Sertoli cell-conditioned medium induces germ cell differentiation in human embryonic stem cells
To investigate the spontaneous germ cell differentiation capacity of VUB hESC lines, develop a protocol for the induction of germ cell differentiation using conditioned medium from Sertoli cells (SCCM) and compare it to existing protocols.
hESC were allowed to differentiate spontaneously or after the addition of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and/or SCCM. VASA transcripts were measured by relative quantification real-time RT-PCR to determine the efficiency of germ cell differentiation.
VUB hESC lines can differentiate spontaneously towards the germ cell lineage, however, more consistently in an embryoid body approach than in monolayer cultures. BMPs and SCCM significantly improve VASA expression, but do not have a synergistic effect. Direct contact of differentiating hESC with Sertoli cells does not improve VASA expression.
SCCM contains inductive factors for germ cell differentiation and could represent an element for in-vitro differentiation to germ cells.
KeywordshESC Sertoli cells Germ cells Differentiation Embryoid bodies
Our research is supported by grants from the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen) and the research council of the Brussels Free University (OZR).
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