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.

Most of the skeletal musculature supplied by the cranial nerves (special visceral efferent) is branchiomeric. Exceptions include, but are not limited to, the extraocular muscles and some of the muscles of the tongue. These exceptions receive general somatic efferent innervation.

Branchiomeric muscles from each branchial arch[edit]

First arch[edit]

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

Second arch[edit]

All of the branchiomeric muscles of the second branchial 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[edit]

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

Fourth & Sixth arches[edit]

All the branchial muscles of the fourth and sixth arches 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[edit]