The Epicardium and Coronary Artery Formation

Journal of Developmental Biology. 2013;1(3):186-202 DOI 10.3390/jdb1030186

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Journal of Developmental Biology

ISSN: 2221-3759 (Print)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: Science: Biology (General)

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML

 

AUTHORS

José M. Pérez-Pomares
Adriana A. S. Pires-Gomes

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

The coronary system is the network of blood vessels that nourishes the heart muscle. After birth, proper coronary blood circulation is required to support heart homeostasis, and altered coronary function frequently leads to myocardial ischemia, infarction and heart failure. The epicardium plays a pivotal role during coronary blood vessel embryonic development, contributing cells to the coronary vasculature, but also secreting diffusible signals that regulate coronary morphogenesis and secondarily impact on ventricular compact myocardium growth. Accordingly, anomalous epicardium development gives rise to the multiple congenital defects of the coronary vascular system and the heart walls. In this review, we will summarize and discuss our current knowledge on the embryogenesis of coronary blood vessels, as related to epicardial development, and attempt to highlight the biomedical relevance of this tissue.