open access

Vol 71, No 3 (2012)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2012-08-31
Submitted: 2012-04-27
Accepted: 2012-06-19
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Development of the deep flexor tendons and lumbricalis muscle in the hand and foot: a histological study using human mid-term fetuses

K H. Cho, J.H. Kim, Y.S. Ha, G. Murakami, B.H. Cho, S. Abe
Folia Morphol 2012;71(3):154-163.

open access

Vol 71, No 3 (2012)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2012-08-31
Submitted: 2012-04-27
Accepted: 2012-06-19

Abstract

To revisit fetal development of the deep flexor tendons of the hand and foot, we examined the paraffin-embedded histology of 20 mid-term fetuses at 8-15 weeks of estimated gestational age (35-118 mm crown-rump length or CRL). At 8-9 weeks, in front of the metacarpal bones, the flexor pollicis longus and flexor digitorum profundus muscles provided a plate-like, common tendon from which the lumbricalis muscles originated. However, in the foot, we had no evidence of such a common tendon. The flexor pollicis tendon was separated from the common tendon at 9-10 weeks possibly due to a mechanical stress from the laterally growing thumb. Notably, at the lumbricalis muscle origins at 10-12 weeks, the flexor digitorum profundus and flexor digitorum longus tendons remained undifferentiated and the primitive tenocytes were dispersed from them. The dispersed cells seemed to develop into an interface tissue between the lumbricalis muscle fiber and the deep tendon. In 3 of 5 specimens at 15 weeks, we found excess number of the flexor digitorum profundus tendons (5-7) in the proximal side of the lumbricalis muscle origin. However, the excess tendons dispersed in the lumbricalis muscle origin. The development of the lumbricalis muscle origin might follow the tendon splitting for 4 fingers. However, conversely, we hypothesized that the developing lumbricalis muscles re-arranged the deep flexor tendons to provide a configuration of “one deep tendon per one finger (or toe)”. The quadrates plantae muscle seemed not to contribute on the re-arrangement.

Abstract

To revisit fetal development of the deep flexor tendons of the hand and foot, we examined the paraffin-embedded histology of 20 mid-term fetuses at 8-15 weeks of estimated gestational age (35-118 mm crown-rump length or CRL). At 8-9 weeks, in front of the metacarpal bones, the flexor pollicis longus and flexor digitorum profundus muscles provided a plate-like, common tendon from which the lumbricalis muscles originated. However, in the foot, we had no evidence of such a common tendon. The flexor pollicis tendon was separated from the common tendon at 9-10 weeks possibly due to a mechanical stress from the laterally growing thumb. Notably, at the lumbricalis muscle origins at 10-12 weeks, the flexor digitorum profundus and flexor digitorum longus tendons remained undifferentiated and the primitive tenocytes were dispersed from them. The dispersed cells seemed to develop into an interface tissue between the lumbricalis muscle fiber and the deep tendon. In 3 of 5 specimens at 15 weeks, we found excess number of the flexor digitorum profundus tendons (5-7) in the proximal side of the lumbricalis muscle origin. However, the excess tendons dispersed in the lumbricalis muscle origin. The development of the lumbricalis muscle origin might follow the tendon splitting for 4 fingers. However, conversely, we hypothesized that the developing lumbricalis muscles re-arranged the deep flexor tendons to provide a configuration of “one deep tendon per one finger (or toe)”. The quadrates plantae muscle seemed not to contribute on the re-arrangement.

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About this article
Title

Development of the deep flexor tendons and lumbricalis muscle in the hand and foot: a histological study using human mid-term fetuses

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 71, No 3 (2012)

Pages

154-163

Published online

2012-08-31

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2012;71(3):154-163.

Authors

K H. Cho
J.H. Kim
Y.S. Ha
G. Murakami
B.H. Cho
S. Abe

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