Role of myocardial hypoxia in the remodeling of the embryonic avian cardiac outflow tract

Role of myocardial hypoxia in the remodeling of the embryonic avian cardiac outflow tract

Yasuyuki Sugishita, Michiko Watanabe, and Steven A. Fisher

Developmental Biology 267 (2004) 294–308 doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2003.11.017


Capture d’écran 2010-10-09 à 20.58.48.jpgTwo years ago, I pointed to a methodological flaw in one of the papers of Vincent Fleury, which didn’t contain data (or any consideration of) concerning the eventual contribution of hypoxia in one of the experimental settings. That was felt as a lèse majesté crime. The response was rather arrogant and this paper is a nice illustration of what I meant (and mean) about the eventual role of hypoxia. In the work of Sugishita et al. the hypoxic region is embedded in tissue otherwise normoxic. The red label (Cy3) pointed by the arrowheads indicate adducts by EF5, produced preferentially under hypoxic conditions.

So much for Fleury’s comment
This is the case for a normally developing embryo without any artificial occlusion impairing blood’s flow and oxygenation. Just imagine what kind of staining must result from impairing the blood flow!


Now, what are the references for EF5 and the anti-EF5 monoclonals?


The embryonic cardiac outflow myocardium originates from a secondary heart-forming field to connect the developing ventricles with the aortic sac. The outflow tract (OFT) subsequently undergoes complex remodeling in the transition of the embryo to a dual circulation. In avians, elimination of OFT cardiomyocytes by apoptosis (stages 25–32) precedes coronary vasculogenesis and is necessary for the shortening of the OFT and the posterior rotation of the aorta. We hypothesized that regional myocardial hypoxia triggers OFT remodeling. We used immunohistochemical detection of the nitroimidazole EF5, administered by intravascular infusion in ovo, as an indicator of relative tissue oxygen concentrations. EF5 binding was increased in the OFT myocardium relative to other myocardium during these stages (25 – 32) of OFT remodeling. The intensity of EF5 binding paralleled the prevalence of apoptosis in the OFT myocardium, which are first detected at stage 25, maximal at stage 30, and diminished by stage 32. Evidence of coincident hypoxia-dependent responses included the expression of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 2 by the OFT myocardium, the predominant expression of VEGF122 (diffusible) isoform in the OFT, and the recruitment of QH1-positive pro-endothelial cells to the OFT and vasculogenesis. Exposure of embryos to hyperoxia (95% O2/5% CO2) during this developmental window reduced the prevalence of cardiomyocyte apoptosis and attenuated the shortening and rotation of the OFT, resulting in double-outlet right ventricle morphology, similar to that observed when apoptosis is directly inhibited. These results suggest that regional myocardial hypoxia triggers cardiomyocyte apoptosis and remodeling of the OFT in the transition to a dual circulation, and that VEGF autocrine/paracrine signaling may regulate these processes.

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