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Embryonic Stem Cells

Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Overview

Since the discovery of stem cells their potential to regenerate tissue has intrigued scientists. A significant breakthrough toward this goal occurred in 2006 when the group of Shinya Yamanaka demonstrated the formation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from adult mouse fibroblasts through the retroviral-mediated introduction of the transcription factors Oct 3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4. Then, in 2007 this method was extended to human stem cells when the same set of transcription factors was used to “reprogram” human fibroblasts into pluripotent stem cells. Remarkably, the stem cells generated with this technology have proven to be very similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells based on their expression of “stemness” genes, formation of teratomas upon injection into nude hosts and their contribution to multiple lineages. In a short time, considerable progress has been made with this technology. Already, iPS cells have been successfully derived from a patient with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and redirected to differentiate into motor neurons. A significant challenge will be devising strategies for the generation of iPS cells without the use of viral-mediated gene delivery. To this end, it was recently reported that iPS cells were generated from mouse embryonic fibroblasts through the repeated transfection of non-integrating plasmids expressing reprogramming factors. This resulted in iPS cells without evidence of plasmid integration, which produced teratomas when transplanted into mice and contributed to adult chimeras.

eBioscience provides high-quality and low endotoxin recombinant mouse LIF and recombinant human FGF-basic for derivation and maintenance of iPS and ES cells. In addition, eBioscience offers a complete set of antibodies to identify the pluripotent state.

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Culture

Human FGF basic in Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Human FGF basic

FGF-basic was validated through culture of the H9 Human Embryonic Stem Cell line for 5 passages. The cells had a typical undifferentiated morphology and expressed pluripotent markers Oct-3/4 and SSEA-4 as shown by immunofluorescence microscopy of single colonies.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Properties of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived by Different Methods
PropertyiPS CellsES CellES Cells from Nuclear TransferStem Cells From Fusion of Somatic Cells with ES Cells
Reported in Humans Yes Yes No Yes
Embryos or Donor Oocytes Required No Yes Yes Existing ES cells required
Stemness Markers Expressed Yes Yes Yes


Teratomas Produced Yes Yes Yes Yes
Useful for Models of Human Disease Yes Some Yes Some
Useful for Drug Screening Yes


Likely Yes
Variable Fates Likely Yes Unknown Unknown
Develop Into Specific Human Tissue To be shown Yes Not shown in humans


Genetically Match the Patient Unknown No Unknown No
Additional Information Cells are genetically modified Cells are allogeneic Human oocytes in limited supply Tetraploid



Induced pluripotent stem cells: current progress and potential for regenerative medicine. Amabile G, Meissner A. Trends Mol Med. 2009 Feb;15(2):59-68. Epub 2009 Jan 21. Review.

The promise of human induced pluripotent stem cells for research and therapy. Nishikawa S, Goldstein RA, Nierras CR. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;9(9):725-9. Review.