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J Neurosci Methods. 2003 Feb 15;123(1):55-60.

Transfer of FGF-2 via HSV-1-based amplicon vectors promotes efficient formation of neurons from embryonic stem cells.

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Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg, University of Hamburg, Falkenried 94, D-20251, Hamburg, German.


The manipulation of embryonic stem (ES) cells has a great potential to create cell populations useful for tissue replacement and regeneration of organs. The acquirement of specific cell fates and differentiation into specialized cell types may be obtained by the application of specific growth factors. Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) has been used for the formation of ES cell-derived CNS stem cells. In order to achieve high efficiency of gene delivery into stem cells, the use of viral vectors is presently without alternative. The aim of this study was to examine, for the first time, the ability of herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1)-based amplicon vectors to mediate gene transfer into mouse ES cells and neural progenitors derived from these cells. Amplicon vectors based on HSV-1 have been shown to be a versatile tool to introduce genes into a variety of cell types and to direct their physiological behavior. Here, we show that ES cells and their derivatives can be efficiently transduced and manipulated via these vectors. Amplicon-mediated transfer of FGF-2 into ES cell-derived CNS progenitors leads to the amplification and subsequent differentiation of these precursors into neurons. Therefore, amplicon vectors may now be used to study the effects of other potential factors influencing the cell fate or differentiation of ES cells and their derivatives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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