Medical Subject Headings

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) is a comprehensive controlled vocabulary for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences; it serves as a thesaurus that facilitates searching. Created and updated by the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), it is used by the MEDLINE/PubMed article database and by NLM's catalog of book holdings. MeSH is also used by registry to classify which diseases are studied by trials registered in ClinicalTrials.

MeSH was introduced in the 1960s, with the NLM's own index catalogue and the subject headings of the Quarterly Cumulative Index Medicus (1940 edition) as precursors. The yearly printed version of MeSH was discontinued in 2007 and MeSH is now available online only.[2] It can be browsed and downloaded free of charge through PubMed. Originally in English, MeSH has been translated into numerous other languages and allows retrieval of documents from different origins.

Medical Subject Headings
DescriptionMedical Subject Headings
Data types
controlled vocabulary
Research centerUnited States National Library of Medicine
National Center for Biotechnology Information
LaboratoryUnited States National Library of Medicine
AuthorsF B Rogers[1]
Primary citationPMID 13982385


The 2009 version of MeSH contains a total of 25,186 subject headings, also known as descriptors.[2] Most of these are accompanied by a short description or definition, links to related descriptors, and a list of synonyms or very similar terms (known as entry terms). This additional information and the hierarchical structure (see below) make the MeSH essentially a thesaurus, rather than a plain subject headings list.[3]

Descriptor hierarchy

The descriptors or subject headings are arranged in a hierarchy. A given descriptor may appear at several locations in the hierarchical tree. The tree locations carry systematic labels known as tree numbers, and consequently one descriptor can carry several tree numbers. For example, the descriptor "Digestive System Neoplasms" has the tree numbers C06.301 and C04.588.274; C stands for Diseases, C06 for Digestive System Diseases and C06.301 for Digestive System Neoplasms; C04 for Neoplasms, C04.588 for Neoplasms By Site, and C04.588.274 also for Digestive System Neoplasms. The tree numbers of a given descriptor are subject to change as MeSH is updated. Every descriptor also carries a unique alphanumerical ID that will not change.


Most subject headings come with a short description or definition. See the MeSH description for diabetes type 2 as an example. The explanatory text is written by the MeSH team based on their standard sources if not otherwise stated. References are mostly encyclopaedias and standard textbooks of the subject areas. References for specific statements in the descriptions are not given, instead readers are referred to the bibliography.


In addition to the descriptor hierarchy, MeSH contains a small number of standard qualifiers (also known as subheadings), which can be added to descriptors to narrow down the topic.[4] For example, "Measles" is a descriptor and "epidemiology" is a qualifier; "Measles/epidemiology" describes the subheading of epidemiological articles about Measles. The "epidemiology" qualifier can be added to all other disease descriptors. Not all descriptor/qualifier combinations are allowed since some of them may be meaningless. In all there are 83 different qualifiers.


In addition to the descriptors, MeSH also contains some 139,000 supplementary concept records. These do not belong to the controlled vocabulary as such; instead they enlarge the thesaurus and contain links to the closest fitting descriptor to be used in a MEDLINE search. Many of these records describe chemical substances.

Use in Medline/PubMed

In MEDLINE/PubMed, every journal article is indexed with about 10–15 subject headings, subheadings and supplementary concept records, with some of them designated as major and marked with an asterisk, indicating the article's major topics. When performing a MEDLINE search via PubMed, entry terms are automatically translated into (i.e. mapped to) the corresponding descriptors with a good degree of reliability; it is recommended to check the 'Details tab' in PubMed to see how a search formulation was translated. By default, a search for a descriptor will include all the descriptors in the hierarchy below the given one.

Use in

In, each trial has keywords that describe the trial. The team assigns each trial two sets of MeSH terms. One set for the conditions studied by the trial and another for the set of interventions used in the trial. The XML file that can be downloaded for each trial contains these MeSH keywords. The XML file also has a comment that says: "the assignment of MeSH keywords is done by imperfect algorithm".


The top-level categories in the MeSH descriptor hierarchy are:

See also


  1. ^ Rogers, F B (Jan 1963). "Medical subject headings". Bull Med Libr Assoc. 51: 114–6. ISSN 0025-7338. PMC 197951. PMID 13982385.
  2. ^ a b "Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Fact sheet". National Library of Medicine. 2005-05-27. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  3. ^ Introduction to MeSH – 2010
  4. ^ List of qualifiers – MeSH 2009

External links

Brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor

Brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitors are G-protein coupled receptors belonging to the class B secretin subfamily. Members include:

Brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 1

Brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 2

Brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 3


Confusion is the state of being bewildered or unclear. The term "acute mental confusion" is often used interchangeably with delirium in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and the Medical Subject Headings publications to describe the pathology. These refer to the loss of orientation, or the ability to place oneself correctly in the world by time, location and personal identity. Mental confusion is sometimes accompanied by disordered consciousness (the loss of linear thinking) and memory loss (the ability to correctly recall previous events or learn new material). The term is from Latin confusĭo, -ōnis, from confundere: "to pour together;" "to mingle together;" "to confuse".


