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Open Access Embryonic Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) as a Model of Cardiac Biology and Development

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Cardiovascular disease remains one of the top contributors to morbidity and mortality in the United States. Increasing evidence suggests that many processes, pathways, and programs observed during development and organogenesis are recapitulated in adults in the face of disease. Therefore, a heightened understanding of cardiac development and organogenesis will help increase our understanding of developmental defects and cardiovascular diseases in adults. Chicks have long served as a model system in which to study developmental problems. Detailed descriptions of morphogenesis, low cost, accessibility, ease of manipulation, and the optimization of genetic engineering techniques have made chicks a robust model for studying development and make it a powerful platform for cardiovascular research. This review summarizes the cardiac developmental milestones of embryonic chickens, practical considerations when working with chicken embryos, and techniques available for use in chicks (including tissue chimeras, genetic manipulations, and live imaging). In addition, this article highlights examples that accentuate the utility of the embryonic chicken as model system in which to study cardiac development, particularly epicardial development, and that underscore the importance of how studying development informs our understanding of disease.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: June 1, 2019

This article was made available online on June 10, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Embryonic Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) as a Model of Cardiac Biology and Development".

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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