A mouse embryonic stem cell line showing pluripotency of differentiation in early embryos and ubiquitous beta-galactosidase expression

Cell Differ Dev. 1990 Mar;29(3):181-6. doi: 10.1016/0922-3371(90)90120-l.


For analysis of chimeric mice made by injecting embryonic stem (ES) cells into host blastocysts, it is very desirable if the ES cells have a good cell marker that can distinguish them from host cells. It is ideal if the marker can be easily visualized in every type of cell and tissue throughout the embryogenesis. We tried to produce such ES cell lines by introducing an E. coli beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) gene construct by electroporation. One of the transformant lines (MS1-EL4) showed beta-gal activity in every undifferentiated stem cell. After being induced to differentiate in vitro, cells with various morphologies showed beta-gal activity. We also detected beta-gal activity in a wide variety of tissue elements in solid tumors made by injecting the MS1-EL4 cells into syngeneic mice. Then we produced chimeric embryos by injecting the MS1-EL4 cells into blastocysts and recovering the embryos at various developmental stages. We found that the MS1-EL4 cells contributed to various tissues and expressed beta-gal activity, including not only descendants of the inner cell mass but also the trophectoderm-derived extraembryonic ectoderm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chimera / genetics*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Galactosidases / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Mice
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / enzymology
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics*
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • Galactosidases
  • beta-Galactosidase