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J Anat. 2005 Feb;206(2):155-63.

Morphogenesis of the juxtaoral organ in humans.

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  • 1Departamento de Anatomía y Embriología Humana II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.


The juxtaoral organ was studied using light microscopy in 55 human embryos and 90 fetuses at different stages of development. The juxtaoral organ arises from the epithelium at the bottom of the transverse opening of the primitive mouth during O'Rahilly stage 16 and becomes detached from the epithelium after O'Rahilly stage 18. The juxtaoral organ is innervated by the buccal nerve from O'Rahilly stage 20 onward, and its connective tissue capsule is clearly visible after week 11 of development. This study enabled us to describe three main periods of juxtaoral organ development: (1) the period of epithelial condensation and invagination, at O'Rahilly stages 16-17; (2) the period during which the juxtaoral organ becomes detached from the oral epithelium and is innervated, at O'Rahilly stages 18-23; and (3) the period during which the connective tissue capsule is formed, after week 11 of development. We also analysed the juxtaoral organ of five additional fetuses by immunohistochemistry with anti-NF-200 to verify their innervation. The results show that the juxtaoral organ may have a function in the mechanical activity of the region.

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