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Dev Biol. 2009 Mar 15;327(2):273-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.12.035. Epub 2009 Jan 6.

Heart and craniofacial muscle development: a new developmental theme of distinct myogenic fields.

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  • 1Department of Biological Regulation, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Head muscle development has been studied less intensively than myogenesis in the trunk, although this situation is gradually changing, as embryological and genetic insights accumulate. This review focuses on novel studies of the origins, composition and evolution of distinct craniofacial muscles. Cellular and molecular parallels are drawn between cardiac and branchiomeric muscle developmental programs, both of which utilize multiple lineages with distinct developmental histories, and argue for the tissues' common evolutionary origin. In addition, there is increasing evidence that the specification of skeletal muscles in the head appears to be distinct from that operating in the trunk: considerable variation among the different craniofacial muscle groups is seen, in a manner resembling myogenic specification in lower organisms.

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