Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research;Volume 63 Number 1


Quadricuspid aortic valves in Syrian hamsters and their formation according to current knowledge on valvulogenesis

López-García, Alejandro;Fernández, M. Carmen;Durán, Ana Carmen;Sans-Coma, Valentín;Fernández, Borja

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/58138
JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jjvr.63.1.37
KEYWORDS : Aortic valve anomalies;Embryogenesis;Heart;Quadricuspid aortic valve;Syrian hamster


Occurrence of quadricuspid aortic valves has been reported in humans, in nine dogs and in a greater white-toothed shrew. Moreover, two cases of developing aortic valves with four anticipated leaflets have been described in Syrian hamster embryos. Currently, however, no case of quadricuspid aortic valve in adult hamsters has been recorded. The aim here is to present four adults of this rodent species, two of them with unequivocally quadricuspid aortic valves and the other two with quadricuspid-like aortic valves. The four anomalous aortic valves were detected among 4,190 Syrian hamsters examined in our laboratory, representing an incidence of 0.09%. None of the affected hamsters showed apparent signs of disease. The present findings are considered on the light of current empirical knowledge about the morphogenesis of quadricuspid and bicuspid aortic and pulmonary valves. Quadricuspid aortic valves result from the partition of one of the normal mesenchymal cushions which normally give rise to normal (tricuspid) valves, while quadricuspid-like valves might be the product of a combined mechanism of fusion and partition of the cushions at the onset of the valvulogenesis. The presence of aortic valves with four leaflets in ancient mammalian lineages such as insectivors and rodents suggest that quadricuspid aortic valves, although showing almost certainly a low incidence, may be widespread among the different groups of mammals, including domestic animals.