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Dev Biol. 2003 Mar 15;255(2):334-49.

Erythropoietin and retinoic acid, secreted from the epicardium, are required for cardiac myocyte proliferation.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

We have established a heart slice primary culture, which allows us to mechanically separate distinct cardiac cell populations and assay their relative mitogenic and trophic effects on cardiac myocyte proliferation and survival. Using this system, we have found that a signal(s) from the epicardium, but not the trabeculae and endocardium, is required in embryonic day 10 (E10) chick heart slices for continued cardiac myocyte proliferation and survival. An examination of potential epicardial growth or trophic factors has revealed that blockade of either retinoic acid (RA) or erythopoietin (epo) signaling from the epicardium inhibits cardiac myocyte proliferation and survival. The blockade of cardiac myocyte proliferation following administration of an RA antagonist can be rescued by exogenous epo. Conversely, the blockade of cardiac myocyte proliferation following administration of an anti-epo receptor antisera can be rescued by exogenous RA. Thus, our findings suggest that RA and epo signals work in parallel to support myocardial cell proliferation. In addition, we have found that these factors do not act directly on myocardial cells. Rather, they induce another soluble factor(s) in the epicardium that directly regulates proliferation of cardiac myocytes. We therefore postulate that the epicardium controls normal heart growth in ventricular segments of the embryonic chick heart by secreting a cardiac myocyte mitogen whose expression (or activity) is regulated by both RA and erythropoietin signaling.

PMID:
12648494
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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