Coherent development of dermomyotome and dermis from the entire mediolateral extent of the dorsal somite

Raz Ben-Yair, Nitza Kahane, Chaya Kalcheim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We have previously shown that overall growth of the myotome in the mediolateral direction occurs in a coherent and uniform pattern. We asked whether development of the dermomyotome and resultant dermis follow a similar pattern or are, alternatively, controlled by restricted pools of stem cells driving directional growth. To this end, we studied cellular events that govern dermomyotome development and the regional origin of dermis. Measurements of cell proliferation, nuclear density and cellular rearrangements revealed that the developing dermomyotome can be subdivided in the transverse plane into three distinct and dynamic regions: medial, central and lateral, rather than simply into epaxial and hypaxial domains. To understand how these temporally and spatially restricted changes affect overall dermomyotome growth, lineage tracing with CM-DiI was performed. A proportional pattern of growth was measured along the entire epithelium, suggesting that mediolateral growth of the dermomyotome is coherent. Hence, they contrast with a stem cell view suggesting focal and inversely oriented sources of growth restricted to the medial and lateral edges. Consistent with this uniform mediolateral growth, lineage tracing experiments showed that the dermomyotome-derived dermis originates from progenitors that reside along the medial as well as the lateral halves of somites, and whose contribution to dermis is regionally restricted. Taken together, our results support the view that all derivatives of the dorsal somite (dermomyotome, myotome and dermis) keep a direct topographical relationship with their epithelial ascendants.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4325-4336
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2003


  • Avian embryo
  • Cell delamination
  • Dermis
  • Dermomyotome
  • Desmin
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal conversion
  • Myotome
  • Somite


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