Prenatal Coronary Morphogenesis

  • Robert J. Tomanek
Chapter

Abstract

The coronary vasculature is formed by precursor cells that (1) originate outside the heart; (2) migrate to form the epicardium and subepicardium; (3) differentiate into endothelial cells, smooth muscle, and fibroblasts; and (4) migrate and assemble into vascular structures. This is an elaborate process involving vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, and arteriogenesis. Since the heart chambers are initially thin-walled, consisting primarily of a trabecular network of cardiomyocytes, O2 diffusion from the chamber lumens is sufficient. However, the thickening of the compact regions makes this diffusion inadequate and sets into motion a cascade of events that facilitate the formation of a coronary vasculature. The initial set of vascular channels consists of endothelial-lined tubes that are not yet perfused because they lack connections to the aorta. Part of this network penetrates the root of the aorta just above the left and right cusps, establishing a functional coronary circulation. This event is followed by the development of larger coronary vessels. This chapter addresses these events and the factors that precipitate and regulate coronary vessel development.

Keywords

Migration Attenuation Tyrosine Heparin Adenosine 

Abbreviations

BMP

Bone morphogenic protein

EC

Endothelial cells

ECM

Extracellular matrix

EMT

Epithelial–mesenchymal-transition

EPDCs

Epithelial progenitor derived cells

FGF

Fibroblast growth factor

HH

Hamburger–Hamilton stages (chick development)

PDGF

Platelet-derived growth factor

PE

Proepicardium

TGF-β

Transforming growth factor-β

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor

VSMC

Vascular smooth muscle cell

Wt-1

Wilm’s tumor gene

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Tomanek
    • 1
  1. 1.Carver College of Medicine Cardiovascular CenterUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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