The developing embryonic cardiac outflow tract is highly sensitive to oxidant stress


  • Steven A. Fisher

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine (Cardiology) and Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
    • 4533 Wolstein Building, 2103 Cornell Rd., Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106-7290
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This study tested the hypothesis that the remodeling of the cardiac outflow tract (OFT) may represent a developmental window of vulnerability to reactive oxygen species (ROS). Chick embryos were exposed in ovo or ex ovo to increasing concentrations of the stable oxidant hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). As assessed by trypan blue staining, H2O2 induced cell injury in the stage 25–30 OFT at concentrations as low as 1 nM. Higher concentrations were required to induce cell injury in the ventricular and atrial myocardium. Using DCFDA as an indicator of oxidant stress, H2O2 also induced a greater fluorescent signal in the OFT myocardium. H2O2 at these low concentrations also induced Caspase activity, indicative of activation of the pathway of PCD. Interestingly, the induction of Caspase-3 activity was predominately in the OFT cushion mesenchymal cells. Thus, the developing OFT is particularly sensitive to ROS-mediated injury, suggesting that ROS could play a role in the development of congenital defects of the cardiac OFT. Developmental Dynamics 236:3496–3502, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.