ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180206-12
Spatially resolved RNA-sequencing of the embryonic heart identifies a role for Wnt/β-catenin signaling in autonomic control of heart rate
Burkhard, S.B., Bakkers, J.
Date: 2018
Source: eLIFE   7: (Journal)
Registered Authors: Bakkers, Jeroen
Keywords: developmental biology, stem cells, zebrafish
Microarrays: GEO:GSE104057
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Heart/embryology*
  • Heart/physiology*
  • Heart Rate*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
  • beta Catenin/metabolism*
PubMed: 29400650 Full text @ Elife
Development of specialized cells and structures in the heart is regulated by spatially-restricted molecular pathways. Disruptions in these pathways can cause severe congenital cardiac malformations or functional defects. To better understand these pathways and how they regulate cardiac development we used tomo-seq, combining high-throughput RNA-sequencing with tissue-sectioning, to establish a genome-wide expression dataset with high spatial resolution for the developing zebrafish heart. Analysis of the dataset revealed over 1100 genes differentially expressed in sub-compartments. Pacemaker cells in the sinoatrial region induce heart contractions, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying their development. Using our transcriptome map, we identified spatially restricted Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity in pacemaker cells, which was controlled by Islet-1 activity. Moreover, Wnt/β-catenin signaling controls heart rate by regulating pacemaker cellular response to parasympathetic stimuli. Thus, this high-resolution transcriptome map incorporating all cell types in the embryonic heart can expose spatially-restricted molecular pathways critical for specific cardiac functions.