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Publications (2)10.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Unlike adult mammals, adult zebrafish vigorously regenerate lost heart muscle in response to injury. The epicardium, a mesothelial cell layer enveloping the myocardium, is activated to proliferate after cardiac injury and can contribute vascular support cells or provide mitogens to regenerating muscle. Here, we applied proteomics to identify secreted proteins that are associated with heart regeneration. We found that Fibronectin, a main component of the extracellular matrix, is induced and deposited after cardiac damage. In situ hybridization and transgenic reporter analyses indicated that expression of two fibronectin paralogues, fn1 and fn1b, are induced by injury in epicardial cells, while the itgb3 receptor is induced in cardiomyocytes near the injury site. fn1, the more dynamic of these paralogs, is induced chamber-wide within one day of injury before localizing epicardial Fn1 synthesis to the injury site. fn1 loss-of-function mutations disrupted zebrafish heart regeneration, as did induced expression of a dominant-negative Fibronectin cassette, defects that were not attributable to direct inhibition of cardiomyocyte proliferation. These findings reveal a new role for the epicardium in establishing an extracellular environment that supports heart regeneration.
    Developmental Biology 08/2013; · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Natural models of heart regeneration in lower vertebrates such as zebrafish are based on invasive surgeries causing mechanical injuries that are limited in size. Here, we created a genetic cell ablation model in zebrafish that facilitates inducible destruction of a high percentage of cardiomyocytes. Cell-specific depletion of over 60% of the ventricular myocardium triggered signs of cardiac failure that were not observed after partial ventricular resection, including reduced animal exercise tolerance and sudden death in the setting of stressors. Massive myocardial loss activated robust cellular and molecular responses by endocardial, immune, epicardial and vascular cells. Destroyed cardiomyocytes fully regenerated within several days, restoring cardiac anatomy, physiology and performance. Regenerated muscle originated from spared cardiomyocytes that acquired ultrastructural and electrophysiological characteristics of de-differentiation and underwent vigorous proliferation. Our study indicates that genetic depletion of cardiomyocytes, even at levels so extreme as to elicit signs of cardiac failure, can be reversed by natural regenerative capacity in lower vertebrates such as zebrafish.
    Development 08/2011; 138(16):3421-30. · 6.60 Impact Factor