Tbx18 and the fate of epicardial progenitors


Arising from: C.-L. Cai et al. Nature 454, 104–108 (2008)10.1038/nature06969; Cai et al. reply

Uncovering the origins of myocardial cells is important for understanding and treating heart diseases1,2. Cai et al.3 suggest that Tbx18-expressing epicardium provides a substantial contribution to myocytes in the ventricular septum and the atrial and ventricular walls. Here we show that the T-box transcription factor gene 18 (Tbx18) itself is expressed in the myocardium, showing that their genetic lineage tracing system does not allow conclusions of an epicardial origin of cardiomyocytes in vivo to be drawn.

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Figure 1: Expression of Tbx18 is not confined to the epicardium but is also found in cardiomyocytes of the interventricular septum and the left ventricle.
Figure 2: Cre activity from a Cre-knock-in allele of Tbx18 (Tbx18Cre) recapitulates endogenous Tbx18 expression.


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Christoffels, V., Grieskamp, T., Norden, J. et al. Tbx18 and the fate of epicardial progenitors. Nature 458, E8–E9 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature07916

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