Nuclear transfer reprogramming does not improve the low developmental potency of embryonic stem cells induced by long-term culture

T Amano, M Gertsenstein, A Nagy, H Kurihara, H Suzuki
Reproduction 2006, 132 (2): 257-63
Epigenetic states of embryonic stem (ES) cells are easily altered by long-term cultivation and lose their developmental potential. To rescue this reduced developmental capacity, nuclear transfer (NT) of ES cells was carried out, and original ES and ES cells from cloned blastocysts (ntES) cells established after NT were compared with in vitro differentiation ability and developmental potential by embryoid body formation and tetraploid aggregation respectively. In the establishment of ntES cell lines, the oocytes fused with the ES cell were activated, and further cultured to cloned blastocysts. When in vitro differentiation ability was examined between original and ntES cell lines derived from ES cells with extensive passages (ES-ep), the day of appearance of simple embryoid body, cystic embryoid body, and spontaneous beating was almost similar. The developmental rates of ES-ep cells, that aggregated with tetraploid embryos to term, ranged from 3 to 6%. Moreover, the majority of live pups died soon after birth. In the ntES cell lines derived from ES-ep cells, developmental rates ranged from 0 to 5%. Those pups also died soon after birth, similar to the ES-ep-derived pups. These results suggest that profound epigenetic modifications of ES cells were retained in the re-established cell lines by NT.

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