Persistent Ventricle Partitioning in the Adult Zebrafish Heart

J Cardiovasc Dev Dis. 2021 Apr 9;8(4):41. doi: 10.3390/jcdd8040041.


The vertebrate heart integrates cells from the early-differentiating first heart field (FHF) and the later-differentiating second heart field (SHF), both emerging from the lateral plate mesoderm. In mammals, this process forms the basis for the development of the left and right ventricle chambers and subsequent chamber septation. The single ventricle-forming zebrafish heart also integrates FHF and SHF lineages during embryogenesis, yet the contributions of these two myocardial lineages to the adult zebrafish heart remain incompletely understood. Here, we characterize the myocardial labeling of FHF descendants in both the developing and adult zebrafish ventricle. Expanding previous findings, late gastrulation-stage labeling using drl-driven CreERT2 recombinase with a myocardium-specific, myl7-controlled, loxP reporter results in the predominant labeling of FHF-derived outer curvature and the right side of the embryonic ventricle. Raised to adulthood, such lineage-labeled hearts retain broad areas of FHF cardiomyocytes in a region of the ventricle that is positioned at the opposite side to the atrium and encompasses the apex. Our data add to the increasing evidence for a persisting cell-based compartmentalization of the adult zebrafish ventricle even in the absence of any physical boundary.

Keywords: cardiac ventricle; first heart field; heart development; lineage tracing; zebrafish.