Intravascular pillars and pruning in the extraembryonic vessels of chick embryos

Grace S. Lee, Nenad Filipovic, Miao Lin, Barry C. Gibney, Dinee C. Simpson, Moritz A. Konerding, Akira Tsuda, Steven J. Mentzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


To investigate the local mechanical forces associated with intravascular pillars and vessel pruning, we studied the conducting vessels in the extraembryonic circulation of the chick embryo. During the development days 13-17, intravascular pillars and blood flow parameters were identified using fluorescent vascular tracers and digital time-series video reconstructions. The geometry of selected vessels was confirmed by corrosion casting and scanning electron microscopy. Computational simulations of pruning vessels suggested that serial pillars form along pre-existing velocity streamlines; blood pressure demonstrated no obvious spatial relationship with the intravascular pillars. Modeling a Reynolds number of 0.03 produced 4 pillars at approximately 20-μm intervals matching the observed periodicity. In contrast, a Reynolds number of 0.06 produced only 2 pillars at approximately 63-μm intervals. Our modeling data indicated that the combination of wall shear stress and gradient of shear predicted the location, direction, and periodicity of developing pillars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1343
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Computational modeling
  • Microcirculation
  • Microscopy
  • Shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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