Navigation Links
New insights into the development of the heart
Date:3/26/2013

Viewed from the outside, our body looks completely symmetrical. However, most internal organs including the heart are formed asymmetrically. The right side of the heart is responsible for pulmonary circulation; the left side supplies the rest of the body. This asymmetry allows the heart to do its job effectively. In a study on zebrafish embryos, the researchers Dr. Justus Veerkamp and PD Dr. Salim Seyfried from the Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch have now shown how the left and right sides of the heart develop differently. Their findings were published in the journal Developmental Cell (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.devcel.2013.01.026)*.

A protein called Nodal plays an important role in the development of asymmetry. In an early stage of heart development, Nodal is formed on the left side and triggers a multi-step signaling cascade that enables the cardiac progenitor cells on this side to migrate faster. The researchers were able to observe the migration of the cardiac progenitor cells in the zebrafish embryos in vivo. Since the embryos are transparent it is possible to view each single cell using the microscope.

While analyzing the individual proteins involved in the asymmetric development of the heart, Dr. Veerkamp and Dr. Seyfried encountered a surprise: Previously, scientists had assumed that another signaling molecule, the protein Bmp, triggered cell migration on the left side of the heart and, as a consequence, must be very active there.

Current studies, however, show just the opposite: Bmp reduces the motility of the cells that form the heart. The protein Nodal regulates this process by activating the enzyme Has2. This in turn restricts Bmp activity on the left side. Thus, the cells of the left side of the heart migrate faster and ultimately form a functional, asymmetric heart.

However, when the researchers modulated the experiments so that individual proteins of the signaling cascade were expressed at elevated or decreased levels, the cardiac cells showed subtle differences in "random walk" cell motility rates. This resulted in the development of hearts that were completely symmetrical or whose sides were laterally inverted.

Many of these malformations of the heart in zebrafish embryos are also known in humans. Often asymmetric disorders not only affect the heart but also other organs such as the spleen. It may be missing or two spleens may be present. Depending on the severity of the malformations, the problems of the affected individuals vary in seriousness. It is also possible that the processes identified by the researchers are also involved in the development of diseases in which cell migration plays a role.


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbara Bachtler
bachtler@mdc-berlin.de
49-309-406-3896
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New insights into cloud formation
2. Research on flavanols and procyanidins provides new insights into how these phytonutrients may positively impact human health
3. Battle of the sexes offers evolutionary insights
4. Study provides new insights into structure of heart muscle fibers
5. Study offers new insights into the effects of stress on pregnancy
6. Cell biology -- new insights into the life of microtubules
7. Yak genome provides new insights into high altitude adaptation
8. Zebrafish provide insights into causes and treatment of human diseases
9. Feces fossils yield new insights into ancient diets and thrifty genes
10. Piglets in mazes provide insights into human cognitive development
11. The ENCODE Project publishes new genomic insights in special issue of Genome Research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized ... solutions, today announced that it has been awarded ... Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack ... "Innovation has been a driving force within ... will allow us to innovate and develop new ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 No two people are believed ... New York University Tandon School of Engineering and ... that partial similarities between prints are common enough ... phones and other electronic devices can be more ... lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... April 6, 2017 Forecasts by ... Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & ... Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, ... Are you looking for a definitive report ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences , ... life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan and Jennifer ... “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary approach to ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in ... professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership ... the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first ... accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual ... to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement of breast cancer research ... use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their purchase of every the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: