Don't Panic! This is a complex topic, that begins very early in embryonic development, continues through fetal and into postnatal times, so we will not be covering everything in the class.
The Practical is a series of only 6 linked webpages that take you through an overview of the process of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) development:
We will spend more time on the early parts of GIT development (embryonic stage), the latter pages will need some self-directed learning.
I have also included additional webpages and resources for you to look at in your own time:
Where should I start with Embryology?
Many of you will never have studied Embryology before, so many of the concepts, terms and timing of development will be new to you. Unfortunately we do not have
time in this Practical to cover these many issues, here's a chance for self-directed learning!
In humans, we generally divide development into the Early (week 1 to 8) Embryonic period and Late (week 9 to 36) Fetal period.
Look at an alternate presentation of similar data under System - GIT notes section.
I also give this GIT lecture in Science Embryology and here are a set of earlier 2004 ANAT2310 GIT slides.
GIT Lecture Slides
Lecture slides and additional resources are available on GIT Lecture page. Lecture slides should also eventually appear on WebCT.
Where should I start with GIT?
Here's one suggestion.
Firstly, in normal development many organs/tissues have origins and intermediate structures, forms, or relationships which occur at specific times.
So try and relate the appearance of the GIT to specific times in development.
Next, in normal development there are many physical processes occurring: differentiation, migration, folding, cavitation, growth, elongation, proliferation, cell death, etc.
Only some of these are processes will be visible in the images we will be looking at. Use the movies and animations to help your understanding of dynamic processes.
Next, anatomical tissues and organs are in general formed from a number of different embryonic origins. Abnormalities in any one of these original tissues or processes can have subsequent effects
on the development or function of specific organs.
Remember that the prenatal GIT is digestively functionally inactive (nutrition is through the placenta) compared to the postnatal GIT (though other specific functions can be occurring prenatally).
Finally, even with the best diet postnatal growth and health is dependent upon a properly functioning GIT system.
Here's another suggestion. As you follow the timecourse of GIT development think about: