African Journal of Biotechnology

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Directional differentiation of chicken embryonic stem cells into osteoblasts, neuron-like cells and adipocytes

B Li, Y Zhang, X Chen, Q Shi, D Fu, Y Yin, Z Zhang, B Gao, G Chen


Chicken embryonic stem (ES) cells are useful for producing transgenic chickens and preserving genetic material in avian species. In this study, the differentiation potential of chicken ES cells was investigated in vitro. Chicken ES cells were differentiated into osteoblasts cultured for 15 to 21 days in the induction media containing dexamethasone (DEX), β-glycerol phosphate (β-GP) and/or vitamin C (Vit C) respectively and differentiation rates ranging from 40 to 72% confirmed by Von Kossa, cytochemical and immunohistochemical staining. Chicken ES differentiated into neuron-like cells cultured for 3 to 7 days in the induction media containing retinoic acid (RA) and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) and differentiation rates ranging from 70 to 84% were identified by toluidine blue staining and immunohistochemical staining. Also chicken ES was differentiated into adipocytes cultured for 21 days in the induction media containing DEX, insulin (Ins) and/or IBMX and differentiation rates ranging from 74 to 91% identified by oil red-O and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) gene expression. These data suggest that like mammalian ES, chicken ES can differentiate into different cell types in vitro.

Key words: Chicken embryonic stem cells, in vitro, directional differentiation, osteoblasts, neuron-like cells, adipocytes.
AJOL African Journals Online