Neuropilin 1 mediates epicardial activation and revascularization in the regenerating zebrafish heart

Lowe, V and Wisniewski, L and Sayers, J and Evans, I and Frankel, P and Mercader-Huber, N and Zachary, I C and Pellet-Many, C (2019) Neuropilin 1 mediates epicardial activation and revascularization in the regenerating zebrafish heart. DEVELOPMENT.

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Abstract

Unlike adult mammals, zebrafish can regenerate their heart. A key mechanism for regeneration is the activation of the epicardium, leading to the establishment of a supporting scaffold for new cardiomyocytes, angiogenesis and cytokine secretion. Neuropilins are co-receptors mediating signaling of kinase receptors for cytokines known to play critical roles in zebrafish heart regeneration. We investigated the role of neuropilins in response to cardiac injury and heart regeneration. All four neuropilin isoforms nrp1a, nrp1b, nrp2a and nrp2b were upregulated by the activated epicardium and a nrp1a knockout mutant showed a significant delay in heart regeneration and displayed persistent collagen deposition. The regenerating hearts of nrp1a mutants were less vascularized and epicardial-derived cell migration and re-expression of the developmental gene wt1b was impaired. Moreover, cryoinjury-induced activation and migration of epicardial cells in heart explants was reduced in nrp1a mutant. These results identify a key role for Nrp1 in zebrafish heart regeneration, mediated through epicardial activation, migration and revascularization.