Embryonic Stem Cells Can Act as Gametes

Egg, stem cell unions in mice can be used to generate pluripotent stem cell lines

MONDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The union of an egg and an embryonic stem cell (ESC) -- instead of sperm and egg -- has resulted in mouse blastocysts that can be used to create new pluripotent stem cell lines, researchers reported Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Montreal.

Takumi Takeuchi, M.D., of Cornell University, and colleagues investigated the ability of ESCs to behave as gametes to support preimplantation development. The researchers compared the fertilization outcome in two mouse ESC lines with different genetic backgrounds.

The researchers found that the stem cells placed in the ooplasm of the egg underwent haploidization and acted as the male germ cell. Blastocysts that developed after the process were used to create a second generation stem cell line.

"The pluripotency of these cells was confirmed by morphological criteria and molecular marker assays," the authors conclude.

Abstract (payment may be required)

Clare Kittredge

Clare Kittredge

Updated on February 10, 2006

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