A New Experimental Protocol for Preferential Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Into Insulin-Producing Cells

Authors: Naujok, Ortwin; Francini, Flavio; Picton, Sally; Jörns, Anne; Bailey, Clifford J.; Lenzen, Sigurd

Source: Cell Transplantation, Volume 17, Numbers 10-11, October 2008 , pp. 1231-1242(12)

Publisher: Cognizant Communication Corporation

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Abstract:

Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells have the potential to differentiate into insulin-producing cells, but efficient protocols for in vitro differentiation have not been established. Here we have developed a new optimized four-stage differentiation protocol and compared this with an established reference protocol. The new protocol minimized differentiation towards neuronal progeny, resulting in a population of insulin-producing cells with β-cell characteristics but lacking neuronal features. The yield of glucagon and somatostatin cells was negligible. Crucial for this improved yield was the removal of a nestin selection step as well as removal of culture supplements that promote differentiation towards the neuronal lineage. Supplementation of the differentiation medium with insulin and fetal calf serum was beneficial for differentiation towards monohormonal insulin-positive cells. After implantation into diabetic mice these insulin-producing cells produced a time-dependent improvement of the diabetic metabolic state, in contrast to cells differentiated according to the reference protocol. Using a spinner culture instead of an adherent culture of ES cells prevented the differentiation towards insulin-producing cells. Thus, prevention of cell attachment in a spinner culture represents a means to keep ES cells in an undifferentiated state and to inhibit differentiation. In conclusion, this study describes a new optimized four-stage protocol for differentiating ES cells to insulin-producing cells with minimal neuronal cell formation.

Keywords: Diabetes; Differentiation; Embryonic stem cells; Insulin

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368908787236549

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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