Rescuing a broken heart: A tale of two Models of Neural Crest deficiency and its impact on In Utero Heart function and Embryonic Survival via the Beta-Adrenergic pathway

Michael A. Olaopa, IUPUI University Library, IUPUI # Defaults To Publisher, Simon J. Conway, Anthony B. Firulli, Kenneth E. White, Simon J. Rhodes
Congenital heart defects occur in approximately one percent of births every year, which makes it the most frequently occurring congenital defect in patients. The aim of this project was to use two mutant neural crest (NC) mouse models to study the mechanisms underlying congenital heart failure in utero. The first mouse model was a Pax3 systemic knockout, which was lethal by mouse gestational day 14, and had appreciably reduced numbers of migratory NC cells. The second mouse model was a
more » ... ediated NC genetic cell ablation model, which was surprisingly viable and survived to birth, despite an apparent lack of migratory NC cells. The resultant data indicated that both mouse models had similar heart structural defects including persistent truncus arteriosus, which was due to fewer or no migratory cardiac NC cells. However, in utero heart function was appreciably perturbed in Pax3 mutants when compared to that of the ablated mutant model. The loss of embryonic cardiac function in Pax3 mutants was directly attributed to a substantial decrease in the activity of the beta-adrenergic pathway. This was due to a lack of proper specification of trunk NC cells, leading to diminished levels of circulating catecholamine levels in the embryo. To definitively confirm this conclusion, poor cardiac function was successfully restored by pharmacological stimulation of the beta-adrenergic pathway via administration of isoproterenol and forskolin to pregnant dams, which led to embryonic survival of Pax3 mutants to birth. By comparison of these two mutant mouse models, perturbation in the beta-adrenergic pathway was identified as the underlying mechanism responsible for in utero heart failure and lethality in Pax3 mutant embryos. The results of this study are expected to be significant in developing future therapeutic targets for congenital heart failure in prenatal and newborn patients.
doi:10.7912/c2/1945 fatcat:v2fyb4s2ezdnthlmj4gd5hlxeu