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The trilaminar embryo

The middle layer of the early trilaminar embryo germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm) formed by gastrulation.

Mesoderm Links: Lecture - Mesoderm Development | Notochord | Development Animation - Notochord | Somitogenesis | Musculoskeletal | Neural | Sonic hedgehog | Category:Mesoderm

Some Recent Findings

  • Signaling gradients during paraxial mesoderm development[1] "These studies indicate that high levels of Wnt and FGF signaling are required for the segmentation clock activity. Furthermore, we discuss how these signaling gradients act in a dose-dependent manner in the progenitors of the paraxial mesoderm, partly by regulating cell movements during gastrulation. Finally, links between the process of axial specification of vertebral segments and Hox gene expression are discussed."
  • Transcriptional profiling of the nucleus pulposus: say yes to notochord[2]"This editorial addresses the debate concerning the origin of adult nucleus pulposus cells in the light of profiling studies by Minogue and colleagues. In their report of several marker genes that distinguish nucleus pulposus cells from other related cell types, the authors provide novel insights into the notochordal nature of the former. Together with recently published work, their work lends support to the view that all cells present within the nucleus pulposus are derived from the notochord. Hence, the choice of an animal model for disc research should be based on considerations other than the cell loss and replacement by non-notochordal cells."

Mesoderm Formation during Gastrulation


<Flowplayer width="390" height="510" autoplay="true">Mesoderm_001.flv</Flowplayer> This animation shows the migration of mesoderm throughout the embryonic disc during gastrulation.

The pink arrow show how mesodermal cells spread out between the ectoderm and endoderm layers, forming the third layer of the trilaminar embryo.

Axial process - the arrow running from the primitive node upward is the axial process which will later form the notochord.

There are only 2 regions where no mesoderm is found: buccopharyngeal membrane and cloacal membrane.

  • these two regions form the upper and lower ends of the gastrointestinal tract.

Prechordal plate - lies above the buccopharyngeal membrane and is the cardiogenic mesoderm, that will form the heart.

Links: Gastrulation


Notochord secreting sonic hedgehog, shown in white
Neuralplate cartoon.png Somite cartoon5.png
Neural tube patterning Somite patterning

Molecular Factors


  1. <pubmed>20182616</pubmed>
  2. <pubmed>20497604</pubmed>





<pubmed>20565707</pubmed> <pubmed>7956820</pubmed>



Search PubMed

Search NLM Online Textbooks: "Mesoderm" : Developmental Biology | The Cell- A molecular Approach | Molecular Biology of the Cell | Endocrinology

Search Pubmed: Mesoderm | Notochord

External Links

Take the Quiz


Mesenchyme refers to the middle layer of the trilaminar embryo



The intraembryonic coelom forms within :

lateral plate
neural tube
intermediate mesoderm


All paraxial mesoderm segments into somites.



Somites are developmental structures that contribute the following adult structures :

vertebra, notochord, dermis, skeletal muscle
vertebra, intervertebral discs, dermis, skeletal muscle
kidney, body wall connective tissue, sensory ganglia
kidney, gastrointestinal tract smooth muscle, mesentry

Glossary Links

Glossary: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols | Term Link

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, December 10) Embryology Mesoderm. Retrieved from

What Links Here?
© Dr Mark Hill 2019, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G