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Korean Journal of Fertility and Sterility 2002;29(1):1-12.
Published online March 1, 2002.
Establishment of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell-like Cells from In Vitro Fertilized Embryos.
Shin Yong Moon, Yong Bin Park, Hee Sun Kim, Sun Kyung Oh, Dae Woo Chun, Chang Suk Suh, Young Min Choi, Jung Gu Kim, Jin Yong Lee, Seok Hyun Kim
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of MedicineSeoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
2Institute of Reproductive Medicine and Population, Medical Research Center, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
In order to acquire the technique for the establishment of human embryonic stem cells (ESC) derived from the human frozen-thawed embryos produced in IVF-ET program, this study was performed to establish mouse ESC derived from the in vitro fertilized embryos. MATERIALS AND METHODS: After F1 hybrid (C57BL x CBA) female mice were superovulated with PMSG and hCG treatment, their oocytes were retrieved and inseminated, and the fertilized embryos were cultured for 96-120 hours until the expected stages of blastocysts were obtained. To isolate the inner cell mass (ICM), either the blastocysts were treated with immunosurgery, or the whole embryos were cultured for 4 days. Isolated ICMs were then cultured onto STO feeder cell layer, and the resultant ICM colonies were subcultured with trypsin-EDTA treatment. During the subculture process, ESC-like cell colonies were observed with phase contrast microscopy. To identify ESC in the subcultured ESC-like cell colonies, alkaline phosphatase activity and Oct-4 (octamer-binding transcription factor-4) expression were examined by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, respectively. To examine the spontaneous differentiation, ESC-like cell colonies were cultured without STO feeder cell layer and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). RESULTS: Seven ESC-like cell lines were established from ICMs isolated from the in vitro fertilized embryos. According to the developmental stage, the growth of ICMs isolated from the expanded blastocysts was significantly better than that of ICMs isolated from the hatched blastocysts (80.3% vs. 58.7%, p<0.05). ESC-like cell colonies were only obtained from ICMs of expanded blastocysts. However, the ICMs isolated from the embryos treated with immunosurgery were poorly grown and frequently differentiated during the culture process. The established ESC-like cell colonies were positively stained with alkaline phosphatase and expressed Oct-4, and their morphology resembled that observed in the previously reported mouse ESC. In addition, following the extended in vitro culture process, they maintained their expression of cell surface markers characteristic of the pluripotent stem cells such as alkaline phosphatase and Oct-4. When cultured without STO feeder cell layer and LIF, they were spontaneously differentiated into the various types of cells. CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest that the establishment of mouse ESC can be successfully derived from the in vitro fertilized embryos. The established ESC-like cells expressed the cell surface markers characteristic of the pluripotent stem cells and spontaneously differentiated into the various types of cells.
Key Words: Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC); Blastocyst; Inner cell mass (ICM); In vitro fertilization (IVF); In vitro culture; Differentiation


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