Introduction To Human Heart Embryology And Development

The primary heart field, secondary heart field, cardiac neural crest, and proepicardium are the four major embryonic regions involved in the process of vertebrate heart development (Fig. 1). They each make an important contribution to overall cardiac development, which occurs with complex developmental timing and regulation. This chapter describes how these regions interact to form the final structure of the heart in relationship to the generalized developmental timeline of human embryology (Table 1).

The heart is the first organ to fully form and function during vertebrate development, and many of the underlying mechanisms are considered molecularly and developmentally conserved (1). The description presented here is based on heart development research from the chick, mouse, frog, and human model systems. Importantly, numerous research findings have redefined the understanding of the primary heart field, which gives rise to the main structure of the heart (atria and ventricles) and have led to exciting discoveries of the secondary heart field, which gives rise to the outflow tracts of the mature heart (2-4). These discoveries were a critical step in advancing our understanding of how the outflow tracts of the heart form, an area in which many congenital heart defects arise, and thus have had important implications for the understanding and prevention of

From: Handbook of Cardiac Anatomy, Physiology, and Devices Edited by: P. A. Iaizzo © Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ

human congenital heart disease (5). In addition, great strides have also been made in our knowledge of the contribution of the cardiac neural crest and the epicardium to overall heart development.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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