Eighteen-year cryopreservation does not negatively affect the pluripotency of human embryos: evidence from embryonic stem cell derivation


Human embryonic stem (hES) cells are considered to be a potential source for the therapy of human diseases, drug screening, and the study of developmental biology. In the present study, we successfully derived hES cell lines from blastocysts developed from frozen and fresh embryos. Seventeen- to eighteen-year-old frozen embryos were thawed, cultured to the blastocyst stage, and induced to form hES cells using human foreskin fibroblasts. The Chula2.hES cell line and the Chula4.hES and Chula5.hES cell lines were derived from blastocysts developed from frozen and fresh embryos, respectively. The cell lines expressed pluripotent markers, including alkaline phosphatase (AP), Oct3/4, stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-4, and tumor recognition antigen (TRA)-1-60 and TRA-1-81 as detected with immunocytochemistry. The real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) results showed that the cell lines expressed pluripotent genes, including OCT3/4, SOX2, NANOG, UTF, LIN28, REX1, NODAL, and E-Cadherin. In addition, the telomerase activities of the cell lines were higher than in the fibroblast cells. Moreover, the cell lines differentiated into all three germ layers both in vitro and in vivo. The cell lines had distinct identities, as revealed with DNA fingerprinting, and maintained their normal karyotype after a long-term culture. This study is the first to report the successful derivation of hES cell lines in Thailand and that frozen embryos maintained their pluripotency similar to fresh embryos, as shown by the success of hES cell derivation, even after years of cryopreservation. Therefore, embryos from prolonged cryopreservation could be an alternative source for embryonic stem cell research.

Authors Pruksananonda K, Rungsiwiwut R, Numchaisrika P, Ahnonkitpanit V, Isarasena N, Virutamasen P
Journal BioResearch open access
Publication Date 2012 Aug;1(4):166-73
PubMed 23514952
PubMed Central PMC3559204
DOI 10.1089/biores.2012.0242

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