Generation of Primordial Germ Cell-like Cells on Small and Large Scales

Methods Mol Biol. 2021:2214:75-89. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0958-3_6.


The specification and development of germ cells to gametes is a unique process, which is of great biological and clinical relevance. In mammals, the founding cells of the germline are primordial germ cells (PGCs), which arise during early embryogenesis. The low number of PGCs within the developing embryo limits the study of these cells in model organisms. The generation of PGC-like cells (PGCLCs) from murine pluripotent stem cells reconstitutes the earliest stages of germ cell development and mitigates the technical constraints of studying this developmental process in vivo. Here, we describe the technical details of the PGCLC specification approach and illustrate adaptations designed to improve compatibility with methods such as chromatin immunoprecipitation by increasing the yield of PGCLC generation.

Keywords: Cell fate decision; Embryonic development; Mouse primordial germ cells; Pluripotency; Stem cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryonic Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Mice
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*