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J Vis Exp. 2010 Dec 8;(46). pii: 2344. doi: 10.3791/2344.

Analysis of pluripotent stem cells by using cryosections of embryoid bodies.

Author information

1
Laboratório Nacional de Céulas-Tronco Embrionárias, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Abstract

Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent cells derived from the inner cell mass of blastocyst-stage early mammalian embryos. A crucial stage in the differentiation of ES cells is the formation of embryoid bodies (EBs) aggregates. EB formation is based on spontaneous aggregation when ES cells are cultured in non adherent plates. Three-dimensional EB recapitulates many aspects of early mammalian embryogenesis and differentiate into the three germ layers: ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization are widely used techniques for the detection of target proteins and mRNA present in cells of a tissue section. Here we present a simple technique to generate high quality cryosections of embryoid bodies. This approach relies on the spatial orientation of EB embedding in OCT followed by the cryosection technique. The resulting sections can be subjected to a wide variety of analytical procedures in order to characterize populations of cells containing certain proteins, RNA or DNA. In this sense, the preparation of EB cryosections (10 μm) are essential tools for histology staining analysis (e.g. Hematoxilin and Eosin, DAPI), immunofluorescence (e.g. Oct4, nestin) or in situ hybridization. This technique can also help to understand aspects of embryogenesis with regards to the maintenance of the tri-dimensional spherical structure of EBs.

PMID:
21178966
PMCID:
PMC3159676
DOI:
10.3791/2344
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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