Conversion of Primordial Germ Cells to Pluripotent Stem Cells: Methods for Cell Tracking and Culture Conditions

  • Go Nagamatsu
  • Toshio Suda
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1052)


Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are unipotent cells committed to germ lineage: PGCs can only differentiate into gametes in vivo. However, upon fertilization, germ cells acquire the capacity to differentiate into all cell types in the body, including germ cells. Therefore, germ cells are thought to have the potential for pluripotency. PGCs can convert to pluripotent stem cells in vitro when cultured under specific conditions that include bFGF, LIF, and the membrane-bound form of SCF (mSCF). Here, the culture conditions which efficiently convert PGCs to pluripotent embryonic germ (EG) cells are described, as well as methods used for identifying pluripotent candidate cells during culture.


Primordial germ cell Acquisition of pluripotency Tracking Purification 



We thank Dr. Takeo Kosaka for contributing to the establishment of this culture system. This study was supported, in part, by a grant-in-aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan; by PRESTO; and by the Takeda Science Foundation.

Supplementary material

Movie 1

 Time-laps bio-imaging of EG cell formation. (AVI 71045 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Go Nagamatsu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Toshio Suda
    • 1
  1. 1.The Sakaguchi Laboratory, Department of Cell Differentiation, School of MedicineKeio UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology AgencySaitamaJapan

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