[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (Pdgfralpha) identifies cardiac progenitor cells in the posterior part of the second heart field. We aim to elucidate the role of Pdgfralpha in this region. Hearts of Pdgfralpha-deficient mouse embryos (E9.5-E14.5) showed cardiac malformations consisting of atrial and sinus venosus myocardium hypoplasia, including venous valves and sinoatrial node. In vivo staining for Nkx2.5 showed increased myocardial expression in Pdgfralpha mutants, confirmed by Western blot analysis. Due to hypoplasia of the primary atrial septum, mesenchymal cap, and dorsal mesenchymal protrusion, the atrioventricular septal complex failed to fuse. Impaired epicardial development and severe blebbing coincided with diminished migration of epicardium-derived cells and myocardial thinning, which could be linked to increased WT1 and altered alpha4-integrin expression. Our data provide novel insight for a possible role for Pdgfralpha in transduction pathways that lead to repression of Nkx2.5 and WT1 during development of posterior heart field-derived cardiac structures.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a congenital heart defect inherited via complex genetic and/or environmental factors. We report detailed mapping in extended TAPVR kindreds and mutation analysis in TAPVR patients that implicate the PDGFRA gene in the development of TAPVR. Gene expression studies in mouse and chick embryos for both the Pdgfra receptor and its ligand Pdgf-a show temporal and spatial patterns consistent with a role in pulmonary vein (PV) development. We used an in ovo function blocking assay in chick and a conditional knockout approach in mouse to knock down Pdgfra expression in the developing venous pole during the period of PV formation. We observed that loss of PDGFRA function in both organisms causes TAPVR with low penetrance (approximately 7%) reminiscent of that observed in our human TAPVR kindreds. Intermediate inflow tract anomalies occurred in a higher percentage of embryos (approximately 30%), suggesting that TAPVR occurs at one end of a spectrum of defects. We show that the anomalous pulmonary venous connection seen in chick and mouse is highly similar to TAPVR discovered in an abnormal early stage embryo from the Kyoto human embryo collection. Whereas the embryology of the normal venous pole and PV is becoming understood, little is known about the embryogenesis or molecular pathogenesis of TAPVR. These models of TAPVR provide important insight into the pathogenesis of PV defects. Taken together, these data from human genetics and animal models support a role for PDGF-signaling in normal PV development, and in the pathogenesis of TAPVR.
Human Molecular Genetics 04/2010; 19(7):1286-301. · 7.69 Impact Factor