Definition of somatopleure in US English:



  • A layer of tissue in a vertebrate embryo comprising the ectoderm and the outer layer of mesoderm, and giving rise to the amnion, chorion, and part of the body wall.

    Often contrasted with splanchnopleure
    • ‘The somatopleure, which is close to the ectoderm, is involved in the formation of the lateral and ventral walls of the embryo.’
    • ‘Outside the amniotic ectoderm is a thin layer of mesoderm, which is continuous with that of the somatopleure and is connected by the body-stalk with the mesodermal lining of the chorion.’
    • ‘She is not able, however, to trigger the formation of a feather forming dermis from the extra embryonic somatopleure.’
    • ‘Simultaneously, rapid growth causes the embryo to fold laterally, resulting in the somatopleure layers folding in laterally to enclose the gut.’
    • ‘The region of the chorion / somatopleure closest to the embryo undergoes a folding around the embryo so that a smaller chamber forms immediately surrounding the embryo.’


Late 19th century: from somato- ‘of the body’ + Greek pleura ‘side’.