Next Article in Journal
Postprandial Hypertriglyceridemia Is Associated with the Variant 54 Threonine FABP2 Gene
Next Article in Special Issue
Hemodynamics in Cardiac Development
Previous Article in Journal
TREM-1; Is It a Pivotal Target for Cardiovascular Diseases?
Previous Article in Special Issue
Resolving the True Ventricular Mural Architecture
Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Examples of Weak, If Not Absent, Form-Function Relations in the Vertebrate Heart

Department of Medical Biology, Amsterdam Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, Meibergdreef 15, 1105AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5(3), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd5030046
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 31 August 2018 / Accepted: 5 September 2018 / Published: 8 September 2018
That form and function are related is a maxim of anatomy and physiology. Yet, form-function relations can be difficult to prove. Human subjects with excessive trabeculated myocardium in the left ventricle, for example, are diagnosed with non-compaction cardiomyopathy, but the extent of trabeculations may be without relation to ejection fraction. Rather than rejecting a relation between form and function, we may ask whether the salient function is assessed. Is there a relation to electrical propagation, mean arterial blood pressure, or propensity to form blood clots? In addition, how should the extent of trabeculated muscle be assessed? While reviewing literature on trabeculated muscle, we applied Tinbergen’s four types of causation—how does it work, why does it work, how is it made, and why did it evolve—to better parse what is meant by form and function. The paper is structured around cases that highlight advantages and pitfalls of applying Tinbergen’s questions. It further uses the evolution of lunglessness in amphibians to argue that lung reduction impacts on chamber septation and it considers the evolution of an arterial outflow in fishes to argue that reductions in energy consumption may drive structural changes with little consequences to function. Concerning trabeculations, we argue they relate to pumping function in the embryo in the few weeks before the onset of coronary circulation. In human fetal and postnatal stages, a spectrum of trabeculated-to-compact myocardium makes no difference to cardiac function and in this period, form and function may appear unrelated. View Full-Text
Keywords: evolution; development; physiology; structure evolution; development; physiology; structure
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Jensen, B.; H. Smit, T. Examples of Weak, If Not Absent, Form-Function Relations in the Vertebrate Heart. J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2018, 5, 46.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop