BGDB Gastrointestinal - Activity 3

From Embryology
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Practical 1: Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3 | Activity 4


Learning Activity 3

  1. Describe the development of the associated organs; liver, pancreas and spleen.
  2. Identify the functions of these organs in the fetus.

1. Associated Organs

Liver

Zorn2008 fig01.jpg
Human Embryonic Liver Development
Week
Carnegie Stage
Feature
Week 4

Carnegie stage 11
hepatic diverticulum development (ductal plate)
Carnegie stage 12
cell differentiation

septum transversum forming liver stroma

hepatic diverticulum forming hepatic trabeculae

Carnegie stage 13
epithelial cord proliferation enmeshing stromal capillaries
Week 5
Carnegie stage 14
hepatic gland and its vascular channels enlarge

hematopoietic function appeared

Week 7
Carnegie stage 18
obturation due to epithelial proliferation

bile ducts became reorganized (continuity between liver cells and gut)

Week 7 to 8
Carnegie stage 18 to Carnegie stage 23
biliary ductules developed in periportal connective tissue

produces ductal plates that receive biliary capillaries

Human data[1], see also liver development in the rat embryonic period (Carnegie stages 15-23).[2] (More? Detailed Timeline | Timeline human development)


Virtual Slide Features - Stage 22 Liver
Stage 22 image 034.jpg Virtual Slide - Stage 22 Liver and Ductus Venosus      All Virtual Slides

The links shown in the table below are to specific features shown on the Human embryo (stage 22) Liver and Ductus Venosus virtual slide. See also notes on Liver Development

Clicking the text will open the slide at a detailed view with the structure generally located in the centre of the view. The slide then can also be zoomed out from the set magnification using the controls in the upper left or the mouse.

Use your browser back button to return to this table.

You can also make your own selected feature view.
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  2. Click the Permalink (lower righthand corner).
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See also Permalink help

Cardiovascular Liver Endocrine Musculoskeletal Neural Gastrointestinal

stomach (pylorus)


Stage 22 image 131.jpg E3 Overview of liver region for selected high power views shown below. Note the position and size of the developing liver spanning the entire abdomen and within the liver the large central ductus venosus.
Stage 22 image 181.jpg E4 Central veins of liver. Radiating appearance of hepatic sinusoids. unlabeled version
Stage 22 image 182.jpg E5 Central vein with endothelial lining, containing nucleated erythrocytes, fetal red blood cells. The fetal liver has an important haemopoietic role. unlabeled version


Liver structure cartoon.jpg
  • Hepatic Buds - form hepatocytes, produce bile from week 13 (forms meconium of newborn)
  • Vitelline Veins - form sinusoids
  • Mesenchyme - form connective tissue and Kupffer cells

Liver animated cartoon.gif

The Adult Liver Lobule

Pancreas

At the foregut/midgut junction level (septum transversum) endoderm out pocketing produces 2 pancreatic buds (dorsal and ventral) that with rotation at the level of the duodenum will fuse to form the single pancreas. The dorsal bud arises first and generates most of the pancreas. The ventral bud arises beside the bile duct and forms only part of the head and uncinate process of the pancreas.

Exocrine Function - Pancreatic amylase digests starch to maltose. Postnatally, a blood test to detect amylase can be used to diagnose and monitor acute or chronic pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation).

Pancreatic Duct

Pancreatic duct developing.jpg Mouse-pancreas duct formation.jpg

The initial formation of the pancreas as two separate lobes each with their own duct that fuses leads a range of anatomical variations in the adult exocrine pancreatic duct. Pancreatic duct five variation classification: common, ansa pancreatica, branch fusion, looped, and separated. Accessory pancreatic duct (APD, of Santorini) in the embryo is the main drainage duct of the dorsal pancreatic bud emptying into the minor duodenal papilla. In the adult it has been further classified as either long-type (joins main pancreatic duct at pancreas neck portion) and short-type (joins main pancreatic duct near first inferior branch).

