Naive embryonic stem cells: the future of stem cell research?
Free editorial from our latest Regenerative Medicine issue by Carol Ware
There are now two reports concerning de novo establishment of naïve human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The future value of naïve hESC hinges on what we now know about mouse (m) ESC. Two stages of mouse pluripotency have been stabilized to date through in vitro culture. “Naïve” represents the earliest stage, which can be enriched for a purer population, termed “ground state”. Naïve most closely approximates embryonic epiblast in the pre-implantation blastocyst. The primed state most closely approximates in vivo immediate post-implantation epiblast. There are clear differences between these stages in culture, expression, epigenetics (including appropriate X-inactivation) and developmental competence. The fact that naïve mESC can generate whole animals through tetraploid complementation while primed mESC cannot, is a particularly compelling reason for heightened expectations from naïve hESC.
By Carol Ware
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