Loss of embryonic neural crest derived cardiomyocytes causes adult onset hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in zebrafish

Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 2;9(1):4603. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07054-8.


Neural crest cells migrate to the embryonic heart and transform into a small number of cardiomyocytes, but their functions in the developing and adult heart are unknown. Here, we show that neural crest derived cardiomyocytes (NC-Cms) in the zebrafish ventricle express Notch ligand jag2b, are adjacent to Notch responding cells, and persist throughout life. Genetic ablation of NC-Cms during embryogenesis results in diminished jag2b, altered Notch signaling and aberrant trabeculation patterns, but is not detrimental to early heart function or survival to adulthood. However, embryonic NC-Cm ablation results in adult fish that show severe hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), altered cardiomyocyte size, diminished adult heart capacity and heart failure in cardiac stress tests. Adult jag2b mutants have similar cardiomyopathy. Thus, we identify a cardiomyocyte population and genetic pathway that are required to prevent adult onset HCM and provide a zebrafish model of adult-onset HCM and heart failure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cardiomegaly / embryology*
  • Cardiomyopathies / embryology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / pathology*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Heart Failure / embryology
  • Heart Failure / pathology
  • Jagged-2 Protein / metabolism
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology*
  • Neural Crest / embryology*
  • Neural Crest / pathology*
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / metabolism


  • Jagged-2 Protein
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • jag2b protein, zebrafish