and Cyclin D2 and exhibited decreased activity of the Batgal Wnt/β-catenin reporter transgene, suggestive of diminished canonical Wnt signaling. Hearts with epicardium-restricted Ctnnb1 loss of function resembled Wt1(KO) hearts and also failed to undergo epicardial EMT. However, Ctnnb1 inactivation did not alter WT1 expression, positioning Wt1 upstream of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Wnt5a, a prototypic non-canonical Wnt with enriched epicardial expression, and Raldh2, a key regulator of retinoic acid signaling confined to the epicardium, were also markedly downregulated in Wt1(KO) epicardium. Hearts lacking Wnt5a or Raldh2 shared phenotypic features with Wt1(KO). Although Wt1 has been proposed to regulate EMT by repressing E-cadherin, we detected no change in E-cadherin in Wt1(KO) epicardium. Collectively, our study shows that Wt1 regulates epicardial EMT and heart development through canonical Wnt, non-canonical Wnt, and retinoic acid signaling pathways.Developmental Biology 05/2011; 356(2):421-31. DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.05.668 · 3.64 Impact Factor