Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dev Biol. 2009 Jun 15;330(2):305-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.03.028. Epub 2009 Apr 8.

Sonic hedgehog maintains proliferation in secondary heart field progenitors and is required for normal arterial pole formation.

Author information

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


The Sonic hedgehog (Shh)-null mouse was initially described as a phenotypic mimic of Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia (Washington Smoak, I., Byrd, N.A., Abu-Issa, R., Goddeeris, M.M., Anderson, R., Morris, J., Yamamura, K., Klingensmith, J., and Meyers, E.N. 2005. Sonic hedgehog is required for cardiac outflow tract and neural crest cell development. Dev. Biol. 283, 357-372.); however, subsequent reports describe only a single outflow tract, leaving the phenotype and its developmental mechanism unclear. We hypothesized that the phenotype that occurs in response to Shh knockdown is pulmonary atresia and is directly related to the abnormal development of the secondary heart field. We found that Shh was expressed by the pharyngeal endoderm adjacent to the secondary heart field and that its receptor Ptc2 was expressed in a gradient in the secondary heart field, with the most robust expression in the caudal secondary heart field, closest to the Shh expression. In vitro culture of secondary heart field with the hedgehog inhibitor cyclopamine significantly reduced proliferation. In ovo, cyclopamine treatment before the secondary heart field adds to the outflow tract reduced proliferation only in the caudal secondary heart field, which coincided with the region of high Ptc2 expression. After outflow tract septation should occur, embryos treated with cyclopamine exhibited pulmonary atresia, pulmonary stenosis, and persistent truncus arteriosus. In hearts with pulmonary atresia, cardiac neural crest-derived cells, which form the outflow tract septum, migrated into the outflow tract and formed a septum. However, this septum divided the outflow tract into two unequal sized vessels and effectively closed off the pulmonary outlet. These experiments show that Shh is necessary for secondary heart field proliferation, which is required for normal pulmonary trunk formation, and that embryos with pulmonary atresia have an outflow tract septum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center