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27.3F: Development of the Extraembryonic Coelom

  • Page ID
    8276
  • The extra-embryonic coelom is a cavity that contains the chorion. It is located between Heuser’s membrane and the trophoblast.

     

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

     

    Describe the development of the extraembryonic coelom

     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    Key Points

     

    • The extra-embryonic coelom develops at the same time as the primitive yolk sac through the proliferation and differentiation of hypoblast cells into mesenchymal cells that fill the area between Heuser’s membrane and the trophoblast. The entire structure is enclosed by the chorionic plate.
    • The extra-embryonic mesoderm is subdivided into two layers: the extra-embryonic splanchnopleuric mesoderm, which is outside the primitive yolk sac; and the extra-embryonic somatopleuric mesoderm, which is adjacent to the cytotrophoblast.
    • The chorion is one of the membranes that exist during pregnancy between the developing fetus and mother.

     

    Key Terms

     

    • chorion: The protective and nutritive membrane that attaches higher vertebrate fetuses to the uterus.
    • Heuser’s membrane: Heuser’s membrane (or the exocoelomic membrane) is a short-lived combination of hypoblast cells and extracellular matrix.
    • coelum: Also called the chorionic cavity, this is a portion of the conceptus that consists of a cavity between Heuser’s membrane and the trophoblast.

     

    Development of the Extra-Embryonic Coelom

    This is an artificially colored image of the contents in the cavity of the uterus seen at approximately 5 weeks of gestational age by obstetric ultrasonography. It shows the gestational sac, yolk sac, and embryo.

     

     

    Gestational sac: An artificially colored image of the contents in the cavity of the uterus seen at approximately 5 weeks of gestational age by obstetric ultrasonography.

    The extra-embryonic coelom (or chorionic cavity) is a portion of the conceptus consisting of a cavity between Heuser’s membrane and the trophoblast. During the formation of the primitive yolk sac, some of the migrating hypoblast cells transdifferentiate into mesenchymal cells that fill the space between Heuser’s membrane and the trophoblast to form the extra-embryonic mesoderm.

    As development progresses, small lacunae begin to form within the extra-embryonic mesoderm that become larger and form the extra-embryonic coelom.

    The extra-embryonic mesoderm is divided into two layers: the extra-embryonic splanchnopleuric mesoderm, which lies adjacent to Heuser’s membrane around the outside of the primitive yolk sac; and the extra-embryonic somatopleuric mesoderm, which lies adjacent to the cytotrophoblast layer of the embryo.

    The extra-embryonic coelomic cavity is also called the chorionic cavity—it is enclosed by the chorionic plate. The chorionic plate is composed of an inner layer of somatopleuric mesoderm and an outer layer of trophoblast cells. It is the fetal
    aspect of the placenta that gives rise to chorionic villi.

     

    Chorion Development

     

    The chorion is one of the membranes that exist during pregnancy between the developing fetus and the mother. It consists of an extra-embryonic mesoderm and two layers of trophoblast and surrounds the embryo and other membranes.

    Villi emerge from the chorion, which invade the endometrium, destroy the uterine decidua, and allow the transfer of nutrients from maternal blood to fetal blood.

    Chorionic villi are at first small and nonvascular, and consist of only trophoblast, but they increase in size and branch. Blood is carried to the villi by the paired umbilical arteries, which branch into chorionic arteries and enter the chorionic villi as cotyledon arteries.

    After circulating through the capillaries of the villi, the blood is returned to the embryo by the umbilical veins. Until about the end of the second month of pregnancy, the villi cover the entire chorion, and are almost uniform in size; but, after this stage, they develop unequally.

     

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