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Stem Cells Dev. 2012 Dec 10;21(18):3363-71. doi: 10.1089/scd.2012.0066. Epub 2012 Aug 3.

In vivo differentiated human embryonic stem cells can acquire chromosomal aberrations more frequently than in vitro during the same period.

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  • 1Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Novum, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are regarded as a promising approach to generate transplantable cells for the treatment of several diseases. These cells offer an immense potential as a source of cells for regenerative medicine, but the possible ability of these cells to produce tumors in vivo presents a major impediment for the achievement of this potential in clinical reality. hESCs can obtain growth advantages in vitro by acquired mutations, a phenomenon called culture adaptation. The most common chromosome modifications involve chromosomes 12, 17, and X. The mechanisms that may influence chromosome modification in hESCs are not well known. We have performed a comparative in vitro and in vivo study on 3 hESC lines produced in our laboratory to see if there are changes also during in vivo growth. In vivo differentiated cells and in vitro cultured hESCs were analyzed by using a high-resolution Affymetrix SNP 6.0 array revealing DNA copy number variations. We were able, for the first time, to identify chromosomal aberrations that had occurred in vivo in one out of the 3 hESC lines. In the hESC line HS364 differentiated in vivo, an amplification of the whole X chromosome was detected, possibly due to mosaicism of XY and XX cells. In the hESC line HS366, array results showed small amplifications and gains. The third hESC line (HS368) was less altered, but contained also a new gain verified by fluorescent in situ hybridization in a teratoma in 21% of the cells. These results indicate that mutations occur during the in vivo differentiation process as well as in vitro. The potential of precancerous mutations in in-vivo conditions is important to consider for safety measures, and underlines the necessity to remove all pluripotent stem cells from the differentiated cell population that will be transplanted.

PMID:
22709429
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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