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Cell. 2008 Oct 31;135(3):449-61. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.08.035.

The growth factor environment defines distinct pluripotent ground states in novel blastocyst-derived stem cells.

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Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Center for Regenerative Medicine, CPZN - 4256, 185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Pluripotent stem cell lines can be derived from blastocyst embryos, which yield embryonic stem cell lines (ES cells), as well as the postimplantation epiblast, which gives rise to epiblast stem cell lines (EpiSCs). Remarkably, ES cells and EpiSCs display profound differences in the combination of growth factors that maintain their pluripotent state. Molecular and functional differences between these two stem cell types demonstrate that the tissue of origin and/or the growth factor milieu may be important determinants of the stem cell identity. We explored how developmental stage of the tissue of origin and culture growth factor conditions affect the stem cell pluripotent state. Our findings indicate that novel stem cell lines, with unique functional and molecular properties, can be generated from murine blastocyst embryos. We demonstrate that the culture growth factor environment and cell-cell interaction play a critical role in defining several unique and stable stem cell ground states.

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