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Differentiation. 2014 Jan-Feb;87(1-2):76-82. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2014.01.003. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Cross-species stromal signaling programs human embryonic stem cell differentiation.

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Department of Physiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia. Electronic address:
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3800, Australia.


The generation of human embryonic stem cell lines in the late 1990s awakened new prospects in the research arena. The opportunity to define and direct the differentiation of the most primitive stem cells in the laboratory, and their potential application to regenerative medicine, invigorated the developmental biology field. Whilst initial studies used in vitro differentiation techniques, the application of in vivo models greatly enhanced the success of directing the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Controlling cell fate decisions in embryonic cells requires thorough knowledge of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that direct differentiation and the complex cell-cell interactions that exist within different tissues. Thus, tissue-specific approaches were applied to generate various differentiated cell types. In this review, cross-species tissue recombination will be discussed as a successful approach to direct embryonic stem cell differentiation.


Stem cells; Stroma; Stromal–epithelial interactions

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