Found 47 matches for Mommersteeg
NKX2-5 is a homeodomain-containing transcription factor implied in both heart and thyroid development. Numerous mutations in NKX2-5 have been reported in individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD), but recently a select few have been associated with thyroid dysgenesis, among which the p.A119S variation. We sequenced NKX2-5 in 303 sporadic CHD patients and 38 families with at least two individuals with CHD. The p.A119S variation was identified in two unrelated patients: one was found in the proband of a family with four affected individuals with CHD and the other in a sporadic CHD patient. Clinical evaluation of heart and thyroid showed that the mutation did not segregate with CHD in the familial case, nor did any of the seven mutation carriers have thyroid abnormalities. We tested the functional consequences of the p.A119S variation in a cellular context by performing transactivation assays with promoters relevant for both heart and thyroid development in rat heart derived H10 cells and HELA cells. There was no difference between wildtype NKX2-5 and p.A119S NKX2-5 in activation of the investigated promoters in both cell lines. Additionally, we reviewed the current literature on the topic, showing that there is no clear evidence for a major pathogenic role of NKX2-5 mutations in thyroid dysgenesis. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that p.A119S does not cause CHD or TD and that it is a rare variation that behaves equal to wildtype NKX2-5. Furthermore, given the wealth of published evidence, we suggest that NKX2-5 mutations do not play a major pathogenic role in thyroid dysgenesis, and that genetic testing of NKX2-5 in TD is not warranted.
The myocardial sleeves of the systemic venous tributaries and the pulmonary veins are known to be common anatomic substrates for atrial fibrillation. Rapidly evolving evidence has shown that a substantial part of the paroxysmal variant of this abnormal rhythm has a familial heritage, and the number of genes found to be involved is increasing. One of the mechanisms underlying the condition is ectopic pacemaking activity. Knowledge of the normal embryological development of the atrial myocardium, in particular the myocardial sleeves clothing the systemic venous tributaries and the pulmonary veins at their junctions with the atrial chambers, may contribute to the understanding of the origins of such ectopic pacing. In this respect, it is now well established that the myocardial sleeves of the systemic venous tributaries have a distinct origin and program of gene expression when compared with the pulmonary venous myocardium. The myocardium clothing the pulmonary veins, however, is particularly susceptible to changes in the levels of gene expression, with the changes then favoring the presence of genes responsible for pacemaking. Only recently has interest developed in the genetic and heritable bases of atrial fibrillation, and much is still to be learned. Better understanding of both the developmental and genetic factors, nonetheless, will surely be helpful in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of this troublesome arrhythmia. With this in mind, therefore, we have reviewed the current knowledge concerning the initial development of the pulmonary venous myocardium, emphasizing its crucial differences from the systemic venous myocardium.
The pulmonary vein is sleeved by myocardium, which is a major source of atrial fibrillation and is involved in congenital sinus venosus defects. Little is known about the cellular origin and mechanism of formation of the pulmonary myocardium. We observed a biphasic process of pulmonary myocardium formation in mice. Firstly, a myocardial cell population forms de novo at the connection of the pulmonary vein and the atrium. Genetic labeling revealed that atrial cells do not contribute to this population, indicating it forms by differentiation of pulmonary mesenchymal cells. Secondly, these pulmonary myocardial cells initiate a phase of rapid proliferation and form the pulmonary myocardial sleeve. Pitx2c-deficient mice do not develop a pulmonary myocardial sleeve because they fail to form the initial pulmonary myocardial cells. Genetic-labeling analyses demonstrated that whereas the systemic venous return derives from Nkx2-5-negative precursors, the pulmonary myocardium derives from Nkx2-5-expressing precursors, indicating a distinct origin of the 2 venous systems. Nkx2-5 and its target gap-junction gene Cx40 are expressed in the atria and in the pulmonary myocardium but not in the systemic venous return, which expresses the essential pacemaker channel Hcn4. When Nkx2-5 protein level was lowered in a hypomorphic model, the pulmonary myocardium switched to a Cx40-negative, Hcn4-positive phenotype resembling that of the systemic venous return. In conclusion, our data suggest a cellular mechanism for pulmonary myocardium formation and highlight the key roles played by Pitx2c and Nkx2-5 in its formation and identity.
