Uterus division (see Figure 20.5). When the blastocyst reaches tne uterus and hatches from its encapsulating zona pellucida, the trophoblast cells interact directly with the endometrium. Adhesion molecules expressed on the surfaces of these cells attach them to the uterine wall. By excreting proteolytic enzymes, the trophoblast burrows into the endometrium, beginning the process of implantation (see Figure 20.14). Eventually, the entire trophoblast is within the wall of the uterus. The trophoblastic cells then send out numerous projections, or villi, to increase the surface area of contact with maternal blood.
Meanwhile, the hypoblast cells extend to form what in the bird would be the yolk sac. But there is no yolk in mammalian eggs, so the yolk sac contributes mesodermal tissues that interact with trophoblast tissues to form the chorion. The chorion, along with tissues of the uterine wall, produces the placenta, the organ of nutrient, respiratory gas, and metabolic waste exchange between the mother and the embryo (Figure 20.19).
At the same time the yolk sac is forming from the hy-poblast, the epiblast produces the amnion, which grows to enclose the entire embryo in a fluid-filled amniotic cavity. The rupturing of the amnion and chorion and the loss of the amniotic fluid ("water breaking") herald the onset of labor in humans.
An allantois also develops in mammals, but its importance depends on how well nitrogenous wastes can be transferred across the placenta. In humans the allantois is minor; in pigs it is important. In humans and other mammals, allantoic tissues contribute to the formation of the umbilical cord, by which the embryo is attached to the chorionic placenta. It is through the blood vessels of the umbilical cord that nutrients and oxygen from the mother reach the developing fetus and wastes, including carbon dioxide and urea, are removed (see Figure 20.19).
The extraembryonic membranes provide means of detecting genetic diseases
Cells slough off of the developing human embryo and float in the amniotic fluid that bathes it. Later in development, a small sample of the amniotic fluid may be sampled with a
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.