Epicardial shha expression promotes subepicardial cardiomyocyte proliferation during heart regeneration.
(A) Schematic of the experiment. (B) Semi-qRT-PCR analysis of shha in purified tcf21:DsRed2+ epicardial cells obtained from uninjured and injured (7 dpi) tcf21:DsRed hearts. Injury was confirmed by the induction of raldh2 expression. (C) Semi-qRT-PCR analysis of Hh pathway genes using purified tcf21:DsRed2+ epicardial cells obtained from 4-HT–treated 7 dpi tcf21:DsRed; shhact/ct (control, left) and tcf21:DsRed; tcf21:CreER; shhact/ct hearts (right). (D) Immunofluorescence images of the subepicardial (top) and trabecular areas (bottom) of heart sections obtained from 4-HT–treated 7 dpi shhact/ct (control) or tcf21:CreER; shhact/ct hearts. Brackets, subepicardial areas. Dotted lines, approximate amputation plane. Arrows indicate proliferating cardiomyocytes. (E) Quantification of cardiomyocyte proliferation in the subepicardial and trabecular areas of the heart sections obtained from 4-HT–treated 7 dpi shhact/ct (control) or tcf21:CreER; shhact/ct hearts shown in D (n = 6 each). The data are presented as the mean ± SEM (**p<0.01, Mann–Whitney U test). N.S., not significant (p=0.3367). (F) Image of heart sections obtained from 7 dpi gata4:EGFP; tcf21;DsRed2 fish. Subepicardial cardiomyocytes (green, arrows) associate with epicardial cells (magenta, arrowheads). (G) Semi-qRT-PCR analysis of shha pathway genes using purified subepicardial cardiomyocytes obtained from 7 dpi gata4:EGFP ventricles. Cardiomyocytes purified from uninjured cmlc2:EGFP ventricles were used as negative controls. Scale bar, 50 μm.