ROCK inhibitor is not required for embryoid body formation from singularized human embryonic stem cells.
ABSTRACT: We report a technology to form human embryoid bodies (hEBs) from singularized human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) without the use of the p160 rho-associated coiled-coil kinase inhibitor (ROCKi) or centrifugation (spin). hEB formation was tested under four conditions: +ROCKi/+spin, +ROCKi/-spin, -ROCKi/+spin, and -ROCKi/-spin. Cell suspensions of BG01V/hOG and H9 hESC lines were pipetted into non-adherent hydrogel substrates containing defined microwell arrays. hEBs of consistent size and spherical geometry can be formed in each of the four conditions, including the -ROCKi/-spin condition. The hEBs formed under the -ROCKi/-spin condition differentiated to develop the three embryonic germ layers and tissues derived from each of the germ layers. This simplified hEB production technique offers homogeneity in hEB size and shape to support synchronous differentiation, elimination of the ROCKi xeno-factor and rate-limiting centrifugation treatment, and low-cost scalability, which will directly support automated, large-scale production of hEBs and hESC-derived cells needed for clinical, research, or therapeutic applications.
Project description:A simple, scalable, and reproducible technology that allows direct formation of large numbers of homogeneous and synchronized embryoid bodies (EBs) of defined sizes from dissociated human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) was developed. Non-cell-adhesive hydrogels were used to create round-bottom microwells to host dissociated hiPSCs. No Rho-associated kinase inhibitor (ROCK-i), or centrifugation was needed and the side effects of ROCK-i can be avoided. The key requirement for the successful EB formation in addition to the non-cell-adhesive round-bottom microwells is the input cell density per microwell. Too few or too many cells loaded into the microwells will compromise the EB formation process. In parallel, we have tested our microwell-based system for homogeneous hEB formation from dissociated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Successful production of homogeneous hEBs from dissociated hESCs in the absence of ROCK-i and centrifugation was achieved within an optimal range of input cell density per microwell. Both the hiPSC- and hESC-derived hEBs expressed key proteins characteristic of all the three developmental germ layers, confirming their EB identity. This novel EB production technology may represent a versatile platform for the production of homogeneous EBs from dissociated human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs).
Project description:Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can be induced to differentiate into blood cells using either co-culture with stromal cells or following human embryoid bodies (hEBs) formation. It is now well established that the HOXB4 homeoprotein promotes the expansion of human adult hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) but also myeloid and lymphoid progenitors. However, the role of HOXB4 in the development of hematopoietic cells from hESCs and particularly in the generation of hESC-derived NK-progenitor cells remains elusive. Based on the ability of HOXB4 to passively enter hematopoietic cells in a system that comprises a co-culture with the MS-5/SP-HOXB4 stromal cells, we provide evidence that HOXB4 delivery promotes the enrichment of hEB-derived precursors that could differentiate into fully mature and functional NK. These hEB-derived NK cells enriched by HOXB4 were characterized according to their CMH class I receptor expression, their cytotoxic arsenal, their expression of IFN? and CD107a after stimulation and their lytic activity. Furthermore our study provides new insights into the gene expression profile of hEB-derived cells exposed to HOXB4 and shows the emergence of CD34(+)CD45RA(+) precursors from hEBs indicating the lymphoid specification of hESC-derived hematopoietic precursors. Altogether, our results outline the effects of HOXB4 in combination with stromal cells in the development of NK cells from hESCs and suggest the potential use of HOXB4 protein for NK-cell enrichment from pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:Spherical three-dimensional cell aggregates called embryoid bodies (EBs), have been widely used in in vitro differentiation protocols for human pluripotent stem cells including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Recent studies highlight the new devices and techniques for hEB formation and expansion, but are not involved in the passaging or subculture process. Here, we provide evidence that a simple periodic passaging markedly improved hEB culture condition and thus allowed the size-controlled, mass production of human embryoid bodies (hEBs) derived from both hESCs and hiPSCs. hEBs maintained in prolonged suspension culture without passaging (>2 weeks) showed a progressive decrease in the cell growth and proliferation and increase in the apoptosis compared to 7-day-old hEBs. However, when serially passaged in suspension, hEB cell populations were significantly increased in number while maintaining the normal rates of cell proliferation and apoptosis and the differentiation potential. Uniform-sized hEBs produced by manual passaging using a 1?4 split ratio have been successfully maintained for over 20 continuous passages. The passaging culture method of hEBs, which is simple, readily expandable, and reproducible, could be a powerful tool for improving a robust and scalable in vitro differentiation system of human pluripotent stem cells.