Cytochromes are proteins containing heme as a cofactor. They are classified according to the type of heme and its mode of binding. Four varieties are recognized by the IUBMB, cytochromes a, cytochromes b, cytochromes c and cytochrome d. Cytochrome function is linked to the reversible redox change from ferrous (Fe(II)) to the ferric (Fe(III)) oxidation state of the iron found in the heme core. In addition to the classification by the IUBMB into four cytochrome classes, several additional classifications such as cytochrome o and cytochrome P450 can be found in biochemical literature.

EGF module-containing mucin-like hormone receptor

The EGF module-containing Mucin-like hormone Receptors (EMRs) are closely related subgroup of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). These receptors have a unique hybrid structure in which an extracellular epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domain is fused to a GPCR domain through a mucin-like stalk. There are four variants of EMR labeled 1-4, each encoded by a separate gene. These receptors are predominantly expressed in cells of the immune system and bind ligands such as CD55.

Free fatty acid receptor

The free fatty acid receptor is a G-protein coupled receptor which binds free fatty acids. There are four variants of the receptor, each encoded by a separate gene (FFAR1, FFAR2, FFAR3, FFAR4). Preliminary findings suggest that FFAR2 and FFAR3 may interact to form a FFAR2-FFAR3 receptor heteromer.


GoPubMed was a knowledge-based search engine for biomedical texts. The

Gene Ontology (GO) and Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) served as "Table of contents" in order to structure the millions of articles in the MEDLINE database. MeshPubMed was at one point a separate project, but the two were merged.

The technologies used in GoPubMed were generic and could in general be applied to any kind of texts and any kind of knowledge bases. The system was developed at the Technische Universität Dresden by Michael Schroeder and his team at Transinsight.

GoPubMed was recognized with the 2009 red dot: best of the best award in the category communication design – graphical user interfaces and interactive tool. Transinsight was recognized with the German Innovation Prize IT for its developments in Enterprise Semantic Intelligence at CeBIT 2011.

Gs alpha subunit

The Gs alpha subunit (Gαs, Gsα, or Gs protein) is a heterotrimeric G protein subunit that activates the cAMP-dependent pathway by activating adenylyl cyclase. It is one of the three main families of G proteins: Gαi/Gαo, Gαq, and Gαs. A mnemonic for remembering this subunit is to look at the first letter (Gαs = Adenylate Cyclase stimulator).

Imino acid

In chemistry, an imino acid is any molecule that contains both imine (>C=NH) and carboxyl (-C(=O)-OH) functional groups.

Imino acids are related to amino acids, which contain both amino (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups, differing in the bonding to the nitrogen.

The D-amino acid oxidase enzymes are able to convert amino acids into imino acids. Also the direct biosynthetic precursor to the amino acid proline is the imino acid (S)-Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C).

List of MeSH codes

The following is a list of the codes for MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), a comprehensive controlled vocabulary for the purpose of indexing journal articles and books in the life sciences; it can also serve as a thesaurus that facilitates searching. It is a product of the United States National Library of Medicine. Click on the prefixes (A01 etc.) in the list below to see detailed codes.

The source for content is from the 2006 MeSH Trees.

A – Anatomy

A01 – body regions (74 articles)

A02 – musculoskeletal system (213 articles)

A03 – digestive system (98 articles)

A04 – respiratory system (46 articles)

A05 – urogenital system (87 articles)

A06 – endocrine system

A07 – cardiovascular system

A08 – nervous system

A09 – sense organs

A10 – tissues

A11 – cells

A12 – fluids and secretions

A13 – animal structures

A14 – stomatognathic system

A15 – hemic and immune systems

A16 – embryonic structures

A17 – integumentary system

B – Organisms

B01 – animals

B02 – algae

B03 – bacteria

B04 – viruses

B05 – fungi

B06 – plants

B07 – archaea

B08 – mesomycetozoea

C – Diseases

C01 – bacterial infections and mycoses

C02 – virus diseases

C03 – parasitic diseases

C04 – neoplasms

C05 – musculoskeletal diseases

C06 – digestive system diseases

C07 – stomatognathic diseases

C08 – respiratory tract diseases

C09 – otorhinolaryngologic diseases

C10 – nervous system diseases

C11 – eye diseases

C12 – urologic and male genital diseases

C13 – female genital diseases and pregnancy complications

C14 – cardiovascular diseases

C15 – hemic and lymphatic diseases

C16 – congenital, hereditary, and neonatal diseases and abnormalities

C17 – skin and connective tissue diseases

C18 – nutritional and metabolic diseases

C19 – endocrine system diseases

C20 – immune system diseases

C21 – disorders of environmental origin

C22 – animal diseases

C23 – pathological conditions, signs and symptoms

D – Chemicals and Drugs

D01 – inorganic chemicals

D02 – organic chemicals

D03 – heterocyclic compounds

D04 – polycyclic compounds

D05 – macromolecular substances

D06 – hormones, hormone substitutes, and hormone antagonists

D07 – none (enzymes and coenzymes)