Formation of the venous pole of the heart from an Nkx2-5-negative precursor population requires Tbx18.
The venous pole of the mammalian heart is a structurally and electrically complex region, yet the lineage and molecular mechanisms underlying its formation have remained largely unexplored. In contrast to classical studies that attribute the origin of the myocardial sinus horns to the embryonic venous pole, we find that the sinus horns form only after heart looping by differentiation of mesenchymal cells of the septum transversum region into myocardium. The myocardial sinus horns and their mesenchymal precursor cells never express Nkx2-5, a transcription factor critical for heart development. In addition, lineage studies show that the sinus horns do not derive from cells previously positive for Nkx2-5. In contrast, the sinus horns express the T-box transcription factor gene Tbx18. Mice deficient for Tbx18 fail to form sinus horns from the pericardial mesenchyme and have defective caval veins, whereas the pulmonary vein and atrial structures are unaffected. Our studies define a novel heart precursor population that contributes exclusively to the myocardium surrounding the sinus horns or systemic venous tributaries of the developing heart, which are a source of congenital malformation and cardiac arrhythmias.
Closure of the primary atrial foramen is achieved by fusion of the atrioventricular cushions with the mesenchymal cap on the leading edge of the muscular primary atrial septum. A fourth component involved is the vestibular spine, originally described by His in 1880 as an intra-cardiac continuation of the extra-cardiac mesenchyme of the dorsal mesocardium. The morphogenesis of this area is of great clinical interest, because of the high incidence of atrial and atrioventricular septal defects. Nonetheless, the origin of the participating components is largely unknown. Here we report that the primary atrial foramen is surrounded in its entirety by mesenchyme derived from endocardium. A second population of mesenchyme not derived from endocardium was observed at the caudal margin of the mesenchymal atrial cap, entirely embedded within the mesenchyme derived from endocardium and contiguous with the mesenchyme of the dorsal mesocardium. Our reconstructions show this second population does indeed take the form of a short spine, albeit that it is the right pulmonary ridge, rather than this spine, that protrudes into the atrial lumen. From the stance of morphological description, therefore, there is little thus far to substantiate the existence of an atrial spine.
Developmental origin, growth, and three-dimensional architecture of the atrioventricular conduction axis of the mouse heart.
RATIONALE: The clinically important atrioventricular conduction axis is structurally complex and heterogeneous, and its molecular composition and developmental origin are uncertain. OBJECTIVE: To assess the molecular composition and 3D architecture of the atrioventricular conduction axis in the postnatal mouse heart and to define the developmental origin of its component parts. METHODS AND RESULTS: We generated an interactive 3D model of the atrioventricular junctions in the mouse heart using the patterns of expression of Tbx3, Hcn4, Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Nav1.5, which are important for conduction system function. We found extensive figure-of-eight rings of nodal and transitional cells around the mitral and tricuspid junctions and in the base of the atrial septum. The rings included the compact node and nodal extensions. We then used genetic lineage labeling tools (Tbx2(+/Cre), Mef2c-AHF-Cre, Tbx18(+/Cre)), along with morphometric analyses, to assess the developmental origin of the specific components of the axis. The majority of the atrial components, including the atrioventricular rings and compact node, are derived from the embryonic atrioventricular canal. The atrioventricular bundle, including the lower cells of the atrioventricular node, in contrast, is derived from the ventricular myocardium. No contributions to the conduction system myocardium were identified from the sinus venosus, the epicardium, or the dorsal mesenchymal protrusion. CONCLUSIONS: The atrioventricular conduction axis comprises multiple domains with distinctive molecular signatures. The atrial part proliferates from the embryonic atrioventricular canal, along with myocytes derived from the developing atrial septum. The atrioventricular bundle and lower nodal cells are derived from ventricular myocardium.
