Culture of haploid blastocysts in FGF4 favors the derivation of epiblast stem cells with a primed epigenetic and transcriptional landscape

Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 17;8(1):10775. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29074-6.


Pluripotent stem cells within the inner cell mass and epiblast of mammalian embryos have the capacity to form all lineages in the adult organism, while multipotent trophoblast stem (TS) cells derived from the trophectoderm are capable of differentiating into fetal lineages of the placenta. While mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) exhibit distinct expression patterns and utilize distinct external signaling pathways for self-renewal, because mouse EpiSCs resemble human ES cells they are a useful model to investigate mechanisms of human ES cell self-renewal and differentiation. Recent studies have shown that haploid embryos and ES cells can be generated from chemically-activated unfertilized mouse oocytes. However, it is unclear whether EpiSCs or TS cells can be derived from haploid embryos. Here, we describe the derivation of EpiSCs from haploid blastocyst-stage embryos using culture conditions that promote TS cell self-renewal. Maternal (parthenogenetic/gynogenetic) EpiSCs (maEpiSCs) functionally and morphologically resemble conventional EpiSCs. Established maEpiSCs and conventional EpiSCs are diploid and exhibit a normal number of chromosomes. Moreover, global expression analyses and epigenomic profiling revealed that maEpiSCs and conventional EpiSCs exhibit similarly primed transcriptional programs and epigenetic profiles, respectively. Altogether, our results describe a useful experimental model to generate EpiSCs from haploid embryos, provide insight into self-renewal mechanisms of EpiSCs, and suggest that FGF4 is not sufficient to derive TS cells from haploid blastocyst-stage embryos.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / cytology*
  • Embryo Culture Techniques
  • Epigenomics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Germ Layers / cytology*
  • Haploidy
  • Mice
  • Multipotent Stem Cells
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / cytology*