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Open Access Human Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Support Nontumorigenic Expansion of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

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The expansion of pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) requires a culture on feeder layers of mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). The culture model often causes immunogenic contaminations such as xenocarbohydrate, and inevitably forms teratoma in vivo. This study tested human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (HUCMSCs) as the feeder for hESCs. Wharton's jelly-derived HUCMSCs showed characteristics of MSCs and were easily maintained in a culture for over 20 passages. Under the mitomycin-inhibited HUCMSC feeder, hESCs maintained the features of embryonic stem cells (pluripotency and maintenance of normal karyotypes) after a prolonged culture of more than 20 passages. Notably, in extensive trials, no teratoma was formed in xenograft in NOD/SCID mice, but subsequent resumption of teratoma formation was noted upon transient coculturing with MEFs. Interestingly, among the four pluripotency-conferring genes, MYC and OCT4 were found to be downregulated in hESCs cocultured with HUCMSCs. Results of this study supported a nontumorigenic sustained culture of hESCs and did not form teratoma in vivo.

Keywords: Embryonic stem cells; Mesenchymal stem cells; Tumorigenic; Umbilical cord

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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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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