Browsing Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics: Faculty Research and Presentations by Subjects
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Comparison and Avoidance of Toxicity of Penetrating CryoprotectantsThe objective of this study was to elucidate the toxicity of widely used penetrating cryoprotective agents (CPAs) to mammalian oocytes. To this end, mouse metaphase II (M II) oocytes were exposed to 1.5 M solutions of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), ethylene glycol (EG), or propanediol (PROH) prepared in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) containing 10% fetal bovine serum. To address the time- and temperature-dependence of the CPA toxicity, M II oocytes were exposed to the aforementioned CPAs at room temperature (RT, ,23uC) and 37uC for 15 or 30 minutes. Subsequently, the toxicity of each CPA was evaluated by examining post-exposure survival, fertilization, embryonic development, chromosomal abnormalities, and parthenogenetic activation of treated oocytes. Untreated oocytes served as controls. Exposure of MII oocytes to 1.5 M DMSO or 1.5 M EG at RT for 15 min did not adversely affect any of the evaluated criteria. In contrast, 1.5 M PROH induced a significant increase in oocyte degeneration (54.2%) and parthenogenetic activation (16%) under same conditions. When the CPA exposure was performed at 37uC, the toxic effect of PROH further increased, resulting in lower survival (15%) and no fertilization while the toxicity of DMSO and EG was still insignificant. Nevertheless, it was possible to completely avoid the toxicity of PROH by decreasing its concentration to 0.75 M and combining it with 0.75 M DMSO to bring the total CPA concentration to a cryoprotective level. Moreover, combining lower concentrations (i.e., 0.75 M) of PROH and DMSO significantly improved the cryosurvival of MII oocytes compared to the equivalent concentration of DMSO alone. Taken together, our results suggest that from the perspective of CPA toxicity, DMSO and EG are safer to use in slow cooling protocols while a lower concentration of PROH can be combined with another CPA to avoid its toxicity and to improve the cryosurvival as well.
Directed neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells.BACKGROUND: We have developed a culture system for the efficient and directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) to neural precursors and neurons.HESC were maintained by manual passaging and were differentiated to a morphologically distinct OCT-4+/SSEA-4- monolayer cell type prior to the derivation of embryoid bodies. Embryoid bodies were grown in suspension in serum free conditions, in the presence of 50% conditioned medium from the human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2 (MedII). RESULTS: A neural precursor population was observed within HESC derived serum free embryoid bodies cultured in MedII conditioned medium, around 7-10 days after derivation. The neural precursors were organized into rosettes comprised of a central cavity surrounded by ring of cells, 4 to 8 cells in width. The central cells within rosettes were proliferating, as indicated by the presence of condensed mitotic chromosomes and by phosphoHistone H3 immunostaining. When plated and maintained in adherent culture, the rosettes of neural precursors were surrounded by large interwoven networks of neurites. Immunostaining demonstrated the expression of nestin in rosettes and associated non-neuronal cell types, and a radial expression of Map-2 in rosettes. Differentiated neurons expressed the markers Map-2 and Neurofilament H, and a subpopulation of the neurons expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker for dopaminergic neurons. CONCLUSION: This novel directed differentiation approach led to the efficient derivation of neuronal cultures from HESCs, including the differentiation of tyrosine hydroxylase expressing neurons. HESC were morphologically differentiated to a monolayer OCT-4+ cell type, which was used to derive embryoid bodies directly into serum free conditions. Exposure to the MedII conditioned medium enhanced the derivation of neural precursors, the first example of the effect of this conditioned medium on HESC.