The epicardium, a epithelial sheet of specialized mesothelium that covers the heart, is gaining recognition as an important source of signals and cells that modulate heart development and postnatal heart function. In the developing heart, epicardial cells adopt a mesenchymal phenotype and migrate into the myocardium, differentiating into interstitial and coronary vascular cells. Signals secreted from developing epicardium also modulate the growth and differentiation of underlying myocardium. The transcription factor Wt1 is expressed in the epicardium, but not myocardium or endocardium. The epicardium of Wt1 knockout hearts is largely intact, but embryos develop heart failure due to myocardial hypoplasia. Using Wt1-driven Cre expression to follow the fate of epicardial cells, we found that epicardium differentiates into cardiomyocytes during normal heart development. Consistent with this differentiation potential, we found that the epicardium originates from precursors that express Isl1 and Nkx2-5, markers of cardiac progenitor cells. The overall goal of this proposal is to further define the contribution of epicardium to the developing and postnatal heart.
In Aim 1, we test the hypothesis that Wt1+ epicardial cells are multipotent and able to differentiate into cardiomyocyte, smooth muscle, and endothelial fates.
In Aim 2, we test the hypothesis that postnatal epicardium contributes to the myocardial wall in the normal heart and after myocardial infarction.
In Aim 3, we expand upon our preliminary observations that the gene encoding the key retinoic acid synthesizing enzyme Raldh2 is genetically downstream of Wt1. We test the hypothesis that Raldh2 is directly regulated by Wt1. These experiments will characterize a novel cardiac progenitor population and inform us of its contributions of the developing and postnatal heart. These data will add to the growing interest in the epicardium as a source of cells and trophic factors for regenerative medicine.
The epicardium is a sheet of cells that covers heart muscle tissue. Recently, there has been increased interest in epicardium because of its role in forming the blood vessels of the fetal heart, and the potential that this activity can be reactivated in the mature heart. We have found that epicardium can also form heart muscle cells. The overall goal of this proposal is to define the cells and signals that the epicardium contributes to the developing and postnatal heart. These experiments will prepare the foundation for future studies on potential therapeutic uses of epicardium as a source of cells and signals to treat heart failure.
|Zhou, Pingzhu; Pu, William T (2016) Recounting Cardiac Cellular Composition. Circ Res 118:368-70|
|von Gise, Alexander; Stevens, Sean M; Honor, Leah B et al. (2016) Contribution of Fetal, but Not Adult, Pulmonary Mesothelium to Mesenchymal Lineages in Lung Homeostasis and Fibrosis. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 54:222-30|
|Huang, Zhan-Peng; Ding, Yan; Chen, Jinghai et al. (2016) Long non-coding RNAs link extracellular matrix gene expression to ischemic cardiomyopathy. Cardiovasc Res :|
|Stevens, Sean M; Gise, Alexander von; VanDusen, Nathan et al. (2016) Epicardium is required for cardiac seeding by yolk sac macrophages, precursors of resident macrophages of the adult heart. Dev Biol 413:153-9|
|Tian, Xueying; Pu, William T; Zhou, Bin (2015) Cellular origin and developmental program of coronary angiogenesis. Circ Res 116:515-30|
|Tian, Xueying; Hu, Tianyuan; Zhang, Hui et al. (2014) Vessel formation. De novo formation of a distinct coronary vascular population in neonatal heart. Science 345:90-4|
|Liu, Qiaozhen; Huang, Xiuzhen; Oh, Jin-Hee et al. (2014) Epicardium-to-fat transition in injured heart. Cell Res 24:1367-9|
|Harvey, Richard P; Graham, Robert M; Pu, William T (2014) Introduction to the special issue on heart regeneration and rejuvenation. Stem Cell Res 13:521-2|
|Zhang, Hui; von Gise, Alexander; Liu, Qiaozhen et al. (2014) Yap1 is required for endothelial to mesenchymal transition of the atrioventricular cushion. J Biol Chem 289:18681-92|
|Bandiera, Roberto; Vidal, Valerie P I; Motamedi, Fariba Jian et al. (2013) WT1 maintains adrenal-gonadal primordium identity and marks a population of AGP-like progenitors within the adrenal gland. Dev Cell 27:5-18|
Showing the most recent 10 out of 25 publications