BMP signaling modulates hedgehog-induced secondary heart field proliferation.
Sonic hedgehog signaling in the secondary heart field has a clear role in cardiac arterial pole development. In the absence of hedgehog signaling, proliferation is reduced in secondary heart field progenitors, and embryos predominantly develop pulmonary atresia. While it is expected that proliferation in the secondary heart field would be increased with elevated hedgehog signaling, this idea has never been tested. We hypothesized that up-regulating hedgehog signaling would increase secondary heart field proliferation, which would lead to arterial pole defects. In culture, secondary heart field explants proliferated up to 6-fold more in response to the hedgehog signaling agonist SAG, while myocardial differentiation and migration were unaffected. Treatment of chick embryos with SAG at HH14, just before the peak in secondary heart field proliferation, resulted unexpectedly in stenosis of both the aortic and pulmonary outlets. We examined proliferation in the secondary heart field and found that SAG-treated embryos exhibited a much milder increase in proliferation than was indicated by the in vitro experiments. To determine the source of other signaling factors that could modulate increased hedgehog signaling, we co-cultured secondary heart field explants with isolated pharyngeal endoderm or outflow tract and found that outflow tract co-cultures prevented SAG-induced proliferation. BMP2 is made and secreted by the outflow tract myocardium. To determine whether BMP signaling could prevent SAG-induced proliferation, we treated explants with SAG and BMP2 and found that BMP2 inhibited SAG-induced proliferation. In vivo, SAG-treated embryos showed up-regulated BMP2 expression and signaling. Together, these results indicate that BMP signaling from the outflow tract modulates hedgehog-induced proliferation in the secondary heart field.
Dyer, LA; Makadia, FA; Scott, A; Pegram, K; Hutson, MR; Kirby, ML
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