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Abstract

The manner and timing of neural fold fusion in primary neurulation were studied in 1,575 normal ICR mouse embryos by using binocular dissecting, light, and scanning electron microscopy.

The initial fusion of apposing neural folds occurred at the level of the intermediate point between the third and fourth somites (i.e., in the caudal myelencephalon) and proceeded both rostrally and caudally. A second fusion occurred at what was originally the rostral end of the neural plate and proceeded rostrodorsally. A third fusion occurred in the caudal diencephalon and proceeded both rostrally and caudally. This was followed by complete closure of the telencephalic neuropore at the midpoint of the telencephalic roof and then complete closure of the metencephalic neuropore at the rostral part of the metencephalic roof. A fourth fusion occurred at what was originally the caudal end of the neural plate and proceeded rostrally. Finally, the caudal neuropore completely closed at the level of the caudal end of the future 33rd somite.