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Third-party-funded project

Induction and differentiation of the proepicardial serosa. A cardiac progenitor cell population

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

The cell types that constitute the mature vertebrate heart and the stems of its great arterial trunks are derived from different embryonic sources. The present project focuses on the PrES, which is a progenitor cell population that is primarily located outside the heart, namely at the pericardial wall near to the venous pole of the heart. The first aim of this project is to unravel some of the currently unknown tissue interactions involved in the induction and development of the PrES. The second aim is the functional characterization of CFC, a member of the EGF-CFC gene family, which is expressed in the PrES and later in the epicardium. The role of this competence factor will be analyzed using a loss-of function approach employing viral gene transfer of a dominant-negative CFC mutation. The primary and secondary heart fields, the PrES / epicardium as well as the pericardium are all derived from the lateral plate mesoderm. In order to gain insight into the molecular pathways regulating the formation of these different cell populations, the third aim of this project is to isolate genes with preferential expression in the PrES / epicardium by a subtractive hybridization approach. These analyses will result in a deeper understanding of the induction and differentiation of an important cardiac progenitor cell population. This might facilitate, for example, the development of new strategies for therapeutic neovascularisation of adult hearts.

Key words:
    epicardial development
    chick embryo

Projekt period: from 03.2004 to 12.2006

Funding institution:
DFG ,Granting date: 12.03.04