• heart;
  • chamber formation;
  • T-box transcription factors

Abstract: In this communication we discuss the formation of the synchronously contracting chambered heart from a peristaltically contracting linear heart tube. It is proposed that members of the T-box family of transcription factors play a crucial role in the formation of the building plan of the formed heart. Tbx5 may confer venoarterial polarity to the heart tube, whereas Tbx2 initially and Tbx3 in later developmental stages prevent the cardiac inflow tract, atrioventricular region, outflow tract, as well as the cardiac inner curvatures from chamber differentiation. With the exception of the outflow tract that becomes incorporated into the ventricles, these regions contribute to the cardiac conduction system.