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Dynamic changes in endoglin expression in the developing mouse heart

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Esha Singh, Dr Helen PhillipsORCiD, Professor Helen ArthurORCiD


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© 2020Endoglin (ENG) is essential for cardiovascular development and is expressed in the heart from its earliest developmental stages. ENG expression has been reported in the cardiac crescent, endocardium, valve mesenchyme and coronary vascular endothelial cells. However, its expression in these cell types is non-uniform and the dynamic changes in ENG expression during heart development have not been systematically studied. Using immunofluorescent staining we tracked ENG protein expression in mouse embryonic hearts aged from 11.5 to 17.5 days, and in postnatal and adult hearts. ENG is expressed in the endocardium and in venous endothelial cells throughout these developmental stages. ENG protein is down-regulated by approximately two-fold as a subset of early coronary veins reprogram to form arteries within the developing myocardium from E13.5. This two-fold higher ratio of ENG protein in veins versus arteries is maintained throughout cardiac development and in the adult heart. ENG is also down-regulated two-fold following mesenchymal transition of endocardial cells to form cardiac valve mesenchyme, whilst expression of the pan-endothelial marker CD31 is completely lost. A subset of epicardial cells (which do not express ENG protein) delaminate and undergo a similar mesenchymal transition to form epicardially derived cells (EPDCs). This transient intra-myocardial mesenchymal cell population expresses low levels of ENG protein, similar to valve mesenchyme. In conclusion, ENG shows dynamic changes of expression in vascular endothelial cells, endocardial cells and mesenchymal cells in the developing heart that vary according to cardiovascular cell type.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Singh E, Phillips HM, Arthur HM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gene Expression Patterns

Year: 2021

Volume: 39

Print publication date: 01/03/2021

Online publication date: 26/12/2020

Acceptance date: 22/12/2020

ISSN (print): 1567-133X

ISSN (electronic): 1872-7298

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.gep.2020.119165


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