Ectoderm Derivatives and Endoderm

Regen Center Glossary

An Ectoderm is a body of cells forming the outermost layer of major organ systems in the body, such as the skin, neural cells and nervous system, and the sensory organs.  This layer is formed by the blastocyst’s inner cell mass.[1]


The cells of various germ layers can differentiate themselves [2] through lab culturing to try to regenerate and repair diseased organs and dysfunctioning systems in the body through a process known as organogenesis.

The ectoderm layer can also give rise to a person’s:

  • peripheral nervous system
  • central nervous system and spinal cord
  • Tooth enamel
  • sensory epithelium of your eyes,nose or ear
  • Your hair and nails
  • Mammary and pituitary glands


Published Clinical Citations

  • [1] ^ Pieper, Mareike, Katja Ahrens, Elke Rink, Annette Peter, and Gerhard Schlosser. 2012. Differential distribution of competence for panplacodal and neural crest induction to non-neural and neural ectoderm. Development (Cambridge, England), no. 6 (February 8). doi:10.1242/dev.074468.

  • [2] ^ Yardley, Nathan, and Martín I García-Castro. 2012. FGF signaling transforms non-neural ectoderm into neural crest. Developmental biology, no. 2 (September 19). doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.09.006.