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Metameric pattern development in the embryonic axis of the mouse. I. Differentiation of the cranial segments

Metameric pattern development in the embryonic axis of the mouse. I. Differentiation of the cranial segments

Differentiation; Research in Biological Diversity 21(2): 95-108

ISSN/ISBN: 0301-4681

PMID: 7084573

Overall pattern of the mesoderm in the embryonic axis of the cranial region of mouse embryos was examined with the scanning electron microscope (SEM). A segmental organization was observed first in the paraxial mesodermal wings and midline axis of embryos at the late primitive streak stage. Each segmental unit consists of a somitomere in the paraxial region on each side of an enclosed stretch of midline notochord. Somitomeres appear initially as circular domains of radially arranged cells that swirl about the core center of the unit and are similar morphologically to those described recently in chick embryos. Lying in tandem sequence, the segments comprise the chordamesoderm that underlies the neural plate. As additional pairs of somitomeres are added from the primitive streak at the caudal end of the axis, those established in the cranial region remain contiguous and undergo morphogenesis that coordinates with neurulation. Development of the cranial axis is divided into 5 phases and somitomeres in the mesoderm are associated with neuromeric segmentation in the neural plate. The 1st pair of somitomeres comes to underlie the prosencephalon, the 2nd and 3rd pairs underlie the mesencephalon, while the 5th, 6th and 7th pairs of somitomeres underlie neuromeres of the metencephalon. The 8th pair of somitomeres are the first to separate themselves from the first 7 and form the 1st pair of somites visible at the light microscope level. Apparently, the cranial axis of the mouse embryo is initially organized into segments like the rest of the body and subsequent cranial morphology is a consequence of differential development of these segments.

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Accession: 005886811

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