Left ventricular volumes and function in the embryonic mouse heart.
This study describes miniaturized technology for the in vivo analysis of the volume and function of the embryonic mouse heart and the application of this technology to study the normal embryonic left ventricle (LV) at two stages of development. With the use of microsurgical techniques, embryos from embryonic day (ED) 10.5 (ED10.5) to ED16 were delivered individually from litters of normal dams, and cardiac visualization was achieved with the use of intravital microscopy by transillumination, with the umbilical circulation intact. At ED10.5-11, the heart could be imaged in color in the intact embryo, whereas at ED12.5 it was necessary to open the chest; at ED13.5-14.5, fluorescent imaging with the use of microinjection of fluorescein-conjugated albumin was necessary to visualize the LV chamber. At ED10.5-11, the LV end-diastolic volumes averaged 0.16 microliter (n = 14), and at ED13.5-14.5, they averaged 0.57 microliter (n = 16). At both ages there was a positive linear relationship between the LV end-diastolic volume and the stroke volume despite substantial variations in individual heart rates, reflecting the relative uniformity of the LV ejection fractions within each age group. The average of the individual ejection fractions was 27.4% at ED10.5-11 and 58.4% at ED13.5-14.5, the latter being within the normal range for the adult rodent heart. These methods will be useful for assessing in vivo cardiac function at ED10.5 and older murine embryos in litters of transgenic or gene-targeted mice when the mutation leads to later embryonic lethality.
Tanaka, N; Mao, L; DeLano, FA; Sentianin, EM; Chien, KR; Schmid-Schönbein, GW; Ross, J
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