The mesothelium is an epithelial structure derived from the embryonic mesoderm. It plays an important role in the development of a number of different organs, including the heart, lungs, and intestines. In this publication, we discuss aspects of the development of the mesothelium, where mesothelial structures can be found, and review molecular and cellular characteristics associated with the mesothelium. Furthermore, we discuss the involvement of the mesothelium in a number of disease conditions, in particular in the pathogenesis of mesotheliomas with an emphasis on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM)—a primary cancer developing in the pleural cavity.
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