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Mol Cells. 2005 Feb 28;19(1):31-8.

Comparative characteristics of three human embryonic stem cell lines.

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Division of Stem Cell Biology, Medical Research Center, MizMedi Hospital, Seoul 157-280, Korea.

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Human embryonic stem (hES) cells have unique features including unlimited growth capacity, expression of specific markers, normal karyotypes and an ability to differentiate. Many investigators have tried to use hES cells for cell-based therapy, but there is little information about the properties of available hES cell lines. We compared the characteristics of three hES cell lines. The expression of SSEA-1, -3, -4, and APase, was examined by immunocytochemistry, and Oct-4 expression was analyzed by RT-PCR. Differentiation of the hES cells in vitro and in vivo led to the formation of embryoid bodies (EBs) or teratomas. We examined the expression of tissue-specific markers in the differentiated cells by semiquantitative RT-PCR, and the ability of each hES cell line to proliferate was measured by flow cytometry of DNA content and ELISA. The three hES cell lines were similar in morphology, marker expression, and teratoma formation. However there were significant differences (P < 0.05) between the differentiated cells formed by the different cell lines in levels of expression of tissue-specific markers such as renin, kallikrein, Glut-2, beta- and delta-globin, albumin, and alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1-AT). The hES cell lines also differed in proliferative activity. Our observations should be useful in basic and clinical hES cell research.

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