Comparative Anatomy of the Carotid-Basilar Arterial Trunk and Hindbrain Penetrating Arteries in Vertebrates
- Rahmat, S., Gilland, E.
- The Open Anatomy Journal 6: 1-26 (Review)
- Registered Authors
- Gilland, Edwin
- brainstem, vasculature, internal carotid artery, basilar artery, evolution
- MeSH Terms
- none Full text @ Open Anatomy Journal
Rahmat, S., Gilland, E. (2014) Comparative Anatomy of the Carotid-Basilar Arterial Trunk and Hindbrain Penetrating Arteries in Vertebrates. The Open Anatomy Journal. 6:1-26.
Despite a long history of anatomical studies, the vascular organization of the brainstem is poorly known in most vertebrates. This review examines results from the past 150 years and compares them with a series of new vascular microdissections to provide an overall assessment of vertebrate hindbrain vasculature. The gross anatomy and embryology of cyclostomes, elasmobranchs, actinopterygians and tetrapods reveal a conserved suite of hindbrain vascular features including the: 1) origin and branching of cerebral carotids; 2) ontogenetic origins of the basilar artery from paired precursors, often followed by midline fusion to form an unpaired basilar; and 3) presence of a quasi-segmental series of transverse basilar artery branches that extend circumferentially around the brainstem giving off penetrating vessels. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that paired basilars are primitive for jawed vertebrates, with unpaired basilars arising independently in chondrichthyes, teleosts and tetrapods. Teleosts present a major exception to the general pattern, as penetrating arteries are restricted to a series of midline segmental basilar arterial stems that branch only within the neuroepithelium. This is clearly derived relative to all other vertebrates. Given the dissimilar body plans/lifestyles of groups served by the general brainstem vascular design, the conservation of adult hindbrain macrovasculature likely results from the similarity of embryonic cerebral blood supply across groups, rather than from convergence towards similar neurovascular functional designs. With the high degree of conservation in vertebrate brainstem neuronal anatomy, vascular patterning cues provided by the neuroepithelium practically assure that homologous brain regions are supplied by roughly similar arteries across taxa.
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