The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 53: 1445 - 1455 (2009)

Vol 53, Issue 8-9-10

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Hispania (Spain & Portugal)

Movement and commitment of primitive streak precardiac cells during cardiogenesis

Original Article | Published: 30 November -0001

Carmen Lopez-Sanchez, Natividad Garcia-Masa, Carlos M. Gañan and Virginio Garcia-Martinez*

Human Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain


ate maps are required to address questions about the commitment and differentiation of precardiac cells. Here, we report a detailed study of the precardiac cells located at the level of the primitive streak, employing different experiments with a variety of techniques combining double transplantations, microinjections and immunocytochemistry. Most cells of the more rostral segments of the primitive streak were found to contribute cells to the endodermal layer, adjacent to precardiac mesodermal cells of the heart forming region whose provenance was in the immediately more caudal segments of the primitive streak. We established a close spatio-temporal relationship between the two cell layers and the expression of their specific cardiac markers (cNkx-2.5, Bmp2, Cripto, Usmaar, dHand, GATA4, Pitx2, Hex, Fgf8, AMHC1 and VMHC1). We also analyzed the ability of precardiac cells to differentiate when they are transplanted to ectopic locations or are subjected to the influence of the organizer. We propose that the precardiac cells of the primitive streak form at least two groups with different significance. One, regulated by mediation of the organizer, is located preferentially in the more rostral region of the primitive streak. It consists of the prospective cells of the endoderm layer, with a hierarchic pattern of expression of different genes characterized by its capacity for induction and regulation of a second group of cells. This second group is located preferentially in the more caudal segments, and is fated to form the precardiac mesoderm, whose differentiation would be characterized by the expression of various specific genes.


cardiogenesis, chick embryo, fate map, gastrulation, precardiac cell

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