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Cell Reprogram. 2012 Dec;14(6):530-8. doi: 10.1089/cell.2012.0032.

Expression pattern of pluripotent markers in different embryonic developmental stages of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) embryos and putative embryonic stem cells generated by parthenogenetic activation.

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Animal Biotechnology Centre, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India.


In this study, we describe the production of buffalo parthenogenetic blastocysts and subsequent isolation of parthenogenetic embryonic stem cell (PGESC)-like cells. PGESC colonies exhibited dome-shaped morphology and were clearly distinguishable from the feeder layer cells. Different stages of development of parthenogenetic embryos and derived embryonic stem cell (ESC)-like cells expressed key ESC-specific markers, including OCT-4, NANOG, SOX-2, FOXD3, REX-1, STAT-3, TELOMERASE, NUCLEOSTEMIN, and cMYC. Immunofluorescence-based studies revealed that the PGESCs were positive for surface-based pluripotent markers, viz., SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA 1-80, TRA 1-60, CD-9, and CD-90 and exhibited high alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. PGEC cell-like cells formed embryoid body (EB)-like structures in hanging drop cultures and when cultured for extended period of time spontaneously differentiated into derivatives of three embryonic germ layers as confirmed by RT-PCR for ectodermal (CYTOKERATIN8, NF-68), mesodermal (MSX1, BMP-4, ASA), and endodermal markers (AFP, HNF-4, GATA-4). Differentiation of PGESCs toward the neuronal lineage was successfully directed by supplementation of serum-containing media with retinoic acid. Our results indicate that the isolated ESC-like cells from parthenogenetic blastocyst hold properties of ESCs and express markers of pluripotency. The pluripotency markers were also expressed by early cleavage-stage of buffalo embryos.

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