Oxygenated blood from the heart is directed into the systemic circulation through the aortic arch arteries (AAAs). The AAAs arise by remodeling of three symmetrical pairs of pharyngeal arch arteries (PAAs), which connect the heart with the paired dorsal aortae at mid-gestation. Aberrant PAA formation results in defects frequently observed in patients with lethal congenital heart disease. How the PAAs form in mammals is not understood. The work presented in this manuscript shows that the second heart field (SHF) is the major source of progenitors giving rise to the endothelium of the pharyngeal arches 3 - 6, while the endothelium in the pharyngeal arches 1 and 2 is derived from a different source. During the formation of the PAAs 3 - 6, endothelial progenitors in the SHF extend cellular processes toward the pharyngeal endoderm, migrate from the SHF and assemble into a uniform vascular plexus. This plexus then undergoes remodeling, whereby plexus endothelial cells coalesce into a large PAA in each pharyngeal arch. Taken together, our studies establish a platform for investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating PAA formation and alterations that lead to disease.
Recommended CitationWang, Xia; Chen, Dongying; Chen, Kelley; Jubran, Ali; Ramirez, AnnJosette; and Astrof, Sophie, "Endothelium in the pharyngeal arches 3, 4 and 6 is derived from the second heart field." (2017). Center for Translational Medicine Faculty Papers. Paper 45.
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