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Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2011 Jun;91(6):565-77. doi: 10.1002/bdra.20826. Epub 2011 May 31.

Origin and development of the atrioventricular myocardial lineage: insight into the development of accessory pathways.

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Heart Failure Research Center, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 15, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Defects originating from the atrioventricular canal region are part of a wide spectrum of congenital cardiovascular malformations that frequently affect newborns. These defects include partial or complete atrioventricular septal defects, atrioventricular valve defects, and arrhythmias, such as atrioventricular re-entry tachycardia, atrioventricular nodal block, and ventricular preexcitation. Insight into the cellular origin of the atrioventricular canal myocardium and the molecular mechanisms that control its development will aid in the understanding of the etiology of the atrioventricular defects. This review discusses current knowledge concerning the origin and fate of the atrioventricular canal myocardium, the molecular mechanisms that determine its specification and differentiation, and its role in the development of certain malformations such as those that underlie ventricular preexcitation.

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