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Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2007 Aug 03;3593:431-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.05.140.
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Constitutive over-expression of VEGF results in reduced expression of Hand-1 during cardiac development in Xenopus.

Nagao K , Taniyama Y , Koibuchi N , Morishita R .

During heart development, various signaling cascades are tightly regulated in a stage- and region-dependent manner. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the important molecules required for both vascular development and cardiac morphogenesis. VEGF receptors are present in the embryonic heart, so we focused on heart formation in VEGF-over-expressing Xenopus embryos. Over-expression of VEGF(170) caused disorganized vessels, while the expression of an endothelial marker, Tie-2, was increased. The embryo's heart was distinctly larger than that of control, and showed abnormal morphology. Histological analysis of these embryos showed failure of heart looping. In situ hybridization with Hand-1, which controls intrinsic morphogenetic pathways, revealed that the expression level of Hand-1 was decreased in the heart region. These results suggest that increased VEGF(170) levels disturb Hand-1 expression in the region required for normal heart morphogenesis. VEGF expression level may be important in heart morphology during embryonic development.

PubMed ID: 17544370
Article link: Biochem Biophys Res Commun

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: hand1 hand2 tbx5 vegfa
Morpholinos: vegfa MO2

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