Procerus is a small, triangular muscle of the head that occupies the glabella, which is the region located between the eyebrows. It belongs to the nasal group of facial muscles, together with nasalis, levator nasolabialis and depressor septi nasi.
Procerus is derived from the second pharyngeal arch and is innervated by the facial nerve (CN VII), similar to the rest of the facial muscles. When contracting, the procerus muscle depresses the medial parts of the eyebrows and wrinkles the skin between them. This action enables frowning, making procerus an important contributor to the expansive array of human facial expressions.
|Origin||Nasal bone, (superior part of) lateral nasal cartilage|
|Insertion||Skin of glabella, fibers of frontal belly of occipitofrontalis muscle|
|Action||Depresses medial end of eyebrow, wrinkles skin of glabella|
|Innervation||Temporal, lower zygomatic or buccal branches of facial nerve (CN VII)|
|Blood supply||Angular and lateral nasal branches of facial artery|
This article will discuss the anatomy and function of the procerus muscle.
Origin and insertion
Procerus muscle originates from the nasal bone and superior part of the lateral nasal cartilage. Its muscle fibers diverge superiorly, mostly inserting into the dermis of skin over the glabella. A small portion of muscle fibers indistinguishably blend with the lower part of the frontal belly of occipitofrontalis muscle.
Procerus is located in the midline of the face, deep to the skin that covers the root of the nose and glabella. It covers the nasal bone and the upper part of the lateral nasal cartilage. Laterally to the lower part of the muscle is the levator nasolabialis muscle, while inferiorly it blends with nasalis.
Corrugator supercilii attaches laterally to the superior portion of procerus. Inserting fibers of procerus partially cover the supratrochlear nerve and vessels as they pass from the orbit to the forehead. This muscle also overlies some superficial fibers of the buccal branches of facial nerve.
Innervation to procerus comes from the temporal, lower zygomatic or buccal branches of facial nerve (CN VII).
Procerus muscle is supplied by the angular and lateral nasal branches of facial artery.
Procerus muscle depresses the medial end of eyebrows and wrinkles the glabellar skin. This produces the characteristic frowning expression shown by an individual upon exposure to strong and bright light, while focusing or when experiencing emotional distress.
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Activation of procerus during life eventually leaves permanent wrinkles on the glabellar skin. For this reason, injecting botulinum toxin (Botox) into the procerus muscle is one common anti-aging technique.