Human feeder cells can support the undifferentiated growth of human and mouse embryonic stem cells using their own basic fibroblast growth factors.

Yong Park, Ji Hea Kim, Seung Jin Lee, In Young Choi, Seh Jong Park, Se Ryeon Lee, Hwa Jung Sung, Young Do Yoo, Dong Ho Geum, Chul Won Choi, Sun Haeng Kim, Byung Soo Kim

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In the culture system using human feeder cells, the mechanism through which these cells support undifferentiated growth of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) has not been well investigated. Here, we explored the mechanisms of 3 kinds of human feeder cells, including human placental cells from the chorionic plate, human bone marrow stromal cells, and human foreskin fibroblasts. First, we determined that undifferentiated growth of 2 kinds each of human (H1 and HSF6) and mouse (D3 and CE3) ESCs was possible in all human feeder cell types tested (human placental cells, human bone marrow stromal cells, and human foreskin fibroblasts), without the need for exogenous cytokine supplementation including basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and leukemia inhibitory factor. We then prepared their corresponding endogenous bFGF-knockout feeders using siRNA and tried to maintain human and mouse ESCs in their undifferentiated state; however, neither human nor mouse ESCs could be maintained in bFGF-knockout human feeder cells. The expressions of stemness markers such as Oct-4 and Nanog were significantly decreased in the bFGF-knockout group compared with those in the controls, and differentiation had already occurred, despite the undifferentiated morphologic appearance of the ESCs. In conclusion, human feeder cells are able to support the undifferentiated growth of human and mouse ESCs via bFGF synthesis. Further, a bFGF-dependent pathway might be crucial for maintaining the undifferentiated characteristics of mouse and human ESCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1910
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Hematology

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