Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are unipotent cells committed to germ lineage: PGCs can only differentiate into gametes in vivo. However, upon fertilization, germ cells acquire the capacity to differentiate into all cell types in the body, including germ cells. Therefore, germ cells are thought to have the potential for pluripotency. PGCs can convert to pluripotent stem cells in vitro when cultured under specific conditions that include bFGF, LIF, and the membrane-bound form of SCF (mSCF). Here, the culture conditions which efficiently convert PGCs to pluripotent embryonic germ (EG) cells are described, as well as methods used for identifying pluripotent candidate cells during culture.
Primordial germ cell Acquisition of pluripotency Tracking Purification
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We thank Dr. Takeo Kosaka for contributing to the establishment of this culture system. This study was supported, in part, by a grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan; by PRESTO; and by the Takeda Science Foundation.
Time-laps bio-imaging of EG cell formation. (AVI 71045 kb).
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