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Reprod Domest Anim. 2010 Feb;45(1):122-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01268.x. Epub 2008 Dec 22.

Generation and characterization of embryonic stem-like cell lines derived from in vitro fertilization Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) embryos.

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Animal Reproduction Institute, Guangxi University, Nanning, Guangxi, PR China.


In the present study, buffalo embryonic stem-like (ES-like) cell lines were successfully isolated, cultured and characterized. From a total of 92 normal buffalo embryos obtained by in vitro fertilization, 18 were morulae, 33 were blastocyst and 41 were hatched blastocyst, the inside of morulae or inner cell masses of blastocysts were isolated mechanically and cultured onto mitomocin-C-inactivated buffalo embryonic fibroblasts as feeder layers. Alkaline phosphatase (AP) of ES-like cells, as well as the specific stage embryonic antigen SSEA-1, SSEA-3, SSEA-4 and transcription factor OCT-4, was used to evaluate the characterization of the cells. The spontaneous differentiation of ES-like cells was induced by culturing on leukaemia inhibitory factor-free medium for more than 2 weeks without passage. To evaluate mark gene expression, total RNA was extracted from cells, and specific primers were used for reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). After 8-10 days of culture, primary ES-like cell colonies were formed in 0% (0/18) of morulae, 24.24% (8/33) of blastocysts and 60.98% (25/41) of hatched blastocysts, respectively. The forming rate of primary ES-like cells colonies in hatched blastocyst group was significantly (p < 0.05) higher than the obtained for other groups. Two ES-like cell lines could survive to eight passages at least by using the method of mechanical dissociation, but just three passages by using the method of enzymatic dissociation. The cells formed large, multicellular colonies with distinct boundaries, exhibited many important features of ES/ES-like cells, including positive AP, SSEA-1, SSEA-3 and SSEA-4 activity. Undifferentiated buffalo ES-like cells expressed Oct-4, Nanog, Sox2 gene mRNA. In vitro differentiation experiments had demonstrated that those cells were pluripotent.

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