ErbB2 is required for cardiomyocyte proliferation in murine neonatal hearts

Gene. 2016 Nov 5;592(2):325-30. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2016.07.006. Epub 2016 Jul 4.


It has been long recognized that the mammalian heart loses its proliferative capacity soon after birth, yet, the molecular basis of this loss of cardiac proliferation postnatally is largely unknown. In this study, we found that cardiac ErbB2, a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor family, exhibits a rapid and dramatic decline in expression at the neonatal stage. We further demonstrate that conditional ablation of ErbB2 in the ventricular myocardium results in upregulation of negative cell cycle regulators and a significant reduction in cardiomyocyte proliferation during the narrow neonatal proliferative time window. Together, our data reveal a positive correlation between the expression levels of ErbB2 with neonatal cardiomyocyte proliferation and suggest that reduction in cardiac ErbB2 expression may contribute to the loss of postnatal cardiomyocyte proliferative capacity.

Keywords: Cardiomyocyte; ErbB2; Neonatal; Proliferation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Heart / growth & development*
  • Mice
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Erbb2 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, ErbB-2