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Cardiovasc Res. 1997 Jun;34(3):515-24.

Cardiac morphology at late fetal stages in the mouse with trisomy 16: consequences for different formation of the atrioventricular junction when compared to humans with trisomy 21.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy & Developmental Biology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, UK. s.webb@sghms.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The mouse with trisomy 16 (Ts16) is held to be a genetic model for humans with Down's syndrome (Ts21). Both trisomies are associated with atrioventricular septal defects, but the precise morphology in the mouse remains unclear. We have therefore characterised cardiac morphology in the mouse with Ts16.

METHODS:

Ts16 fetuses, from a Rb(11.16)2H/Rb(16.17)7Bnr x C57BL/6J cross, were collected on gestational days 17 or 18 (full term = 19 days) and studied using scanning electron microscopy and serial sections.

RESULTS:

The hearts showed a spectrum of deficient atrioventricular septation which we categorised into two types. In one, a common atrioventricular junction was separated into right and left orifices by a tongue of tissue joining two valvar leaflets that bridged the ventricular septum to varying extent. In the other, a common atrioventricular junction was connected exclusively to the left ventricle. All hearts had ostium primum atrial and ventricular septal defects, together with abnormal ventriculo-arterial connections. No heart had the typical morphology seen in the human with Down's syndrome, namely a balanced common atrioventricular junction, guarded by a common valve, with the aorta connected exclusively to the left ventricle.

CONCLUSIONS:

The cardiac defects seen in Ts16 mice show marked differences from the typical anatomy in human Ts21, suggesting more complex mechanisms of cardiac dysmorphogenesis in Ts16. The mouse model will prove valuable in elucidating the mechanism of normal expansion of the atrioventricular junctions, and help in charting the precise steps involved in atrial and ventricular septation.

PMID:
9231034
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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