Vascular anatomy of the developing medaka, Oryzias latipes: A complementary fish model for cardiovascular research on vertebrates



The zebrafish has become a very useful vertebrate model for cardiovascular research, but detailed morphogenetic studies have revealed that it differs from mammals in certain aspects of the primary circulatory system, in particular, the early vitelline circulation. We searched for another teleost species that might serve as a complementary model for the formation of these early primary vessels. Here (and online at, we present a detailed characterization of the vascular anatomy of the developing medaka embryo from the stage 24 (1 day 20 hr) through stage 30 (3 days 10 hr). Three-dimensional images using confocal microangiography show that the medaka, Oryzias latipes, follows the common embryonic circulatory pattern consisting of ventral aorta, aortic arches, dorsal aorta, transverse vessels, vitelline capillary plexus, and marginal veins. The medaka, thus, may serve as a valuable model system for genetic analysis of the primary vasculature of vertebrates. Developmental Dynamics 235:734–746, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.