  • Main Pancreatic Duct (MPD or Wirsung's duct) forms within the dorsal pancreatic bud and is present in the body and tail of the pancreas. Discovered by Johann Georg Wirsung (1589 - 1643) a German physician who worked as a prosector in Padua.
  • Accessory Pancreatic Duct (APD or Santorini’s duct) is present mainly in the head of the pancreas. Originally dissected and delineated by Giovanni Domenico Santorini (1681 - 1737) an Italian anatomist.
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a medical procedure which allows an injected dye to display the duct system on an x ray (pancreatograms).

Stage22 pancreas a.jpg

Human (week 8, Stage 22) pancreas

  • Functions - exocrine (amylase, alpha-fetoprotein) and endocrine (pancreatic islets)
  • Pancreatic buds - endoderm, covered in splanchnic mesoderm
  • Pancreatic bud formation - duodenal level endoderm, splanchnic mesoderm forms dorsal and ventral mesentery, dorsal bud (larger, first), ventral bud (smaller, later)
  • Duodenum growth/rotation - brings ventral and dorsal buds together, fusion of buds
  • Pancreatic duct - ventral bud duct and distal part of dorsal bud, exocrine function
  • Islet cells - cords of endodermal cells form ducts, which cells bud off to form islets
Human Pancreas Timeline
Carnegie Stage Days Event
10 25-27 distal endoderm foregut
12 29-31 pancreatic duodenal endoderm

extra-hepatic billiard duct

13 30-33 pancreatic bud
19 47 "trunk" progenitor

"tip" progenitor

23 8 weeks + fetal beta cell

ductal cell

fetal 14 weeks acinar cell
  Table data[3]   Links: pancreas | exocrine pancreas | pancreas molecular timeline | timeline



  • Week 7 to 20 - pancreatic hormones secretion increases, small amount maternal insulin
  • Week 10 - glucagon (alpha) differentiate first, somatostatin (delta), insulin (beta) cells differentiate, insulin secretion begins
  • Week 15 - glucagon detectable in fetal plasma

Spleen

The spleen is not a gastrointestinal organ, but it does develop from the late embryonic period within the dorsal mesentery.


This cross-sectional view of the abdomen viewed from above, with dorsal (back) top and ventral (front) bottom of animation.

Later the retroperitoneal position of the developing kidneys is also shown either side of the dorsal (thoracic) aorta.


Legend

  • spleen in mesentery
  • stomach endoderm of gastrointestinal tract
  • liver
  • mesentery


2. Fetal Organ Functions

Now consider that digestion is not a major function of the fetal gastrointestinal system. Then what are the fetal functions of the tract and associated organs?


At birth, the umbilical vein and the ductus venosus collapse; the portal vein becomes the only afferent vein of the liver.


Interactive Component



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Practical 1: Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3 | Activity 4


Additional Information

Additional Information - Content shown under this heading is not part of the material covered in this class. It is provided for those students who would like to know about some concepts or current research in topics related to the current class page.


  • Liver - Haematopoietic Stem Cells
    • Gao X, Xu C, Asada N & Frenette PS. (2018). The hematopoietic stem cell niche: from embryo to adult. Development , 145, . PMID: 29358215 DOI.
    • Ciriza J, Thompson H, Petrosian R, Manilay JO & García-Ojeda ME. (2013). The migration of hematopoietic progenitors from the fetal liver to the fetal bone marrow: lessons learned and possible clinical applications. Exp. Hematol. , 41, 411-23. PMID: 23395775 DOI.
    • Gao S & Liu F. (2018). Fetal liver: an ideal niche for hematopoietic stem cell expansion. Sci China Life Sci , 61, 885-892. PMID: 29934917 DOI.
  • Liver - Endocrine
    • DHEA and DHEAS 16-hydroxylation by the fetal liver, then delivered to placenta, forms estrogen with estriol being the major type produced.
  • Neural development - Harris RBS & Bouret SG. (2017). Development of Hypothalamic Circuits That Control Food Intake and Energy Balance. , , . PMID: 28880512 DOI.
  • Maternal Liver function - Kelly C & Pericleous M. (2018). Pregnancy-associated liver disease: a curriculum-based review. Frontline Gastroenterol , 9, 170-174. PMID: 30046419 DOI.
  • Pancreatic Ducts
    • main duct identified by Wirsung in 1642, opens into the duodenum in common with the bile-duct.
    • accessory duct identified by Santorini in 1775, opening into the duodenum nearer the pylorus.


