Branchiomeric musculature

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Branchiomeric muscles are striated muscles of the head and neck. Unlike skeletal muscles that developmentally come from somites, branchiomeric muscles are developmentally formed from the branchial arches.

Branchiomeric muscles from each branchial arch

First arch

All of the branchiomeric muscles that come from the first branchial arch are innervated by the trigeminal nerve. These muscles inclulde all the muscles of mastication, the anterior belly of the digastric, the mylohyoid, tensor tympani, and tensor veli palatini.

Second arch

All of the branchiomeric muscles of the second brachial arch are innervated by the facial nerve. These muscles include the muscles of facial expression, the posterior belly of the digastric, stylohyoid muscle, and the stapedius muscle of the middle ear.

Third arch

There is only one muscle of third brancial arch, the stylopharyngeus. The stylopharyngeus and other structures from the third brachial arch are all innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve.

Fourth arch

All the brachial muscles of the fourth arch are innervated by the vagus nerve. These muscles include all the muscles of the palate (exception of the tensor veli palatini which is innervated by the trigeminal nerve), all the muscles of the pharynx (except stylopharyngeus which is innervated by the glossopharyngeal nerve, and all the muscles of the larynx.

See also


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