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An autogeneic feeder cell system that efficiently supports growth of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells

Lookup NU author(s): Petra Stojkovic, Professor Majlinda LakoORCiD, Dr Rebecca Stewart, Professor Lyle Armstrong, Jerome Evans, Professor Alison Murdoch, Professor Tom Strachan, Professor Miodrag Stojkovic


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Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have great potential as a source of cells for therapeutic uses, but their culture requires the support of mouse or human cells, either directly as a feeder cell layer or indirectly as a source of conditioned medium in feeder-free culture systems. Unfortunately, the risks of cross-transfer of pathogens from xenogeneic or allogeneic feeders or cell by-products limit their medical applications. In addition, not all human feeders support the growth of hESCs equally well, and ethical concerns have been raised regarding the derivation of feeder cells from aborted human fetuses. We report here the culture of hESCs on a novel feeder cell system, comprising fibroblast-like cells derived from the spontaneous differentiation of hESCs. Isogenicity of the hESCs and hESC-derived fibroblasts was confirmed by micro satellite analysis. The nature of the hESC-derived fibroblasts was identified by the expression of specific markers. This feeder system permits continuous growth of undifferentiated and pluripotent hESCs, as demonstrated by the expression of specific hESC markers, by the formation of teratomas after injection of hESCs into severely combined immunodeficient mice, and by in vitro differentiation of hESCs into differentiated cells of ectodermal, endodermal, and mesodermal origin. Feeder cells derived from hESCs offers a potentially more secure autogeneic and genotypically homogenous system for the growth of undifferentiated hESCs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stojkovic P, Lako M, Stewart R, Przyborski S, Armstrong L, Evans J, Murdoch A, Strachan T, Stojkovic M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Stem Cells

Year: 2005

Volume: 23

Issue: 3

Pages: 306-314

Print publication date: 01/03/2005

ISSN (print): 1066-5099

ISSN (electronic): 1549-4918

Publisher: AlphaMed Press, Inc.


DOI: 10.1634/stemcells.2004-0137

PubMed id: 15749925


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Funder referenceFunder name
BBS/B/14779Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
G0301182Medical Research Council