In regenerative medicine pluripotent stem cells are considered to be a valuable self-renewing source for therapeutic cell transplantations, given that a functional organ-specific phenotype can be acquired by in vitro differentiation protocols. Furthermore, derivatives of pluripotent stem cells that mimic fetal progenitor stages could serve as an important tool to analyze organ development with in vitro approaches. Because of ethical issues regarding the generation of human embryonic stem (ES) cells, other sources for pluripotent stem cells are intensively studied. Like in less developed vertebrates, pluripotent stem cells can be generated from the female germline even in mammals, via parthenogenetic activation of oocytes. Recently, testis-derived pluripotent stem cells were derived from the male germline. Therefore, we compared two different hepatic differentiation approaches and analyzed the generation of definitive endoderm progenitor cells and their further maturation into a hepatic phenotype using murine parthenogenetic ES cells, germline-derived pluripotent stem cells, and ES cells. Applying quantitative RT-PCR, both germline-derived pluripotent cell lines show similar differentiation capabilities as normal murine ES cells and can be considered an alternative source for pluripotent stem cells in regenerative medicine.
©2009 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York