tcf21+ epicardial cells adopt non-myocardial fates during zebrafish heart development and regeneration. Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent lineage-tracing studies have produced conflicting results about whether the epicardium is a source of cardiac muscle cells during heart development. Here, we examined the developmental potential of epicardial tissue in zebrafish during both embryonic development and injury-induced heart regeneration. We found that upstream sequences of the transcription factor gene tcf21 activated robust, epicardium-specific expression throughout development and regeneration. Cre recombinase-based, genetic fate-mapping of larval or adult tcf21(+) cells revealed contributions to perivascular cells, but not cardiomyocytes, during each form of cardiogenesis. Our findings indicate that natural epicardial fates are limited to non-myocardial cell types in zebrafish.

publication date

  • July 2011