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Stem Cells Dev. 2012 May 1;21(7):1134-44. doi: 10.1089/scd.2011.0152. Epub 2011 Sep 14.

Downregulation of H19 improves the differentiation potential of mouse parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Abstract

Parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells (P-ESCs) offer an alternative source of pluripotent cells, which hold great promise for autologous transplantation and regenerative medicine. P-ESCs have been successfully derived from blastocysts of several mammalian species. However, compared with biparental embryonic stem cells (B-ESCs), P-ESCs are limited in their ability to fully differentiate into all 3 germ layers. For example, it has been observed that there is a differentiation bias toward ectoderm derivatives at the expense of endoderm and mesoderm derivatives-muscle in particular-in chimeric embryos, teratomas, and embryoid bodies. In the present study we found that H19 expression was highly upregulated in P-ESCs with more than 6-fold overexpression compared with B-ESCs. Thus, we hypothesized that manipulation of the H19 gene in P-ESCs would alleviate their limitations and allow them to function like B-ESCs. To test this hypothesis we employed a small hairpin RNA approach to reduce the amount of H19 transcripts in mouse P-ESCs. We found that downregulation of H19 led to an increase of mesoderm-derived muscle and endoderm in P-ESCs teratomas similar to that observed in B-ESCs teratomas. This phenomenon coincided with upregulation of mesoderm-specific genes such as Myf5, Myf6, and MyoD. Moreover, H19 downregulated P-ESCs differentiated into a higher percentage of beating cardiomyocytes compared with control P-ESCs. Collectively, these results suggest that P-ESCs are amenable to molecular modifications that bring them functionally closer to true ESCs.

PMID:
21793658
PMCID:
PMC3328764
DOI:
10.1089/scd.2011.0152
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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