Pluripotency Potential of Embryonic Stem Cell-Like Cells Derived from Mouse Testis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of Biotechnology, Amol University of Special Modern Technologies, Amol, Iran

2 Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

3 Institute for Anatomy and Cell Biology, Medical Faculty, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld, Heidelberg, Germany


During the cultivation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) and their conversion into embryonic stem-like (ES-like) cells, transitional ES-like colonies and epiblast-like cells were observable. In the present experimental study, we aimed to analyze the efficiency of the multipotency or pluripotency potential of ES-like cells, transitional colonies and epiblast-like cells.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, SSCs were isolated from transgenic octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4)-green fluorescent protein (GFP)-reporter mice. During cell culture ES-like, transitional and epiblast- like colonies developed spontaneously. The mRNA and protein expression of pluripotency markers were analyzed by Fluidigm real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunocytochemistry, respectively. Efficiency to produce chimera mice was evaluated after injection of ES and ES-like cells into blastocysts.
Microscopic analyses demonstrated that the expression of Oct4-GFP in ES-like cells was very strong, in epiblast-like cells was not detectable, and was only partial in transitional colonies. Fluidigm RT-PCR showed a higher expression of the germ cell markers Stra-8 and Gpr-125 in ES-like cells and the pluripotency genes Dppa5, Lin28, Klf4, Gdf3 and Tdgf1 in ES-like colonies and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) compared to the epiblast-like and transitional colonies. No significant expression of Oct-4, Nanog, Sox2 and c-Myc was observed in the different groups. We showed a high expression level of Nanog and Klf4 in ES-like, while only a partial expression was observed in transitional colonies. We generated chimeric mice after blastocystic injection from ES and ES-like cells, but not from transitional colonies. We observed that the efficiency to produce chimeric mice in ES cells was more efficient (59%) in comparison to ES-like cells (22%).
This new data provides more information on the pluripotency or multipotency potentials of testis-derived ES-like cells in comparison to transitional colonies and epiblast-like cells.