Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 7th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Heart to Heart
06 January 2012

Heart to Heart

Building a mammalian heart is no mean feat. The orchestration requires many co-ordinated protein players, some more important than others as illustrated here. A single protein is absent in the developing mouse heart (pictured on the right). The protein, called S1P1R, is helping researchers unravel the complex events that take place as the heart develops. Mouse embryos that lack S1P1R fail to develop normal hearts and die before they are born. In a series of experiments to understand why this happens, the team compared ultra thin sections of the hearts from normal mice early embryos (left) with those lacking the S1P1R protein (right). The heart cells are labelled with a green fluorescent tag and the red dots mark the cell nuclei. Without S1P1R the heart tissue is disorganised, and key structures like heart valves fail to develop. These kinds of insight could help combat heart defects in newborn infants.

Written by Caroline Cross

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.