Mechanical forces are instrumental to cardiovascular development and physiology. The heart beats approximately 2.6 billion times in a human lifetime and heart valves ensure that these contractions result in an efficient, unidirectional flow of the blood. Composed of endocardial cells (EdCs) and extracellular matrix (ECM), cardiac valves are among the most mechanically challenged structures of the body both during and after their development. Understanding how hemodynamic forces modulate cardiovascular function and morphogenesis is key to unraveling the relationship between normal and pathological cardiovascular development and physiology. Most valve diseases have their origins in embryogenesis, either as signs of abnormal developmental processes or the aberrant re-expression of fetal gene programs normally quiescent in adulthood. Here we review recent discoveries in the mechanobiology of cardiac valve development and introduce the latest technologies being developed in the zebrafish, including live cell imaging and optical technologies, as well as modeling approaches that are currently transforming this field. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Cardiomyocyte Biology: Integration of Developmental and Environmental Cues in the Heart edited by Marcus Schaub and Hughes Abriel.
Steed, E., Boselli, F., & Vermot, J. (2016). Hemodynamics driven cardiac valve morphogenesis. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1863(7), 1760–1766. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2015.11.014