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Supplementary Material for: Chicken Second Branchial Arch Progenitor Cells Contribute to Heart Musculature in vitro and in vivo

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posted on 08.01.2021, 09:06 by Yahya I., AlHaj A., Brand-Saberi B., Morosan-Puopolo G.
In the past, the heart muscle was thought to originate from a single source of myocardial progenitor cells. More recently, however, an additional source of myocardial progenitors has been revealed to be the second heart field, and chicken embryos were important for establishing this concept. However, there have been few studies in chicken on how this field contributes to heart muscles in vitro. We have developed an ex vivo experimental system from chicken embryos between stages HH17–20 to investigate how mesodermal progenitors in the second branchial arch (BA2) differentiate into cardiac muscles. Using this method, we presented evidence that the progenitor cells within the BA2 arch differentiated into beating cardiomyocytes in vitro. The beating explant cells were positive for cardiac actin, Nkx2.5, and ventricular myosin heavy chain. In addition, we performed a time course for the expression of second heart field markers (Isl1 and Nkx2.5) in the BA2 from stage HH16 to stage HH21 using in situ hybridization. Accordingly, using EGFP-based cell labeling techniques and quail-chicken cell injection, we demonstrated that mesodermal cells from the BA2 contributed to the outflow tract and ventricular myocardium in vivo. Thus, our findings highlight the cardiogenic potential of chicken BA2 mesodermal cells in vitro and in vivo.