Retinoic Acid and Heart Development

Science's STKE  18 Jan 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 267, pp. tw28
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2672005tw28

Model systems such as the zebrafish heart can be used to shed light on the normal development and function of the cardiac system in vertebrates and to assist in our understanding of heart injury and disease. Retinoic acid is critical for late steps in heart development, including terminal myocardial differentiation, cardiac looping, and ventricular maturation and growth. Using zebrafish genetics and embryology, Keegan et al. now show that there is also an early function of retinoic acid in cardiac specification. Retinoic acid signaling is involved in selecting the number of cardiac progenitors from within a multipotential pool, and organ size is controlled by retinoic acid-mediated restriction of the early cardiac progenitor pool.

B. R. Keegan, J. L. Feldman, G. Begemann, P. W. Ingham, D. Yelon, Retinoic acid signaling restricts the cardiac progenitor pool. Science 307, 247-249 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]