The elaborate cytoarchitecture of the mammalian neocortex requires the timely production of its constituent pyramidal neurons and interneurons and their disposition in appropriate layers. Numerous chemotropic factors present in the forebrain throughout cortical development play important roles in the orchestration of these events. The Roundabout (Robo) family of receptors and their ligands, the Slit proteins, are expressed in the developing forebrain, and are known to play important roles in the generation and migration of cortical interneurons. However, few studies have investigated their function(s) in the development of pyramidal cells. Here, we observed expression of Robo1 and Slit genes (Slit1, Slit2) in cells lining the telencephalic ventricles, and found significant increases in progenitor cells (basal and apical) at embryonic day (E)12.5 and E14.5 in the developing cortex of Robo1(-/-), Slit1(-/-), and Slit1(-/-)/Slit2(-/-), but not in mice lacking the other Robo or Slit genes. Using layer-specific markers, we found that both early- and late-born pyramidal neuron populations were significantly increased in the cortices of Robo1(-/-) mice at the end of corticogenesis (E18.5). The excess number of cortical pyramidal neurons generated prenatally appears to die in early postnatal life. The observed increase in pyramidal neurons was due to prolonged proliferative activity of their progenitors and not due to changes in cell cycle events. This finding, confirmed by in utero electroporation with Robo1 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) or control constructs into progenitors along the ventricular zone as well as in dissociated cortical cell cultures, points to a novel role for Robo1 in regulating the proliferation and generation of pyramidal neurons.
Wt1 and retinoic acid signaling in the subcoelomic mesenchyme control the development of the pleuropericardial membranes and the sinus horns.
RATIONALE: The cardiac venous pole is a common focus of congenital malformations and atrial arrhythmias, yet little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate its development. The systemic venous return myocardium (sinus node and sinus horns) forms only late in cardiogenesis from a pool of pericardial mesenchymal precursor cells. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the cellular and molecular mechanisms directing the formation of the fetal sinus horns. METHODS AND RESULTS: We analyzed embryos deficient for the Wt1 (Wilms tumor 1) gene and observed a failure to form myocardialized sinus horns. Instead, the cardinal veins become embedded laterally in the pleuropericardial membranes that remain tethered to the lateral body wall by the persisting subcoelomic mesenchyme, a finding that correlates with decreased apoptosis in this region. We show by expression analysis and lineage tracing studies that Wt1 is expressed in the subcoelomic mesenchyme surrounding the cardinal veins, but that this Wt1-positive mesenchyme does not contribute cells to the sinus horn myocardium. Expression of the Raldh2 (aldehyde dehydrogenase family 1, subfamily A2) gene was lost from this mesenchyme in Wt1(-/-) embryos. Phenotypic analysis of Raldh2 mutant mice rescued from early cardiac defects by retinoic acid food supply revealed defects of the venous pole and pericardium highly similar to those of Wt1(-/-) mice. CONCLUSIONS: Pericardium and sinus horn formation are coupled and depend on the expansion and correct temporal release of pleuropericardial membranes from the underlying subcoelomic mesenchyme. Wt1 and downstream Raldh2/retinoic acid signaling are crucial regulators of this process. Thus, our results provide novel insight into the genetic and cellular pathways regulating the posterior extension of the mammalian heart and the formation of its coelomic lining.
Uncovering the origins of myocardial cells is important for understanding and treating heart diseases. Cai et al. suggest that Tbx18-expressing epicardium provides a substantial contribution to myocytes in the ventricular septum and the atrial and ventricular walls. Here we show that the T-box transcription factor gene 18 (Tbx18) itself is expressed in the myocardium, showing that their genetic lineage tracing system does not allow conclusions of an epicardial origin of cardiomyocytes in vivo to be drawn.
The sinoatrial node, which resides at the junction of the right atrium and the superior caval vein, contains specialized myocardial cells that initiate the heart beat. Despite this fundamental role in heart function, the embryonic origin and mechanisms of localized formation of the sinoatrial node have not been defined. Here we show that subsequent to the formation of the Nkx2-5-positive heart tube, cells bordering the inflow tract of the heart tube give rise to the Nkx2-5-negative myocardial cells of the sinoatrial node and the sinus horns. Using genetic models, we show that as the myocardium of the heart tube matures, Nkx2-5 suppresses pacemaker channel gene Hcn4 and T-box transcription factor gene Tbx3, thereby enforcing a progressive confinement of their expression to the forming Nkx2-5-negative sinoatrial node and sinus horns. Thus, Nkx2-5 is essential for establishing a gene expression border between the atrium and sinoatrial node. Tbx3 was found to suppress chamber differentiation, providing an additional mechanism by which the Tbx3-positive sinoatrial node is shielded from differentiating into atrial myocardium. Pitx2c-deficient fetuses form sinoatrial nodes with indistinguishable molecular signatures at both the right and left sinuatrial junction, indicating that Pitx2c functions within the left/right pathway to suppress a default program for sinuatrial node formation on the left. Our molecular pathway provides a mechanism for how pacemaker activity becomes progressively relegated to the most recently added components of the venous pole of the heart and, ultimately, to the junction of the right atrium and superior caval vein.
Formation of the sinus node head and differentiation of sinus node myocardium are independently regulated by Tbx18 and Tbx3.
The sinus node (or sinoatrial node [SAN]), the pacemaker of the heart, is a functionally and structurally heterogeneous tissue, which consists of a large "head" within the right caval vein myocardium and a "tail" along the terminal crest. Here, we investigated its cellular origin and mechanism of formation. Using genetic lineage analysis and explant assays, we identified T-box transcription factor Tbx18-expressing mesenchymal progenitors in the inflow tract region that differentiate into pacemaker myocardium to form the SAN. We found that the head and tail represent separate regulatory domains expressing distinctive gene programs. Tbx18 is required to establish the large head structure, as seen by the existence of a very small but still functional tail piece in Tbx18-deficient fetuses. In contrast, Tbx3-deficient embryos formed a morphologically normal SAN, which, however, aberrantly expressed Cx40 and other atrial genes, demonstrating that Tbx3 controls differentiation of SAN head and tail cardiomyocytes but also demonstrating that Tbx3 is not required for the formation of the SAN structure. Our data establish a functional order for Tbx18 and Tbx3 in SAN formation, in which Tbx18 controls the formation of the SAN head from mesenchymal precursors, on which Tbx3 subsequently imposes the pacemaker gene program.
Transcription factor Tbx3 is required for the specification of the atrioventricular conduction system.
The cardiac conduction system consists of distinctive heart muscle cells that initiate and propagate the electric impulse required for coordinated contraction. The conduction system expresses the transcriptional repressor Tbx3, which is required for vertebrate development and controls the formation of the sinus node. In humans, mutations in Tbx3 cause ulnar-mammary syndrome. Here, we investigated the role of Tbx3 in the molecular specification of the atrioventricular conduction system. Expression analysis revealed early delineation of the atrioventricular bundle and proximal bundle branches by Tbx3 expression in human, mouse, and chicken. Tbx3-deficient mice, which die between embryonic day 12.5 and 15.5, ectopically expressed genes for connexin (Cx)43, atrial natriuretic factor (Nppa), Tbx18, and Tbx20 in the atrioventricular bundle and proximal bundle branches. Cx40 was precociously upregulated in the atrioventricular bundle of Tbx3 mutants. Moreover, the atrioventricular bundle and branches failed to exit the cell cycle in Tbx3 mutant embryos. Finally, Tbx3-deficient embryos developed outflow tract malformations and ventricular septal defects. These data reveal that Tbx3 is required for the molecular specification of the atrioventricular bundle and bundle branches and for the development of the ventricular septum and outflow tract. Our data suggest a mechanism in which Tbx3 represses differentiation into ventricular working myocardium, thereby imposing the conduction system phenotype on cells within its expression domain.
The sinus venosus progenitors separate and diversify from the first and second heart fields early in development.
AIMS: During development, the heart tube grows by differentiation of Isl1(+)/Nkx2-5(+) progenitors to the arterial and venous pole and dorsal mesocardium. However, after the establishment of the heart tube, Tbx18(+) progenitors were proposed to form the Tbx18(+)/Nkx2-5(-) sinus venosus and proepicardium. To elucidate the relationship between these contributions, we investigated the origin of the Tbx18(+) sinus venosus progenitor population in the cardiogenic mesoderm and its spatial and temporal relation to the second heart field during murine heart development. METHODS AND RESULTS: Explant culture revealed that the Tbx18(+) cell population has the potential to form Nkx2-5(-) sinus venosus myocardium. Three-dimensional reconstruction of expression patterns showed that during heart tube elongation, the Tbx18(+) progenitors remained spatially and temporally separate from the Isl1(+) second heart field, only overlapping with the Isl1(+) domain at the right lateral side of the inflow tract, where the sinus node developed. Consistently, genetic lineage analysis revealed that the Tbx18(+) descendants formed the sinus venosus myocardium, but did not contribute to the pulmonary vein myocardium that developed in the Isl1(+) second heart field. By means of DiI labelling and expression analysis, the origin of the sinus venosus progenitor population was traced to the lateral rim of splanchnic mesoderm that down-regulated Nkx2-5 expression approximately 2 days before its differentiation into sinus venosus myocardium. CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that the cardiogenic mesoderm contains an additional progenitor subpopulation that contributes to the sinus venosus myocardium. After patterning of the cardiogenic mesoderm, this progenitor population remains spatially separated and genetically distinctive from the second heart field subpopulation.
Slit-roundabout signaling regulates the development of the cardiac systemic venous return and pericardium.
RATIONALE: The Slit-Roundabout (Robo) signaling pathway has pleiotropic functions during Drosophila heart development. However, its role in mammalian heart development is largely unknown. OBJECTIVE: To analyze the role of Slit-Robo signaling in the formation of the pericardium and the systemic venous return in the murine heart. METHODS AND RESULTS: Expression of genes encoding Robo1 and Robo2 receptors and their ligands Slit2 and Slit3 was found in or around the systemic venous return and pericardium during development. Analysis of embryos lacking Robo1 revealed partial absence of the pericardium, whereas Robo1/2 double mutants additionally showed severely reduced sinus horn myocardium, hypoplastic caval veins, and a persistent left inferior caval vein. Mice lacking Slit3 recapitulated the defects in the myocardialization, alignment, and morphology of the caval veins. Ligand binding assays confirmed Slit3 as the preferred ligand for the Robo1 receptor, whereas Slit2 showed preference for Robo2. Sinus node development was mostly unaffected in all mutants. In addition, we show absence of cross-regulation with previously identified regulators Tbx18 and Wt1. We provide evidence that pericardial defects are created by abnormal localization of the caval veins combined with ectopic pericardial cavity formation. Local increase in neural crest cell death and impaired neural crest adhesive and migratory properties underlie the ectopic pericardium formation. CONCLUSIONS: A novel Slit-Robo signaling pathway is involved in the development of the pericardium, the sinus horn myocardium, and the alignment of the caval veins. Reduced Slit3 binding in the absence of Robo1, causing impaired cardiac neural crest survival, adhesion, and migration, underlies the pericardial defects.
Disrupted Slit-Robo signalling results in membranous ventricular septum defects and bicuspid aortic valves.
AIMS: The mesenchymal cushions lining the early embryonic heart undergo complex remodelling to form the membranous ventricular septum as well as the atrioventricular and semilunar valves in later life. Disruption of this process underlies the most common congenital heart defects. Here, we identified a novel role for Slit-Robo signalling in the development of the murine membranous ventricular septum and cardiac valves. METHODS AND RESULTS: Expression of Robo1 and Robo2 receptors and their ligands, Slit2 and Slit3, was present in or adjacent to all cardiac cushions/valves. Loss of Robo1 or both Robo1 and Robo2 resulted in membranous ventricular septum defects at birth, a defect also found in Slit3, but not in Slit2 mutants. Additionally, Robo1;Robo2 double mutants showed thickened immature semilunar and atrioventricular valves as well as highly penetrant bicuspid aortic valves. Slit2 mutants recapitulated the semilunar phenotype, whereas Slit3 mutants displayed thickened atrioventricular valves. Bicuspid aortic cushions were already observed at E12.5 in the Robo1;Robo2 double mutants. Expression of Notch- and downstream Hey and Hes genes was down-regulated in Robo1 mutants, suggesting that reduced Notch signalling in mice lacking Robo might underlie the defects. Luciferase assays confirmed regulation of Notch signalling by Robo. CONCLUSION: Cardiac defects in mutants for Robo or Slit range from membranous ventricular septum defects to bicuspid aortic valves. These ligands and receptors have unique functions during development of specific cardiac cushion derivatives, and the Slit-Robo signalling pathway likely enforces its role by regulating Notch signalling, making these mutants a valuable new model to study cardiac valve formation.
Although Astyanax mexicanus surface fish regenerate their hearts after injury, their Pachón cave-dwelling counterparts cannot and, instead, form a permanent fibrotic scar, similar to the human heart. Myocardial proliferation peaks at similar levels in both surface fish and Pachón 1 week after injury. However, in Pachón, this peak coincides with a strong scarring and immune response, and ultimately, cavefish cardiomyocytes fail to replace the scar. We identified lrrc10 to be upregulated in surface fish compared with Pachón after injury. Similar to cavefish, knockout of lrrc10 in zebrafish impairs heart regeneration without affecting wound cardiomyocyte proliferation. Furthermore, using quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis, we have linked the degree of heart regeneration to three loci in the genome, identifying candidate genes fundamental to the difference between scarring and regeneration. Our study provides evidence that successful heart regeneration entails a delicate interplay between cardiomyocyte proliferation and scarring.
T-box transcription factor 3 governs a transcriptional program for the function of the mouse atrioventricular conduction system.
Genome-wide association studies have identified noncoding variants near TBX3 that are associated with PR interval and QRS duration, suggesting that subtle changes in TBX3 expression affect atrioventricular conduction system function. To explore whether and to what extent the atrioventricular conduction system is affected by Tbx3 dose reduction, we first characterized electrophysiological properties and morphology of heterozygous Tbx3 mutant (Tbx3+/-) mouse hearts. We found PR interval shortening and prolonged QRS duration, as well as atrioventricular bundle hypoplasia after birth in heterozygous mice. The atrioventricular node size was unaffected. Transcriptomic analysis of atrioventricular nodes isolated by laser capture microdissection revealed hundreds of deregulated genes in Tbx3 +/- mutants. Notably, Tbx3 +/- atrioventricular nodes showed increased expression of working myocardial gene programs (mitochondrial and metabolic processes, muscle contractility) and reduced expression of pacemaker gene programs (neuronal, Wnt signaling, calcium/ion channel activity). By integrating chromatin accessibility profiles (ATAC sequencing) of atrioventricular tissue and other epigenetic data, we identified Tbx3-dependent atrioventricular regulatory DNA elements (REs) on a genome-wide scale. We used transgenic reporter assays to determine the functionality of candidate REs near Ryr2, an up-regulated chamber-enriched gene, and in Cacna1g, a down-regulated conduction system-specific gene. Using genome editing to delete candidate REs, we showed that a strong intronic bipartite RE selectively governs Cacna1g expression in the conduction system in vivo. Our data provide insights into the multifactorial Tbx3-dependent transcriptional network that regulates the structure and function of the cardiac conduction system, which may underlie the differences in PR duration and QRS interval between individuals carrying variants in the TBX3 locus.
Runx1 promotes scar deposition and inhibits myocardial proliferation and survival during zebrafish heart regeneration.
Runx1 is a transcription factor that plays a key role in determining the proliferative and differential state of multiple cell types, during both development and adulthood. Here, we report how Runx1 is specifically upregulated at the injury site during zebrafish heart regeneration, and that absence of runx1 results in increased myocardial survival and proliferation, and overall heart regeneration, accompanied by decreased fibrosis. Using single cell sequencing, we found that the wild-type injury site consists of Runx1-positive endocardial cells and thrombocytes that induce expression of smooth muscle and collagen genes. Both these populations cannot be identified in runx1 mutant wounds that contain less collagen and fibrin. The reduction in fibrin in the mutant is further explained by reduced myofibroblast formation and upregulation of components of the fibrin degradation pathway, including plasminogen receptor annexin 2A as well as downregulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor serpine1 in myocardium and endocardium, resulting in increased levels of plasminogen. Our findings suggest that Runx1 controls the regenerative response of multiple cardiac cell types and that targeting Runx1 is a novel therapeutic strategy for inducing endogenous heart repair.