Mesenchyme showing a typical cell and matrix.
Mesenchyme (pointer) stained with H&E
Mesenchyme is a type of tissue characterized by loosely associated cells that lack polarity and are surrounded by a large extracellular matrix. Mesenchymal cells are able to develop into the tissues of the lymphatic and circulatory systems, as well as connective tissues throughout the body, such as bone and cartilage. A sarcoma is a cancer of mesenchymal cells.
Mesenchyme is characterized morphologically by a prominent ground substance matrix containing a loose aggregate of reticular fibrils and unspecialized cells. Mesenchymal cells can migrate easily, in contrast to epithelial cells, which lack mobility and are organized into closely adherent sheets, and are polarized in an apical-basal orientation.
- Splanchnopleuric mesenchyme
- Somatopleuric mesenchyme
- Intramembranous ossification
- Mesenchymal stem cell
- Mesohyl, the gelatinous matrix in sponges, formerly called mesenchyme
- Epithelial–mesenchymal transition
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