Project description:We elucidate the cellular and molecular kinetics of the stepwise differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to primitive and definitive erythromyelopoiesis from human embryoid bodies (hEBs) in serum-free clonogenic assays. Hematopoiesis initiates from CD45 hEB cells with emergence of semiadherent mesodermal-hematoendothelial (MHE) colonies that can generate endothelium and form organized, yolk sac-like structures that secondarily generate multipotent primitive hematopoietic stem progenitor cells (HSPCs), erythroblasts, and CD13+CD45+ macrophages. A first wave of hematopoiesis follows MHE colony emergence and is predominated by primitive erythropoiesis characterized by a brilliant red hemoglobinization, CD71/CD325a (glycophorin A) expression, and exclusively embryonic/fetal hemoglobin expression. A second wave of definitive-type erythroid burst-forming units (BFU-e's), erythroid colony-forming units (CFU-e's), granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells (GM-CFCs), and multilineage CFCs follows next from hEB progenitors. These stages of hematopoiesis proceed spontaneously from hEB-derived cells without requirement for supplemental growth factors during hEB differentiation. Gene expression analysis of differentiating hEBs revealed that initiation of hematopoiesis correlated with increased levels of SCL/TAL1, GATA1, GATA2, CD34, CD31, and the homeobox gene-regulating factor CDX4 These data indicate that hematopoietic differentiation of hESCs models the earliest events of embryonic and definitive hematopoiesis in a manner resembling human yolk sac development, thus providing a valuable tool for dissecting the earliest events in human HSPC genesis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Human embryonic stem cells (hESC) should enable novel insights into early human development and provide a renewable source of cells for regenerative medicine. However, because the three-dimensional hESC aggregates [embryoid bodies (hEB)] typically employed to reveal hESC developmental potential are heterogeneous and exhibit disorganized differentiation, progress in hESC technology development has been hindered.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Using a centrifugal forced-aggregation strategy in combination with a novel centrifugal-extraction approach as a foundation, we demonstrated that hESC input composition and inductive environment could be manipulated to form large numbers of well-defined aggregates exhibiting multi-lineage differentiation and substantially improved self-organization from single-cell suspensions. These aggregates exhibited coordinated bi-domain structures including contiguous regions of extraembryonic endoderm- and epiblast-like tissue. A silicon wafer-based microfabrication technology was used to generate surfaces that permit the production of hundreds to thousands of hEB per cm(2).<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The mechanisms of early human embryogenesis are poorly understood. We report an ultra high throughput (UHTP) approach for generating spatially and temporally synchronised hEB. Aggregates generated in this manner exhibited aspects of peri-implantation tissue-level morphogenesis. These results should advance fundamental studies into early human developmental processes, enable high-throughput screening strategies to identify conditions that specify hESC-derived cells and tissues, and accelerate the pre-clinical evaluation of hESC-derived cells.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The identification of molecular pathways of differentiation of embryonic stem cells (hESC) is critical for the development of stem cell based medical therapies. In order to identify biomarkers and potential regulators of the process of differentiation, a high quality microarray containing 16,659 seventy base pair oligonucleotides was used to compare gene expression profiles of undifferentiated hESC lines and differentiating embryoid bodies.<h4>Results</h4>Previously identified "stemness" genes in undifferentiated hESC lines showed down modulation in differentiated cells while expression of several genes was induced as cells differentiated. In addition, a subset of 194 genes showed overexpression of greater than > or = 3 folds in human embryoid bodies (hEB). These included 37 novel and 157 known genes. Gene expression was validated by a variety of techniques including another large scale array, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, focused cDNA microarrays, massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS) analysis and immunocytochemisty. Several novel hEB specific expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were mapped to the human genome database and their expression profile characterized. A hierarchical clustering analysis clearly depicted a distinct difference in gene expression profile among undifferentiated and differentiated hESC and confirmed that microarray analysis could readily distinguish them.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These results present a detailed characterization of a unique set of genes, which can be used to assess the hESC differentiation.
