The demonstration that mouse somatic cells can be reprogrammed following fusion with embryonic stem (ES) cells may provide an alternative to somatic cell nuclear transfer (therapeutic cloning) to generate autologous stem cells. In an attempt to produce cells with an increased pool of reprogramming factors, tetraploid ES cells were produced by polyethylene glycol mediated fusion of two ES cell lines transfected with plasmids carrying puromycin or neomycin resistance cassettes, respectively, followed by double antibiotic selection. Tetraploid ES cells retain properties characteristic of diploid ES cells, including the expression of pluripotent gene markers Oct4 and Rex1. On injection into the testis capsule of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice, tetraploid ES cells are able to form teratomas containing cells representative of all three germ layers. Further, these cells demonstrated the ability to integrate into the inner cell mass of blastocysts. This study indicates that tetraploid ES cells are promising candidates as cytoplasm donors for reprogramming studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology