Nav: Home

Researchers identify cells linked to the development of the heart's ventricular chambers

February 14, 2017

A population of cells in early development may give rise to the ventricular chambers of the heart, but not the atria, according to a study led by researchers from the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published today in Nature Communications.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect, affecting 35,000 babies in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Many of these defects originate as the heart chambers are forming. While much is known about the development of the heart, the formation of the four distinct chambers of the heart has lacked thorough understanding.

Using a model that traces cell lineage in mice, investigators studied the protein-coding gene Foxa2, primarily associated with endoderm and ectoderm development during embryogenesis. They discovered a population of progenitor cells expressing Foxa2 during early development that gave rise to cardiovascular cells of both the left and right ventricular chambers, but not the atria. Their research showed that atrial-ventricular segregation may occur long before the morphological establishment of differentiated cardiac structures.

"An in-depth understanding of the formation of the heart chambers will enable us to better comprehend the biology behind detrimental heart defects and how best to address them," said lead investigator Nicole Dubois, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Regenerative Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "In addition to informing our understanding of early heart development, we hope that these findings will also lead to new protocols for the generation of ventricular cardiomyocytes in cell culture that could potentially be used in therapeutic settings."

"There is a lot we still don't understand about this population, or the function of Foxa2 during the formation of the heart, but we think these findings provide a powerful new system to answer some of the most relevant open questions about how early heart development occurs," said Evan Bardot, PhD student and first author of the Nature Communications study.
-end-
The National Institutes of Health (NIH/NHLBI) and the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute supported this research.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services -- from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 6,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked as one of the nation's top 10 hospitals in Geriatrics, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, and Gastroenterology, and is in the top 25 in five other specialties in the 2014-2015 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital also is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel is ranked regionally.

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org/, or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Related Biology Articles:

A new tool to decipher evolutionary biology
A new bioinformatics tool to compare genome data has been developed by teams from the Max F.
Biology's need for speed tolerates a few mistakes
In balancing speed and accuracy to duplicate DNA and produce proteins, Rice University researchers find evolution determined that speed is favored much more.
How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
Skin color patterns in animals arise from microscopic interactions among colored cells that obey equations discovered by Alan Turing.
Behavioral biology: Ripeness is all
In contrast to other members of the Drosophila family, the spotted-wing fly D. suzukii deposits its eggs in ripe fruits.
A systems biology perspective on molecular cytogenetics
Professor Henry Heng's team, from the medical school at Wayne State University, has published a perspective article titled A Systems Biology Perspective on Molecular Cytogenetics to address the issue.
Cell biology: Take the mRNA train
Messenger RNAs bearing the genetic information for the synthesis of proteins are delivered to defined sites in the cell cytoplasm by molecular motors.
Gravitational biology
Akira Kudo at Tokyo Institute of Technology(Tokyo Tech) and colleagues report in Scientific Reports, December 2016, that live-imaging and transcriptome analysis of medaka fish transgenic lines lead to immediate alteration of cells responsible for bone structure formation.
Biology's 'breadboard'
Understanding how the nervous system of the roundworm C. elegans works will give insights into how our vastly more complex brains function and is the subject of a paper in Nature Methods.
The use of Camelid antibodies for structural biology
The use of Camelid antibodies has important implications for future development of reagents for diagnosis and therapeutics in diseases involving a group of enzymes called serine proteases.
Misleading images in cell biology
Virtually all membrane proteins have been reported to be organized as clusters on cell surfaces, when in fact many of them are just single proteins which have been counted multiple times.

Related Biology Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".