Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2009 Jun 15;330(2):213-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.04.011. Epub 2009 Apr 14.

Shaping the zebrafish heart: from left-right axis specification to epithelial tissue morphogenesis.

Author information

Hubrecht Institute and University Medical Centre Utrecht, 3584 CT, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Although vertebrates appear bilaterally symmetric on the outside, various internal organs, including the heart, are asymmetric with respect to their position and/or their orientation based on the left/right (L/R) axis. The L/R axis is determined during embryo development. Determination of the L/R axis is fundamentally different from the determination of the anterior-posterior or the dorsal-ventral axis. In all vertebrates a ciliated organ has been described that induces a left-sided gene expression program, which includes Nodal expression in the left lateral plate mesoderm. To have a better understanding of organ laterality it is important to understand how L/R patterning induces cellular responses during organogenesis. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the mechanisms of L/R patterning during zebrafish development and focus on how this affects cardiac morphogenesis. Several recent studies have provided unprecedented insights into the intimate link between L/R signaling and the cellular responses that drive morphogenesis of this organ.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center