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Nat Protoc. 2006;1(4):2082-7.

Derivation of mouse embryonic stem cells.

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Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


Here we describe a simple and efficient protocol for derivation of germline chimera-competent mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) from embryonic day 3.5 (E3.5) blastocysts. The protocol involves the use of early-passage mouse embryonic fibroblast feeders (MEF) and the alternation of fetal bovine serum- and serum replacement (SR)-containing media. As compared to other available protocols for mESCs derivation, our protocol differs in the combination of commercial availability of all reagents, technical simplicity and high efficiency. mESC lines are derived with approximately 50% efficiency (50 independent mESC lines derived from 96 blastocysts). We believe that this protocol could be a good starting point for (i) setting up the derivation of mESC lines in a laboratory and (ii) incorporating further steps to improve efficiency or adapt the protocol to other applications. The whole process (from blastocyst extraction to the freezing of mESC line) usually takes between 15 and 20 d.

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