The meninges in human development

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1986 Sep;45(5):588-608.


The brain and cranial meninges were studied in 61 serially sectioned embryos of stages 8-23. Much earlier stages than those examined by previous authors provided a more comprehensive view of meningeal development. As a result, the possible and probable sources of the cranial and spinal meninges are believed to be: (a) prechordal plate, (b) unsegmented paraxial (parachordal) mesoderm, (c) segmented paraxial (somitic) mesoderm, (d) mesectoderm (neural crest), (e) neurilemmal cells (neural crest), and (f) neural tube. Some of these sources (a, b, d) pertain to the cranial meninges, others (c, d, e) to the spinal coverings. The first of the future dural processes to develop is the tentorium cerebelli, which, at the end of the embryonic period proper, differs considerably in shape and composition from the later fetal and postnatal tentorium. The embryonic dural limiting layer (Duragrenzschicht) probably corresponds to the interface layer of the adult meninges. The appropriate literature was reviewed and summarized.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arachnoid / embryology
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / embryology
  • Dura Mater / embryology
  • Ectoderm / physiology
  • Humans
  • Meninges / embryology*
  • Mesoderm / physiology
  • Neural Crest / physiology
  • Pia Mater / embryology
  • Subarachnoid Space / embryology