Recent evidence suggests human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines have differences in their epigenetic marks and transcriptomes, yet the impact of these differences on subsequent terminally differentiated cells is less well understood. Comparison of purified, homogeneous populations of somatic cells derived from multiple independent human iPS and ES lines will be required to address this critical question. Here, we report a differentiation protocol based on embryonic development that consistently yields large numbers of endothelial cells (ECs) derived from multiple hESCs or iPS cells. Mesoderm differentiation of embryoid bodies was maximized, and defined growth factors were used to generate KDR(+) EC progenitors. Magnetic purification of a KDR(+) progenitor subpopulation resulted in an expanding, homogeneous pool of ECs that expressed EC markers and had functional properties of ECs. Comparison of the transcriptomes revealed limited gene expression variability between multiple lines of human iPS-derived ECs or between lines of ES- and iPS-derived ECs. These results demonstrate a method to generate large numbers of pure human EC progenitors and differentiated ECs from pluripotent stem cells and suggest individual lineages derived from human iPS cells may have significantly less variance than their pluripotent founders.
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