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Methods Enzymol. 2008;445:209-28. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(08)03009-7.

Chapter 9. Development of coronary vessels.

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  • 1Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.


This chapter summarizes experimental techniques used to study coronary vessel development from its origins in the proepicardium (PE) to the final assembled network of arteries, veins, and capillaries present in the mature heart. Methods are described for microdissection and culture of the PE and embryonic epicardial cells, isolation of total RNA from single PE primordia and analysis by RT-PCR, imaging of the epicardium and coronary vessels by whole-mount confocal microscopy and by scanning electron microscopy, and the preparation of coronary vascular corrosion casts to visualize the entire coronary artery network structure. These techniques form the basic tools to study the cellular and molecular pathways that guide development and remodeling of coronary vessels.

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