Objective There is no consensus on the embryonic components or morphogenetic processes involved in mature ventricular outflow tract development. Our goal was to use in vivo labelling to investigate the prospective fate of the myocardium of each conal wall. The conal and atrioventricular cushion mesenchyme changes during transformation into mature structures and their role in apoptosis were also investigated. Methods Plastic labels were placed at the cephalic and caudal conal limits of chicken embryo hearts (stage 22HH) and traced up to stage 36HH. Histological analyses, scanning electron microscopy and apoptotic detection using Lysotracker-Red were performed. The conal longitudinal length and medial displacement were registered. Muscle myosin was identified by immunofluorescence. Results Labels positioned in the myocardium of each conal wall moved to the right ventricle (RV), shifting from the arterial subvalvular myocardial zone to the apex. No labels were found in the aortic vestibule. At stage 22HH, the conus was a tubular structure composed of myocardium and endocardium with scarce mesenchyme. The dorso-left conal myocardial wall gradually lost continuity and the free ends separated, while the myocardium was distributed to the RV free wall (24HH-28HH). At stage 22HH, conal crests were not observed, but they were apparent at the dorsal zone of the conus at stage 26HH; towards stage 30HH, they fused to form the supraventricular crest, and the pulmonary infundibulum was evident. The ventro-superior cushion of the AV canal was reorganized into the fibrous and muscular structures lined the aortic vestibule. Conclusions The posterior conus is an erroneous concept. The conal myocardium is reorganized in the free wall of the RV. Internally, the conal lumen is transformed into the pulmonary infundibulum. The aortic vestibule is formed from the ventro-superior cushion of the AV canal. Thus, the ventricular outflow tracts have different embryonic origins.
Lazzarini, R., Gómez-Quiroz, L. E., González-Márquez, H., Villavicencio-Guzmán, L., Salazar-García, M., & Sánchez-Gómez, C. (2018). The proximal segment of the embryonic outflow (conus) does not participate in aortic vestibule development. PLoS ONE, 13(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209930