Vitamin A signals play critical roles during embryonic development. In particular, heart morphogenesis depends on vitamin A signals mediated by the retinoid X receptor α (RXRα), as the systemic mutation of this receptor results in thinning of the myocardium and embryonic lethality. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlled by RXRα signaling in this process are unclear, because a myocardium-restricted RXRα mutation does not perturb heart morphogenesis. Here, we analyze a series of tissue-restricted mutations of the RXRα gene in the cardiac neural crest, endothelial, and epicardial lineages, and we show that RXRα signaling in the epicardium is required for proper cardiac morphogenesis. Moreover, we detect an additional phenotype of defective coronary arteriogenesis associated with RXRα deficiency and identify a retinoid-dependent Wnt signaling pathway that cooperates in epicardial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 20 2005|
- Coronary vessels