Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 183, Issue 4, pp 345–352

Transforming growth factor-β1 localized within the heart of the chick embryo

  • Michael Choy
  • Margaret T. Armstrong
  • Peter B. Armstrong


Transforming growth factor-β1 is a pleiotropic peptide mediator of growth, differentiation, and extra-cellular matrix synthesis. In the embryonic chick heart prior to the formation of the endocardial cushions, evidence from in vitro experiments suggests that transforming growth factor-β1 may be an inducer of the differentiation of atrioventricular endothelial cells into endocardial cushion mesenchyme. Further in vitro evidence suggests that the factor stimulates mesenchymal cell proliferation, and, thus, growth of the cushions. Using an antibody made against a peptide duplicating the aminoterminal 30 amino acid sequence of transforming growth factor-β1, we stained sections of stage 11, 18, 23, 26, and 36 chick hearts by an in situ immunofluorescence technique. Transforming growth factor-β1 staining localized to the endocardial surface and epicardial surface of the stage 11 heart, but it decreased from these locations in later stages. The cardiac jelly (stage 11), endocardial cushions (stage 18, 23, and 26), and, subsequently, the heart valve leaflets (stage 36) stained intensely for the growth factor.

Key words

Heart morphogenesis Transforming growth factor- βEndocardial cushions Atrioventricular valves 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Armstrong PB (1985) Cell recognition, the extracellular matrix, and heart morphogenesis. Exp Biol Med 10:222–230Google Scholar
  2. Choy M, Armstrong MX, Armstrong PB (1990) Regulation of proliferation of embryonic heart mesenchyme: role of transforming growth factor-β1 and the interstitial matrix. Dev Biol 141:421–425Google Scholar
  3. Derynck R, Jarrett JA, Chen EY, Goeddel DV (1986) The murine transforming growth factor-β precursor. J Biol Chem 261:4377–4379PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Derynck R, Lindquist PB, Lee A, Wen D, Tamm J, Graycar JL, Rhee L, Mason AJ, Miller DA, Coffey RJ, Moses HL, Chen EY (1988) A new type of transforming growth factor-β, TGF-β3. EMBO 7:3737–3743Google Scholar
  5. Ellingsworth LR, Brennan JE, Fok K, Rosen DM, Bentz H, Piez KA, Seyedin SM (1986) Antibodies to the N-terminal portion of cartilage-inducing factor A and transforming growth factor-β. J Biol Chem 261:12362–12367Google Scholar
  6. Flanders KC, Thompson NL, Cissel DS, Van Obberghen-Schilling E, Baker CC, Kass ME, Ellingsworth LR, Roberts AB, Sporn MB (1989) Transforming growth factor-β1: histochemical localization with antibodies to different epitopes. J Cell Biol 108:653–660Google Scholar
  7. Graycar JL, Miller DA, Lyons RM, Moses HL, Derynck R (1989) Human transforming growth factor-β3: recombinant expression, purification, and biological activities in comparison with transforming growth factors-β1 and -β2. Mol Endocrinol 3:1977–1986Google Scholar
  8. Hamburger V, Hamilton HL (1951) A series of normal stages in the development of the chick embryo. J Morphol 88:49–92Google Scholar
  9. Heine UI, Munoz EF, Flanders KC, Ellingsworth LR, Lam HYP, Thompson NL, Roberts AB, Sporn MB (1987) Role of transforming growth factor-β in the development of the mouse embryo. J Cell Biol 105:2861–2876Google Scholar
  10. Jakowlew SB, Dillard PJ, Sporn MB, Roberts AB (1988) Nucleotide sequence of chicken transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1). Nucleic Acids Res 16:8730Google Scholar
  11. Jakowlew SB, Kondaiah P, Dillard PJ, Sporn MB, Roberts AB (1988) Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid cloning of a novel transforming growth factor-beta messenger ribonucleic acid from chick embryo chondrocytes. Mol Endocrinol 2:747–755Google Scholar
  12. Jakowlew SB, Dillard PJ, Sporn MB, Roberts AB (1988) Complementary deoxyribonucleic acid cloning of a messenger ribonucleic acid encoding transforming growth factor β 4 from chicken embryo chondrocytes. Mol Endocrinol 2:1186–1195Google Scholar
  13. Lehnert SA, Akhurst RJ (1988) Embryonic expression pattern of TGF beta type-1 RNA suggests both paracrine and autocrine mechanisms of action. Development 104:263–273Google Scholar
  14. Miyazono K, Hellman U, Wernstedt C, Heldin C (1988) Latent high molecular weight complex of transforming growth factor β1: purification from human platelets and structural characterization. J Biol Chem 263:6407–6415Google Scholar
  15. Mjaatvedt CH, Lepera RC, Markwald RR (1987) Myocardial specificity for initiating endothelial-mesenchymal cell transition in embryonic chick heart correlates with a particulate distribution of fibronectin. Dev Biol 119:59–67Google Scholar
  16. Potts JD, Runyan RB (1989) Epithelial-mesenchymal cell transformation in the embryonic heart can be mediated, in part, by transforming growth factor β. Dev Biol 134:392–401Google Scholar
  17. Thompson NL, Flanders KC, Smith JM, Ellingsworth LR, Roberts AB, Sporn MB (1989) Expression of transforming growth factor-β1 in specific cells and tissues of adult and neonatal mice. J Cell Biol 108:661–669Google Scholar
  18. Vassall-Adams PR (1982) The development of the atrioventricular bundle and its branches in the avian heart. J Anat 134:169–183Google Scholar
  19. Wakefield LM, Smith DM, Flanders KC, Sporn MB (1988) Latent transforming growth factor-βfrom human platelets: a high molecular weight complex containing precursor sequences. J Biol Chem 263:7646–7654Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Choy
    • 1
  • Margaret T. Armstrong
    • 2
  • Peter B. Armstrong
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of PediatricsUniversity of California Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of ZoologyUniversity of California at DavisDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations