Send to

Choose Destination
Development. 2004 May;131(9):2205-18. Epub 2004 Apr 8.

BMP receptor IA is required in mammalian neural crest cells for development of the cardiac outflow tract and ventricular myocardium.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The neural crest is a multipotent, migratory cell population arising from the border of the neural and surface ectoderm. In mouse, the initial migratory neural crest cells occur at the five-somite stage. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), particularly BMP2 and BMP4, have been implicated as regulators of neural crest cell induction, maintenance, migration, differentiation and survival. Mouse has three known BMP2/4 type I receptors, of which Bmpr1a is expressed in the neural tube sufficiently early to be involved in neural crest development from the outset; however, earlier roles in other domains obscure its requirement in the neural crest. We have ablated Bmpr1a specifically in the neural crest, beginning at the five-somite stage. We find that most aspects of neural crest development occur normally; suggesting that BMPRIA is unnecessary for many aspects of early neural crest biology. However, mutant embryos display a shortened cardiac outflow tract with defective septation, a process known to require neural crest cells and to be essential for perinatal viability. Surprisingly, these embryos die in mid-gestation from acute heart failure, with reduced proliferation of ventricular myocardium. The myocardial defect may involve reduced BMP signaling in a novel, minor population of neural crest derivatives in the epicardium, a known source of ventricular myocardial proliferation signals. These results demonstrate that BMP2/4 signaling in mammalian neural crest derivatives is essential for outflow tract development and may regulate a crucial proliferation signal for the ventricular myocardium.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication type, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication type

MeSH terms


Grant support

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center