ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem (ES) cells with the capacity for germ line transmission have only been verified in mouse and rat. Methods for derivation, propagation, and differentiation of ES cells from domestic animals have not been fully established. Here, we describe derivation of ES cells from goat embryos. In vivo-derived embryos were cultured on goat fetal fibroblast feeders. Embryos either attached to the feeder layer or remained floating and expanded in culture. Embryos that attached showed a prominent inner cell mass (ICM) and those that remained floating formed structures resembling ICM disks surrounded by trophectodermal cells. ICM cells and embryonic disks were isolated mechanically, cultured on feeder cells in the presence of hLIF, and outgrown into ES-like colonies. Two cell lines were cultured for 25 passages and stained positive for alkaline phosphatase, POU5F1, NANOG, SOX2, SSEA-1, and SSEA-4. Embryoid bodies formed in suspension culture without hLIF. One cell line was cultured for 2 years (over 120 passages). This cell line differentiated in vitro into epithelia and neuronal cells, and could be stably transfected and selected for expression of a fluorescent marker. When cells were injected into SCID mice, teratomas were identified 5-6 weeks after transplantation. Expression of known ES cell markers, maintenance in vitro for 2 years in an undifferentiated state, differentiation in vitro, and formation of teratomas in immunodeficient mice provide evidence that the established cell line represents goat ES cells. This also is the first report of teratoma formation from large animal ES cells.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 01/2011; 78(3):202-11. · 2.53 Impact Factor