Embryonic germ cell lines and their derivation from mouse primordial germ cells.
When primordial germ cells of the mouse are cultured on feeder layers with the addition of the polypeptide signalling molecules leukaemia inhibitory factor, Steel factor and basic fibroblast growth factor they give rise to cells that resemble undifferentiated blastocyst-derived embryonic stem cells. These primordial germ cell-derived embryonic germ cells (EG cells) can be induced to differentiate extensively in culture and also form teratocarcinomas when injected into nude mice. Additionally, they contribute to chimeras when injected into host blastocysts. We have derived multiple EG cell lines from 8.5 days post coitum (dpc) embryos of C57BL/6 inbred mice. Four independent EG cell lines with normal male karyotypes have formed chimeras (up to 70% coat colour chimerism) when injected into BALB/c host blastocysts. Chimeric mice from all four cell lines are fertile, but only those from one line have transmitted coat colour markers through the germline. Studies have also been carried out to determine whether gonadal primordial germ cells can give rise to pluripotent EG cells. Germ cells from gonads of 15.5 dpc C57BL/6 embryos and newborn mice failed to produce EG cell lines. EG cell lines capable of forming teratocarcinomas and coat colour chimeras have been established from primordial germ cells of 12.5 dpc genital ridges. We are currently testing the genomic imprinting status of the insulin-like growth factor type 2 receptor gene (Igf2r) in our different EG cell lines.
Labosky, PA; Barlow, DP; Hogan, BL
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