Vertebrate endoderm development

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 1999;15:393-410. doi: 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.15.1.393.


Endoderm, one of the three principal germ layers, contributes to all organs of the alimentary tract. For simplicity, this review divides formation of endodermal organs into four fundamental steps: (a) formation of endoderm during gastrulation, (b) morphogenesis of a gut tube from a sheet of cells, (c) budding of organ domains from the tube, and (d) differentiation of organ-specific cell types within the growing buds. We discuss possible mechanisms that regulate how undifferentiated endoderm becomes specified into a myriad of cell types that populate the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Digestive System / embryology
  • Endoderm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Vertebrates / embryology*