ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily G member 2 (Abcg2)-expressing cardiac-side population cells have been identified in the developing and adult heart, although the role they play in mammalian heart growth and regeneration remains unclear. In this study, we use genetic lineage tracing to follow the cell fate of Abcg2-expressing cells in the embryonic and adult heart. During cardiac embryogenesis, the Abcg2 lineage gives rise to multiple cardiovascular cell types, including cardiomyocytes, endothelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells. This capacity for Abcg2-expressing cells to contribute to cardiomyocytes decreases rapidly during the postnatal period. We further tested the role of the Abcg2 lineage following myocardial injury. One month following ischemia reperfusion injury, Abcg2-expressing cells contributed significantly to the endothelial cell lineage, however, there was no contribution to regenerated cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, consistent with previous results showing that Abcg2 plays an important cytoprotective role during oxidative stress, we show an increase in Abcg2 labeling of the vasculature, a decrease in the scar area, and a moderate improvement in cardiac function following myocardial injury. We have uncovered a difference in the capacity of Abcg2-expressing cells to generate the cardiovascular lineages during embryogenesis, postnatal growth, and cardiac regeneration.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Danielle Amundsen for assistance with cryosectioning of heart samples. This work was supported by Dr. Thomas Pengo in the University Imaging Centers at the University of Minnesota (http://uic.umn.edu). This work was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (K08 HL102157).
Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.