Somite formation: where left meets right

Curr Biol. 2005 Jun 21;15(12):R468-70. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.06.013.


Somites are the bilaterally symmetric embryonic precursors of the vertebrate skeleton and axial muscle. Three recent studies reveal that somites form asymmetrically in the absence of retinoic acid signaling. These results uncover an unexpected relationship between somitogenesis and left-right patterning, and suggest that bilateral somite formation is regulated along the left-right axis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Mesoderm
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Somites / physiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Tretinoin / metabolism*


  • Tretinoin
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors