Talk:Gastrointestinal Tract - Stomach Development

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2021, July 29) Embryology Gastrointestinal Tract - Stomach Development. Retrieved from

Historic Embryology: 1878 Alimentary Canal | 1882 The Organs of the Inner Germ-Layer The Alimentary Tube with its Appended Organs | 1902 The Organs of Digestion | 1907 Development of the Digestive System | 1907 Atlas | 1907 23 Somite Embryo | 1912 Digestive Tract | 1917 Entodermal Canal | 1918 Anatomy | 1921 Alimentary Tube

1902 Stomach | 1912 Stomach | 1921 Stomach


10 Most Recent Papers

Note - This sub-heading shows an automated computer PubMed search using the listed sub-heading term. References appear in this list based upon the date of the actual page viewing. Therefore the list of references do not reflect any editorial selection of material based on content or relevance. In comparison, references listed on the content page and discussion page (under the publication year sub-headings) do include editorial selection based upon relevance and availability. (More? Pubmed Most Recent)

Stomach Embryology

<pubmed limit=5>Stomach Embryology</pubmed>

Historic Textbooks

Hertwig O. Text-book of the embryology of man and mammals. (1892) Translated 1901 by Mark EL. from 3rd German Edition. S. Sonnenschein, London. Differentiation of the Alimentary Tube into Separate Regions and Formation of the Mesenteries

Minot CS. Human Embryology. (1897) London: The Macmillan Company. Stomach

Keith A. Human Embryology and Morphology. (1902) London: Edward Arnold. The Stomach

Prentiss CW. and Arey LB. A laboratory manual and text-book of embryology. (1918) W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia and London. Stomach

Bailey FR. and Miller AM. Text-Book of Embryology (1921) New York: William Wood and Co. The Stomach


Mechanisms of embryonic stomach development

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2017 Jun;66:36-42. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

McCracken KW1, Wells JM2.


The stomach is a digestive organ that has important roles in human physiology and pathophysiology. The developmental origin of the stomach is the embryonic foregut, which also gives rise a number of other structures. There are several signaling pathways and transcription factors that are known to regulate stomach development at different stages, including foregut patterning, stomach specification, and gastric regionalization. These developmental events have important implications in later homeostasis and disease in the adult stomach. Here we will review the literature that has shaped our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that coordinate gastric organogenesis. Further we will discuss how developmental paradigms have guided recent efforts to differentiate stomach tissue from pluripotent stem cells. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Antrum; Corpus; Endoderm; Foregut; Fundus; Stomach PMID 28238948 PMCID: PMC5474362 [Available on 2018-06-01] DOI: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.02.004

Stomach curvature is generated by left-right asymmetric gut morphogenesis

Development. 2017 Apr 15;144(8):1477-1483. doi: 10.1242/dev.143701. Epub 2017 Feb 27.

Davis A1, Amin NM1, Johnson C1, Bagley K1, Ghashghaei HT1, Nascone-Yoder N2.


Left-right (LR) asymmetry is a fundamental feature of internal anatomy, yet the emergence of morphological asymmetry remains one of the least understood phases of organogenesis. Asymmetric rotation of the intestine is directed by forces outside the gut, but the morphogenetic events that generate anatomical asymmetry in other regions of the digestive tract remain unknown. Here, we show in mouse and Xenopus that the mechanisms that drive the curvature of the stomach are intrinsic to the gut tube itself. The left wall of the primitive stomach expands more than the right wall, as the left epithelium becomes more polarized and undergoes radial rearrangement. These asymmetries exist across several species, and are dependent on LR patterning genes, including Foxj1, Nodal and Pitx2 Our findings have implications for how LR patterning manifests distinct types of morphological asymmetries in different contexts. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. KEYWORDS: Asymmetry; Gut; Left-right; Morphogenesis; Mouse; Pitx2; Stomach; Xenopus PMID 28242610 DOI: 10.1242/dev.143701


The Digestive Tract and Derived Primordia Differentiate by Following a Precise Timeline in Human Embryos Between Carnegie Stages 11 and 13

Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2016 Apr;299(4):439-49. doi: 10.1002/ar.23314. Epub 2016 Jan 30.

Ueno S1, Yamada S1,2, Uwabe C2, Männer J3, Shiraki N1, Takakuwa T1. Author information Abstract The precise mechanisms through which the digestive tract develops during the somite stage remain undefined. In this study, we examined the morphology and precise timeline of differentiation of digestive tract-derived primordia in human somite-stage embryos. We selected 37 human embryos at Carnegie Stage (CS) 11-CS13 (28-33 days after fertilization) and three-dimensionally analyzed the morphology and positioning of the digestive tract and derived primordia in all samples, using images reconstructed from histological serial sections. The digestive tract was initially formed by a narrowing of the yolk sac, and then several derived primordia such as the pharynx, lung, stomach, liver, and dorsal pancreas primordia differentiated during CS12 (21-29 somites) and CS13 (≥ 30 somites). The differentiation of four pairs of pharyngeal pouches was complete in all CS13 embryos. The respiratory primordium was recognized in ≥ 26-somite embryos and it flattened and then branched at CS13. The trachea formed and then elongated in ≥ 35-somite embryos. The stomach adopted a spindle shape in all ≥ 34-somite embryos, and the liver bud was recognized in ≥ 27-somite embryos. The dorsal pancreas appeared as definitive buddings in all but three CS13 embryos, and around these buddings, the small intestine bent in ≥ 33-somite embryos. In ≥ 35-somite embryos, the small intestine rotated around the cranial-caudal axis and had begun to form a primitive intestinal loop, which led to umbilical herniation. These data indicate that the digestive tract and derived primordia differentiate by following a precise timeline and exhibit limited individual variations. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. KEYWORDS: derived primordial; development; digestive tract; human embryo; timeline PMID 26995337

Stomach development, stem cells and disease

Development. 2016 Feb 15;143(4):554-65. doi: 10.1242/dev.124891.

Kim TH1, Shivdasani RA2.


The stomach, an organ derived from foregut endoderm, secretes acid and enzymes and plays a key role in digestion. During development, mesenchymal-epithelial interactions drive stomach specification, patterning, differentiation and growth through selected signaling pathways and transcription factors. After birth, the gastric epithelium is maintained by the activity of stem cells. Developmental signals are aberrantly activated and stem cell functions are disrupted in gastric cancer and other disorders. Therefore, a better understanding of stomach development and stem cells can inform approaches to treating these conditions. This Review highlights the molecular mechanisms of stomach development and discusses recent findings regarding stomach stem cells and organoid cultures, and their roles in investigating disease mechanisms. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. KEYWORDS: Epithelial-mesenchymal interactions; Organogenesis; Transcriptional control of development

PMID 26884394


Enteric neural crest cells regulate vertebrate stomach patterning and differentiation

Development. 2015 Jan 15;142(2):331-42. doi: 10.1242/dev.118422. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

Faure S1, McKey J2, Sagnol S2, de Santa Barbara P1.


In vertebrates, the digestive tract develops from a uniform structure where reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions pattern this complex organ into regions with specific morphologies and functions. Concomitant with these early patterning events, the primitive GI tract is colonized by the vagal enteric neural crest cells (vENCCs), a population of cells that will give rise to the enteric nervous system (ENS), the intrinsic innervation of the GI tract. The influence of vENCCs on early patterning and differentiation of the GI tract has never been evaluated. In this study, we report that a crucial number of vENCCs is required for proper chick stomach development, patterning and differentiation. We show that reducing the number of vENCCs by performing vENCC ablations induces sustained activation of the BMP and Notch pathways in the stomach mesenchyme and impairs smooth muscle development. A reduction in vENCCs also leads to the transdifferentiation of the stomach into a stomach-intestinal mixed phenotype. In addition, sustained Notch signaling activity in the stomach mesenchyme phenocopies the defects observed in vENCC-ablated stomachs, indicating that inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway is essential for stomach patterning and differentiation. Finally, we report that a crucial number of vENCCs is also required for maintenance of stomach identity and differentiation through inhibition of the Notch signaling pathway. Altogether, our data reveal that, through the regulation of mesenchyme identity, vENCCs act as a new mediator in the mesenchymal-epithelial interactions that control stomach development. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. KEYWORDS: Chick; Enteric neural crest cells; Gut development; Mesenchymal-epithelial interactions; Notch pathway; Smooth muscle differentiation

