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Am J Anat. 1990 Oct;189(2):127-45.

The human rhombencephalon at the end of the embryonic period proper.

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Carnegie Laboratories of Embryology, California Primate Research Center, Davis 95616.


The human rhombencephalon at 8 postovulatory weeks (stage 23) is described and illustrated for the first time with the aid of silver-impregnated sections and graphic reconstructions. The motor and sensory trigeminal nuclei were among those studied, and the latter was found to be almost contiguous to the dentate nucleus. Fibers to the principal sensory nucleus join the mesencephalic trigeminal tract, which also seems to be connected with the motor fibers. Fine fibers from the sensory root join the tractus solitarius, which appears to receive connections from the facial, glossopharyngeal, and vagal nerves. Main and accessory abducent nuclei are evident. A part (the Kappenkern des Facialisknies) of the nucleus funiculi teretis is particularly prominent. The presence of the pyramidal decussation during the embryonic period is noted for the first time. The arrangement of nuclei and tracts at 8 weeks is shown to be closely similar to that present in the newborn, and it is likely that the rapid growth of the rhombencephalon during the embryonic period proper is associated with correspondingly early functional activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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