• Tbx5;
  • murine ES cells;
  • Xenopus laevis;
  • cardiogenesis;
  • first heart field


The T-box transcription factor Tbx5 is involved in several developmental processes including cardiogenesis. Early steps of cardiac development are characterised by the formation of two cardiogenic lineages, the first (FHF) and the second heart field (SHF) lineage, which arise from a common cardiac progenitor cell population. To further investigate the function of Tbx5 during cardiogenesis, we generated a murine embryonic stem cell line constitutively overexpressing Tbx5. Differentiation of these cells is characterised by an earlier and increased appearance of contracting cardiomyocytes that beat with a higher frequency than control cells. In semi-quantitative and quantitative RT-PCR analyses, we observed an up-regulation of cardiac marker genes such as Troponin T, endogenous Tbx5, and Nkx2.5 and a down-regulation of others like BMP4 and Hand2. Similar data were gained in Xenopus laevis arguing for a conserved function of Tbx5. Furthermore, markers of the conduction system and atrial cardiomyocytes were increased. Developmental Dynamics 240:2634–2645, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.