A simple tool to improve pluripotent stem cell differentiation

Nat Methods. 2013 Jun;10(6):553-6. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2442. Epub 2013 Apr 14.


We describe a method to help overcome restrictions on the differentiation propensities of human pluripotent stem cells. Culturing pluripotent stem cells in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) activates the retinoblastoma protein, increases the proportion of cells in the early G1 phase of the cell cycle and, in more than 25 embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell lines, improves directed differentiation into multiple lineages. DMSO treatment also improves differentiation into terminal cell types in several cell lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / pharmacology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • G1 Phase / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism


  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide