Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The earliest known progenitor of the outermost layer of the heart has been characterised for the first time and linked to the development of other critical cell types in the developing heart in a new paper from the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics.

Frontal view of a developing mouse heart used in the study

The heart is the first organ to form during development and is critical for the survival of the embryo. The forming heart is very small, less than half a millimetre in width, and so far the precise molecular identity of the various cell types that make up the heart during these early stages have been poorly defined. However, recent years have seen rapid development in techniques which allow an unbiased assessment of molecular identity at the single cell level. Alongside this, advances in imaging technologies have now allowed researchers to visualise heart formation at high resolution and in real time.

In new research led by Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics researcher Dr Richard Tyser and Dr Ximena Ibarra-Soria, the team combined these cutting-edge technologies to profile the molecular identity and precise locations of cells involved in the formation of the mouse embryonic heart. This allowed them to identify the earliest known progenitor of the epicardium, the outermost layer of the heart and an important source of signals and cells during cardiac development and injury.

The full story is available on the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics website

Similar stories

Oxford announces the founding of the new Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science

The Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science at the University of Oxford has been established to pioneer the better use of data, evidence and digital tools in healthcare and policy, optimizing the impact of interventions to achieve improved outcomes.

Researchers develop machine learning algorithm to diagnose deep vein thrombosis

A team of researchers are developing the use of an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm with the aim of diagnosing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) more quickly and as effectively as traditional radiologist-interpreted diagnostic scans, potentially cutting down long patient waiting lists and avoiding patients unnecessarily receiving drugs to treat DVT when they don’t have it.

COVID-19 recovery project nominated for HSJ award

The project, involving Oxford University Hospitals, Defence Medical Services (DMS), and the Radcliffe Department of Medicine is in the running for a prestigious honour at the Health Service Journal Awards 2021.

Oxford to assess revolutionary multi-cancer blood test in trial, for future implementation in the NHS

A partnership between the University of Oxford and GRAIL, LLC will evaluate the use of a new, non-invasive, multi-cancer early detection test known as Galleri in suspected cancer patients.

'Finding our Way: An NHS Tribute Garden' at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

‘Finding Our Way – An NHS Tribute Garden’ is a celebration of the incredible efforts of the thousands of people who fought – and are still fighting - the COVID-19 pandemic on our behalf. The garden is designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and presented by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford University.