open access

Vol 77, No 1 (2018)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2017-06-20
Submitted: 2017-01-06
Accepted: 2017-06-12
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Foetal development of the human gluteus maximus muscle with special reference to its fascial insertion

Y. Shiraishi, Z. W. Jin, K. Mitomo, M. Yamamoto, G. Murakami, H. Abe, J. Wilting, S. Abe
DOI: 10.5603/FM.a2017.0060
·
Pubmed: 28653302
·
Folia Morphol 2018;77(1):144-150.

open access

Vol 77, No 1 (2018)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2017-06-20
Submitted: 2017-01-06
Accepted: 2017-06-12

Abstract

The human gluteus maximus muscle (GMX) is characterised by its insertion to the iliotibial tract (a lateral thick fascia of the thigh beneath the fascia lata), which plays a critical role in lateral stabilisation of the hip joint during walking. In contrast, in non-human primates, the GMX and biceps femoris muscle provide a flexor complex. According to our observations of 15 human embryos and 11 foetuses at 7–10 weeks of gestation (21–55 mm), the GMX anlage was divided into 1) a superior part that developed earlier and 2) a small inferior part that developed later. The latter was adjacent to, or even continuous with, the biceps femoris. At 8 weeks, both parts inserted into the femur, possibly the future gluteal tuberosity. However, depending on traction by the developing inferior part as well as pressure from the developing major trochanter of the femur, most of the original femoral insertion of the GMX appeared to be detached from the femur. Therefore, at 9–10 weeks, the GMX had a digastric muscle-like appearance with an intermediate band connecting the major superior part to the small inferior mass. This band, most likely corresponding to the initial iliotibial tract, extended laterally and distally far from the muscle fibres. The fascia lata was still thin and the tensor fasciae latae seemed to develop much later. It seems likely that the evolutionary transition from quadripedality to bipedality and a permanently upright posture would require the development of a new GMX complex with the iliotibial tract that differs from that in non-human primates. (Folia Morphol 2018; 77, 1: 144–150)

Abstract

The human gluteus maximus muscle (GMX) is characterised by its insertion to the iliotibial tract (a lateral thick fascia of the thigh beneath the fascia lata), which plays a critical role in lateral stabilisation of the hip joint during walking. In contrast, in non-human primates, the GMX and biceps femoris muscle provide a flexor complex. According to our observations of 15 human embryos and 11 foetuses at 7–10 weeks of gestation (21–55 mm), the GMX anlage was divided into 1) a superior part that developed earlier and 2) a small inferior part that developed later. The latter was adjacent to, or even continuous with, the biceps femoris. At 8 weeks, both parts inserted into the femur, possibly the future gluteal tuberosity. However, depending on traction by the developing inferior part as well as pressure from the developing major trochanter of the femur, most of the original femoral insertion of the GMX appeared to be detached from the femur. Therefore, at 9–10 weeks, the GMX had a digastric muscle-like appearance with an intermediate band connecting the major superior part to the small inferior mass. This band, most likely corresponding to the initial iliotibial tract, extended laterally and distally far from the muscle fibres. The fascia lata was still thin and the tensor fasciae latae seemed to develop much later. It seems likely that the evolutionary transition from quadripedality to bipedality and a permanently upright posture would require the development of a new GMX complex with the iliotibial tract that differs from that in non-human primates. (Folia Morphol 2018; 77, 1: 144–150)

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Keywords

gluteus maximus muscle, iliotibial tract, fascia lata, bipedal gait, human embryo and foetus

About this article
Title

Foetal development of the human gluteus maximus muscle with special reference to its fascial insertion

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 77, No 1 (2018)

Pages

144-150

Published online

2017-06-20

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2017.0060

Pubmed

28653302

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2018;77(1):144-150.

Keywords

gluteus maximus muscle
iliotibial tract
fascia lata
bipedal gait
human embryo and foetus

Authors

Y. Shiraishi
Z. W. Jin
K. Mitomo
M. Yamamoto
G. Murakami
H. Abe
J. Wilting
S. Abe

References (12)
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