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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2004 Mar-Apr;40(3-4):76-81.

Culture condition difference for establishment of new embryonic stem cell lines from the C57BL/6 and BALB/c mouse strains.

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Department for Biology of Stem Cells and Department of Embryology, Royan Institute, P.O. Box 19395-4644, Tehran, Iran.


Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells derived from the inner cell mass of blastocysts. These cells are appropriate for creation of animal models of human genetic diseases, the study of gene function in vivo and differentiation into specific types as potential therapeutic agents for several human diseases. We describe here, the production of new ES cell lines from blastocysts recovered from the C57BL/6 and BALB/c mouse strains by changing the concentration of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and primary culture conditions. The established cell lines were analyzed by simple karyotype, C banding, alkaline phosphatase activity, and Oct-4 expression as well as for the presence of the SRY gene. Two ES cell lines from C57BL/6 and three from the BALB/c were produced. The two C57BL/6 ES cell lines were established with either 1000 or 5000 IU LIF, whereas the BALB/c ES cell lines required 5000 IU LIF. Four of the ES cell lines had a normal karyotype. C banding and sex-determining region of Y chromosome-polymerase chain reaction showed that all cell lines had an XY sex chromosome composition. All five of the cell lines expressed alkaline phosphatase activity and Oct-4. One of the BALB/c ES cell lines, when injected into C57BL/6 blastocysts, produced high rates of chimerism as assessed by coat color, and the male chimera produced germ-line offspring when mated with BALB/c females. These results indicate that ES cells from inbred strains can be isolated using commercially available reagents and that the establishment of BALB/c ES cell lines may require different culture conditions to the 129 or C57BL/6 strains.

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