Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Development. 1994 Sep;120(9):2397-408.

Cranial paraxial mesoderm: regionalisation of cell fate and impact on craniofacial development in mouse embryos.

Author information

  • 1Embryology Unit, Children's Medical Research Institute, Wentworthville NSW, Australia.


A combination of micromanipulative cell grafting and fluorescent cell labelling techniques were used to examine the developmental fate of the cranial paraxial mesoderm of the 8.5-day early-somite-stage mouse embryo. Mesodermal cells isolated from seven regions of the cranial mesoderm, identified on the basis of their topographical association with specific brain segments were assessed for their contribution to craniofacial morphogenesis during 48 hours of in vitro development. The results demonstrate extensive cell mixing between adjacent but not alternate groups of mesodermal cells and a strict cranial-to-caudal distribution of the paraxial mesoderm to craniofacial structures. A two-segment periodicity similar to the origins of the branchial motor neurons and the distribution of the rhombencephalic neural crest cells was observed as the paraxial mesoderm migrates during formation of the first three branchial arches. The paraxial mesoderm colonises the mesenchymal core of the branchial arches, consistent with the location of the muscle plates. A dorsoventral regionalisation of cell fate similar to that of the somitic mesoderm is also found. This suggests evolution has conserved the fate of the murine cranial paraxial mesoderm as a multiprogenitor population which displays a predominantly myogenic fate. Heterotopic transplantation of cells to different regions of the cranial mesoderm revealed no discernible restriction in cell potency in the craniocaudal axis, reflecting considerable plasticity in the developmental fate of the cranial mesoderm at least at the time of experimentation. The distribution of the different groups of cranial mesoderm matches closely with that of the cranial neural crest cells suggesting the two cell populations may share a common segmental origin and similar destination.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk