Effect of Steel factor and leukaemia inhibitory factor on murine primordial germ cells in culture

Nature. 1991 Oct 24;353(6346):750-2. doi: 10.1038/353750a0.


Despite the importance of germ cells to the survival of species, surprisingly little is known about their embryological origin, proliferation, migration and entry into mitotic arrest or meiosis. Mutations in the murine Dominant White Spotting (W) and Steel genes, which respectively encode the c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor and the c-kit ligand (or Steel factor), impair the development of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in vivo, as well as haematopoietic stem cells and neural crest-derived melanoblasts. Here we use a monoclonal antibody against c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor and recombinant Steel factor to study the c-kit receptor-ligand system in cultured PGCs. In addition, we show that leukaemia inhibitory factor (also known as differentiation inhibitory activity), a factor secreted by STO fibroblasts, can stimulate proliferation of primordial germ cells in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Growth Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-6*
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Lymphokines / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / immunology
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Growth Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-6
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Lif protein, mouse
  • Lymphokines
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit