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Continuous addition of progenitors forms the cardiac ventricle in zebrafish

By Anastasia Felker, Karin D. Prummel, Anne M. Merks, Michaela Mickoleit, Eline C. Brombacher, Jan Huisken, Daniela Panáková, Christian Mosimann

Posted 07 Dec 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/230649 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04402-6)

The vertebrate heart develops from several progenitor lineages. After early-differentiating first heart field (FHF) progenitors form the linear heart tube, late-differentiating second heart field (SHF) progenitors extend atrium, ventricle, and form the inflow and outflow tracts (IFT/OFT). However, the position and migration of late-differentiating progenitors during heart formation remains unclear. Here, we tracked zebrafish heart development using transgenics based on the cardiopharyngeal transcription factor gene tbx1. Live-imaging uncovered a tbx1 reporter-expressing cell sheath that from anterior lateral plate mesoderm continuously disseminates towards the forming heart tube. High-speed imaging and optogenetic lineage tracing corroborated that the zebrafish ventricle forms through continuous addition from the undifferentiated progenitor sheath followed by late-phase accrual of the bulbus arteriosus (BA). FGF inhibition during sheath migration reduced ventricle size and abolished BA formation, refining the window of FGF action during OFT formation. Our findings consolidate previous end-point analyses and establish zebrafish ventricle formation as a continuous process.

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