Alteration of extra-embryonic venous blood flow in stage-17 chick embryos results in well-defined cardiovascular malformations. We hypothesize that the decreased dorsal aortic blood volume flow observed after venous obstruction results in altered ventricular diastolic function in stage-24 chick embryos. A microclip was placed at the right lateral vitelline vein in a stage-17 (52-64 h of incubation) chick embryo. At stage 24 (4.5 days of incubation), we measured simultaneously dorsal aortic and atrioventricular blood flow velocities with a 20-MHz pulsed-Doppler velocity meter. The fraction of passive and active filling was integrated and multiplied by dorsal aortic blood flow to obtain the relative passive and active ventricular filling volumes. Data were summarized as means +/- S.E.M. and analyzed by t-test. At similar cycle lengths ranging from 557 ms to 635 ms (P>0.60), dorsal aortic blood flow and stroke volume measured in the dorsal aorta were similar in stage-24 clipped and normal embryos. Passive filling volume (0.07+/-0.01 mm(3)) was decreased, and active filling volume (0.40+/-0.02 mm(3)) was increased in the clipped embryo when compared with the normal embryo (0.15+/-0.01 mm(3), 0.30+/-0.01 mm(3), respectively) (P<0.003). In the clipped embryos, the passive/active ratio was decreased compared with that in normal embryos (P<0.001). Ventricular filling components changed after partially obstructing the extra-embryonic venous circulation. These results suggest that material properties of the embryonic ventricle are modified after temporarily reduced hemodynamic load.

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The Journal of Experimental Biology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Ursem, N., Stekelenburg-de Vos, S., Wladimiroff, J., Poelmann, R., Gittenberger-de Groot, A., Hu, N., & Clark, E. B. (2004). Ventricular diastolic filling characteristics in stage-24 chick embryos after extra-embryonic venous obstruction. The Journal of Experimental Biology. Retrieved from