Semaphorin3D regulates invasion of cardiac neural crest cells into the primary heart field

Mariko Sato, Huai Jen Tsai, H. Joseph Yost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The primary heart field in all vertebrates is thought to be derived exclusively from lateral plate mesoderm (LPM), which gives rise to a cardiac tube shortly after gastrulation. The heart tube then begins looping and additional cells are added from other embryonic regions, including the secondary heart field, cardiac neural crest and the proepicardial organ. Here we show in zebrafish that neural crest cells invade and contribute cardiac myosin light chain2 (cmlc2)-positive cardiomyocytes to the primary heart field. Knockdown of semaphorin3D, which is expressed in the neural crest but apparently not in LPM, reduces the size of the primary heart field and the number of cardiomyocytes in the primary heart field by 20% before formation of the primary heart tube. Sema3D morphants have subsequent complex congenital heart defects, including hypertrophic cardiomyocytes, decreased ventricular size and defects in trabeculation and in atrioventricular (AV) valve development. Neuropilin1A, a semaphorin receptor, is expressed in LPM but apparently not in the neural crest, and nrp1A morphants have cardiac development defects. We propose that a population of sema3D-dependent neural crest cells follow a novel migratory pathway, perhaps toward nrp1A-expressing LPM, and serve as an important early source of cardiomyocytes in the primary heart field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-21
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiogenesis
  • Cardiomyocyte
  • Heart development
  • Neural crest
  • Zebrafish
  • cmlc2
  • semaphorin3D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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