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Keywords:

  • Peg1;
  • Mest;
  • trabeculae;
  • heart;
  • myocardium;
  • atrial appendage;
  • pectinate muscles;
  • left right asymmetry;
  • ventricles;
  • noncompaction;
  • imprinting

Abstract

Peg1 (Mest) is an imprinted gene of unknown function widely expressed in the mouse embryo, predominantly in cells of the mesodermal lineage. We have revealed a restricted expression pattern within the developing heart. Initial uniform expression throughout the linear heart tube subsequently becomes restricted, primarily to the developing myocardial trabeculae of both the atria and ventricles, where it persists into late development. Expression in the atrial appendage myocardium precedes the emergence of trabeculae (pectinate muscles), and occurs earlier and to a greater extent on the right than on the left, reflecting the spatial and temporal pattern of trabeculation. Analysis of myocardial morphology in mice lacking the Peg1 gene, which are viable and appear grossly normal, reveals a subtle alteration in the pattern of trabeculation: an increase in thickness and reduction in density of the compact myocardium, similar to that seen in the human cardiomyopathy ventricular noncompaction. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.