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Stem Cells. 2007 May;25(5):1298-306. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Whole genome analysis of human neural stem cells derived from embryonic stem cells and stem and progenitor cells isolated from fetal tissue.

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  • 1Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Invitrogen, Carlsbad, California, USA.


Multipotent neural stem cells (NSC) have been derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) as well as isolated from fetal tissues. However, there have been few exclusive markers of NSC identified to date, and the differences between NSC from various sources are poorly understood. Although cells isolated from these two sources share many important characteristics, it is not clear how closely they are related in terms of gene expression. Here, we compare the gene expression profiles of 11 lines of NSC derived from hESC (ES_NSC), four lines of NSC isolated from fetus (F_NSC), and two lines of restricted progenitors in order to characterize these cell populations and identify differences between NSC derived from these two sources. We showed that ES_NSC were clustered together with high transcriptional similarities but were distinguished from F_NSC, oligodendrocyte precursor cells, and astrocyte precursor cells. There were 17 genes expressed in both ES_NSC and F_NSC whose expression was not identified in restricted neural progenitors. Furthermore, the major differences between ES_NSC and F_NSC were mostly observed in genes related to the key neural differentiation pathways. Here, we show that comparison of global gene expression profiles of ES_NSC, F_NSC, and restricted neural progenitor cells makes it possible to identify some of the common characteristics of NSC and differences between similar stem cell populations derived from hESCs or isolated from fetal tissue. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

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