A comparative study of the structure of human and murine greater omentum

Sylwia Wilkosz, Grenham Ireland, Nadeem Khwaja, Michael Walker, Richard Butt, Alexander De Giorgio-Miller, Sarah E. Herrick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In humans, the greater omentum is a fatty peritoneal fold that extends from the greater curvature of the stomach to cover most abdominal organs. It performs many functions, which include acting as a reservoir of resident peritoneal inflammatory cells, a storage site for lipid, and a regulator of fluid exchange in and out of the peritoneal cavity. Most importantly, the omentum readily adheres to areas of inflammation and peritoneal damage, often leading to adhesion formation. Despite its clinical importance, the omentum remains an understudied organ, and discrepancies exist as to its exact morphology. This study uses a combination of phase contrast microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to elucidate the structure of the greater omentum of both human and mouse and determine whether it possesses a typical surface mesothelial cell lining similar to other serosa. Results indicated that both human and murine omenta were of similar structure and composed of two distinct types of tissue, one adipose-rich and the other translucent and membranous. The adipose-rich regions were well-vascularised and covered by a continuous mesothelial cell layer except at the sites of milky spots. In contrast, translucent areas were poorly vascularised and contained numerous fenestrations of varying size. The possible function and developmental origin of these gaps is unclear; however, their role in promoting omental adhesion formation and in the successful use of omental graft material is discussed. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-261
    Number of pages10
    JournalAnatomy and Embryology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


    • Mesothelium
    • Peritoneum
    • SEM
    • TEM
    • Ultrastructure


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