High salt‐induced excess reactive oxygen species production resulted in heart tube malformation during gastrulation

Lin-rui Gao, Guang Wang, Jing Zhang, Shuai Li, Manli Chuai, Yongping Bao, Berthold Hocher, Xuesong Yang

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An association has been proved between high salt consumption and cardiovascular mortality. In vertebrates, the heart is the first functional organ to be formed. However, it is not clear whether high‐salt exposure has an adverse impact on cardiogenesis. Here we report high‐salt exposure inhibited basement membrane breakdown by affecting RhoA, thus disturbing the expression of Slug/E‐cadherin/N‐cadherin/Laminin and interfering with mesoderm formation during the epithelial‐mesenchymal transition(EMT). Furthermore, the DiI+ cell migration trajectory in vivo and scratch wound assays in vitro indicated that high‐salt exposure restricted cell migration of cardiac progenitors, which was caused by the weaker cytoskeleton structure and unaltered corresponding adhesion junctions at HH7. Besides, down‐regulation of GATA4/5/6, Nkx2.5, TBX5, and Mef2c and up‐regulation of Wnt3a/β‐catenin caused aberrant cardiomyocyte differentiation at HH7 and HH10. High‐salt exposure also inhibited cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis. Most importantly, our study revealed that excessive reactive oxygen species(ROS)generated by high salt disturbed the expression of cardiac‐related genes, detrimentally affecting the above process including EMT, cell migration, differentiation, cell proliferation and apoptosis, which is the major cause of malformation of heart tubes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7120-7133
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number9
Early online date25 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018


  • High salt
  • chick embryo
  • heart tube
  • reactive oxygen species
  • cardiac progenitor migration and differentiation

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