Development Animation - Neural Tube

From Embryology
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Early Neural Development

This animation of early neural development from week 3 onward shows the neural groove fusing to form the neural tube.

View - Dorsolateral of the whole early embryo and yolk sac. Cranial (head) to top and caudal (tail) to bottom. Yolk sac is shown to the left.

  • Beginning with the neural groove initially fusing at the level of the 4th somite to form the neural tube.
  • Then closing in both directions to leave 2 openings or neuropores that close last
  1. cranial neuropore (anterior neuropore).
  2. caudal neuropore (posterior neuropore).
  • These neuropores are the last region of the neural tube to close and be lost from the embryo surface.
  • In humans, the cranial neuropore closes about 2 days before the caudal neuropore.
  • Failure of these opens, or any part of the neural tube, to close are described as neural tube defects.
  • The animation also shows as the embryo grows and folds it increases in size relative to the initial yolk sac. Note also the increasing number of somites over time.