Endocrine and other physiologic modulators of perinatal cardiomyocyte endowment

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36 Scopus citations


Immature contractile cardiomyocytes proliferate to rapidly increase cell number, establishing cardiomyocyte endowment in the perinatal period. Developmental changes in cellular maturation, size and attrition further contribute to cardiac anatomy. These physiological processes occur concomitant with a changing hormonal environment as the fetus prepares itself for the transition to extrauterine life. There are complex interactions between endocrine, hemodynamic and nutritional regulators of cardiac development. Birth has been long assumed to be the trigger for major differences between the fetal and postnatal cardiomyocyte growth patterns, but investigations in normally growing sheep and rodents suggest this may not be entirely true; in sheep, these differences are initiated before birth, while in rodents they occur after birth. The aim of this review is to draw together our understanding of the temporal regulation of these signals and cardiomyocyte responses relative to birth. Further, we consider how these dynamics are altered in stressed and suboptimal intrauterine environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1-R18
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Angiotensin II
  • Birth
  • Cardiomyocyte growth
  • Cortisol
  • Heart development
  • Hypertension
  • Hypoxia
  • Insulin-like growth factor 1
  • Terminal differentiation
  • Thyroid hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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