Spatial distribution of "tissue-specific" antigens in the developing human heart and skeletal muscle. II. An immunohistochemical analysis of myosin heavy chain isoform expression patterns in the embryonic heart

The Anatomical Record
Andy WesselsA F Moorman

Abstract

The spatial distribution of alpha- and beta-myosin heavy chain isoforms (MHCs) was investigated immunohistochemically in the embryonic human heart between the 4th and the 8th week of development. The development of the overall MHC isoform expression pattern can be outlined as follows: (1) In all stages examined, beta-MHC is the predominant isoform in the ventricles and outflow tract (OFT), while alpha-MHC is the main isoform in the atria. In addition, alpha-MHC is also expressed in the ventricles at stage 14 and in the OFT from stage 14 to stage 19. This expression pattern is very reminiscent of that found in chicken and rat. (2) In the early embryonic stages the entire atrioventricular canal (AVC) wall expresses alpha-MHC whereas only the lower part expresses beta-MHC. The separation of atria and ventricles by the fibrous annulus takes place at the ventricular margin of the AVC wall. Hence, the beta-MHC expressing part of the AVC wall, including the right atrioventricular ring bundle, is eventually incorporated in the atria. (3) In the late embryonic stages (approx. 8 weeks of development) areas of alpha-MHC reappear in the ventricular myocardium, in particular in the subendocardial region at the top of the interventricular se...Continue Reading

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