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Passage number affects the pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells as judged by tetraploid embryo aggregation

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The aim of this study was to determine whether the number of passages affected the developmental pluripotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells as measured by the attainment of adult fertile mice derived from embryonic stem (ES) cell/tetraploid embryo complementation. Thirty-six newborns were produced by the aggregation of tetraploid embryos and hybrid ES cells after various numbers of passages. These newborns were entirely derived from ES cells as judged by microsatellite DNA, coat-color phenotype, and germline transmission. Although 15 survived to adulthood, 17 died of respiratory failure, and four were eaten by their foster mother. From the 15 mice that reached adulthood and that could reproduce, none arose from ES cells at passage level 15 or more. All 15 arose from cells at passages 3–11. Our results demonstrate that the number of passages affects the developmental pluripotency of ES cells.

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We are grateful to Mrs. Jie Fang You and Mrs. Xiao Ran Xiong for culturing the ES cells used in our studies, to Ya Shu Liu for PCR primer pairs, and to Dr. Jie Yang for microsatellite DNA analysis.

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Correspondence to Xiang-yun Li.

Additional information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 30571336) and the President Foundation of the Agricultural University of Hebei.

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Li, X., Jia, Q., Di, K. et al. Passage number affects the pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells as judged by tetraploid embryo aggregation. Cell Tissue Res 327, 607 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00441-006-0354-6

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  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Tetraploid embryo
  • Aggregation
  • Pluripotency
  • Mouse