Third week - embryonic development, Biology

Third Week - Embryonic Development

Throughout the third week of development the ICM separates from the uophoblast and forms the flattened embryonic disc, which at first consists of cells of all three germ layers, ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm and is termed as the epiblast. From this a lower layer separates to form the endoderm. The second layer, mesoderm, forms through the migration of cells through the primitive streak that forms as the embryonic disc elongates. The cells remaining in the upper layer make the ectoderm. These three germ layers will give rise to all the organs of the body as pointed out in Figure.

2006_Third Week.png

Figure: The organs of the body form from the three germ layers

The embryo's heart as well begins its development as a pair of microscopic tubes. The cardiovascular system is the first system to become functional in the embryo. At the end of the 3rd week the heart tubes fuse and become linked to the blood vessels in the embryo, body stalk, chorion and yolk sac, to make a primitive blood circulatory system. Chorionic villi (that will form the placenta later) also begin to form during this period.

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