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Dev Biol 2010 Mar 15;3392:429-38. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.01.002.
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Lymph heart musculature is under distinct developmental control from lymphatic endothelium.

Peyrot SM , Martin BL , Harland RM .

Lymph hearts are pulsatile organs, present in lower vertebrates, that function to propel lymph into the venous system. Although they are absent in mammals, the initial veno-lymphatic plexus that forms during mammalian jugular lymph sac development has been described as the vestigial homologue of the nascent stage of ancestral anterior lymph hearts. Despite the widespread presence of lymph hearts among vertebrate species and their unique function, extremely little is known about lymph heart development. We show that Xenopus anterior lymph heart muscle expresses skeletal muscle markers such as myoD and 12/101, rather than cardiac markers. The onset of lymph heart myoblast induction can be visualized by engrailed-1 (en1) staining in anterior trunk somites, which is dependent on Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. In the absence of Hh signaling and upon en1 knockdown, lymph heart muscle fails to develop, despite the normal development of the lymphatic endothelium of the lymph heart, and embryos develop edema. These results suggest a mechanism for the evolutionary transition from anterior lymph hearts to jugular lymph sacs in mammals.

PubMed ID: 20067786
PMC ID: PMC2845526
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actc1 actl6a en1 gata4 myod1 prox1 sacs shh tnni3
Morpholinos: en1 MO1 en1 MO2

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Cheng, The epaxial-hypaxial subdivision of the avian somite. 2004, Pubmed