Musculoskeletal System - Axial Skeleton Development
During the 3rd week the paraxial mesoderm forms into "balls" of mesoderm paired either side of the neural groove, called somites. Different regions of the somite differentiate into dermomyotome (dermal and muscle component) and sclerotome (forms vertebral column). Vertebral bone is formed through a lengthy process involving endochondrial ossification of a cartilage formed from mesenchyme.
The vertebral body begins as a bony collar that expands into regions of dying cartilage. The bony vertebral arch, enclosing the spinal cord, forms later and the arch remains open dorsally (linked by a ligament) to allow growth of the spinal cord.
The axial skeleton consists of: Skull, Auditory Ossicles, Hyoid bone, Vertebral column, Chest (sternum, ribs)
The vertebral column is a series of bone segments (vertebra) separated by specialized joints (intervertebral disc).
In the adult, the vertebra form rostro-caudally: 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 1 sacrum, coccyx. There has been identified a population variability in the final number of vertebra.
Skeletal ossification continues postnatally, through puberty until mid 20s. Abnormalities of vertebral column development can lead to defects including scoliosis.
|System Links: Introduction | Cardiovascular | Coelomic Cavity | Endocrine | Gastrointestinal Tract | Genital | Head | Immune | Integumentary | Musculoskeletal | Neural | Neural Crest | Placenta | Renal | Respiratory | Sensory | Birth|
Some Recent Findings
- The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology (8th Edition) by Keith L. Moore and T.V.N Persaud - Moore & Persaud Chapter 15 the skeletal system
- Larsen’s Human Embryology by GC. Schoenwolf, SB. Bleyl, PR. Brauer and PH. Francis-West - Chapter 11 Limb Dev (bone not well covered in this textbook)
- Before we Are Born (5th ed.) Moore and Persaud Chapter 16,17: p379-397, 399-405
- Essentials of Human Embryology Larson Chapter 11 p207-228
- Identify the components of a somite and the adult derivatives of each component.
- Give examples of sites of (a) endochondral and (b) intramembranous ossification and to compare these two processes.
- Identify the general times (a) of formation of primary and (b) of formation of secondary ossification centres, and (c) of fusion of such centres with each other.
- Briefly summarise the development of the limbs.
- Describe the developmental abnormalities responsible for the following malformations: selected growth plate disorders; congenital dislocation of the hip; scoliosis; arthrogryposis; and limb reduction deformities.
Below is a very brief overview using simple figures of 3 aspects of early musculoskeletal development. More detailed overviews are shown on other notes pages Mesoderm and Somite, Vertebral Column, Limb in combination with serial sections and Carnegie images.
|Cells migrate through the primitive streak to form mesodermal layer. Extraembryonic mesoderm lies adjacent to the trilaminar embryo totally enclosing the amnion, yolk sac and forming the connecting stalk.|
|Paraxial mesoderm accumulates under the neural plate with thinner mesoderm laterally. This forms 2 thickened streaks running the length of the embryonic disc along the rostrocaudal axis. In humans, during the 3rd week, this mesoderm begins to segment. The neural plate folds to form a neural groove and folds.|
|Segmentation of the paraxial mesoderm into somites continues caudally at 1 somite/90minutes and a cavity (intraembryonic coelom) forms in the lateral plate mesoderm separating somatic and splanchnic mesoderm.
Note intraembryonic coelomic cavity communicates with extraembryonic coelom through portals (holes) initially on lateral margin of embryonic disc.
|Somites continue to form. The neural groove fuses dorsally to form a tube at the level of the 4th somite and "zips up cranially and caudally and the neural crest migrates into the mesoderm.|
|Mesoderm beside the notochord (axial mesoderm, blue) thickens, forming the paraxial mesoderm as a pair of strips along the rostro-caudal axis.|
|Paraxial mesoderm towards the rostral end, begins to segment forming the first somite. Somites are then sequentially added caudally. The somitocoel, is a cavity forming in early somites, which is lost as the somite matures.|
|Cells in the somite differentiate medially to form the sclerotome (forms vertebral column) and dorsolaterally to form the dermomyotome.|
|The dermomyotome then forms the dermotome (forms dermis) and myotome (forms muscle).
Neural crest cells migrate beside and through somite.
|The myotome differentiates to form 2 components dorsally the epimere and ventrally the hypomere, which in turn form epaxial and hypaxial muscles respectively. The bulk of the trunk and limb muscle coming from the Hypaxial mesoderm. Different structures will be contributed depending upon the somite level.|
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, June 6) Embryology Musculoskeletal System - Axial Skeleton Development. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Musculoskeletal_System_-_Axial_Skeleton_Development
- © Dr Mark Hill 2020, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G