Navigation Links
Human heart development slower than other mammals
Date:2/21/2013

The walls of the human heart are a disorganised jumble of tissue until relatively late in pregnancy, despite having the shape of a fully functioning heart, according to a pioneering study.

Experts from the University of Sheffield's Medical School collaborated on research to create the first comprehensive model of human heart development using observations of living foetal hearts. The results showed surprising differences from existing animal models.

Although scientists saw four clearly defined chambers in the foetal heart from the eighth week of pregnancy, they did not find organised muscle tissue until the 20th week -much later than expected.

Developing an accurate, computerised simulation of the foetal heart is critical to understanding normal heart development in the womb and, eventually, to opening new ways of detecting and dealing with some functional abnormalities early in pregnancy.

Studies of early heart development have previously been largely based on other mammals such as mice or pigs, adult hearts and dead human samples. The research team, led by scientists at the University of Leeds is using scans of healthy foetuses in the womb, including one mother who volunteered to have detailed weekly ECG (electrocardiography) scans from 18 weeks until just before delivery.

This functional data is incorporated into a 3D computerised model built up using information about the structure, shape and size of the different components of the heart from two types of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans of foetuses' hearts.

Martyn Paley, Professor of BioMedical Imaging at the University of Sheffield's Department of Cardiovascular Science, said: "We used our extensive expertise in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) physics and engineering to optimise the acquisition of very high spatial resolution isotropic 3D images of the foetal heart at later gestational ages using rapid FLASH sequences.

"This allowed the morphology of the foetal heart to be studied with unprecedented detail in collaboration with the University of Leeds and the other centres."

Early results are already suggesting that the human heart may develop on a different timeline from other mammals.

While the tissue in the walls of a pig heart develops a highly organised structure at a relatively early stage of a foetus's development, a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface Focus reports that the there is little organisation of the human heart's cells until 20 weeks into pregnancy.

A pig's pregnancy lasts about three months and the organised structure of the walls of the heart emerge in the first month of pregnancy. The new study only detected similar organised structures well into the second trimester of the human pregnancy. Human foetuses have a regular heartbeat from about 22 days.

Dr Eleftheria Pervolaraki, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds' School of Biomedical Sciences, said: "For a heart to be beating effectively, we thought you needed a smoothly changing orientation of the muscle cells through the walls of the heart chambers. Such an organisation is seen in the hearts of all healthy adult mammals.

"Foetal hearts in other mammals such as pigs, which we have been using as models, show such an organisation even early in gestation, with a smooth change in cell orientation going through the heart wall. But what we actually found is that such organisation was not detectable in the human foetus before 20 weeks," she said.

Professor Arun Holden, also from Leeds' School of Biomedical Sciences, added: "The development of the foetal human heart is on a totally different timeline, a slower timeline, from the model that was being used before.

"This upsets our assumptions and raises new questions. Since the wall of the heart is structurally disorganised, we might expect to find arrhythmias, which are a bad sign in an adult.

"It may well be that in the early stages of development of the heart arrhythmias are not necessarily pathological and that there is no need to panic if we find them. Alternatively, we could find that the disorganisation in the tissue does not actually lead to arrhythmia."


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Pullan
a.l.pullan@sheffield.ac.uk
01-142-229-859
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Secrets of human speech uncovered
2. Human Teeth Healthier in the Stone Age Than Today: Study
3. Emerging SARS-Like Virus Well-Suited to Attack Humans: Study
4. The same genetic defect causes Pompe disease in both humans and dogs
5. Are Humans Extraterrestrials From Other Star Systems in the Milky Way Galaxy? Lou Baldin Author of 13 Books on the Subject Thinks So
6. xR: The Human Genome Project has Delivered on its Promise to Treat Disease. Introducing GEMS, the Genetic Enzyme Methylation Syndrome
7. Neurological Wellness Center Criticizes the U.S. Patent Office for Issuing a Patent for an Injection Site on the Human Body
8. When Trees Die Off, Human Health May Also Suffer
9. Synthetic circuit allows dialing gene expression up or down in human cells
10. Chinas Overuse of Antibiotics in Livestock May Threaten Human Health
11. Putting our heads together: Canines may hold clues to human skull development
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... of African American/Black students who want to become physicians. PMF also provides a ... as physicians in the Oakland/San Francisco Northern California, Bay Area. PMF’s mission is ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... Marc Philpart, senior director at PolicyLink, will be the keynote speaker at its ... Boys and Men of Color Framework, which develops comprehensive strategies to create and ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... ... Ray Insurance Agencies, a Dallas area firm providing asset protection services and ... six month charity event aimed at raising local support and donations that will be ... deadliest diseases in America; more than 7.5 million people die from cancer related disorders ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Each February ... History Month (officially African American History Month ). This month-long ... of a diverse race of people, but also the opportunity to examine the ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... A February 6 article on Healio ... It found that the treatments have led to significant improvements in weight loss and ... efforts. It also noted very few problematic results relating to the treatment. Beverly Hills ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... MELBOURNE, Australia , Feb. 21, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... IBM Watson,s ability to detect abnormalities of the eye,s retina. ... trained a research version of Watson to recognize abnormalities in ... insights and speed in their early identification of patients who ... glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness in the developed world. ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , Feb. 21, 2017 Medical Oxygen ... report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04711311-summary/view-report.html Medical oxygen concentrators ... other respiratory diseases. Patients having low level of ... oxygen concentrators. Oxygen concentrators are to be used ... the counter. Medical oxygen concentrators work either on ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , Feb. 21, 2017   BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals ... the development of innovative immuno-oncology cancer therapies, today ... data from its Phase 2 trial of BeyondSpring,s ... treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with ... this year,s ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: