Pediatric Cardiology

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 1052–1062 | Cite as

Planar Cell Polarity Signaling in Mammalian Cardiac Morphogenesis

  • Ding Li
  • Jianbo Wang
Original Article


The mammalian heart is the first organ to form and is critical for embryonic survival and development. With an occurrence of 1%, congenital heart defects (CHDs) are also the most common birth defects in humans, and major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality (Hoffman and Kaplan in J Am Coll Cardiol 39(12):1890–1900, 2002; Samanek in Cardiol Young 10(3):179–185, 2000). Understanding how the heart forms will not only help to determine the etiology and to design diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for CHDs, but may also provide insight into regenerative medicine to repair injured adult hearts. Mammalian heart development requires precise orchestration of growth, differentiation, and morphogenesis to remodel a simple linear heart tube into an intricate, four-chambered heart with properly connected pulmonary artery and aorta, a structural basis for establishing the pulmonary and systemic circulation. Here we will review the recent advance in our understanding of how the planar cell polarity pathway, a highly conserved morphogenetic engine in vertebrates, regulates polarized morphogenetic processes to contribute to both the arterial and venous poles development of the heart.



We thank Dr. Deborah Henderson for helpful discussion and for the permission to adapt Fig. 8M in [72] the current publication.


This work was supported by Grants HL109130 and HL138470 from the National Institute of Health, and 14GRNT20380467 from the American Heart Association.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative BiologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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