Paper - Histogenesis of the otic capsule (1917)

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Streeter GL. Histogenesis of the otic capsule. (1917) Anat. Rec. 11: 417-418.

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Mark Hill.jpg This 1917 paper presented by Streeter at the 33rd Meeting of the American Association of Anatomists in New York (Dec 27-29, 2016). Describes the human embryo inner ear development.

  Streeter Links: George Streeter | 1905 Cranial and Spinal Nerves | 1906 Membranous Labyrinth | 1908 Peripheral Nervous System 10mm Human | 1908 Cranial Nerves 10mm Human | 1912 Nervous System | 1917 Scala Tympani Scala Vestibuli and Perioticular Cistern | 1917 Ear Cartilaginous Capsule | 1918 Otic Capsule | 1919 Filum Terminale | 1920 Presomite Embryo | 1920 Human Embryo Growth | 1921 Brain Vascular | 1938 Early Primate Stages | 1941 Macaque embryo | 1945 Stage 13-14 | 1948 Stages 15-18 | 1949 Cartilage and Bone | 1951 Stages 19-23 | Contributions to Embryology | Historic Embryology Papers | Carnegie Stages | Category:George Streeter George Linius Streeter (1873-1948)

Other embryology papers presented at this 1916 meeting: Lewis FT. A comparison of the Herzog and Strahl-Beneke embryos. (1917) Anat. Rec, 11: 386.

Papez JW. and Lewis FT. On the position of the vitelline arteries in human embryos. (1917) Anat. Rec, 11: 392-394.

Evans HM. and Bartelmez GW. A human embryo of seven to eight somites. (1917) Anat. Rec. 11: 355.

Modern Notes: inner ear

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Historic Embryology - Hearing 
Historic Embryology: 1880 Platypus cochlea | 1892 Vertebrate Ear | 1902 Development of Hearing | 1906 Membranous Labyrinth | 1910 Auditory Nerve | 1913 Tectorial Membrane | 1918 Human Embryo Otic Capsule | 1918 Cochlea | 1918 Grays Anatomy | 1922 Human Auricle | 1922 Otic Primordia | 1931 Internal Ear Scalae | 1932 Otic Capsule 1 | 1933 Otic Capsule 2 | 1936 Otic Capsule 3 | 1933 Endolymphatic Sac | 1934 Otic Vesicle | 1934 Membranous Labyrinth | 1934 External Ear | 1938 Stapes - 7 to 21 weeks | 1938 Stapes - Term to Adult | 1940 Stapes | 1942 Stapes - Embryo 6.7 to 50 mm | 1943 Stapes - Fetus 75 to 150 mm | 1946 Aquaductus cochleae and periotic (perilymphatic) duct | 1946 aquaeductus cochleae | 1948 Fissula ante fenestram | 1948 Stapes - Fetus 160 mm to term | 1959 Auditory Ossicles | 1963 Human Otocyst | Historic Disclaimer
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Histogenesis of the Otic Capsule

Embryology History George Streeter
George Linius Streeter (1873-1948)

G. L. Streeter

Carnegie Laboratory of Embryology, Baltimore.


Presented at the 33rd Meeting of the American Association of Anatomists in New York (Dec 27-29, 1916).

The cartilaginous capsule of the ear is a favorable place for studying the histological features of the growth of cartilage and its associated tissues, particularly because of two reasons; in the first place, there are, on account of the intricacy of form of the labyrinth, many kinds of cartilaginous changes found there that are necessary to accommodate its growth, including the deposit of new tissue and the removal of old tissue; and in the second place the topography is so well marked by known landmarks that all of these changes as well as the location and direction of growth can be easily followed. From such a study one is forced to conclude that the tissues of the otic capsule are capable both of differentiation and dedifferentiation throughout a considerable period of their development. This progressive and retrogressive adaptability of the cartilaginous tissue makes possible those changes that are necessary in the growth arid alteration in form of the labyrinth.

In the earlier stages the precartilage tissue abuts directly against the epithelial labyrinth. Subsequently the periotic reticulum, beginning along the central borders of the canals, becomes established and spreads at the expense of the temporary precartilage thereby forming a crescentic shaped area of reticulum entirely inclosing the membranous canal. The invasion of the reticulum into the surrounding area of precartilage is brought about, at least in the later stages, by a dedifferentiation of the latter into the former.

At the same time that the precartilage is reverting into reticulum the inner margin of the cartilage that surrounds the canal is dedifferentiated into precartilage, so that a new and more peripheral area of precartilage becomes established as the old area disappears. In this way the margin of the true cartilage gradually recedes from the epithelial canal.

In human embryos 30 mm long the cartilaginous labyrinth has attained approximately the adult form. Its subsequent development consists primarily of an increase in size to accommodate the growing membranous labyrinth. However, if one compares the superior canal of an 80 mm. fetus with that of a 30 mm fetus it will be found that the canal has doubled its diameter and has trebled its length and furthermore its linear curvature corresponds to an arc with a longer radius. In reality therefore the developing cartilaginous labyrinth is continuously undergoing considerable changes both in size and form. The enlargement of the cartilaginous canals and their alterations in form and position involves both the excavation of cartilage and also the laying down of new cartilage, the excavation being accomplished by its dedifferentiation into precartilage and reticulum, and the new cartilage being built up, through a precartilage stage, from the periotic reticular tissue. Throughout the entire period of growth of the cartilagenous canals the elements of this continual transformation exist along their margin. The margin during this period is in a state of temporary equilibrium and is capable of advancing or receding as the conditions determine.

The first and relatively the major part of the hollowing-out of the cartilagkous canals is complete before the perichondrium makes its appearance. The perichondrium is formed as a membrane-like condensation of the periotic reticulum which can be first recognized in fetuses of about 70 mm CR length. In its histogenesisit is analogous to the niembrana propria of the epithelial canals.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 20) Embryology Paper - Histogenesis of the otic capsule (1917). Retrieved from

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