Gastrointestinal Tract Terms  
  • allantois - An extraembryonic membrane, endoderm in origin extension from the early hindgut, then cloaca into the connecting stalk of placental animals, connected to the superior end of developing bladder. In reptiles and birds, acts as a reservoir for wastes and mediates gas exchange. In mammals is associated/incorporated with connecting stalk/placental cord fetal-maternal interface.
  • amnion - An extra-embryonic membrane, ectoderm and extraembryonic mesoderm in origin, also forms the innermost fetal membrane, that produces amniotic fluid. This fluid-filled sac initially lies above the trilaminar embryonic disc and with embryoic disc folding this sac is drawn ventrally to enclose (cover) the entire embryo, then fetus. The presence of this membrane led to the description of reptiles, bird, and mammals as amniotes.
  • amniotic fluid - The fluid that fills amniotic cavity totally encloses and cushions the embryo. Amniotic fluid enters both the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract following rupture of the buccopharyngeal membrane. The late fetus swallows amniotic fluid.
  • atresia - is an abnormal interruption of the tube lumen, the abnormality naming is based upon the anatomical location.
  • buccal - (Latin, bucca = cheek) A term used to relate to the mouth (oral cavity).
  • bile salts - Liver synthesized compounds derived from cholesterol that function postnatally in the small intestine to solubilize and absorb lipids, vitamins, and proteins. These compounds act as water-soluble amphipathic detergents. liver
  • buccopharyngeal membrane - (oral membrane) (Latin, bucca = cheek) A membrane which forms the external upper membrane limit (cranial end) of the early gastrointestinal tract. This membrane develops during gastrulation by ectoderm and endoderm without a middle (intervening) layer of mesoderm. The membrane lies at the floor of the ventral depression (stomodeum) where the oral cavity will open and will breakdown to form the initial "oral opening" of the gastrointestinal tract. The equivilent membrane at the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract is the cloacal membrane.
  • celiac artery - (celiac trunk) main blood supply to the foregut, excluding the pharynx, lower respiratory tract, and most of the oesophagus.
  • cholangiocytes - epithelial cells that line the intra- and extrahepatic ducts of the biliary tree. These cells modify the hepatocyte-derived bile, and are regulated by hormones, peptides, nucleotides, neurotransmitters, and other molecules. liver
  • cloaca" - (cloacal cavity) The term describing the common cavity into which the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts open in vertebrates. Located at the caudal end of the embryo it is located on the surface by the cloacal membrane. In many species this common cavity is later divided into a ventral urogenital region (urogenital sinus) and a dorsal gastrointestinal (rectal) region.
  • cloacal membrane - Forms the external lower membrane limit (caudal end) of the early gastrointestinal tract (GIT). This membrane is formed during gastrulation by ectoderm and endoderm without a middle (intervening) layer of mesoderm. The membrane breaks down to form the initial "anal opening" of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • coelomic cavity - (coelom) Term used to describe a space. There are extra-embryonic and intra-embryonic coeloms that form during vertebrate development. The single intra-embryonic coelom forms the 3 major body cavities: pleural cavity, pericardial cavity and peritoneal cavity.
  • crypt of Lieberkühn - (intestinal gland, intestinal crypt) intestinal villi epithelia extend down into the lamina propria where they form crypts that are the source of epithelial stem cells and immune function.
  • duplication - is an abnormal incomplete tube recanalization resulting in parallel lumens, this is really a specialized form of stenosis. (More? Image - small intestine duplication)
  • esophageal - (oesophageal)
  • foregut - first embryonic division of gastrointestinal tract extending from the oral (buccopharyngeal) membrane and contributing oesophagus, stomach, duodenum (to bile duct opening), liver, biliary apparatus (hepatic ducts, gallbladder, and bile duct), and pancreas. The forgut blood supply is the celiac artery (trunk) excluding the pharynx, lower respiratory tract, and most of the oesophagus.
