The developing heart: from The Wizard of Oz to congenital heart disease

Development. 2020 Oct 21;147(21):dev194233. doi: 10.1242/dev.194233.


The heart is an essential organ with a fascinating developmental biology. It is also one of the organs that is most often affected in human disease, either during development or in postnatal life. Over the last few decades, insights into the development of the heart have led to fundamental new concepts in gene regulation, but also to genetic and mechanistic insights into congenital heart defects. In more recent years, the lessons learned from studying heart development have been applied to interrogating regeneration of the diseased heart, exemplifying the importance of understanding the mechanistic underpinnings that lead to the development of an organ.

Keywords: Congenital heart disease; Gene regulation; Heart development; Regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / embryology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Regeneration
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Chromatin
  • Transcription Factors