Functional differences between the arteries perfusing gas exchange and nutritional membranes in the late chicken embryo

Riazudin Mohammed, Giacomo Cavallaro, Carolina G. A. Kessels, Eduardo Villamor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The chicken extraembryonic arterial system comprises the allantoic arteries, which irrigate the gas exchange organ (the chorioallantoic membrane, CAM) and the yolk sac (YS) artery, which irrigates the nutritional organ (the YS membrane). We compared, using wire myography, the reactivity of allantoic and YS arteries from 19-day chicken embryos (total incubation 21 days). The contractions induced by KCl, the adrenergic agonists norepinephrine (NE, nonselective), phenylephrine (alpha(1)), and oxymetazoline (alpha(2)), electric field stimulation (EFS), serotonin, U46619 (TP receptor agonist), and endothelin (ET)-1 and the relaxations induced by acetylcholine (ACh), sodium nitroprusside (SNP, NO donor), forskolin (adenylate cyclase activator), and isoproterenol (beta-adrenergic agonist) were investigated. Extraembryonic allantoic arteries did not show alpha-adrenergic-mediated contraction (either elicited by exogenous agonists or EFS) or ACh-induced (endothelium-dependent) relaxation, whereas these responses were present in YS arteries. Interestingly, the intraembryonic segment of the allantoic artery showed EFS- and alpha-adrenergic-induced contraction and ACh-mediated relaxation. Moreover, glyoxylic acid staining showed the presence of catecholamine-containing nerves in the YS and the intraembryonic allantoic artery, but not in the extraembryonic allantoic artery. Isoproterenol- and forskolin-induced relaxation and ET-1-induced contraction were higher in YS than in allantoic arteries, whereas serotonin- and U46619-induced contraction and SNP-induced relaxation did not significantly differ between the two arteries. In conclusion, our study demonstrates a different pattern of reactivity in the arteries perfusing the gas exchange and the nutritional membranes of the chicken embryo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-796
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology B-Biochemical Systemic and Environmentalphysiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


  • Chicken embryo
  • Fetal circulation
  • Umbilical
  • Endothelium
  • Adrenergic

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