Wharton jelly

Last revised by Ayla Al Kabbani on 20 Jan 2020

Wharton jelly refers to the gelatinous substance within the umbilical cord.

Wharton jelly is derived from extra-embryonic mesoderm and is largely made up of mucopolysaccharides (hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulphate) while containing smaller amounts of fibroblasts and macrophages. It acts as a support structure and protects the vessels of the umbilical cord against compression and constriction.

    Named after the English physician Thomas Wharton (1614-1673) 1.

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    Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: umbilical cord (histology)
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