Anatomical Science International

, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 533–539 | Cite as

Anatomy of the coronary artery and cardiac vein in the quail ventricle: patterns are distinct from those in mouse and human hearts

  • Masahiro Kato
  • Mayu Narematsu
  • Yuji NakajimaEmail author
Original Article


Coronary vessel development has been investigated in avian and mouse embryonic hearts. Quail embryos are a useful tool to examine vascular development, particularly because the QH1 antibody and transgenic quail line, Tg (tie1:H2B-eYFP), are useful to trace endothelial cells. However, there are only a few descriptions of the quail coronary vessels. Using ink injection coronary angiography, we examined the course of coronary vessels in the fetal quail heart. The major coronary arteries were the right and left septal arteries, which, respectively, branched off from the right and left coronary stems. The right septal artery ran posteriorly (dorsally) and penetrated the ventricular free wall to distribute to the posterior surface of the ventricles. The left septal artery ran anteriorly (ventrally) and penetrated the ventricular free wall to distribute to the anterior surface of the ventricles. The right and left circumflex arteries were directed posteriorly along the atrioventricular sulci. The cardiac veins consisted of three major tributaries: the middle, great, and anterior cardiac veins. The middle cardiac vein ascended along the posterior interventricular sulcus and emptied into the right atrium. The great cardiac vein ran along the anterior interventricular sulcus, entered the space between the left atrium and conus arteriosus and emptied into the right atrium behind the aortic bulb. The anterior cardiac vein drained the anterior surface of the right ventricle and connected to the anterior base of the right atrium. The course of coronary vessels in the quail heart was basically the same as that observed in chick but was different from those of mouse and human.


Anatomy Avian species Cardiac vein Coronary artery Quail heart 



The authors thank S. Uoya for preparing the manuscript. This work was supported by JSPS Grant-in-Aid Scientific Research ©) 16K08450.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ainsworth SJ, Stanley RL, Evans DJ (2010) Developmental stages of the Japanese quail. J Anat 216:3–15CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Alejandro Gomez F, Ballesteros LE, Stella Cortes L (2015) Morphological description of great cardiac vein in pigs compared to human hearts. Braz J Cardiovasc Surg 30:63–69Google Scholar
  3. Ando K, Nakajima Y, Yamagishi T, Yamamoto S, Nakamura H (2004) Development of proximal coronary arteries in quail embryonic heart: multiple capillaries penetrating the aortic sinus fuse to form main coronary trunk. Circ Res 94:346–352CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bezuidenhout AJ (1984) The coronary circulation of the heart of the ostrich (Struthio camelus). J Anat 138:385–397PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Ciszek B, Skubiszewska D, Ratajska A (2007) The anatomy of the cardiac veins in mice. J Anat 211:53–63CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Dowd DA (1969) The coronary vessels and conducting system in the heart of monotremes. Acta Anat (Basel) 74:547–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dowd DA (1974) The coronary vessels in the heart of a marsupial, Trichosurus vulpecula. Am J Anat 140:47–56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Fernandez B, Duran AC, Fernandez MC, Fernandez-Gallego T, Icardo JM, Sans-Coma V (2008) The coronary arteries of the C57BL/6 mouse strains: implications for comparison with mutant models. J Anat 212:12–18CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Fitzgerald TC (1969) The Coturnix quail anatomy and histology. The Iowa State University Press, Ames, IAGoogle Scholar
  10. Halpern MH (1957) The dual blood supply of the rat heart. Am J Anat 101:1–16CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Hamburger V, Hamilton HL (1951) A series of normal stages in the development of the chick embryos. J Morphol 88:49–92CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kamimura T, Yamagishi T, Nakajima Y (2018) Avian coronary endothelium is a mosaic of sinus venosus- and ventricle-derived endothelial cells in a region-specific manner. Dev Growth Differ 60:97–111CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Kawashima T, Sato K, Sato F, Sasaki H (2003) An anatomical study of the human cardiac veins with special reference to the drainage of the great cardiac vein. Ann Anat 185:535–542CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kresakova L, Purzyc H, Schusterova I, Fulton B, Maloveska M, Vdoviakova K, Kravcova Z, Boldizar M (2015) Variability in the cardiac venous system of Wistar rats. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 54:10–16PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Lindsay FE (1967) The cardiac veins of Gallus domesticus. J Anat 101:555–568PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Lindsay FE, Smith HJ (1965) Coronary arteries of Gallus domesticus. Am J Anat 116:301–314CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Lopez-Garcia A, Soto-Navarrete MT, Fernandez MC, Moncayo-Arlandi J, Duran AC, Lopez-Unzu MA, Alonso-Briales JH, Fernandez B (2016) Unusual anatomical origins of the coronary arteries in C57BL/6 mice. Are they strain-specific? J Anat 229:703–709CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Loukas M, Groat C, Khangura R, Owens DG, Anderson RH (2009a) The normal and abnormal anatomy of the coronary arteries. Clin Anat 22:114–128CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Loukas M, Bilinsky S, Bilinsky E, El-Sedfy A, Anderson RH (2009b) Cardiac veins: a review of the literature. Clin Anat 22:129–145CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Myczkowski K (1960) Morphology of the coronary arteries in fowl and in some wild birds. Folia Morphol 11:21–30Google Scholar
  21. Nakajima Y, Imanaka-Yoshida K (2013) New insights into the developmental mechanisms of coronary vessels and epicardium. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol 303:263–317CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Pardanaud L, Altmann C, Kitos P, Dieterlen-Lievre F, Buck CA (1987) Vasculogenesis in the early quail blastodisc as studied with a monoclonal antibody recognizing endothelial cells. Development 100:339–349PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Perez-Pomares JM, de la Pompa JL, Franco D, Henderson D, Ho SY, Houyel L, Kelly RG, Sedmera D, Sheppard M, Sperling S, Thiene G, van den Hoff M, Basso C (2016) Congenital coronary artery anomalies: a bridge from embryology to anatomy and pathophysiology—a position statement of the development, anatomy, and pathology ESC Working Group. Cardiovasc Res 109:204–216CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Reese DE, Mikawa T, Bader DM (2002) Development of the coronary vessel system. Circ Res 91:761–768CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Sato Y, Lansford R (2013) Transgenesis and imaging in birds, and available transgenic reporter lines. Dev Growth Differ 55:406–421CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Sedmera D, Watanabe M (2006) Growing the coronary tree: the quail saga. Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol 288:933–935CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Tian X, Pu WT, Zhou B (2015) Cellular origin and developmental program of coronary angiogenesis. Circ Res 116:515–530CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Tomanek RJ, Hansen HK, Dedkov EI (2006) Vascular patterning of the quail coronary system during development. Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol 288:989–999CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. von Lüdinghausen M (1987) Clinical anatomy of cardiac veins, Vv. cardiacae. Surg Radiol Anat 9:159–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vrancken Peeters MP, Gittenberger-de Groot AC, Mentink MM, Hungerford JE, Little CD, Poelmann RE (1997) The development of the coronary vessels and their differentiation into arteries and veins in the embryonic quail heart. Dev Dyn 208:338–348CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Yoldas A, Ozmen E, Ozdemir V (2010) Macroscopic description of the coronary arteries in Swiss albino mice (Mus musculus). J S Afr Vet Assoc 81:247–252CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Japanese Association of Anatomists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Osaka City UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Graduate School of MedicineOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan

Personalised recommendations