  • galactosemia - Metabolic abnormality where the simple sugar galactose (half of lactose, the sugar in milk) cannot be metabolised. People with galactosemia cannot tolerate any form of milk (human or animal). Detected by the Guthrie test.
  • gastric transposition - clinical term for postnatal surgery treatment for esophageal atresia involving esophageal replacement. Typically performed on neonates between day 1 to 4. (More? gastrointestinal abnormalities | PMID 28658159
  • gastrointestinal divisions - refers to the 3 embryonic divisions contributing the gastrointestinal tract: foregut, Midgut and hindgut.
  • gastrula - (Greek, gastrula = little stomach) A stage of an animal embryo in which the three germ layers (endoderm/mesoderm/ectoderm) have just formed. All of these germ layers have contributions to the gastrointestinal tract.
  • gastrulation - The process of differentiation forming a gastrula. Term means literally means "to form a gut" but is more in development, as this process converts the bilaminar embryo (epiblast/hypoblast) into the trilaminar embryo (endoderm/mesoderm/ectoderm) establishing the 3 germ layers that will form all the future tissues of the entire embryo. This process also establishes the the initial body axes. (More? gastrulation)
  • Guthrie test - (heel prick) A neonatal blood screening test developed by Dr Robert Guthrie (1916-95) for determining a range of metabolic disorders and infections in the neonate. (More? Guthrie test)
  • hindgut - final embryonic division of gastrointestinal tract extending to the cloacal membrane and contributing part of the transverse colon (left half to one third), descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum, part of anal canal (superior), urinary epithelium (bladder and most urethra). The hindgut blood supply is the inferior mesenteric artery.
  • inferior mesenteric artery - main blood supply to the hindgut
  • intestinal perforation - gastrointestinal abnormality identified in neonates can be due to necrotizing enterocolitis, Hirschsprung’s disease or meconium ileus.
  • intraembryonic coelom - The "horseshoe-shaped" space (cavity) that forms initially in the third week of development in the lateral plate mesoderm that will eventually form the 3 main body cavities: pericardial, pleural, peritoneal. The intraembryonic coelom communicates transiently with the extraembryonic coelom.
  • meconium ileus intestine obstruction within the ileum due to abnormal meconium properties.
  • mesentery - connects gastrointestinal tract to the posterior body wall and is a double layer of visceral peritoneum.
  • mesothelium - The mesoderm derived epithelial covering of coelomic organs and also line their cavities.
  • Midgut - middle embryonic division of gastrointestinal tract contributing the small intestine (including duodenum distal bile duct opening), cecum, appendix, ascending colon, and part of the transverse colon (right half to two thirds). The midgut blood supply is the superior mesenteric artery.
  • neuralation - The general term used to describe the early formation of the nervous system. It is often used to describe the early events of differentiation of the central ectoderm region to form the neural plate, then neural groove, then neural tube. The nervous system includes the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) from the neural tube and the peripheral nervous system (peripheral sensory and sympathetic ganglia) from neural crest. In humans, early neuralation begins in week 3 and continues through week 4.
  • neural crest - region of cells at the edge of the neural plate that migrates throughout the embryo and contributes to many different tissues. In the gastrointestinal tract it contributes mainly the enteric nervous system within the wall of the gut responsible for peristalsis and secretion.
  • peritoneal stomata - the main openings forming the pathways for drainage of intra-peritoneal fluid from the peritoneal cavity into the lymphatic system.
  • pharynx - uppermost end of gastrointestinal and respiratory tract, in the embryo beginning at the buccopharyngeal membrane and forms a major arched cavity within the phrayngeal arches.
  • recanalization - describes the process of a hollow structure becoming solid, then becoming hollow again. For example, this process occurs during GIT, auditory and renal system development.
