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The Development of Organ Systems

  • D. J. Begley
  • J. A. Firth
  • J. R. S. Hoult
Chapter

Abstract

In chapter 8 we examined the origins of the cell communities which give rise to the definitive organ systems. We must now consider some features of the processes by which these organ rudiments acquire the characteristics of the definitive organs. This process of organogenesis continues throughout development both before and after birth. However, many of its most striking features are seen in the third and fourth months of intrauterine development. The changes occurring in this period are complex and poorly understoood; with few exceptions our knowledge is largely descriptive and there is little insight into the mechanisms responsible. None the less the importance of this-phase is enormous because during organogenesis the embryo is most vulnerable to infective and chemical agents capable of producing malformations (teratogens) as described in chapter 10. It is evident that any detailed understanding of teratogen action must await insights into the mechanisms of normal organogenesis.

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Further reading

  1. Balinsky, B. I. (1965). An Introduction to Embryology, Saunders, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  2. Barr, M. L. (1974). The Human Nervous System: An Anatomical Viewpoint, Harper and Row, Hagerstown, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  3. Beck, F., Moffat, D. B. and Lloyd, J. B. (1973). Human Embryology and Genetics, Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  4. Fitzgerald, M. J. T. (1978). Human Embryology, Harper and Row, Hagerstown, MarylandGoogle Scholar
  5. Garrod, D. R. (1973). Cellular Development, Chapman and Hall, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hamilton, W. J., Boyd, J. D. and Mossman, H. W. (1962). Human Embryology, Heffer, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Langman, J. (1969). Medical Embryology, Williams and Wilkins, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. J. Begley, J. A. Firth and J. R. S. Hoult 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Begley
    • 1
  • J. A. Firth
    • 2
  • J. R. S. Hoult
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s CollegeLondonUK
  2. 2.St George’s Hospital Medical SchoolLondonUK

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