Heart development depends on the spatio-temporally regulated contribution of progenitor cells from the primary, secondary and anterior heart fields. Primary heart field (PHF) cells are first recruited to form a linear heart tube; later, they contribute to the inflow myocardium of the four-chambered heart. Subsequently cells from the secondary (SHF) and anterior heart fields (AHF) are added to the heart tube and contribute to both the inflow and outflow myocardium. In amniotes, progenitors of the linear heart tube have been mapped to the anterior-middle region of the early primitive streak. After ingression, these cells are located within bilateral heart fields in the lateral plate mesoderm. On the other hand SHF/AHF field progenitors are situated anterior to the linear heart tube, however, the origin and location of these progenitors prior to the development of the heart tube remains elusive. Thus, an unresolved question in the process of cardiac development is where SHF/AHF progenitors originate from during gastrulation and whether they come from a region in the primitive streak distinct from that which generates the PHF. To determine the origin and location of SHF/AHF progenitors we used vital dye injection and tissue grafting experiments to map the location and ingression site of outflow myocardium progenitors in early primitive streak stage chicken embryos. Cells giving rise to the AHF ingressed from a rostral region of the primitive streak, termed region ‘A’. During development these cells were located in the cranial paraxial mesoderm and in the pharyngeal mesoderm. Furthermore we identified region ‘B’, located posterior to ‘A’, which gave rise to progenitors that contributed to the primary heart tube and the outflow tract. Our studies identify two regions in the early primitive streak, one which generates cells of the AHF and a second from which cardiac progenitors of the PHF and SHF emerge.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 13-December-2012
Author(s): Camp E., Dietrich S., Münsterberg A.