PMID 25519241


Gastrointestinal defects of the Gas1 mutant involve dysregulated Hedgehog and Ret signaling

Biol Open. 2013 Feb 15;2(2):144-55. doi: 10.1242/bio.20123186. Epub 2012 Nov 20. Biau S, Jin S, Fan CM. Source Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington , 3520 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21218 , USA ; 2iE Foundation, International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering , Rue de la Science, 01 BP 594, Ouagadougou 01 , Burkina Faso.


The gastrointestinal (GI) tract defines the digestive system and is composed of the stomach, intestine and colon. Among the major cell types lining radially along the GI tract are the epithelium, mucosa, smooth muscles and enteric neurons. The Hedgehog (Hh) pathway has been implicated in directing various aspects of the developing GI tract, notably the mucosa and smooth muscle growth, and enteric neuron patterning, while the Ret signaling pathway is selectively required for enteric neuron migration, proliferation, and differentiation. The growth arrest specific gene 1 (Gas1) encodes a GPI-anchored membrane protein known to bind to Sonic Hh (Shh), Indian Hh (Ihh), and Ret. However, its role in the GI tract has not been examined. Here we show that the Gas1 mutant GI tract, compared to the control, is shorter, has thinner smooth muscles, and contains more enteric progenitors that are abnormally distributed. These phenotypes are similar to those of the Shh mutant, supporting that Gas1 mediates most of the Shh activity in the GI tract. Because Gas1 has been shown to inhibit Ret signaling elicited by Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (Gdnf), we explored whether Gas1 mutant enteric neurons displayed any alteration of Ret signaling levels. Indeed, isolated mutant enteric progenitors not only showed increased levels of phospho-Ret and its downstream effectors, phospho-Akt and phospho-Erk, but also displayed altered responses to Gdnf and Shh. We therefore conclude that phenotypes observed in the Gas1 mutant are due to a combination of reduced Hh signaling and increased Ret signaling. KEYWORDS: Gas1, Gastrointestinal development, Ret, Shh

PMID 23429478


Sfrp controls apicobasal polarity and oriented cell division in developing gut epithelium.

PLoS Genet. 2009 Mar;5(3):e1000427. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

Matsuyama M, Aizawa S, Shimono A.

Vertebrate Body Plan, Center for Developmental Biology, RIKEN Kobe, Minatojima-Minami, Kobe, Japan.

Abstract Epithelial tubular morphogenesis leading to alteration of organ shape has important physiological consequences. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms that govern epithelial tube morphogenesis. Here, we show that inactivation of Sfrp1 and Sfrp2 leads to reduction in fore-stomach length in mouse embryos, which is enhanced in the presence of the Sfrp5 mutation. In the mono-cell layer of fore-stomach epithelium, cell division is normally oriented along the cephalocaudal axis; in contrast, orientation diverges in the Sfrps-deficient fore-stomach. Cell growth and apoptosis are not affected in the Sfrps-deficient fore-stomach epithelium. Similarly, cell division orientation in fore-stomach epithelium diverges as a result of inactivation of either Stbm/Vangl2, an Fz/PCP component, or Wnt5a. These observations indicate that the oriented cell division, which is controlled by the Fz/PCP pathway, is one of essential components in fore-stomach morphogenesis. Additionally, the small intestine epithelium of Sfrps compound mutants fails to maintain proper apicobasal polarity; the defect was also observed in Wnt5a-inactivated small intestine. In relation to these findings, Sfrp1 physically interacts with Wnt5a and inhibits Wnt5a signaling. We propose that Sfrp regulation of Wnt5a signaling controls oriented cell division and apicobasal polarity in the epithelium of developing gut.

