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Development of the arterial roots and ventricular outflow tracts

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson, Dr Simon BamforthORCiD, Dr Bill Chaudhry, Dr Lorraine Eley, Dr Janet Kerwin, Moira Crosier, Professor Deborah HendersonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Anatomy published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Anatomical Society.The separation of the outflow tract of the developing heart into the systemic and pulmonary arterial channels remains controversial and poorly understood. The definitive outflow tracts have three components. The developing outflow tract, in contrast, has usually been described in two parts. When the tract has exclusively myocardial walls, such bipartite description is justified, with an obvious dogleg bend separating proximal and distal components. With the addition of non-myocardial walls distally, it becomes possible to recognise three parts. The middle part, which initially still has myocardial walls, contains within its lumen a pair of intercalated valvar swellings. The swellings interdigitate with the distal ends of major outflow cushions, formed by the remodelling of cardiac jelly, to form the primordiums of the arterial roots. The proximal parts of the major cushions, occupying the proximal part of the outflow tract, which also has myocardial walls, themselves fuse and muscularise. The myocardial shelf thus formed remodels to become the free-standing subpulmonary infundibulum. Details of all these processes are currently lacking. In this account, we describe the anatomical changes seen during the overall remodelling. Our interpretations are based on the interrogation of serially sectioned histological and high-resolution episcopic microscopy datasets prepared from developing human and mouse embryos, with some of the datasets processed and reconstructed to reveal the specific nature of the tissues contributing to the separation of the outflow channels. Our findings confirm that the tripartite postnatal arrangement can be correlated with the changes occurring during development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson RH, Lamers WH, Hikspoors JPJM, Mohun TJ, Bamforth SD, Chaudhry B, Eley L, Kerwin J, Crosier M, Henderson DJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Anatomy

Year: 2024

Volume: 244

Issue: 3

Pages: 497-513

Print publication date: 01/03/2024

Online publication date: 13/11/2023

Acceptance date: 27/10/2023

Date deposited: 13/02/2024

ISSN (print): 0021-8782

ISSN (electronic): 1469-7580

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc


DOI: 10.1111/joa.13973

PubMed id: 37957890


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Funder referenceFunder name
RG/19/2/34256British Heart Foundation
WT 226202/Z/22/Z