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Ectomesenchyme has properties similar to mesenchyme. The origin of the ectomesenchyme is disputed. It is either like the mesenchyme, arising from mesodermic cells, or conversely arising from neural crest cells[1] The neural crest is a critical group of cells that form in the cranial region during early vertebrate development. Ectomesenchyme plays a critical role in the formation of the hard and soft tissues of the head and neck such as bones, muscles, teeth, and, notably, the pharyngeal arches.

Latinectomesenchyma; mesenchyma cristae neuralis
Anatomical terminology


  1. ^ Weston JA, Yoshida H, Robinson V, Nishikawa S, Fraser ST, Nishikawa S (2004). "Neural crest and the origin of ectomesenchyme: neural fold heterogeneity suggests an alternative hypothesis". Dev. Dyn. 229 (1): 118–30. doi:10.1002/dvdy.10478. PMID 14699583.