There is now no doubt about the existence of cell death foci in the normal development of the chick embryo heart. The question is then, what is the value of these observations for mammalian and especially human embryos ? Initial comparisons of the occurrence of cell death foci by Glücksmann (1951) have shown that these can be found in different vertebrate species. The research report by Menkes, Deleanu and lilies (1965) has shown that at least in the cases of the branchial region, limb interdigital territories, retina and lens vesicle, physiological cell death occurs in chick, duck, mouse, rat, rabbit and human embryos. Whitten’s (1969) study goes even further and finds an analogy between the physiological cell death topography in the limb imaginal disc cells of the flash fly Sarcophaga bullata and the topography of spontaneous cell death which sculpts the limbs of vertebrate embryos (Saunders, Gasseling and Saunders, 1962).


Human Embryo Scale Marker Embryo Heart Spontaneous Cell Death Lens Vesicle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas Pexieder
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut d’Histologie et d’Embryologie, Faculté de MédecineUniversité de LausanneLausanneSuisse/Switzerland

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