Author(s): Ioannides AS, Copp AJ
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Abstract Esophageal atresia (OA) and tracheoesophageal fistula (TOF) are important human birth defects of unknown etiology. The embryogenesis of OA/TOF remains poorly understood, mirroring the lack of clarity of the mechanisms of normal tracheoesophageal development. The development of rat and mouse models of OA/TOF has allowed the parallel study of both normal and abnormal embryogenesis. Although controversies persist, the fundamental morphogenetic process appears to be a rearrangement of the proximal foregut into separate respiratory (ventral) and gastrointestinal (dorsal) tubes. This process depends on the precise temporal and spatial pattern of expression of a number of foregut patterning genes. Disturbance of this pattern disrupts foregut separation and underlies the development of tracheoesophageal malformations.
This article was published in Semin Pediatr Surg
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology