The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 43: 361 - 364 (1999)

Vol 43, Issue 4

Amphibian embryos as a model system for organ engineering: in vitro induction and rescue of the heart anlage

Published: 1 July 1999

H Grunz

Universit├Ąt GH Essen, Zoophysiologie, Germany.


Beating hearts can be induced under in vitro conditions when the dorsal blastopore lip (including the zone of Spemann organizer) is treated with Suramin. In contrast, untreated organizer forms dorsal mesodermal derivatives as notochord and somites. When those in vitro produced heart precursor tissues are transplanted ectopically in the posterior trunk area of early larvae, secondary beating heart structures will be formed. Furthermore, the replacement of the heart primordium of the host embryo by heart tissue induced under in vitro conditions will result in the rescue of the heart anlage. This model could be a valuable tool for the study of the multi-step molecular mechanisms of heart structure induction under in vitro conditions and vasculogenesis after transplantation into the host embryo.

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