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Ultrastructural study of capillary angiogenesis in rat fetal hearts: Role of fibroblasts and myocardial clefts

, : Ultrastructural study of capillary angiogenesis in rat fetal hearts: Role of fibroblasts and myocardial clefts. Medical Electron Microscopy 31(4): 185-192

To determine the course of capillary angiogenesis in the rat fetal heart, transmission electron microscopy was used to examine the development of both capillaries and cardiomyocytes. In the 15-day-old embryo, the coronary vessels had spread into the superficial space. In the 16-day-old embryo, the coronary vessels began to enter the myocardium. In the 17-day-old embryo, the terminal vascular bed had developed and a marked increase in the population of myocytes was evident. In capillaries entering the myocardium, the outgrowth of endothelial cells into the myocardial cleft was evident. These clefts were formed by intercalated disk and desmosome-like structures. The fibroblasts were always found close to the capillaries or in contact with endothelial cells during the fetal stage to the first neonatal week. In the interstition period, the fibroblasts were not found close to the capillaries. These results are discussed in relation to the role of myocardial clefts and the role of fibroblasts in fetal capillary angiogenesis.


DOI: 10.1007/bf01545700

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