Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiac Diversification
The development of the functional vertebrate heart has served as an excellent model system to study the molecular, biochemical, and physiologic regulation of cellular diversification. The atria and ventricles of the mature vertebrate heart are composed of unique subsets of cardiomyocytes that are required for variations in chamber function. While this chapter has explored experimental evidence that has led to a better understanding of the initial critical steps involved in atrial and ventricular diversification, many questions are still unresolved. The atrial-ventricular fate of cardiomyocytes appears to be determined by cellular position within the cardiogenic field and affected by retinoic acid signaling. How retinoic acid and other extracelluar signaling molecules regulate these cellular decisions is not clear. Many chamber-specific molecular and biochemical markers have been isolated. However, additional chamber-specific genes need to be identified to ascertain functional variations between atrial and ventricular myocytes.
KeywordsRetinoic Acid Myosin Heavy Chain Ventricular Chamber Heart Tube Retinoic Acid Signaling
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