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Ann Anat. 2010 Sep 20;192(5):322-8. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2010.07.002. Epub 2010 Aug 6.

Human primitive meninges in and around the mesencephalic flexure and particularly their topographical relation to cranial nerves.

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Department of Neurology, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, 344-2 Sinyong-dong, Iksan, Jeonbuk, Republic of Korea.


Development of the meninges in and around the plica ventralis encephali has not been well documented. A distinct mesenchymal structure, the so-called plica ventralis encephali, is sandwiched by the fetal mesencephalic flexure. We histologically examined paraffin-embedded sections from 18 human embryos and fetuses at 6-12 weeks of gestation. In the loose tissues of the plica, the first meninx appeared as a narrow membrane along the oculomotor nerve at 7-8 weeks. Subsequently, the plica ventralis evolved into 3 parts: bilateral lateral mesenchymal condensations and a primitive membranous meninx extending between. Notably, the topographical anatomy of the oculomotor, trochlear and trigeminal nerves did not change: the oculomotor nerve ran along the rostral aspect of the membranous meninx, the trigeminal nerve ran along the caudal side of the lateral mesenchymal condensation, and the trochlear nerve remained embedded in the lateral condensation. Up to 9-10 weeks, the lateral mesenchymal condensations became tongue-like folds; i.e., the primitive form of the tentorium cerebelli, while the membranous meninx became the diaphragma sellae. The falx cerebri seemed to develop from the tongue-like folds. Overall, the final tentorium cerebelli corresponded to the regressed plica ventralis, while the parasellar area originated from the base of the plica and other tissues along the ventral aspects of the basisphenoid and basioccipital.

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