Cytotrophoblastic shell

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The cytotrophoblastic shell is the external layer of cytotrophoblasts from the fetus that is found on the maternal surface of the placenta. The cytotrophoblastic shell firmly secures the placenta to the mother's endometrium called the decidua basalis.[1][2] Gaps in the cytotrophoblastic shell allow endometrial arteries and veins to reach the intervillous space.[2]


A cytotrophoblast cap penetrates through the fetus' syncytiotrophoblasts and reaches the maternal decidua, forming the anchoring villus.[1][3][4] The cytotrophoblast layer spreads and contacts the cytotrophoblast layers of neighboring anchoring villi, creating a continuous layer called the cytotrophoblastic shell.[1][3][4] The cytotrophoblast structures of the anchoring villi that spread out are called cytotrophoblastic columns. Once formation is complete, the cytotrophoblast layer from the anchoring villi disappears, leaving behind a mesoderm core surrounded by syncytial cells.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d M. W. Rana (28 July 1998). Human embryology made easy. CRC Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-90-5702-545-7. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Keith L. Moore; T. V. N. Persaud; Mark G. Torchia (2008). The developing human: clinically oriented embryology. Saunders/Elsevier. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-4160-3706-4. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas W. Sadler; Jan Langman (24 August 2004). Langman's essential medical embryology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-7817-5571-9. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Rani Kumar (1 January 2008). Textbook of Human Embryology. I. K. International Pvt Ltd. p. 37. ISBN 978-81-906757-1-0. Retrieved 25 February 2012.