Development of thecentral nervous system

Development of the central nervous systemNeurulation, vesiculation, neural crest cell migration
~ 4 min

In this note, we are going to discuss the embryological development of the central nervous system.

Germ layers

We know that the embryo has three germ layers: ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm, each of which then gives rise to certain tissues.

The nervous tissue develops from the ectoderm, the outer layer of the embryo.

Neurulation

At first, there is a neural plate,

Neural plate
Neural plate

which then gets longer and gradually deepens. At some stage, it has the form of two neural folds, with a neural groove between them.

Neural groove
Neural groove
Neural groove
Neural groove

Eventually, the neural groove completely fuses into the neural tube,

Neural tube
Neural tube

in the center of which is located the neural canal.

Neural canal
Neural canal

And the cells of the neural folds form a so-called neural crest above the tube and on either side of it.

Neural crest
Neural crest

All these structures are sometimes referred to as “neuroectoderm”. The whole process of their development is called neurulation, and it is completed by the 4th week of embryonic development.

Brain vesicles (1° and 2°)

And then the most interesting and, perhaps, the most important process begins. From the cranial end, the neural tube begins to dilate, and it dilates in the form of the three primary brain vesicles. These vesicles are called:

  • Rhombencephalon (or hindbrain)
Rhombencephalon
Rhombencephalon
  • Mesencephalon (or midbrain)
Mesencephalon
Mesencephalon
  • Prosencephalon (or forebrain)
Prosencephalon
Prosencephalon

Then the three primary brain vesicles give rise to five secondary brain vesicles:

  • Myelencephalon
Myelencephalon
Myelencephalon
  • Metencephalon
Metencephalon
Metencephalon
  • Mesencephalon
Mesencephalon
Mesencephalon
  • Diencephalon
Diencephalon
Diencephalon
  • Telencephalon
Telencephalon
Telencephalon

As you can see, each secondary brain vesicle eventually gives rise to a specific division of the brain, each of which has its own cavity or ventricle.

Well, and the caudal end of the neural tube lengthens and narrows to form the spinal cord. And, finally, the cells of the neural crest give rise to the structures of the peripheral nervous system.

Spinal cord
Spinal cord
Golosary

Development of thecentral nervous system

neural plate
lamina neuralis
neural groove
sulcus neuralis
neural fold
plica neuralis
neural tube
tubus neuralis
neural canal
canalis neuralis
neural crest
crista neuralis
rhombencephalon
rhombencephalon
mesencephalon
mesencephalon
prosencephalon
prosencephalon
telencephalon
telencephalon
diencephalon
diencephalon
metencephalon
metencephalon
myelencephalon
myelencephalon
cerebral hemispheres
hemispheria cerebri
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