Objective: The development of the secondary palate of Twirler (Tw) mice was characterized, and a quantitative coronal plane evaluation of the width and length of the craniofacial regions of homozygous mutant embryos was conducted.
Results and conclusions: The secondary palatal shelves were retarded in growth and the timing of elevation from a vertical to horizontal position. The homozygous Tw embryos, when compared with their wild-type littermates, also had a significantly wider midface. It is not surprising, therefore, that the short palatal shelves in a wide midface resulted in cleftings of the secondary palate observed in all homozygous Tw mice. These findings are consistent with similar studies in humans and other murine models.