Branchial pouch

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Branchial pouch
Pattern of the branchial arches. I-IV branchial arches, 1-4 branchial pouches (inside) and/or pharyngeal grooves (outside)
a Tuberculum laterale
b Tuberculum impar
c Foramen cecum
d Ductus thyreoglossus
e Sinus cervicalis
Floor of pharynx of human embryo about twenty-six days old.
Gray's subject #13 65
Carnegie stage 10
Dorlands/Elsevier p_31/12662655

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In the development of vertebrate animals, Pharyngeal or branchial pouches form on the endodermal side between the branchial arches, and pharyngeal grooves (or clefts) form from the lateral ectodermal surface of the neck region to separate the arches. The pouches line up with the clefts, and these thin segments become gills in fish.

The pouches

First pouch

This is the only pouch in which the endoderm and ectoderm remain close together, as the tympanic membrane. There is minimal mesoderm in the tympanic membrane.

Second pouch

Third pouch

  • The third pouch possesses Dorsal and Ventral wings. Derivatives of Dorsal include the inferior parathyroid glands, while the ventral wings fuse to form the cytoreticular cells of the thymus. The main nerve supply to the derivatives of this pouch is Cranial Nerve IX, glossopharyngeal nerve.

Fourth pouch

Fifth pouch

  • Rudimentary structure, becomes part of the fourth pouch contributing to thyroid C-cells.

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