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Fetal cervical zygapophysial joint with special reference to the associated synovial tissue: a histological study using near-term human fetuses

Anatomy & Cell Biology 2021년 54권 1호 p.65 ~ 73
Kitamura Kei, Hayashi Shogo, Jin Zhe Wu, Yamamoto Masahito, Murakami Gen, Rodriguez-Vazquez Jose Francisco, Yamamoto Hitoshi,
소속 상세정보
 ( Kitamura Kei ) - Tokyo Dental College Department of Histology and Embryology
 ( Hayashi Shogo ) - Tokai University School of Medicine Department of Anatomy
 ( Jin Zhe Wu ) - Jiangnan University Wuxi School of Medicine Department of Anatomy
 ( Yamamoto Masahito ) - Tokyo Dental College Department of Anatomy
 ( Murakami Gen ) - Jikoukai Clinic for Home Visit Division of Internal Medicine
 ( Rodriguez-Vazquez Jose Francisco ) - Complutense University School of Medicine Department of Anatomy and Embryology
 ( Yamamoto Hitoshi ) - Tokyo Dental College Department of Histology and Embryology

Abstract


Human fetal cervical vertebrae are characterized by the large zygapophysial joint (ZJ) extending posteriorly. During our recent studies on regional differences in the shape, extent, and surrounding tissue of the fetal ZJ, we incidentally found a cervical-specific structure of synovial tissues. This study aimed to provide a detailed evaluation of the synovial structure using sagittal and horizontal sections of 20 near-term fetuses. The cervical ZJ consistently had a large cavity with multiple recesses at the margins and, especially at the anterior end, the recess interdigitated with or were located close to tree-like tributaries of the veins of the external vertebral plexus. In contrast to the flat and thin synovial cell lining of the recess, the venous tributary had cuboidal endothelial cells. No or few elastic fibers were identified around the ZJ. The venous-synovial complex seems to be a transient morphology at and around birth, and it may play a role in the stabilization of the growing cervical ZJ against frequent spontaneous dislocation reported radiologically in infants. The venous-synovial complex in the cervical region should be lost and replaced by elastic fibers in childhood or adolescence. However, the delayed development of the ligament flavum is also likely to occur in the lumbar ZJ in spite of no evidence of a transient venous-synovial structure. The cuboidal venous endothelium may simply represent the high proliferation rate for the growing complex.

키워드

Zygapophysial joint; Ligament; Neck; Human; Fetus

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