What is Mesothelium?
Did You Know?
The mesothelium and its associated cancerous condition, mesothelioma, is relatively unknown by most people. It is most often found in men, but sometimes in women.
Mesothelium - Mesothelioma Help Center
The mesothelium has different names, depending on its location in the body. The peritoneum is the mesothelial tissue that covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity.
The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ; the other forms a sac around it.
The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between these layers, allowing moving organs (such as the beating heart and the expanding and contracting lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures.
The mesothelium is the membrane that lines three of the body's cavities: the pleura or thoracic cavity; the peritoneum or abdominal cavity; and the pericarium or heart sac. Mesothelial tissue is also found in the male internal reproductive organs (the tunica vaginalis testis) and it covers the internal reproductive organs in women (the tunica serosa uteri).
Mesothelium: Role in Disease
Mesothelioma Cancer (cancer of the mesotheium) is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divides without control or order. Cells can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Cancer cells can also metastasize (spread) from their original site to other parts of the body. Most cases of mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum.
As mesothelium lacks tight injuctions, an ultrastructure that closely links cells together it is prone to shedding during surgery. When this happens, the exposed surface can form adhesions with other surfaces, leading to intraabdominal (or rarely intrathoracal) adhesions.
The mesothelium comes from the mesoderm cell layer that lines the body cavity in the embryonic state. It becomes the layer of cells that covers and protects our internal organs. The mesothelium has two layers of cells. The first layer immediately surrounds the organ and the second layer is the sac that surrounds the cavity.
The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between the two layers, allowing moving organs, such as the beating heart, the expanding lungs and the active intestine, to glide easily within the body cavity.