D08 – enzymes and coenzymes (carbohydrates)

D09 – carbohydrates (lipids)

D10 – lipids (amino acids, peptides, and proteins)

D11 – none (nucleic acids, nucleotides, and nucleosides)

D12/20 – amino acids, peptides, and proteins (complex mixtures)

D13/23 – nucleic acids, nucleotides, and nucleosides (biological factors)

D14/25 – biomedical and dental materials

D15/26 – pharmaceutical preparations

D16/27 – chemical actions and uses

D20 – complex mixtures

D23 – biological factors

E – Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment

E01 – diagnosis

E02 – therapeutics

E03 – anesthesia and analgesia

E04 – surgical procedures, operative

E05 – investigative techniques

E06 – dentistry

E07 – equipment and supplies

F – Psychiatry and Psychology

F01 – behavior and behavior mechanisms

F02 – psychological phenomena and processes

F03 – mental disorders

F04 – behavioral disciplines and activities

G – Biological Sciences

G01 – biological sciences

G02 – health occupations

G03 – environment and public health

G04 – biological phenomena, cell phenomena, and immunity

G05 – genetic processes

G06 – biochemical phenomena, metabolism, and nutrition

G07 – physiological processes

G08 – reproductive and urinary physiology

G09 – circulatory and respiratory physiology

G10 – digestive, oral, and skin physiology

G11 – musculoskeletal, neural, and ocular physiology

G12 – chemical and pharmacologic phenomena

G13 – genetic phenomena

G14 – genetic structures

H – Physical Sciences

H01 – natural sciences

I – Anthropology, Education, Sociology and Social Phenomena

I01 – social sciences

I02 – education

I03 – human activities

J – Technology and Food and Beverages

J01 – technology, industry, and agriculture

J02 – food and beverages

K – Humanities

K01 – humanities

L – Information Science

L01 – information science

M – Persons

M01 – persons

N – Health Care

N01 – population characteristics

N02 – health care facilities, manpower, and services

N03 – health care economics and organizations

N04 – health services administration

N05 – health care quality, access, and evaluation

V – Publication Characteristics

V01 – publication components (publication type)

V02 – publication formats (publication type)

V03 – study characteristics (publication type)

V04 – support of research

Z – Geographic Locations

Z01 – geographic locations

List of MeSH codes (A17)

The following is a list of the "A" codes for MeSH. It is a product of the United States National Library of Medicine.

Source for content is here. (File "2006 MeSH Trees".)

List of MeSH codes (B02)

The following is a list of the "B" codes for MeSH. It is a product of the United States National Library of Medicine.

List of MeSH codes (B08)

The following is a list of the "B" codes for MeSH. It is a product of the United States National Library of Medicine.

Source for content is here. (File "2006 MeSH Trees".)

List of MeSH codes (D12)

This is the fourth part of the list of the "D" codes for MeSH. It is a product of the United States National Library of Medicine.

Source for content is here. (File "2006 MeSH Trees".)

List of MeSH codes (D12.125) - amino acids

List of MeSH codes (D12.644) - peptides

List of MeSH codes (D12.776) - proteins

List of MeSH codes (V04)

The following is a list of the "V" codes for MeSH. It is a product of the United States National Library of Medicine.

Source for content is here. (File "2006 MeSH Trees".)

Prokaryotic elongation factors

In prokaryotes, four elongation factors are required for translation: EF-Tu, EF-Ts, EF-G and EF-P.

EF-Tu mediates the entry of the aminoacyl tRNA into a free site of the ribosome.

EF-Ts serves as the guanine nucleotide exchange factor for EF-Tu, catalyzing the release of GDP from EF-Tu.

EF-G catalyzes the translocation of the tRNA and mRNA down the ribosome at the end of each round of polypeptide elongation.

EF-P stimulates peptide formation by catalyzing the first synthesis step between the first amino acid (N-formylmethionine) and the second amino acid.


Rab27 is a member of the Rab subfamily of GTPases. Rab27 is post translationally modified by the addition of two geranylgeranyl groups on the two C-terminal cysteines.


Thiaminase (EC is an enzyme that metabolizes or breaks down thiamine into two molecular parts.

The old name was "aneurinase".There are two types:

thiaminase+I at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) (EC

thiaminase+II at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) (EC


Thioesterases are enzymes which belong to the esterase family. Esterases, in turn, are one type of the several hydrolases known.

Thioesterases exhibit Esterase activity (splitting of an ester into acid and alcohol, in the presence of water) specifically at a thiol group.

Thioesterases or thiolester hydrolases are identified as members of E.C.3.1.2.

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