Wnt Signaling in Heart Organogenesis

Stefan Hoppler*, Silvia Mazzotta, Michael Kühl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding heart development is of fundamental importance, because the heart organ is the first functional organ in mammalian embryos and heart function is unremittingly required throughout subsequent life. Earlier cultured stem cell experiments highlighted positive effects of canonical Wnt signaling on subsequent cardiomyocyte differentiation. An early function for Wnt/β-catenin signaling relates to its requirement for mesoderm induction from which cardiac tissue subsequently differentiates. Noncanonical Wnt signaling is clearly a strong stimulator of cardiac specification and subsequent cardiomyocyte differentiation. It has been shown that this effect is mediated by the Wnt/JNK signaling pathway. Translational medicine more recently has focused on the possible lessons to be learned from Wnt signaling mechanisms in embryonic heart development for regeneration of injured heart muscle, for instance, after myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWnt Signaling in Development and Disease
Subtitle of host publicationMolecular Mechanisms and Biological Functions
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781118444122
ISBN (Print)9781118444160
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2014


  • Heart muscle differentiation
  • Heart muscle regeneration
  • Heart organogenesis
  • JNK signaling pathway
  • Morphogenesis
  • ß-catenin
  • Wnt signaling pathway


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