Acidic fibroblast growth factor and heart development. Role in myocyte proliferation and capillary angiogenesis.
Proliferative growth of the ventricular myocyte (cardiomyocyte) is primarily limited to fetal and early neonatal periods of development. In concert with the neonatal "transition" from proliferative to hypertrophic growth, ventricular remodeling of the nonmyocyte compartment is characterized by increased extracellular matrix synthesis/deposition and capillary angiogenesis. A role for locally generated and bioactive ventricular acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) in these processes is proposed and substantiated by the following: 1) colocalization of aFGF peptide and fibroblast growth factor receptor (flg) transcripts to the developing fetal cardiomyocyte by immunohistochemistry, immunoelectron microscopy, and in situ hybridization, 2) continued localization of aFGF peptide and transcripts to the neonatal/mature cardiomyocyte, and 3) localization of flg immunoreactivity and transcripts to specific neonatal ventricular nonmuscle cell types. Specific ventricular cell types at distinct developmental stages appear to be responsive to ventricular myocyte-derived aFGF (myocytes in the fetal heart and nonmyocytes/endothelial cells in the neonatal heart). These data indicate that expression of aFGF and one of its receptors (flg) are most pronounced in the fetal to early neonatal ventricle, the presence of both suggesting an autocrine/paracrine growth regulatory function. As the animal matures, ventricular capillary angiogenesis may be facilitated by "release" of cardiomyocyte-derived fibroblast growth factors into the surrounding extracellular space/matrix functioning as a "paracrine" angiogenic stimuli. Therefore, the results of our study suggest that myocyte-derived aFGF may function to increase the fetal ventricular cardiomyocyte population in absolute number as well as to facilitate the subsequent increase in capillary angiogenesis that occurs during cardiomyocyte maturation and ventricular remodeling.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association