The arterial pole of the mouse heart forms from Fgf10-expressing cells in pharyngeal mesoderm.
Development of the arterial pole of the heart is a critical step in cardiogenesis, yet its embryological origin remains obscure. We have analyzed a transgenic mouse line in which beta-galactosidase activity is observed in the embryonic right ventricle and outflow tract of the heart and in contiguous splanchnic and pharyngeal mesoderm. The nlacZ transgene has integrated upstream of the fibroblast growth factor 10 (Fgf10) gene and comparison with the expression pattern of Fgf10 in pharyngeal mesoderm indicates transgene control by Fgf10 regulatory sequences. Dil labeling shows a progressive movement of cells from the pharyngeal arch region into the growing heart tube between embryonic days 8.25 and 10.5. These data suggest that arterial pole myocardium originates outside the classical heart field.