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Stem Cell Res. 2010 Nov;5(3):201-11. doi: 10.1016/j.scr.2010.07.005. Epub 2010 Aug 6.

Semiquantitative histopathology and 3D magnetic resonance microscopy as collaborative platforms for tissue identification and comparison within teratomas derived from pedigreed primate embryonic stem cells.

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  • 1Pittsburgh Development Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Teratoma formation in xenografts is a sufficiently stringent pluripotency assay for stem cells. However, little is known about the composition and spatial relationships of tissues within teratomas that may provide clues about development and platforms for studying organ development. Additionally, teratoma formation and analysis lack standards for reporting as assays of pluripotency. Three of 27 total teratomas derived from pedigreed primate embryonic stem cells underwent quantitative three-dimensional high-resolution magnetic resonance microscopy (MRM). Teratomas were subsequently serially sectioned and tissue types identified, semiquantitated, and correlated with MRM images. All teratomas demonstrated tissue derivatives from the three germ layers and approximately 23 different tissue types were identified. Certain tissue groups attempted to form organs more frequently (e.g., trachea/bronchi, small intestine). MRM discriminated some tissues readily (e.g., bone, adipose, cartilage) while other tissue types with like MR intensities could not be distinguished. Semiquantitative histopathological analysis of teratomas demonstrates the ability to delineate multiple tissues as derived from ectoderm, mesoderm, or endoderm and to use this information for comparison to other teratomas. MRM provides rapid quantitative imaging of intact teratomas that complements histology and identifies sites of interest for additional biological studies.

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