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Neural groove

Ventral Somite wall Notochord

Mesoderm cells become epithelial and are arranged around a small lumen

Dorsomedial Muscle cells Dermatome Ventrolateral Muscle cells Lateral somitic frontier Intra embryonic cavity

Neural tube


Dorsal aorta

Cells in the ventral and medial walls of the somite lose their epithelial characteristics and migrate around the neural tube and notochord, and some move into the parietal layer of lateral plate mesoderm. Collectively, these cells constitute the sclerotome. Cells at the dorsomedial (DML) and ventrolateral (VLL) region of the somite from muscles cell precursors. Cells from both regions migrate ventral to the dermatome to form the dermomyotome. VLL cells also migrate into the parietal layer of lateral plate mesoderm across the lateral somitic frontier (green line). In combination, somitic cells and leteral plate mesoderm cells constitue the abaxial mesodermal domain, while the primaxial mesodermal domain only contains somitic cells (paraxial mesoderm)

Dermatome Sclerotome

Togather, dermatome cells and the muscle cells that associate with them from the dermomytome.

Neural tube Sclerotome Dermatome Myotome

The dermomyotome begins to differentiate, myotome cells contribute to primaxial muscles, and dermatome cellsform the dermis of the back.

Back (epaxial ) Muscle Dorsal primary ramus Ventral primary ramus Body wall muscles Extensor muscle of limb Hypaxial muscles

Flexor muscle Of limb

Cross section through half the embryo showing innervation to developing musculature. Epaxial (true back muscle) are innervated by dorsal (posterior) primary rami. Hypaxial muscle (limb and body wall ) are innervated by ventral (anterior) primary rami.

Poland sequence. The pectoralis minor and part of the pectoralis major muscles are missing on the patient s left side. Note displacement of the nipple and areola.

Posterior view

Forelimbs with their dermatome segments indicated. (From Moore, KL and Dalley,AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy,5th ed.

Occipital myotomes Pharyngeal arch muscles Cervical myotomes Eye muscles

Thoracic myotomes Mesenchymal Condensation Of limb bud Limb axis epithelial ridge Eye

Musclature in the head and neck derived from somitomeres and myotomes that form from the occipital region caudally in a 7- week embryo.

Paraxial mesoderm Intermediate mesoderm

Intercellular clefts Lateral plate


Transverse section through an embryo of approximately 19 days. Intercellular clefts are visible in the lateral plate mesoderm.

Parietal mesoderm layer

Wall of amniotic cavity

Viseral Mesoderm layer

Embryonic body cavity

Wall of yolk sac

Section through an embryo of approximately 20 days. The lateral plate is divided into somatic and visceral mesoderm layers that line the intraembryonic cavity. Tissue bordering the intraembryonic cavity differentiates into membranes.

Amniotic cavity

Parietal mesoderm

Viseral mesoderm Yolk sac

The intraembryonic cavity is in open communication with the extraembryonic cavity

Amniotic cavity

Surface ectoderm

Connection between gut and yolk sac

Embryonic body cavity

The intraembryonic cavity is about to lose contact with the extraembryonic cavity.

Surface ectoderm

Dorsal mesentery
Viseral mesoderm

Embryonic body cavity


Parietal mesoderm

At the end of the fourth week, splanchnic mesoderm layers are continuous with somatic layers as a double-layered membrane, the dorsal mesentery. Dorsal mesentery extends from the caudal limit of the foregut to the end of the hindgut.

Endoderm Ectoderm

Amniotic cavity Cloacal membrane Connecting stalk

Angiogenic cell membrane Oropharyngea l membrane


17 days Midsagittal sections of embryos at various stages of development showing cephalocaudal folding and its effects upon position of the heart, septum transversum, yolk sac, and amnion. Note that, as folding progresses, the open ing of the gut tube into the yolk sac narrows until it forms a thin connection, the vitelline (yolk sac)duct, between the midgut and the yolk sac

Hindgut foregut

Heart tube

Pericardial cavity

22 days.

Oropharyngeal membrane

Cloacal membrane

Heart tube

Septum transversum

24 days

Lung bud

Liver bud Midgut

Remnant of the Oropharyngeal membrane Allantois Septum transversum Vitelline duct Yolk sac

28 days, arrows; head and tail folds.

