Zebrafish Cardiac Development Requires a Conserved Secondary Heart Field

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Despite its lack of septation, the tissue patterning of the arterial pole of the zebrafish is remarkably similar to the patterning of pulmonary and aortic arterial poles observed in mouse and chick. The secondary heart field (SHF) is a conserved developmental domain in avian and mammalian embryos that contributes myocardium and smooth muscle to the cardiac arterial pole. This field is part of the overall heart field, and its myocardial component has been fate mapped from the mesoderm to the heart in both mammals and birds. In this study I demonstrate that the population that gives rise to the arterial pole of the zebrafish can be traced from the epiblast, is a discrete part of the mesodermal heart field. This zebrafish SHF contributes myocardium after initial heart tube formation, giving rise to both smooth muscle and myocardium. I show that this field expresses Isl1, a transcription factor associated with the SHF in other species. I further show that differentiation, induced by Bmp signaling, occurs in this progenitor population as cells are added to the heart tube. Some molecular pathways required for SHF development in birds and mammals are conserved in teleosts, as Nkx2.5 and Nkx2.7 as well as Fgf8 regulate Bmp signaling in the zebrafish heart fields. Additionally, the transcription factor Tbx1 and the Sonic hedgehog pathway are necessary for normal development of the zebrafish arterial pole.





Hami, Danyal (2011). Zebrafish Cardiac Development Requires a Conserved Secondary Heart Field. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5707.


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