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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1975;53:375-88.

Relations between development of the capillary wall and myoarchitecture of the rat heart.


The type of the blood supply to the myocardium appears to be closely related to its structural arrangement. The heart of adult poikilotherm animals is either entirely spongious, supplied from the ventricular cavity or its spongious musculature is covered by an outer compact layer with vascular supply. The size of the compact layer increases with increasing heart weight. The changes in the heart size during the ontogenetic development of honoiotherms are accompanied by the gradual transformation of the vascularless spongious musculature into a compact myocardium supplied thrugh coronary vessels. Up to the development of coronary arteries (in the rat up to the 17th day of embryonic life - ed) the myocardium is entirely spongious and supplied from mentricular cavity. Two types of primitive vascular bed are characteristic for this period: a) intertrabecular spaces, which penetrate deep into the ventricular wall as direct continuation of the endocardium, and b) intramyocardial clefts without endothelial lining. During further development of the terminal mascular bed, the outgrowth of endothelial cells into the myocardial clefts is important. The first capillaries with closed endothelial wall can be observed on the 18th ed. At this time various developmental stages o the terminal blood bed can be observed simultaneously. Within the following period (20-21 ed) the thick capillary walls become narrow and pericytes occur. The process of differentiation spreads in both ventricles and in septum from the base to the cardiac apex and is practically finished by the 14th day of postnatal life. The longitudinal orientations of myofibres starts between the 20th and 22nd ed. The final arrangement of muscle cells and capillaries into three layers (outer and inner longitudinal, central circular) is terminated during the second postnatal week.

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