The heart tube forms and elongates through dynamic cell rearrangement coordinated with foregut extension

Hinako Kidokoro, Sayuri Yonei-Tamura, Koji Tamura, Gary C. Schoenwolf, Yukio Saijoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In the initiation of cardiogenesis, the heart primordia transform from bilateral flat sheets of mesoderm into an elongated midline tube. Here, we discover that this rapid architectural change is driven by actomyosin-based oriented cell rearrangement and resulting dynamic tissue reshaping (convergent extension, CE). By labeling clusters of cells spanning the entire heart primordia, we show that the heart primordia converge toward the midline to form a narrow tube, while extending perpendicularly to rapidly lengthen it. Our data for the first time visualize the process of early heart tube formation from both the medial (second) and lateral (first) heart fields, revealing that both fields form the early heart tube by essentially the same mechanism. Additionally, the adjacent endoderm coordinately forms the foregut through previously unrecognized movements that parallel those of the heart mesoderm and elongates by CE. In conclusion, our data illustrate how initially two-dimensional flat primordia rapidly change their shapes and construct the three-dimensional morphology of emerging organs in coordination with neighboring morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdev152488
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr


  • Actomyosin
  • Cardiogenesis
  • Cell rearrangement
  • Convergent extension
  • Heart fields
  • Heart tube formation
  • Morphogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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