Letter

Nature 444, 481-485 (23 November 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05142; Received 12 April 2006; Accepted 8 August 2006; Published online 23 August 2006

There is a Corrigendum (23 November 2006) associated with this document.

There is a Corrigendum (15 March 2007) associated with this document.

Human embryonic stem cell lines derived from single blastomeres

Irina Klimanskaya1,2, Young Chung1,2, Sandy Becker1, Shi-Jiang Lu1 & Robert Lanza1

  1. Advanced Cell Technology, 381 Plantation Street, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA
  2. *These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to: Robert Lanza1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to R.L. (Email: rlanza@advancedcell.com). The hES cell lines generated in this study will be made available to investigators under a material transfer agreement (an application has been submitted for deposition of the hES cell lines into the UK stem Cell Bank.

The derivation of human embryonic stem (hES) cells currently requires the destruction of ex utero embryos1, 2, 3, 4. A previous study in mice indicates that it might be possible to generate embryonic stem (ES) cells using a single-cell biopsy similar to that used in preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), which does not interfere with the embryo's developmental potential5. By growing the single blastomere overnight, the resulting cells could be used for both genetic testing and stem cell derivation without affecting the clinical outcome of the procedure. Here we report a series of ten separate experiments demonstrating that hES cells can be derived from single blastomeres. In this proof-of-principle study, multiple biopsies were taken from each embryo using micromanipulation techniques and none of the biopsied embryos were allowed to develop in culture. Nineteen ES-cell-like outgrowths and two stable hES cell lines were obtained. The latter hES cell lines maintained undifferentiated proliferation for more than eight months, and showed normal karyotype and expression of markers of pluripotency, including Oct-4, SSEA-3, SSEA-4, TRA-1-60, TRA-1-81, nanog and alkaline phosphatase. These cells retained the potential to form derivatives of all three embryonic germ layers both in vitro and in teratomas. The ability to create new stem cell lines and therapies without destroying embryos would address the ethical concerns of many, and allow the generation of matched tissue for children and siblings born from transferred PGD embryos.

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