Journal of Clinical Medicine (Apr 2020)

Human Wharton’s Jelly—Cellular Specificity, Stemness Potency, Animal Models, and Current Application in Human Clinical Trials

  • Katarzyna Stefańska,
  • Katarzyna Ożegowska,
  • Greg Hutchings,
  • Małgorzata Popis,
  • Lisa Moncrieff,
  • Claudia Dompe,
  • Krzysztof Janowicz,
  • Wojciech Pieńkowski,
  • Paweł Gutaj,
  • Jamil A. Shibli,
  • Walterson Mathias Prado,
  • Hanna Piotrowska-Kempisty,
  • Paul Mozdziak,
  • Małgorzata Bruska,
  • Maciej Zabel,
  • Bartosz Kempisty,
  • Michał Nowicki

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 1102
p. 1102


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Stem cell therapies offer a great promise for regenerative and reconstructive medicine, due to their self-renewal and differentiation capacity. Although embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, their utilization involves embryo destruction and is ethically controversial. Therefore, adult tissues that have emerged as an alternative source of stem cells and perinatal tissues, such as the umbilical cord, appear to be particularly attractive. Wharton’s jelly, a gelatinous connective tissue contained in the umbilical cord, is abundant in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that express CD105, CD73, CD90, Oct-4, Sox-2, and Nanog among others, and have the ability to differentiate into osteogenic, adipogenic, chondrogenic, and other lineages. Moreover, Wharton’s jelly-derived MSCs (WJ-MSCs) do not express MHC-II and exhibit immunomodulatory properties, which makes them a good alternative for allogeneic and xenogeneic transplantations in cellular therapies. Therefore, umbilical cord, especially Wharton’s jelly, is a promising source of mesenchymal stem cells.