Extraembryonic Endoderm (XEN) Cells Capable of Contributing to Embryonic Chimeras Established from Pig Embryos

Stem Cell Reports. 2021 Jan 12;16(1):212-223. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.11.011. Epub 2020 Dec 17.


Most of our current knowledge regarding early lineage specification and embryo-derived stem cells comes from studies in rodent models. However, key gaps remain in our understanding of these developmental processes from nonrodent species. Here, we report the detailed characterization of pig extraembryonic endoderm (pXEN) cells, which can be reliably and reproducibly generated from primitive endoderm (PrE) of blastocyst. Highly expandable pXEN cells express canonical PrE markers and transcriptionally resemble rodent XENs. The pXEN cells contribute both to extraembryonic tissues including visceral yolk sac as well as embryonic gut when injected into host blastocysts, and generate live offspring when used as a nuclear donor in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The pXEN cell lines provide a novel model for studying lineage segregation, as well as a source for genome editing in livestock.

Keywords: Cloning; SCNT; XEN; embryonic chimera; extra-embryonic cells; gut endoderm; pig/porcine; primitive endoderm; stem cell; yolk sac.

Publication types

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