Project description:In order to compare the gene expression profiles of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines and their differentiated progeny and to monitor feeder contaminations, we have examined gene expression in seven hESC lines and human fibroblast feeder cells using Illumina bead arrays that contain probes for 24,131 transcript probes.A total of 48 different samples (including duplicates) grown in multiple laboratories under different conditions were analyzed and pairwise comparisons were performed in all groups. Hierarchical clustering showed that blinded duplicates were correctly identified as the closest related samples. hESC lines clustered together irrespective of the laboratory in which they were maintained. hESCs could be readily distinguished from embryoid bodies (EB) differentiated from them and the karyotypically abnormal hESC line BG01V. The embryonal carcinoma (EC) line NTera2 is a useful model for evaluating characteristics of hESCs. Expression of subsets of individual genes was validated by comparing with published databases, MPSS (Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing) libraries, and parallel analysis by microarray and RT-PCR.we show that Illumina's bead array platform is a reliable, reproducible and robust method for developing base global profiles of cells and identifying similarities and differences in large number of samples.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The production of cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) holds great promise for patient-specific cardiotoxicity drug testing, disease modeling, and cardiac regeneration. However, existing protocols for the differentiation of hiPSC to the cardiac lineage are inefficient and highly variable. We describe a highly efficient system for differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and hiPSC to the cardiac lineage. This system eliminated the variability in cardiac differentiation capacity of a variety of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), including hiPSC generated from CD34(+) cord blood using non-viral, non-integrating methods.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We systematically and rigorously optimized >45 experimental variables to develop a universal cardiac differentiation system that produced contracting human embryoid bodies (hEB) with an improved efficiency of 94.7±2.4% in an accelerated nine days from four hESC and seven hiPSC lines tested, including hiPSC derived from neonatal CD34(+) cord blood and adult fibroblasts using non-integrating episomal plasmids. This cost-effective differentiation method employed forced aggregation hEB formation in a chemically defined medium, along with staged exposure to physiological (5%) oxygen, and optimized concentrations of mesodermal morphogens BMP4 and FGF2, polyvinyl alcohol, serum, and insulin. The contracting hEB derived using these methods were composed of high percentages (64-89%) of cardiac troponin I(+) cells that displayed ultrastructural properties of functional cardiomyocytes and uniform electrophysiological profiles responsive to cardioactive drugs.<h4>Conclusion/significance</h4>This efficient and cost-effective universal system for cardiac differentiation of hiPSC allows a potentially unlimited production of functional cardiomyocytes suitable for application to hPSC-based drug development, cardiac disease modeling, and the future generation of clinically-safe nonviral human cardiac cells for regenerative medicine.
Project description:Lineage reporters of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines are useful for differentiation studies and drug screening. Previously, we created reporter lines driven by an elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1?) promoter at a chromosome 13q32.3 locus in the hESC line WA09 and an abnormal hESC line BG01V in a site-specific manner. Expression of reporters in these lines was maintained in long-term culture at undifferentiated state. However, when these cells were differentiated into specific lineages, reduction in reporter expression was observed, indicating transgene silencing. To develop an efficient and reliable genetic engineering strategy in hESCs, we used chromatin insulator elements to flank single-copy transgenes and integrated the combined expression constructs via PhiC31/R4 integrase-mediated recombination technology to the chromosome 13 locus precisely. Two copies of cHS4 double-insulator sequences were placed adjacent to both 5' and 3' of the promoter reporter constructs. The green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene was driven by EF1? or CMV early enhancer/chicken ? actin (CAG) promoter. In the engineered hESC lines, for both insulated CAG-GFP and EF1?-GFP, constitutive expression at the chromosome 13 locus was maintained during prolonged culture and in directed differentiation assays toward diverse types of neurons, pancreatic endoderm, and mesodermal progeny. In particular, described here is the first normal hESC fluorescent reporter line that robustly expresses GFP in both the undifferentiated state and throughout dopaminergic lineage differentiation. The dual strategy of utilizing insulator sequences and integration at the constitutive chromosome 13 locus ensures appropriate transgene expression. This is a valuable tool for lineage development study, gain- and loss-of-function experiments, and human disease modeling using hESCs.
Project description:Lineage-specific differentiation potential varies among different human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) lines. A stem cell bank may advice researchers on which hPSCs exhibit the highest differentiation potential for a certain lineage. In this study, we aimed at characterizing the hematopoietic differentiation potential from 14 hESC/iPSC lines through the embryoid body (hEB) differentiation system. We carried out gene expression profiling on six different hESC lines grouped according to their ability to differentiate towards hematopoietic lineage: SHEF1, AND1 and H1 were considered as good (high CD45 expression and high CFU potential), whereas H9, HS181 and VAL3 were selected as poor-blood differentiating lines (low CD45 expression and low CFU potential). Human ESC samples were collected during the exponential cell growth phase and stabilized in RNA later. 500 ng of each total RNA sample was labelled with Cy3 using the Quick-Amp Labelling kit and hybridized with the Gene Expression Hybridization kit to a Whole Human Genome Oligo Microarray (Agilent Technologies) following the Manufacturer’s instructions. Each cell line was analyzed as independent duplicates. H9 hESC line was used as the baseline.