The heart forms as a linear heart tube that loops and septates to produce a mature four-chambered structure. The single vessel emerging from the embryonic heart, the truncus arteriosus, divides into the aorta and the pulmonary artery as part of this septation process, and a series of additional morphogenetic events result in the proper alignment and orientation of the cardiac outflow tract. Recent evidence indicates that this process involves the complex interactions of multiple cell types including primary and secondary heart fields, neural crest, pharyngeal mesenchyme, endoderm, and endothelium. Among the many signals that mediate tissue-tissue interactions during the formation of the outflow tract, we have focused on the role of the Notch signaling pathway. Here, we focus on recent advances in our understanding of Notch-mediated regulation of cardiac development with specific attention to the formation of the cardiac outflow tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Congenital heart disease
  • Neural crest
  • Notch
  • Outflow tract
  • Second heart field


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