Concept

Chorion

Summary
The chorion is the outermost fetal membrane around the embryo in mammals, birds and reptiles (amniotes). It develops from an outer fold on the surface of the yolk sac, which lies outside the zona pellucida (in mammals), known as the vitelline membrane in other animals. In insects it is developed by the follicle cells while the egg is in the ovary. Some mollusks also have chorions as part of their eggs. For example fragile octopus eggs have only a chorion as their envelope. Structure In humans and other mammals (excluding monotremes), the chorion is one of the fetal membranes that exist during pregnancy between the developing fetus and mother. The chorion and the amnion together form the amniotic sac. In humans it is formed by extraembryonic mesoderm and the two layers of trophoblast that surround the embryo and other membranes; the chorionic villi emerge from the chorion, invade the endometrium, and allow the transfer of nutrients from maternal blood to fetal blood.
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