Inductive events in the development of the sclerotome and their possible underlying mechanisms were reviewed from the primary literature. A brief review of morphological and anatomical aspects of sclerotome development was given. The importance of the notochord and neural tube in sclerotome induction and somite chondrogenesis in vivo and in vitro was established. The functions and patterns of expression of different sclerotome markers were discussed. Shh and Noggin were discussed as two molecules produced by the neural tube and notochord that appear to maintain and initiate the sclerotome, respectively. While the abilities of the axial organs and Shh and Noggin to induce sclerotome marker expression in the somite was not disputed, the exact nature of these inductions was discussed with regard to possible effects on gene expression, effects on cell survival, and physical effects on the cells and it was argued that the fundamental nature of inductive events in the sclerotome is still unknown.