On the isolation of embryonic stem cells: Comparative behavior of murine, porcine and ovine embryos

J. A. Piedrahita, G. B. Anderson, Robert Bondurant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

143 Scopus citations


The efficiency of isolation and the characteristics of embryo-derived cell lines from murine, porcine, and ovine embryos cultured on STO feeders or homologous embryonic fibroblasts (HEF) feeders were compared. While murine isolated ICM or intact embryos plated on STO or HEF feeders gave rise to cell lines with embryonic stem cell-like (ES-like) morphology, ovine embryos did not. Cell lines with ES-like morphology were isolated from porcine intact embryos and isolated ICM when plated on STO feeders but not when plated on HEF. Neither murine nor porcine ES-like cell lines expressed cytokeratin 18 or vimentin. Unlike murine ES-like cell lines, porcine ES-like cells did not undergo observable differentiation in vitro or in vivo. Cell lines with epithelial-like morphology were isolated from porcine and ovine embryos. Both porcine and ovine epithelial-like cell kines expressed cytokeratin 18. When induced to differentiate in vitro, porcine and ovine epithelial-like cell lines formed vesicular structures. Electron microscopy revealed that the porcine vesicles were composed of polarized epithelial cells, each with a basally-located nucleus and an apical border containing numerous microvilli with a well organized microfilament core. The results of this study show that conditions which allow isolation of ES cells from murine embryos allow the isolation of porcine embryo-derived cell lines sharing some, but not all, the characteristics of murine ES cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-901
Number of pages23
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990



  • embryonic stem cells
  • murine
  • ovine
  • porcine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Equine
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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