Anatomy and Embryology

, Volume 182, Issue 4, pp 401–408 | Cite as

The effects of surgical section of the embryonic chick mandibular arch

  • R. R. J. Cousley
  • D. J. Wilson


The embryonic chick mandibular arch was surgically sectioned in ovo on day 7 of incubation and the subsequent wound healing of the arch, together with the response of Meckel’s cartilage to fracture, was examined. The repair process observed (in contrast to that in adults) was characterised by minimal haematoma formation or cell death and the absence of formation of either cellular blastema or fracture callus. Re-epithelisation was complete within 48 h with no scar tissue formed. Continuity of Meckel’s cartilage, together with restoration of its histological appearance and that of the surrounding soft tissues, was re-established within 24 h in 88% of cases. In the case of the cartilage this was due to fusion of the matrix followed apparently by chondrocytic and perichondrial proliferation. This differs from the repair of embryonic long bone cartilages. In 12% of cases, however, mal-union or non-union of the cartilage resulted in mandibular arch deviation. This observation suggests that mandibular arch growth and morphogenesis may parallel the development of Meckel’s cartilage. Where cartilaginous non-union occurred, some irregularities in the pattern of the developing mandibular bones were evident, and it is argued that deformity in the cartilage may ultimately affect the length and shape of the adult mandible.

Key words

Meckel’s cartilage Wound healing Dysmorphogenesis Mandible Chick 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. R. J. Cousley
    • 1
  • D. J. Wilson
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Biomedical Science/AnatomyThe Queen’s University of Belfast, The Medical Biology CentreBelfastNorthern Ireland
  2. 2.School of Clinical Dentistry/Dental SurgeryThe Queen’s University of Belfast, The Medical Biology CentreBelfastNorthern Ireland

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