Communication between neighboring tissues plays a central role in guiding organ morphogenesis. During heart tube assembly, interactions with the adjacent endoderm control the medial movement of cardiomyocytes, a process referred to as cardiac fusion. However, the molecular underpinnings of this endodermal-myocardial relationship remain unclear. Here, we show an essential role for platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (Pdgfra) in directing cardiac fusion. Mutation of pdgfra disrupts heart tube assembly in both zebrafish and mouse. Timelapse analysis of individual cardiomyocyte trajectories reveals misdirected cells in zebrafish pdgfra mutants, suggesting that PDGF signaling steers cardiomyocytes toward the midline during cardiac fusion. Intriguingly, the ligand pdgfaa is expressed in the endoderm medial to the pdgfra-expressing myocardial precursors. Ectopic expression of pdgfaa interferes with cardiac fusion, consistent with an instructive role for PDGF signaling. Together, these data uncover a novel mechanism through which endodermal-myocardial communication can guide the cell movements that initiate cardiac morphogenesis.
- Deborah Yelon
- Deborah Yelon
- Owen WJ Prall
- Richard P Harvey
- Richard P Harvey
- Joshua Bloomekatz
- Owen WJ Prall
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All zebrafish work followed protocols approved by the UCSD IACUC (protocol S09125). All mouse experiments were overseen by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research/St. Vincent's Hospital Animal Ethics Committee (projects AEC13/01 and AEC13/02).
- Didier YR Stainier, Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Germany
© 2017, Bloomekatz et al.
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Mechanisms that control ‘beige/brite’ thermogenic adipose tissue development may be harnessed to improve human metabolic health. To define these mechanisms, we developed a species-hybrid model in which human mesenchymal progenitor cells were used to develop white or thermogenic/beige adipose tissue in mice. The hybrid adipose tissue developed distinctive features of human adipose tissue, such as larger adipocyte size, despite its neurovascular architecture being entirely of murine origin. Thermogenic adipose tissue recruited a denser, qualitatively distinct vascular network, differing in genes mapping to circadian rhythm pathways, and denser sympathetic innervation. The enhanced thermogenic neurovascular network was associated with human adipocyte expression of THBS4, TNC, NTRK3, and SPARCL1, which enhance neurogenesis, and decreased expression of MAOA and ACHE, which control neurotransmitter tone. Systemic inhibition of MAOA, which is present in human but absent in mouse adipocytes, induced browning of human but not mouse adipose tissue, revealing the physiological relevance of this pathway. Our results reveal species-specific cell type dependencies controlling the development of thermogenic adipose tissue and point to human adipocyte MAOA as a potential target for metabolic disease therapy.
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