Coronary arteries (CAs) stem from the aorta at 2 highly stereotyped locations, deviations from which can cause myocardial ischemia and death. CA stems form during embryogenesis when peritruncal blood vessels encircle the cardiac outflow tract and invade the aorta, but the underlying patterning mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, using murine models, we demonstrated that VEGF-C–deficient hearts have severely hypoplastic peritruncal vessels, resulting in delayed and abnormally positioned CA stems. We observed that VEGF-C is widely expressed in the outflow tract, while cardiomyocytes develop specifically within the aorta at stem sites where they surround maturing CAs in both mouse and human hearts. Mice heterozygous for islet 1 (
Heidi I. Chen, Aruna Poduri, Harri Numi, Riikka Kivela, Pipsa Saharinen, Andrew S. McKay, Brian Raftrey, Jared Churko, Xueying Tian, Bin Zhou, Joseph C. Wu, Kari Alitalo, Kristy Red-Horse
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