[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases. Currently, the use of existing hESC lines in human clinical applications is limited, as they are derived from blastocysts subjected to immunosurgery with animal derived antibodies, and are maintained on mouse embryonic feeder (MEF) cells, in the presence of either fetal calf serum (FCS) or on Matrigel or with conditioned media from MEFs. Successful derivation of hESCs in xeno-free conditions is crucial in advancing stem cell therapy applications. Two hESC lines, one from chromosomally abnormal embryos and another cell line from normal embryos from the inner cell mass of human blastocysts are derived using a culture media that had 20% serum replacement (SR) and human FGF2 on human foreskin fibroblasts as feeder cells. Derivation and characterization of such xenofree hESCs suitable for clinical studies is described in this chapter.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 02/2007; 407:1-10.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The timing of cytoplasmic fragmentation in relation to the cell cycle was studied in mature oocytes and early cleavage stages using mouse oocytes and embryos as experimental models. The central approach was to remove the nuclear apparatus, in whole or in part, from non-activated and activated oocytes and early embryos, and follow their response during subsequent culture in vitro. Oocytes arrested in metaphase of the second meiotic division did not fragment following complete removal of the meiotic apparatus, provided they were not subsequently activated. Exposure of spindle-chromosome-complex-depleted oocytes to activation conditions immediately after enucleation led to fragmentation, although not until control embryos entered first mitosis. Delaying activation until 24 h post-enucleation led to earlier fragmentation. Enucleation of normally fertilized or artificially activated oocytes after emission of the second polar body also led to fragmentation coinciding with the first mitosis in nucleated control embryos. However, if artificially activated oocytes were prevented from completing second meiosis, by exposure to cytochalasin, and then enucleated, this universal wave of fragmentation was preceded in some cytoplasts by limited fragmentation after just a few hours in culture, and coinciding with completion of meiosis II in nucleated oocytes. Fragmentation also occurred in the second mitotic cell cycle, but it was limited to blastomeres of fertilized oocytes that were enucleated in late interphase. These results indicate that fragmentation in oocytes and early embryos, though seemingly uncoordinated, is a precisely timed event that occurs only in mitotically active cells, during the cytokinetic phase of the cell cycle, in lieu of normal cytokinesis, and in response to altered cytoskeletal organization.
Molecular Human Reproduction 06/2005; 11(5):335-44. · 4.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study (1) analyzed fetal development of mouse embryos after oocyte cryopreservation in CJ2, a choline-based medium, (2) examined the effect of culture duration in vitro on subsequent fetal development, and (3) compared survival and fetal development of zygotes frozen in embryo transfer freeze medium (ETFM; sodium-based medium) or CJ2. Unfertilized oocytes and zygotes were cryopreserved using a slow-cooling protocol. After thawing, oocytes were inseminated after drilling a hole in their zona, cultured in vitro either to the two-cell or blastocyst stage, and transferred to the oviducts or uterine horns of recipient mice. In parallel experiments, frozen-thawed zygotes were similarly cultured and transferred. Implantation rates for transferred embryos were high (range 66-88%), regardless of whether they had been frozen as oocytes or zygotes and whether they had been transferred to the oviduct or uterus. However, fetal development was significantly higher when two-cell embryos were transferred. With blastocyst transfer, control embryos implanted and produced a greater proportion of fetuses than did oocytes frozen in CJ2, whereas transfer at the two-cell stage resulted in similar proportions of implantation sites and fetuses. Blastocyst transfer of zygotes cryopreserved in ETFM or CJ2 produced similar fetal development rates (23.6% vs 20.0%), but when frozen-thawed zygotes were transferred at the two-cell stage the fetal development rates were higher in the ETFM group (53.3%) than in the CJ2 group (32.0%). A high proportion (46.7%) of oocytes frozen in CJ2 in a nonprogrammable freezer and plunged at -20 degrees C developed into live offspring. This study shows that in the mouse (1) oocytes frozen in CJ2 can develop into viable fetuses, (2) prolonging culture in vitro has a detrimental effect on embryo transfer outcome, and (3) CJ2 offers no advantage for zygote cryopreservation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infrared laser systems are currently being marketed for application in clinical zona pellucida dissection. However, these systems have undergone only limited animal testing and minor clinical trials that lacked proper controls. Two of these systems have been evaluated in protocols that addressed potential detrimental effects on embryonic development in the mouse. Exaggerated large openings were made in the zona pellucida of 8-16 cell mouse embryos. Embryonic development and subsequent implantation and viability were assessed. A definite negative effect on these parameters was observed following the use of one of these systems. Following this animal trial, the second system was evaluated in a clinical trial for assisted hatching and embryo biopsy. Laser dissection was directly compared with the standard zona drilling using acidified Tyrode's solution. While no significant difference was evident between the two protocols, it was felt that laser dissection presented some problems in both consistency between operators and in the efficacy of subsequent manipulations such as blastomere biopsy and fragment removal. These results argue that laser zona dissection is far from a simple technique and should be carefully evaluated before any clinical application is made.