PMID 19300477

Embryo stage 13/14 stomach
Adult stomach anatomy

During week 4 where the stomach will form the tube begins to dilate, forming an enlarged lumen in the tube. Dorsal border grows more rapidly than ventral, which establishes the greater curvature of the stomach. A second rotation (of 90 degrees) occurs on the longitudinal axis establishing the adult orientation of the stomach.

Stage 13/14 Stomach

File:St1314sm.gif File:D2st13stom.gif File:D3lst13stom.gif File:D4st13stom.gif
Sections from D2 to D7 downward.
(viewed from beneath, top is right, bottom is left)
View through osophageal pyloric region at top of stomach.(base of R. and L. lung buds) Beginning of stomach rotation. Broad dorsal mesogastrium, narrow ventral mesogastrium. Cavity beneath stomach is the omentum bursa. Section through the body of the stomach. Dorsal mesogastrium beneath the omentum bursa will form greater omentum.
File:D5st13stom.gif File:D6st13stom.gif File:D7st13stom.gif
Section through the body of the stomach. Section at the stomach duodenal junction.

Stage 22 Stomach

File:St22hum.gif File:E6lst22stom.gif File:E7lst22stom.gif
Sections from E6 to D4 downward.
Note thick muscular wall of stomach body and change in lumen shape between pyloris and duodenum.
File:F1lst22stom.gif File:F2lst22stom.gif File:F3lst22stom.gif
File:F4lst22stom.gif File:F5lst22stom.gif
File:Mov.gifSee[../Movies/st22/ Labelled Movie of Stomach][../Movies/st22/ ][../Movies/st22/ (sections E6-D5)](237 Kb)
[../embryo/Movies/st22/ Unlabelled Movie](243 Kb)

Greater Omentum

The greater omentum hangs like an apron over the small intestine and transverse colon. It begins attacted to the inferior end of the stomach as a fold of the dorsal mesogastrium which later fuses to form the structure we recognise anatomically. The figure below shows a lateral view of this process comparing the early second trimester arrangement with the newborn structure. (More? [git12.htm GIT Folding])

3D Model Movies

The following are links to 3D reconstruction animations of serial images of the gastrointestinal tract at an early and late embryonic stage. (More? [3dmodel.htm 3D Model Movies])

Adult Stomach Position

File:Stomach-position.jpg Movie of anatomical position of the erect adult stomach position on filling, based upon historic drawings.

Quicktime: [../Movies/git/ (36 Kb)]


  • Congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis
  • duodenal atresia
  • duodenal stenosis

WWW Links

Indiana University animation showing Development of the Stomach, Omenta and Duodenum Discussion of the development of the stomach from the foregut, the omenta development from the mesenteries, and the rotational movements of the stomach and duodenum.(approx. 2 minutes)


This section of notes gives an overview of how the stomach and duodenum develops. The GIT is best imagined as a simple tube, the upper part being the foregut diverticulum, which is further divided into oesophagus and stomach.

During week 4 where the stomach will form the tube begins to dilate, forming an enlarged lumen in the tube. Dorsal border grows more rapidly than ventral, which establishes the greater curvature of the stomach. A second rotation (of 90 degrees) occurs on the longitudinal axis establishing the adult orientation of the stomach.


  • glandular/proventricular/pyloric stenosis
  • fundus/pyloric antrum
  • pyloric sphincter

original page

Greater Omentum

The greater omentum hangs like an apron over the small intestine and transverse colon. It begins attacted to the inferior end of the stomach as a fold of the dorsal mesogastrium which later fuses to form the structure we recognise anatomically. The figure below shows a lateral view of this process comparing the early second trimester arrangement with the newborn structure. (More? GIT Folding)

The diagram below shows this rotation with spinal cord at the top, vertebral body then dorsal aorta then pertioneal wall and cavity.

Stein BA, Buchan AM, Morris J, Polak JM. The ontogeny of regulatory peptide-containing cells in the human fetal stomach: an immunocytochemical study. J Histochem Cytochem. 1983 Sep;31(9):1117-25.)

Other gut peptides: cholecystokinin (CCK), pancreatic polypeptide, peptide YY, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), oxyntomodulin (increase satiety and decrease food intake) and ghrelin