Cardiomyocyte DNA synthesis and binucleation indexes were determined during murine development. Cardiomyocyte DNA synthesis occurred in two temporally distinct phases. The first phase occurred during fetal life and was associated exclusively with cardiomyocyte proliferation. The second phase occurred during early neonatal life and was associated with binucleation. Collectively, these results suggest that cardiomyocyte reduplication ceases during late fetal life. Northern and Western blot analyses identified several candidate genes that were differentially expressed during the reduplicative and binucleation phases of cardiomyocyte growth.
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