Mapping the dynamic expression of Wnt11 and the lineage contribution of Wnt11-expressing cells during early mouse development

Academic Article

Abstract

  • © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that coordinates polarized cell behavior to regulate tissue morphogenesis during vertebrate gastrulation, neurulation and organogenesis. In Xenopus and zebrafish, PCP signaling is activated by non-canonical Wnts such as Wnt11, and detailed understanding of Wnt11 expression has provided important clues on when, where and how PCP may be activated to regulate tissue morphogenesis. To explore the role of Wnt11 in mammalian development, we established a Wnt11 expression and lineage map with high spatial and temporal resolution by creating and analyzing a tamoxifen-inducible Wnt11-CreER BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line. Our short- and long-term lineage tracing experiments indicated that Wnt11-CreER could faithfully recapitulate endogenous Wnt11 expression, and revealed for the first time that cells transiently expressing Wnt11 at early gastrulation were fated to become specifically the progenitors of the entire endoderm. During mid-gastrulation, Wnt11-CreER expressing cells also contribute extensively to the endothelium in both embryonic and extraembryonic compartments, and the endocardium in all chambers of the developing heart. In contrast, Wnt11-CreER expression in the myocardium starts from late-gastrulation, and occurs in three transient, sequential waves: first in the precursors of the left ventricular (LV) myocardium from E7.0 to 8.0; subsequently in the right ventricular (RV) myocardium from E8.0 to 9.0; and finally in the superior wall of the outflow tract (OFT) myocardium from E8.5 to 10.5. These results provide formal genetic proof that the majority of the endocardium and myocardium diverge by mid-gastrulation in the mouse, and suggest a tight spatial and temporal control of Wnt11 expression in the myocardial lineage to coordinate with myocardial differentiation in the first and second heart field progenitors to form the LV, RV and OFT. The insights gained from this study will also guide future investigations to decipher the role of non-canonical Wnt/PCP signaling in endoderm development, vasculogenesis and heart formation.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sinha T; Lin L; Li D; Davis J; Evans S; Wynshaw-Boris A; Wang J
  • Start Page

  • 177
  • End Page

  • 192
  • Volume

  • 398
  • Issue

  • 2