Aortic sac

The aortic sac or aortic bulb[1] is a dilated structure in mammalian embryos, lined by endothelial cells located just above (superior to) the truncus arteriosus. It is the primordial vascular channel from which the aortic arches arise (and eventually the dorsal aortae) and is homologous to the ventral aorta of gill-bearing vertebrates.

Aortic sac
Diagrams to show the development of the septum of the aortic bulb and of the ventricles.
Transverse sections through the aortic bulb to show the growth of the aortic septum. The lowest section is on the left, the highest on the right of the figure.
Precursorneural crest
Anatomical terminology

Genes dHAND and eHAND are expressed during the development of the aortic bulb and the arteries which arise from it.[2] The protein encoded by these genes belong to the basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors.


  1. Annalisa Berta, James L. Sumich, Kit M. Kovacs. Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology. Academic Press, 2006; page 240.
  2. Richard P. Harvey, Nadia Rosenthal (ed). Heart Development. Gulf Professional Publishing, 1999; page 150-151.

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