Pharyngeal gut Lung bud Stomodeum Liver Gallbladder Vitelline duct Allantois Primitive Intestinal loop Hindgut Stomach



Pharyngeal pouches, epithelial lining of the lung buds and trachea, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas.

Pharyngeal Pouches

Heart bulge

Urinary bladder Cloacal membrane

The urinary bladder is derived from the cloaca and, at this stage of development, is in open connection with the allantois.

Ectopia cordis. The heart lies outside the thorax, and there is cleft in the thoracic.

Gastroschisis. Intestine have herniated through the abdominal wall to the right of the umbilicus, the most common location for this defect.


Penis with epispadius


Bladder exstrophy. Cloure in the pelvic region has failed. In males, the defect usually a split in the dorsum of the penis, a defect called epispadius.

Cloacal exstrophy. A larger closure defect in which most of the pelvic region has failed to close, leaving the bladder, part of the rectum, and the anal canal expesed.


Abdominal wall

Intestinal loops

Umbilical cord

Example of omphaloceles, a defect that occurs when loops of bowel, that normally herniate into the umbilical cord during the 6th to 10th week of gestation (physiological umbilical herniation), fail to return to the bodycavity.
A. Drawing showing loops of herniated bowel within the umbilical cord that have failed to return to the

abdominal cavity. The bowel is covered by amnion because this membrane normally reflects onto umbilical cord

Infant with an omphalocele. The defect is associated with other major malformations and chromosome abnormalities.

Closing cranial neural fold

Primitive pericardial cavity Septum transversum Anterior intestinal portal

Intraembryonic body cavity

Lateral body wall fold

Posterior intestinal portal Hindgut

Drawing showing the ventral view of an embryo at 24 days gestation. The gut tube is closing, the anterior and posterior intestinal portals are visible, and the heart lies in the primitive pleuropericardial cavity, which is partially separated from the abdominal cavity by the septum transversum.

Foregut Sinus venosus Septum transversum Pericardio peritoneal canals

Liver cords

Vitelline duct Allantois

Body wall

Cloaca Portion of an embryo at approximately 5 weeks with parts of the body wall and septum transversum removed to show the pericardioperitoneal canals. Note the size and thickness of the septum transversum and liver cords penetrating the septum

Lung bud Pleuropericardial Phrenic nerve Common cardinal vein Heart

Growth of the lung buds into the pericardioperitoneal canals. Note the pleuropericardial folds.

Primitive pleural cavity Parietal pleura

Superior Vena cava Parietal plerua Pleural cavity Phrenic nerve

Lung Visceral pleura

Fibrous Pericardium Pericardial cavity Pleuro
pericardial membrane

A. Transformation of the pericardioperitoneal canals into the pleural cavities and formation of the pleuropericardial membrane. Note the pleuropericardial folds containing the common cardinal vein and phrenic nerve. Mesenchyme of the body wall splits into the pleuropericardial membrane and definitive body wall. B. The thorax after fusion of the pleuropericardial folds with each other and with the root of the lungs. Note the position of the phrenic nerve, now in the fibrous pericardium. The right common cardinal vein has developed into the superior vena cave.

Pericardioperitoneal Pleuroperitoneal fold

Septum Transversum

Development of Diaphragm

Pleuroperitoneal folds appear at the beginning of the fifth week.


Esophagus mesentery Esophagus

Pleuroperitoneal folds fuse with the septum transversum and mesentery of the esophagus in the seventh week, separating the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity.

Pleuroperitoneal membrane

Inferior vena cava

Muscular ingrowth from body wall Septum transversum Transverse section at the fourth month of development. An additional rim derived from the body wall forms the most peripheral part of the diaphragm.

Opening between sternal and costal heads Central tendon

Inferior vena cava Opening of Esophagus

Aortic hiatus Absence of pleuroperitoneal membrane Abdominal surface of the diaphragm showing a large defect of the pleuroperitoneal membrane

Left lung


Diaphragm Stomach

Hernia of the intestinal loops and part of the stomach into the left pleural cavity. The heart and mediastinum are frequently pushed to the right, and the left lung is compressed.

Radiograph of a newborn with a large defect in the left side of the diaphragm. Abdominal viscera have entered the thorax through the defect.