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Quantitative Phenotyping of Xenopus Embryonic Heart Pathophysiology Using Hemoglobin Contrast Subtraction Angiography to Screen Human Cardiomyopathies

Deniz E, Jonas S, Khokha MK, Choma MA
Front Physiol. 2019 Sep 20;10:1197. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.01197. eCollection 2019
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a significant cause of mortality in infants and adults. Currently human genomic analysis has identified a number of candidate genes in these patients. These genes span diverse categories of gene function suggesting that despite the similarity in cardiac lesion, the underlying pathophysiology may be different. In fact, patients with similar CHDs can have drastically different outcomes, including a dramatic decrease in myocardial function. To test these human candidate genes for their impact on myocardial function, we need efficient animals models of disease. For this purpose, we paired Xenopus tropicalis with our microangiography technique, hemoglobin contrast subtraction angiography (HCSA). To demonstrate the gene-teratogen-physiology relationship, we modeled human cardiomyopathy in tadpoles. First we depleted the sarcomeric protein myosin heavy chain 6 (myh6) expression using morpholino oligos. Next, we exposed developing embryos to the teratogen ethanol and in both conditions showed varying degrees of cardiac dysfunction. Our results demonstrate that HCSA can distinguish biomechanical phenotypes in the context of gene dysfunction or teratogen. This approach can be used to screen numerous candidate CHD genes or suspected teratogens for their effect on cardiac function.
Organism or Cell Type: 
Xenopus tropicalis
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