Ciona as a simple chordate model for heart development and regeneration

Heather Evans Anderson, Lionel Christiaen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Cardiac cell specification and the genetic determinants that govern this process are highly conserved among Chordates. Recent studies have established the importance of evolutionarily-conserved mechanisms in the study of congenital heart defects and disease, as well as cardiac regeneration. As a basal Chordate, the Ciona model system presents a simple scaffold that recapitulates the basic blueprint of cardiac development in Chordates. Here we will focus on the development and cellular structure of the heart of the ascidian Ciona as compared to other Chordates, principally vertebrates. Comparison of the Ciona model system to heart development in other Chordates presents great potential for dissecting the genetic mechanisms that underlie congenital heart defects and disease at the cellular level and might provide additional insight into potential pathways for therapeutic cardiac regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Cardiac cell specification
  • Cardiac development
  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Ciona

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ciona as a simple chordate model for heart development and regeneration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this