  • retroperitoneal - (retroperitoneum) is the anatomical space (sometimes a potential space) in the abdominal cavity behind (retro) the peritoneum. Developmentally parts of the GIT become secondarily retroperitoneal (part of duodenum, ascending and descending colon, pancreas)
  • somitogenesis The process of segmentation of the paraxial mesoderm within the trilaminar embryo body to form pairs of somites, or balls of mesoderm. A somite is added either side of the notochord (axial mesoderm) to form a somite pair. The segmentation does not occur in the head region, and begins cranially (head end) and extends caudally (tailward) adding a somite pair at regular time intervals. The process is sequential and therefore used to stage the age of many different species embryos based upon the number visible somite pairs. In humans, the first somite pair appears at day 20 and adds caudally at 1 somite pair/4 hours (mouse 1 pair/90 min) until on average 44 pairs eventually form.
  • splanchnic mesoderm - Gastrointestinal tract (endoderm) associated mesoderm formed by the separation of the lateral plate mesoderm into two separate components by a cavity, the intraembryonic coelom. Splanchnic mesoderm is the embryonic origin of the gastrointestinal tract connective tissue, smooth muscle, blood vessels and contribute to organ development (pancreas, spleen, liver). The intraembryonic coelom will form the three major body cavities including the space surrounding the gut, the peritoneal cavity. The other half of the lateral plate mesoderm (somatic mesoderm) is associated with the ectoderm of the body wall.
  • stomodeum - (stomadeum, stomatodeum) A ventral surface depression on the early embryo head surrounding the buccopharyngeal membrane, which lies at the floor of this depression. This surface depression lies between the maxillary and mandibular components of the first pharyngeal arch.
  • stenosis - abnormal a narrowing of the tube lumen, the abnormality naming is based upon the anatomical location.
  • superior mesenteric artery - main blood supply to the Midgut.
  • viscera - the internal organs in the main cavities of the body, especially those in the abdomen, for example the Template:Intestines.
  • visceral peritoneum - covers the external surfaces of the intestinal tract and organs within the peritoneum. The other component (parietal peritoneum) lines the abdominal and pelvic cavity walls.
  • yolk sac - An extraembryonic membrane which is endoderm origin and covered with extraembryonic mesoderm. Yolk sac lies outside the embryo connected initially by a yolk stalk to the midgut with which it is continuous with. The endodermal lining is continuous with the endoderm of the gastrointestinal tract. The extra-embryonic mesoderm differentiates to form both blood and blood vessels of the vitelline system. In reptiles and birds, the yolk sac has a function associated with nutrition. In mammals the yolk sac acts as a source of primordial germ cells and blood cells. Note that in early development (week 2) a structure called the "primitive yolk sac" forms from hypoblast, this is an entirely different structure.
  • yolk stalk - (vitelline duct, omphalomesenteric duct, Latin, vitellus = yolk of an egg) The endodermal connection between the midgut and the yolk sac. See vitelline duct.
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, September 22) Embryology BGDB Gastrointestinal - Activity 3. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/BGDB_Gastrointestinal_-_Activity_3

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© Dr Mark Hill 2019, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G
  1. Godlewski G, Gaubert-Cristol R, Rouy S & Prudhomme M. (1997). Liver development in the rat and in man during the embryonic period (Carnegie stages 11-23). Microsc. Res. Tech. , 39, 314-27. PMID: 9407542 <314::AID-JEMT2>3.0.CO;2-H DOI.
  2. Godlewski G, Gaubert-Cristol R, Rouy S & Prudhomme M. (1997). Liver development in the rat during the embryonic period (Carnegie stages 15-23). Acta Anat (Basel) , 160, 172-8. PMID: 9718390
  3. Jennings RE, Berry AA, Kirkwood-Wilson R, Roberts NA, Hearn T, Salisbury RJ, Blaylock J, Piper Hanley K & Hanley NA. (2013). Development of the human pancreas from foregut to endocrine commitment. Diabetes , 62, 3514-22. PMID: 23630303 DOI.