Formation and Differentiation of the Avian Dermomyotome

Anat Embryol (Berl). 2004 Sep;208(6):411-24. doi: 10.1007/s00429-004-0417-y. Epub 2004 Aug 28.


During somite maturation, the ventral half of the epithelial somite disintegrates into the mesenchymal sclerotome, whereas the dorsal half forms a transitory epithelial sheet, the dermomyotome, lying in between the sclerotome and the surface ectoderm. The dermomyotome is the source of most of the mesodermal tissues in the body, giving rise to cell types as different as muscle, connective tissue, endothelium, and cartilage. Thus, the dermomyotome is the most important turntable of mesodermal cell fate choice in the vertebrate embryo. Here, we discuss the current knowledge on the formation of the dermomyotome and the mechanisms leading to the development of the various dermomyotomal derivatives, with special emphasis on the development of musculature and dermis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chick Embryo / cytology*
  • Dermis / cytology
  • Dermis / embryology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / cytology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / embryology*
  • Somites / cytology*