Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 194, Issue 4, pp 327–339 | Cite as

Participation of individual brachial somites in skeletal muscles of the avian distal wing

  • Qixia Zhi
  • Ruijin Huang
  • Bodo Christ
  • Beate Brand-Saberi
Original Articles


In this paper we investigate the somitic origin of the individual muscles of the forearm and hand using quail-chick chimeras. Our results show that only somites 16–21 give rise to wing muscle, but they take part in muscle formation to different extents. Somite 21 does not always participate in the formation of muscle of the forearm and hand. The most cranial somite (16) takes part in the radial muscles and the most caudal somites (20, 21) in the ulnar muscles, reflecting their position with respect to the limb bud. The centrally located somites (17, 18, 19) are involved in all (18) or most (17, 19) muscle primordia. This pattern of distribution is clearest in the forearm, whereas the participation of somites in particular muscle groups is not so distinct in the hand. Hand muscles are mainly made up of cells from somites 18–20. All brachial somites participate in dorsal (extensor) as well as ventral (flexor) muscles of the forearm and hand. Each somite takes part in more than three muscle primordia in a reproducible fashion, and every muscle primordium is derived from at least three somites. Especially the M. ulnimetacarpalis ventralis takes origin from all somites involved in limb muscle formation (16–21). Apart from muscle cells, endothelial cells also and a few fibroblasts of quail origin are found in the limb bud after somite grafting.

Key words

Somite Myogenesis Cell migration Chick embryo 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qixia Zhi
    • 1
  • Ruijin Huang
    • 1
  • Bodo Christ
    • 1
  • Beate Brand-Saberi
    • 1
  1. 1.Anatomisches Institut der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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