Autophagy is involved in high glucose-induced heart tube malformation

Guang Wang, Wen Qing Huang, Shu Dan Cui, Shuai Li, Xiao yu Wang, Manli Chuai, Liu Cao, Yan Li, Jiang-chao Li, Da-xiang Lu (Lead / Corresponding author), Xuesong Yang (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Both pre-gestational and gestational diabetes have an adverse impact on heart development, but little is known about the influence on the early stage of heart tube formation. Using early gastrulating chick embryos, we investigated the influence of high glucose on the process of heart tube formation, specifically during the primary heart field phase. We demonstrated that high-glucose exposure resulted in 3 types of heart tube malformation: 1) ventricular hypertrophy, 2) ventricular hypertrophy with dextrocardia and 3) ventricular hypertrophy and dextrocardia with the fusion anomaly of a bilateral primary heart tube. Next, we found that these malformation phenotypes of heart tubes might mainly originate from the migratory anomaly of gastrulating precardiac mesoderm cells rather than cell proliferation in the developmental process of bilateral primary heart field primordia. The treatment of rapamycin (RAPA), an autophagy inducer, led to a similar heart tube malformation phenotype as high glucose. Additionally, high-glucose exposure promoted the expression of the key autophagy protein LC3B in early chick tissue. Atg7 is strongly expressed in the fusion site of bilateral primary heart tubes. All of these data imply that autophagy could be involved in the process of high-glucose-induced malformation of the heart tube.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)772-783
    Number of pages12
    JournalCell Cycle
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Autophagy
    • Cell migration
    • Chick embryo
    • Heart tube
    • High glucose


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