J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 17; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020017 - published 19 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In the review, now published as part of the special issue devoted to the development of the conduction tissues, de Vries and his colleagues discuss the potential role of the so-called “dead-end tract” as a substrate for arrhythmogenesis .[...]
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 16; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020016 - published 15 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Congenital heart disease is the most common congenital defect. During childhood, survival is generally good but, in adulthood, late complications are not uncommon. Abnormal autonomic control in children with congenital heart disease may contribute considerably to the pathophysiology of these long term sequelae. This narrative review of 34 studies aims to summarize current knowledge on function of the autonomic nervous system in children with a congenital heart defect. Large scale studies that measure both branches of the nervous system for prolonged periods of time in well-defined patient cohorts in various phases of childhood and adolescence are currently lacking. Pending such studies, there is not yet a good grasp on the extent and direction of sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic function in pediatric congenital heart disease. Longitudinal studies in homogenous patient groups linking autonomic nervous system function and clinical outcome are warranted.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 15; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020015 - published 12 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The circulatory system of Drosophilamelanogaster represents an easily amenable genetic model whose analysis at different levels, i.e., from single molecules up to functional anatomy, has provided new insights into general aspects of cardiogenesis, heart physiology and cardiac aging, to name a few examples. In recent years, the Drosophila heart has also attracted the attention of researchers in the field of biomedicine. This development is mainly due to the fact that several genes causing human heart disease are also present in Drosophila, where they play the same or similar roles in heart development, maintenance or physiology as their respective counterparts in humans. This review will attempt to briefly introduce the anatomy of the Drosophila circulatory system and then focus on the different cell types and non-cellular tissue that constitute the heart.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 14; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020014 - published 9 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cardiac transcription factors orchestrate the complex cellular and molecular events required to produce a functioning heart. Misregulation of the cardiac transcription program leads to embryonic developmental defects and is associated with human congenital heart diseases. Recent studies have expanded our understanding of the regulation of cardiac gene expression at an additional layer, involving the coordination of epigenetic and transcriptional regulators. In this review, we highlight and discuss discoveries made possible by the genetic and embryological tools available in the zebrafish model organism, with a focus on the novel functions of cardiac transcription factors and epigenetic and transcriptional regulatory proteins during cardiogenesis.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 13; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020013 - published 9 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Animal models of cardiovascular disease are key players in the translational medicine pipeline used to define the conserved genetic and molecular basis of disease. Congenital heart diseases (CHDs) are the most common type of human birth defect and feature structural abnormalities that arise during cardiac development and maturation. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a valuable vertebrate model organism, offering advantages over traditional mammalian models. These advantages include the rapid, stereotyped and external development of transparent embryos produced in large numbers from inexpensively housed adults, vast capacity for genetic manipulation, and amenability to high-throughput screening. With the help of modern genetics and a sequenced genome, zebrafish have led to insights in cardiovascular diseases ranging from CHDs to arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. Here, we discuss the utility of zebrafish as a model system and summarize zebrafish cardiac morphogenesis with emphasis on parallels to human heart diseases. Additionally, we discuss the specific tools and experimental platforms utilized in the zebrafish model including forward screens, functional characterization of candidate genes, and high throughput applications.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis.2016, 3(2), 11; doi:10.3390/jcdd3020011 - published 5 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Idiopathic outflow tract ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) represent a significant proportion of all VAs. The mechanism is thought to be catecholamine-mediated delayed after depolarizations and triggered activity, although other etiologies should be considered. In the adult cardiac conduction system it has been demonstrated that sometimes an embryonic branch, the so-called “dead-end tract”, persists beyond the bifurcation of the right and left bundle branch (LBB). Several findings suggest an involvement of this tract in idiopathic VAs (IVAs). The aim of this review is to summarize our current knowledge and the possible clinical significance of this tract.