Medical Definition of Mesoderm

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Mesoderm: One of the three primary germ cell layers, the others being the ectoderm and endoderm. The mesoderm is the middle layer. In the embryo, it differentiates to gives rise to a number of tissues and structures including bone, muscle, connective tissue, and the middle layer of the skin. Some cells in mesodermal tissues retain the capacity to differentiate in diverse directions. For example, some cells in the bone marrow (mesoderm) can become liver (endoderm).

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018