Sonic hedgehog is required for cardiac outflow tract and neural crest cell development

Dev Biol. 2005 Jul 15;283(2):357-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.04.029.


The Hedgehog signaling pathway is critical for a significant number of developmental patterning events. In this study, we focus on the defects in pharyngeal arch and cardiovascular patterning present in Sonic hedgehog (Shh) null mouse embryos. Our data indicate that, in the absence of Shh, there is general failure of the pharyngeal arch development leading to cardiac and craniofacial defects. The cardiac phenotype results from arch artery and outflow tract patterning defects, as well as abnormal development of migratory neural crest cells (NCCs). The constellation of cardiovascular defects resembles a severe form of the human birth defect syndrome tetralogy of Fallot with complete pulmonary artery atresia. Previous studies have demonstrated a role for Shh in NCC survival and proliferation at later stages of development. Our data suggest that SHH signaling does not act directly on NCCs as a survival factor, but rather acts to restrict the domains that NCCs can populate during early stages (e8.5-10.5) of cardiovascular and craniofacial development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / embryology*
  • Body Patterning*
  • Branchial Region / embryology
  • Cell Death
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Endoderm / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart / embryology
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neural Crest / cytology
  • Neural Crest / embryology*
  • Neural Crest / metabolism
  • Patched Receptors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*


  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Patched Receptors
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • SHH protein, human
  • Trans-Activators