Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.327, No.2, 548-556, 2005
In vitro neuronal differentiation of cultured human embryonic germ cells
Human embryonic germ (hEG) cells, which have been advanced as one of the most important sources of pluripotent stem cells [the other one being human embryonic stem cells]. can be propagated in vitro indefinitely in the primitive undifferentiated state while being capable of developing into all three gem layer derivatives. hence have become anticipated developing novel strategies of tissue regeneration and transplantation in the treatment of degenerative diseases. In the experiments here, we derived hEG cells from cultured human primordial germ cells (PGCs) of 6- to 9-week-post-fertilization embryos. They satisfied the criteria previously used to define hEG cells, including the expression of markers characteristic of pluripotent cells-abundant alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity, stage specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-1(+), SSEA-3(-), SSEA-4(+). TRA-1-60(+). TRA-1-81(+), Oct-4(+), and hTERT(+), the retention of normal karyotypes, and possessing pluripotency by forming embryoid bodies (EBs) in vitro. Furthermore, these derived cells tended to neurally differentiate in vitro, especially under high-density culture conditions. We Successfully isolated neural progenitor cells from differentiating hEG cultures and about 10% cells induced by 2 muM all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) or 0.1 mM dibutyryl cyclic AMP (dbcAMP)/1 mM forskolin to mature neurons expressing microtubule-associated protein 2ab (MAP2ab), synaptophysin, beta-tubulin III, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), but no glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) and choline acetyl transferase (ChAT). The data suggested that hEG cells may provide a potential source of cells for use in transplantation therapy for neurological degenerative diseases. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.