Liggins Institute seminar: Hyperglycemia-induced alterations of embryonic heart development Event as iCalendar

07 October 2013

4 - 5pm

Venue: Seminar Room 505-003, Building 505, 85 Park Road, Grafton

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the leading, non-infectious cause of death in children, occurring in about 1% of newborns. Only a small fraction (~4%) of CHD cases can be attributed to genetic anomalies or familial history; the vast majority of cases are likely due to non-genetic or environmental causes. Non-genetic causes of CHD include maternal diabetes. Maternal diabetes is on the rise and is associated with a 3-5 fold increased risk for cardiac malformations, with hyperglycemia acting as a major teratogen. Diffusion of glucose through the placenta elevates embryonic/fetal glucose concentrations. Little is known about the mechanisms by which hyperglycemia in early embryonic stages leads to cardiac defects.

Our goal is to study how hyperglycemia affects cardiac development during organogenesis in early pregnancy (<7 weeks of gestation). We utilize a chicken model of heart development, focusing on the heart outflow tract, as it is the origination site of numerous outlet and valvular defects found in infants with CHD. Chicken embryos are utilized due to the unique opportunity to alter glycemic directly in the embryo (rather than indirectly through the mother). Additionally the embryonic chick heart structure is similar to the human heart and many of the developmental processes are conserved between vertebrates. We utilize optical imaging and histological techniques to study the heart structure and blood flow conditions in vivo in the beating heart. This talk will summarize our efforts to develop in vivo models of embryonic hyperglycemia as well as the structural and hemodynamics defects that result.

Presented by Dr. Monica Hinds

Light refreshments provided


For more information, please contact: Elise Donovan , PhD Clint Gray , PhD Email: e.donovan@auckland.ac.nz Email: c.gray@auckland.ac.nz Phone: +64 9 923 4776                                           Phone: +64 9 923 4785