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Hum Reprod. 2003 Jul;18(7):1489-93.

Oct-4-expressing cells in human amniotic fluid: a new source for stem cell research?

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  • 1Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Vienna, Prenatal Diagnosis and Therapy, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

It is the hope of investigators and patients alike that in future the isolation of pluripotent human stem cells will allow the establishment of therapeutic concepts for a wide variety of diseases. A major aim in this respect is the identification of new sources for pluripotent stem cells. Oct-4 is a marker for pluripotent human stem cells so far known to be expressed in embryonal carcinoma cells, embryonic stem cells and embryonic germ cells.

METHODS:

Cells from human amniotic fluid samples were analysed for mRNA expression of Oct-4, stem cell factor, vimentin and alkaline phosphatase via RT-PCR. Oct-4 protein expression was investigated by Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry. Oct-4-positive cells were also analysed for the expression of cyclin A protein via double immunostaining.

RESULTS:

Performing RT-PCR, Western blot and immunocytochemical analyses revealed that in human amniotic fluid in the background of Oct-4-negative cells a distinct population of cells can be found, which express Oct-4 in the nucleus. Oct-4-positive amniotic fluid cell samples also express stem cell factor, vimentin and alkaline phosphatase mRNA. The Oct-4-positive amniotic fluid cells are actively dividing, proven by the detection of cyclin A expression.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results presented here suggest that human amniotic fluid may represent a new source for the isolation of human Oct-4-positive stem cells without raising the ethical concerns associated with human embryonic research.

PMID:
12832377
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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